Samsung NX200 Optics


Kit Lens Test Results

18-55mm Zoom
Good performance with the 18-55mm OIS kit lens.

18mm @ f/8 33mm @ f/8
55mm @ f/8

The Samsung NX200 is available bundled with the Samsung 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 OIS NX lens, which has a 35mm equivalent focal range of about 27-84mm. Its 3.1x zoom ratio is about average for a kit lens. Optical performance was quite good at 18mm, with strong detail across the frame at f/8. Coma distortion in the trees is low, and chromatic aberration very well controlled, though some minor flare can be seen around bright highlights. Results were very good at 33mm, with very good sharpness across the frame and negligible chromatic aberration. At full telephoto, sharpness and contrast were decent, though not quite as good as shorter focal lengths particularly on the right-hand-side. Still, overall far-field performance was good, and the optical image stabilization built-in to the lens will come in handy for low-light shots. The NX200 offers what Samsung calls i-Zoom, which is a cropping "digital zoom." That is, the higher the "magnification," the lower the image resolution. It goes up to 2x, which produces a 5-megapixel file. Since it's just a crop (no interpolation back to a higher resolution), we didn't test it here.

A larger-than-average minimum coverage area, with good detail in the center. Flash was partially blocked, and somewhat dim.

Macro with 18-55mm kit lens
55mm @ f/8
Macro with flash

As with zoom performance, the Samsung NX200's macro performance will depend entirely on the lens in use. However with the 18-55mm kit lens set to 55mm, the Samsung NX200 captured a larger-than-average minimum area measuring 3.54 x 2.36 inches (90 x 60 millimeters). Sharpness was pretty good in the center of the frame, just a touch soft, but corners where quite soft. (Most lenses show some softening in the corners at macro distances.) The flash was partially blocked by the lens at closest focus, and throttled-down a bit too much, making a dim, very uneven exposure.

Geometric Distortion
Slightly high distortion at both wide-angle and telephoto with Distortion Correction Off.

Distortion Correction Off
Slightly high barrel distortion at 18mm, about 0.8%
Slightly high pincushion distortion at 55mm, about 0.7%
Distortion Correction On
Very low pincushion distortion, about 0.1%
Slightly high pincushion distortion at 55mm, about 0.7%

The Samsung NX200's 18-55mm kit lens produced higher-than-average distortion at both wide-angle and telephoto ends. At wide-angle, barrel distortion was 0.8% and at telephoto, pincushion distortion was about 0.7%. Both are quite noticeable in some shots. This is the tendency for the lens to bend straight lines outward (like a barrel -- usually at wide-angle) or inward (like a pincushion -- usually at telephoto).

With Distortion Correction enabled, the barrel distortion at wide-angle was overcorrected slightly to about 0.1% pincushion, and quite a bit of the corners and edges were cropped away in the process. At full telephoto, Distortion Correction didn't make a difference, though we haven't tried the latest firmware (all images were shot with v1.01 firmware).

Chromatic Aberration and Corner Sharpness
JPEGs have low to moderate chromatic aberration, though uncorrected RAWs have much higher. The lens produced some soft corners at both wide-angle and telephoto.

Maximum Aperture
18mm, f/3.5: Upper left
C.A.: Moderate
Softness: Minor blurring
18mm, f/3.5: Center
C.A.: Very low
Softness: Sharp
55mm, f/5.6: Lower right
C.A.: Low
Softness: Very soft
55mm, f/5.6: Center
C.A.: Very low
Softness: Soft

Chromatic Aberration. Chromatic aberration in the corners with the NX200's 18-55mm kit lens at wide-angle (18mm) is moderate in terms of the number of pixels, but not terribly bright, so it's only slightly noticeable in some shots. At full telephoto (55mm), chromatic aberration is fainter and less noticeable. 

Corner Softness. The Samsung NX200's 18-55mm kit lens produced some soft corners in a few shots. At full wide-angle, corners on the left side of the frame were a bit soft, but softness did extend fairly deep into the frame. Corners on the right were sharper, and the center of the image was very sharp with excellent contrast. At full telephoto, the left corners were pretty sharp, but the right corners were quite soft with low contrast, and the center was a bit soft as well. There's a bit of corner shading ("vignetting") at wide-angle when wide-open, but it's not bad. Just a touch of corner shading can be seen at full telephoto.

f/8 Aperture
18mm, f/8: Upper left
C.A.: Low
Softness: Minor blurring
18mm, f/8: Center
C.A.: Very low
Softness: Sharp
55mm, f/8: Lower right
C.A.: Low
Softness: Soft
55mm, f/8: Center
C.A.: Very low
Softness: Fairly sharp

Stopped down to f/8, corners improved but were still a bit soft, particularly at full telephoto. Sharpness improved in the center as well, but telephoto was still a touch soft compared to wide-angle. Vignetting was negligible at both wide-angle and telephoto.

18mm, f/8 In-Camera JPEG 18mm, f/8: Uncorrected RAW
55mm, f/8: In-Camera JPEG 55mm, f/8: Uncorrected RAW

C.A. Reduction in JPEGs. As you can see from the crops above comparing in-camera JPEGs (left) to Adobe Camera Raw converted SRW files (right) taken with the 18-55mm lens, the Samsung NX200's image processor does a good job at suppressing much of the chromatic aberration produced by the lens during its processing of JPEG files.


Samsung NX200 Viewfinder

Viewfinder Test Results

Very good accuracy from the AMOLED monitor.

18mm, AMOLED Monitor 55mm, AMOLED Monitor

The Samsung NX200's AMOLED monitor proved to be quite accurate, showing just under 100% coverage with the 18-55mm kit lens at both wide-angle and full telephoto. Very good results here.


The images above were taken from our standardized test shots. For a collection of more pictorial photos, see our Samsung NX200 Photo Gallery .

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