Samsung NX300 Optics

The Samsung NX300 is available bundled with the 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 III OIS NX lens. The test images shown on most other pages of these test results were taken with the very sharp Samsung 60mm f/2.8 Macro ED OIS SSA NX prime lens, so we use this page to explore kit lens performance.

Kit Lens Test Results

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

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

The Samsung NX300 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, however far-field optical performance at f/8 appears to be slightly above average for a kit lens, with good sharpness and contrast across much of the frame. See below for our lab results.

A smaller-than-average minimum coverage area, with good detail in the center. Flash was partially blocked.

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

As with zoom performance, the Samsung NX300's macro performance will depend entirely on the lens in use. However with the 18-55mm kit lens set to 55mm, the Samsung NX300 captured a slightly smaller-than-average minimum area measuring 2.48 x 1.65 inches (63 x 42 millimeters). Sharpness is pretty good in the center of the frame, but corners are quite soft. (Most lenses show some softening in the corners at macro distances.) The flash was partially blocked by the lens at minimum distance, causing a large, dark shadow to cover more than half the frame. You'll definitely want to use external lighting at closest focus.

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

Distortion Correction Off (default)
Slightly high barrel distortion at 18mm, about 0.9%
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 NX300's 18-55mm kit lens produced higher-than-average distortion at both wide-angle and telephoto ends. At wide angle, barrel distortion is about 0.9% and at telephoto, pincushion distortion is 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.

Chromatic Aberration and Corner Sharpness
JPEGs have low to moderate chromatic aberration in the corners, 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: Minor blurring
55mm, f/5.6: Center
C.A.: Very low
Softness: Slightly soft

Chromatic Aberration. Chromatic aberration in the corners with the NX300'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 NX300's 18-55mm kit lens produced some soft corners. At full wide angle, corners on the left side of the frame are a bit soft, but softness does extend fairly deep into the frame. Corners on the right are sharper, and the center of the image is quite sharp with excellent contrast. At full telephoto, the left corners were pretty sharp, but the right corners are a bit soft with lower contrast, and the center is a bit soft as well.

Vignetting. There's some noticeable 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: Soft
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: Sharp

Performance at f/8. Stopped down to f/8, corner sharpness did not improve, likely due to focus shift caused by spherical aberration. Performance in the center did however improve, particularly at full telephoto. Vignetting improved slightly at both wide angle and telephoto.

18mm, f/3.5 In-Camera JPEG 18mm, f/3.5: Uncorrected RAW
55mm, f/5.6: In-Camera JPEG 55mm, f/5.6: Uncorrected RAW

C.A. Reduction in JPEGs. As you can see from the crops above comparing in-camera JPEGs (left) to dcraw converted SRW files (right) taken with the 18-55mm lens, the Samsung NX300's image processor does a good job at suppressing much of the lateral chromatic aberration produced by the lens during its processing of JPEG files.


Samsung NX300 Viewfinder

Viewfinder Test Results

Excellent accuracy from the AMOLED monitor.

60mm, AMOLED Monitor

The Samsung NX300's AMOLED monitor proved to be quite accurate, showing just over 100% coverage in our tests. Excellent results here, though expected from an image derived from the sensor.


The images above were taken from our standardized test shots. For a collection of more pictorial photos, see our Samsung NX300 Photo Gallery .

Buy the Samsung NX300

Editor's Picks