Samsung NX500 First Shots posted: Our initial lab tests start to answer some questions


posted Wednesday, March 18, 2015 at 3:35 PM EDT


Our friends over at Samsung say they've shoehorned the guts of their popular NX1 into an NX300 body - at least, in terms of image quality and a few of the bells and whistles, that's the basic claim they're making with the new Samsung NX500. And they've done so all at a body-only street price of just $700. (Most impressive, indeed.)

Did they succeed? Time will tell, but we like to keep you in the know throughout our review process, and the first step for us is shooting laboratory First Shots to get an early look at image quality, especially as ISO starts to rise. I mean, by the time you get to a sensor this large (APS-C) and with this much resolution (28.2) one of the real holy grail aspects of digital photography becomes achieving higher ISO performance, as most cameras made today can deliver a good image at base ISO as long as there's plenty of available light, but many struggle with noise levels and clarity as ISO rises.

Samsung is so confident that this camera will win you over if you're looking for high performance in a lightweight, inexpensive shell that they flew the camera press, including our own William Brawley, to Hawaii for a press junket last week (some reviewers get all the fun!). If you've yet to see William's initial gallery from that shoot, please click here. For everyone else we offer up our lab test First Shots for a look at the lab samples themselves, and also to start making comparisons against other cameras in our Comparometer.

Does it look like the NX1 for image quality? Does it best its predecessor the NX300? Or how about a primary mirrorless competitor such as the Sony A6000, or a DSLR competitor like the Nikon D5500? The Comparometer can start to answer these questions for you, and to get you started here are a few side-by-side 1:1 crop examples for a quick-look at default in-camera JPEG settings. (Differences in apparent size are due to the difference in sensor resolution.)

Samsung NX300                   ISO 3200                     Samsung NX500

  Samsung NX1                   ISO 3200                     Samsung NX500

 Nikon D5500                   ISO 3200                     Samsung NX500

  Sony A6000                    ISO 3200                     Samsung NX500

[quick links: Samsung NX500Lab SamplesGalleryNX300 vs NX500]