Samsung NX20

I asked Henry if he would share some feedback on owning and using the Samsung NX20. And here that is below - reprinted from Google+. Many thanks to Henry for doing this.
Henry KrzciukYesterday 17:19
Samsung NX20.  You had asked for some comments on the Samsung NX20 so here they are, just my opinions and experiences.  Some are pro's and some are con's depending on your needs and viewpoint.  My other camera is a D800E with Nikon primes.

1.  A relatively small and lightweight camera with very good pancake (30mm is exceptional) lenses.  It can fit in a larger jacket pocket and a second pancake or two can fit in another pocket.

2.  As you said, image quality (I only shoot RAW) at ISO 100 is outstanding and very good through ISO 800.  At ISO 1600 some noise needs to be managed.  I mostly print 11 x 17 inch and some 16 x 20 inch.  Family stuff I print in 8 x 10.  In these sizes, only I am able to see a difference from my D800E.  Of course, the  dynamic range of the D800E is better.

3.  The lens lineup is just right for me and nearly complete.  The prime lenses have been surprisingly good. The 30mm pancake prime is exceptional edge-to-edge (and a favorite focal length).  The 16mm is known to be better then the Sony NEX 16mm lens and is my other favorite.  The 20mm and 60mm are very good.  The 85mm is highly regarding.  The 50-200 is excellent to 130mm.   The new 12-24mm is said to be very, very good (have not bought this one yet because I am sticking mostly with the pancakes).   A new 45mm f1.8 will be available shortly.  At this time, I am using my older Contax 50mm for this focal length (this is a super sharp lens on the NX20).  And yes manual focus is really nice on the NX20, just no focus peaking but still a simple one button push for magnification. 

3.  The camera handles very nicely with its controls, grip, menus.  It is a classic SLR designed body.  The EVF may not be the worlds best but far better than the GH2 EVF.  The LCD is an AMOLED and excellent.  Having an EVF and articulating LCD screen are minimum requirements for me -- hence, like you, my selling of the NX200. 

4.  The NX20 was overpriced when I bought it.  It is now available for $799 USD at B&H photo and at Fry's in California it can be purchased for as little as $599 USD in store only.  The lenses are reasonably priced and also go on super sales at various times of the year.  With the new lower NX20 camera prices, it is now a very reasonably priced kit.

5. The camera is fully supported in LR4 and Capture One hence the workflow is clean.

6.  My standard Samsung NX20 small bag includes the 30mm on camera and the 16mm lens, polarizer, one extra battery, and a charger.  My second larger bag has the Contax 50mm, the 50-200mm, the 20mm, and a larger Samsung or sometimes a Metz flash.

My personal situation.  I tried the Sony RX100 (also with 20mp) thinking I would replace the Samsung NX20 but the Samsung is so much better relative to image quality and better to hold and has an EVF etc.   I have been tracking your experiences with the DP2M but am thinking that I want a camera that is more flexible.  And I have the D800E with primes for the highest quality and most capabilities.   Now of course, I am tracking the Sony RX1 but I am thinking that the D800E and the Samsung NX20 cover my needs.  At $3,500 to $4,000 USD, the Sony RX1 is looking expensive and not really excelling at anything but size and weight.  Still undecided a bit on this one but I think you understand. 
 © Henry Krzciuk 17 December 2012
N.B. to see more on the cameras and lenses featured in this post click on the relevant labels (tags and keywords) below.

Have just received some more feedback via Google+ from another NX20 user and Soundimageplus regular - Corwin Black - so I thought I would add this in as well.

Corwin Black13:26 (edited)
I will add few bits..

In EU its possible to get either good deal or buy SH sometimes. For some reason is Samsung NX more expensive in USA than EU (funny usually its other way around).

Otherwise there is so called "green bar" function, which is pretty much like focus peaking, except you dont see peaking part. Camera runs contrast detection in chosen AF point while you are focusing manually, when you hit highest part of "bar" it should be focused. Similar to green dot on Nikon cams (so called digital rangefinder if I remember correctly). Its offered in NX cams since NX11 and NX10, original NX10 can have it only if you force-flash NX11 firmware. It works pretty well as long as AF of camera is capable of focusing (eg. when it gets really dark, that x7 magnification is better choice).

Only downside of NX20 I found is that it has algorithm which is trying to keep highlights at all costs. Thats done in camera by underexposing up to -2eV and then pushing back to intended original exposure. Its like permanently enabled highlight protection. Maybe it doesnt do that with manual focus lens as most of software tricks are tied to NX lens.

In software corrections its similar to Panasonic. Lens are corrected for distortion (usually very weak even without correction), vignetting (may cause trouble if you push a lot in PP) and ofc CA (not much of it on any NX lens anyway). All should be possible to disable (or simply use something DCraw based). Only issue can be caused by combination of highlight protection and vignetting fix, which sometimes results in posterized borders. Imagine if camera underexposed by -2eV to protect highlights, then boosted curve back and then added correction of vignetting which added 1/3 - 1eV more and voilá, you have problem, cause it reached DR limit.

Despite tests, sensor is same as in NX200. Just that software push and different curves are "creating" more DR. At expense of pretty much loosing control over exposure.

If I dont mind this (and most times there is no reason to care about it), its near perfect camera. Maybe bit sluggish sometimes (write times, locked camera pretty much) and eating batteries for desert. But then, most mirrorless does.

I like their colors, since NX10. While NX200 and newer are different they are still very nice. Lots of pastel tones. And ofc its pretty high quality 20 mpix with appropriate lens selection, which is more than competition has. :)
©Corwin Black 18th. December 2012

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