Samsung NX11 Mirrorless Camera Review

The Samsung NX11 is a CSC camera with APS-C-sized sensor, a NX lens mount and a nominal resolution of 14 MP. It offers a lot of scene modes for beginners, manual modes for advanced photographers and HD video capabilities.

The Samsung NX11 is the follower of the NX10. Like the NX10 it is a compact system camera with an APS-C-sized sensor and a nominal resolution of 14.6 MP. The most important difference to the NX11 is the “i-Function” technology, which allows the user to set up image parameters very quickly and intuitively. The NX11 offers this technology right out of the box; the NX10 now offers “i-Function” via a firmware update.

Compared to the NX10 the most important difference is the “i-Function” system, which allows users to change image parameters with the focus lens ring.

i-Function allows users to set up image parameters like ISO with the lens ring. The user has to push the “i-Fn” button, which is located on the left side of the lens system. This also allows control of EV compensation and white balance. Once the parameter is activated the photographer can change it with the focus ring. The camera also offers a standard setup with a 4 way cursor field. Pressing the FN-button on the back allows for changes to more parameters such as resolution, file format, flash mode, color space, etc.

The camera has a large AMOLED screen on the back and an electronic viewfinder with 921,000 RGB dots. A standard four way cursor field allows users to set up all parameters. In addition the camera has a setup dial on the top (near the shutter release button).

The FN-button is very comfortable because it allows users to get to the desired parameter without using the standard menu system, which is available by pressing the “MENU” button beside the electronic viewfinder. The location of this menu button is a little unhandy because of its position left to the viewfinder, while all other function elements are located on the right side of the camera and can be reached with the thumb of the right hand.

Due to a sensor below the ELV (electronic viewfinder) ocular, the camera is able to switch automatically between the LCD screen and the ELV. The ELV offers a very sharp and brilliant image (921,000 RGB dots.) The LCD screen on the back offers a very brilliant image even under bright light conditions and uses Samsung’s most modern AMOLED system.

The camera detects the necessary scene modes automatically in “Smart Mode” (green icon on the mode dial). It offers additional settings for HD video recording and a special shooting mode for panorama images.

The NX11 offers all standard exposure modes like P, S, A and M. In addition, it offers 13 scene modes when the photographer uses the SCENE setting on the mode dial. The mode dial also offers a panorama mode, which allows users to shoot panorama images simply by pressing the shutter release button and panning the camera. The camera is able to shoot panoramas horizontally or vertically. In addition, the NX11 offers a video mode with 1.280 x 720 pixels. An HDMI interface allows users to present HD videos and images on HDTVs.

Comments on Image Quality:

The white balance system showed a very small tendency towards a slight green cast. Even some red nuances tend towards this direction. Nevertheless, this is only a minor effect. The portrait shot shows nearly neutral colors; there is only a little shift into green colors noticeable in the bright background. Skin tones are nearly perfect, both in the color test chart and the portrait shot. Saturation is a little high, especially in red nuances.

The Samsung NX11 showed a very good performance in our portrait shot test. The shot is a little under exposed (P mode; 1/2 EV-stop) but shows natural looking colors and nice skin tones.

When shooting JPEG the camera showed a disappointing performance in the resolution tests. It reproduced the ISO 12233 chart with 2,386 lines per picture height; this shows a large gap between nominal resolution of the sensor (3,264 lines per picture height) and real resolution. The kit lens showed a very good performance and nearly no chromatic aberrations, so we assume the low resolution results to be based on the RGB color interpolation, the internal USM (sharpening), an intense noise filtering and the JPEG compression. Using Raw mode yielded a resolution result that was three to four hundred lines higher.

The standard test box is also a little too dark (automatic exposure settings). The gray background has a light greenish touch (automatic white balance), and red colored elements have very high saturation.

The camera showed good performance in luminance noise tests: The y-factor stays below 1.0 up to a speed setting of ISO 1600. Color noise effects are noticeable in images taken with ISO 400 and show clearly noticeable color clouds or color smear in images taken with ISO 1600 and ISO 3200. Our tests showed that the red channel exhibits noteworthy aberrations to the green and blue channels (and to the luminance channel).

This test information was supplied to us by Betternet, an associated testing lab that is part of Shutterbug’s TIPA membership.