USER REPORT: The Samsung NX300 by Alessandro Michelazzi

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USER REPORT: The Samsung NX300 by Alessandro Michelazzi

Hello Steve,

I would like to propose an article about my experience with Samsung Lens on Samsung Mirror less camera. I took the photos some weeks ago during my trip to Moscow with the new Samsung Nx-300. Here are my photos and consideration about it.

For the second time in a row I’ve got with me only a mirrorless camera. The mirrorless camera I’ve used during the trip is the Samsung NX 300. I’m a big fan of the system since the first mirrorless from Samsung, the Nx100.

I think Samsung has the best lens offer in the mirrorless market with great fixed focal lens from 16mm to 85mm. I’ve personal tested all the fixed lens and I’ve found them excellent.

I personally intend photography (at least my personal photos, not my commercial works) as a tool that helps to remind me of the emotion, the moment, and the story that I’ve lived. I love to documents those moments and then to live them back on with the photos. Photography can freeze a moment and that moment is always able to get back to your eyes. So I really love to carry always with me the camera: all the moments can become an interesting emotion to record inside a picture.

Shooting for more than 10 years, i got quite tired of having with me kilos and kilos of equipment. Lot of the time I was getting with me only the reflex with the 50mm but still was a bulky and big combination to carry with me in all the different situation.

Mirrorless camera has changed totally my approach to photography cause I can take the camera always with me and record what I see, forgetting to have something heavy and not comfortable to carry all day around.

For the trip I took with me on the trip the Samsung 20mm f/2.8, the Samsung 30mm f/2.0 and Pentax 50mm Super Takkumar f/1.4.

Both the Samsung lens are very good with the 30mm a bit above the 20mm. Samsung 30mm f/2 is an incredible lens that produce sharp photos with a very good bokeh. This is my favourite lens for taking portraits with a bit of ambient around: the 30mm lens on the Samsung Aps-C body become like a 45mm lens on the full frame, so really close to the standard 50mm.

During the trip however i’ve used the most the Samsung 20mm f/2.8: this because it gives me a bigger field for the photos, ideal for city shoots. 20mm on Aps-c become like a 30mm on the full frame so not so wide to get problem with wide distortion (by the way I really love also the 16mm f/2.4 from Samsung almost distortion free).

Let’s just talk about the Pentax 50mm f/1.4 Super Takumar. It’s a great lens from the ‘60ies that I am able to use thanks to Samsung to Pentax K adaptor. The lens works great in manual mode, turning the aperture ring directly on the lens to change exposure value. Focusing is all manual but you can get some help with the central “OK” button that enlarge the scene and help in this way the manual focus operation. Not to mention that on the Samsung Nx-300 now I’ve also the focus peaking help! Pentax 50mm became an excellent lens for portraits: the lens is like a 75mm on full frame and it helps to capture great portrait shoots blurring all the background around!

Following a selection of images I’ve take during my trip to Russia.

You can find the complete story and photos on Alessandro Michelazzi Blog: http://www.alessandromichelazzi.com/blog-storyboard/

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More on the NX-300 HERE and HERE

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34 thoughts on “USER REPORT: The Samsung NX300 by Alessandro Michelazzi

  1. Either you own this camera or not, I suggest everyone watches this video:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6bHl8YQSZIE
    This is a pro photographer making use of the NX cameras!
    Anyways, I OWN the NX300 with the 45mm 1.8 3D lens! I got this during Christmas for $650 vs the now $899. Im a wedding photographer. I shoot with Nikon DSLRs (D600 & D7000), but I wanted a small mirrorless quality camera. I was basically looking for a decent quality “toy” that wouldn’t break my budget.
    Obviously I did my research, and reality is, the camera I wanted didn’t exist, BUT, at least on paper, the NX300 was the closest to what I wanted. It just has all of those “little” features that make it stand out from the competition. For example, wifi, tilt screen, touch screen af focusing (during video too!), hybrid focus, multiple lenses, super small and light, stylish, ability to shoot 3D, APS-C sensor, 20MP, full HD with 24fps at 1920×816 (I which it was 24fps at 1080p), cool on camera editing options which is super cool if you want to share cool shots on the fly with your friends, etc! This is no doubt an awesome camera. The only thing this camera is missing to make it SUPER awesome is the lack of EVF. Since im used to shoot with DSLRs, im still getting used to not having a viewfinder.
    The Sony NEX7 was an awesome option as well, but at an higher price point, no 3D pics, lacks touch screen, AND the hot shoe is not “standard”. The Fuji X100s was another options, but it LACKS even more cool features like the touch screen, tilt screen, interchangeable lenses, its “slower”, and way more expensive. The X-E2 lacks pretty much the same things as the X100s, but at least has interchangeable lenses. The Panasonic and Olympus were just out of the question for me cause I personally still don’t trust micro four third systems.

    Im not saying that the cameras I mentioned are not good or worse than the NX300!I have NEVER played with any of those cameras. In fact, I bought the NX300 without ever touching one! It was all based on specs! All im saying is that based on the cameras specifications and price, the NX300 was the camera that I felt like it satisfied my WANTS (and notice how I specifically said WANTS, not NEEDS. That’s cause any of those cameras would probably satisfy my needs, but the NX300 definitely had cool features I WANTED!). Personally, the only thing that is missing to make its specs “perfect” is an electronic viewfinder. I never thought I would feel so much the need for a viewfinder until it got “taken away from me”. Being a DSLR shooter, im still adapting to the lack of viewfinder. I think its more of an habit than a need, although I definitely love the convenience of a viewfinder.

    As soon as I got the camera in my hands, I felt in love with it! Super small and light, stylish, easy to use, wifi was awesome, etc. I took it with me everywhere! Its just super fun to shoot with it! The “what u see is what u get” mirrorless’s property is great and just makes it fun to use! Now let me go deeper into the camera performance and point out some facts! PLEASE TAKE IN CONSIDERATION im used to shoot with a Nikon D600, so
    The image quality is good, not great in my opinion, but definitely good! NOW take in consideration im used to a Nikon D600 and great Nikon lenses, so my standards are pretty high. BUT again, the quality is definitely good! Im definitely not disappointed with the image quality. The high ISO performance is probably as good as my D7000. I would feel comfortable shooting up to 3200, but being conscious I would need to give it a little correction for color noise on LR5. Something I noticed especially on dark areas is this random white dots which I hope are not dead pixels. I definitely need to look into this with more time. The colors are pretty good and the auto white balance definitely does a great job. Also, you can tweak the white balance and colors very easily and see the change happening in front of your eyes with the awesome live screen.
    The auto focus is probably what gives me more to which for. I do love the touch screen AF, specially while shooting video. It transitions very nice and smoothly from focus area to focus area. The autofocus is acceptably fast IF you have contrast on the focus area, otherwise it just hunts for focus for hours! If you use the center of the screen to focus, you shouldn’t have too many issues, but keep in mind, you definitely need contrast to focus. The AF continuous mode/focus tracking can be a little aggravating sometimes! Once it loses track of the subject, you better touch the screen and tell the camera what ur subject is AGAIN! In sum, the autofocus is definitely not great according to my standards, but once you are familiar with its limitations, you can adapt and kind of dodge the issues. AGAIN, im not saying it is worse than its competitors. Im not comparing the NX300 with the other camera’s autofocus abilities. If I was to compare it with something it would be with my D7000, which I would have to admit that mirrorless in general (maybe with some exceptions) are not at the level of a DSLR when it comes to continuous focus and tracking, and focusing on low contrast areas.
    Another thing that I wish it was a little faster is the actual camera’s processor. Its definitely not a deal breaker, but I feel like it could be a little faster. Shooting JPEGS is not a problem, but when shooting continuous raw files (which take more space) it slows down the writing to the card and even the preview of the picture. I actually tend to shoot in RAW + Small JPEG. The only reason I do this I cause I send use the wifi to send JPEGS really fast just for quick sharing purposes, while I like to keep raw files for later editing on LR5. Not that it has become an issue, but I do notice a speed difference since im used to the Nikon DLSR processors. I can see it becoming an issue if the high speed continuous shooting is used a lot as the buffer might fill quick and writing time is slow.

    In sum, if your able to adapt to the limitations of this camera, I believe this can be the best deal out there. Think of how many little extras this camera offers vs its competition. AGAIN, there is no perfect camera. There is always something missing, and even if there was a “complete” camera, we would always want more. Fact is, the NX300 offers way more than others at a better price! Maybe it doesn’t have the best image, the best AF or the best lenses, when compared with fuji or sony, but definitely is great overall! I which I could compare all these cameras in the field to see if the price differences justify the potential better image quality and AF of other cameras, but I don’t own any of the other cameras.
    … The SAMSUNG NX300 definitely made me look at mirrorless differently. I can say that at this point im willing to sell all my crop sensor DSLR equipment and invest in a mirrorless APS-C system! I don’t trust the NX300 to be used professionally BUT that was definitely not the reason why I got it! Im currently “studding” the Fuji X-T1 and X-E2 as these seem to be good enough to use at weddings TO PAIR UP WITH MY D600. All cameras have their limitations, we just need to adapt and use then consciously!

    1. I bought a Fuji X1-M for the same reason, and my Nikon D7000 didn’t have the “No Deep Pass Filter” feature (I traded it in, later for a D-7100.). The M was very good but clunky and not
      great for focusing in lowere light and… but it only cost me about $550 in black with a 16-50
      and the grip, I would like to trade up to the new Fuji T2 or wait for the new T10. Have you seen the GFX. I have learned that I would like/need a finder

  2. Thanks for sharing some wonderful photos and thoughts on the NX300. I use mine on daily basis for work and absolutely love it! I would just say that next time around on the update give me a viewfinder internal or evf and it would be perfect!

    Great shots!!

    1. Viewfinder … viewfinder … please Samsung …. I am impressed with the 16/20/30 lenses and they are compact so they have sorted this out better than Fuji / Sony etc …. but please VIEWFINDER VIEWFINDER …. etc etc. I feel this strongly as i bought the above three lenses at a ridiculously cheap price new .. and i simply await the above simple requirement in a small camera !!!

  3. Hello to everybody and thanks for your positive reaction on my photos! I really appreciate your comments!

    I think photography has to deal more with the aesthetic and language and I really want to have a camera that give me fun, trust in the results when shooting and an easy way to carry with me around. I’ve found Samsung Nx amazing for that. Sure there are some aspect that Samsung could in the future set it up better (like more ergonomics and a pro camera with better layout) but I think that the Nx 300 camera with this set up remains an easy and powerful tool to use.

    About who say I should use better camera, I own also Canon 5d Mk2 with L Lens. I use that camera only for my Fashion works and my videographs. I honestly love more the compact size of mirrorless camera format.

    I found the question about the EFV irrelevant since the monitor is great, you can see it in every situation (even in backlight) and is more comfortable than EFV since you can tilt it up and down and shoot touching the monitor. Most of picture you see, I record them with the touch screen function.
    I would like to reminds that there was a certain photographer called Richard Avedon that captured lots of his picture with the Hasselblad camera just looking at the glass viewfinder on the top of the camera. Is it not the same as looking a monitor?

  4. Good work, Alessandro. For myself, i have tested the Samsung NX 300 combined with the Samsung 30mm/f2.0. The output of this combo is very nice. The image quality is even better than the NEX 6, I have tested with the Sigma 19/30 f2.8 combo. Samsung has done a good job.

  5. Hi Allesandro,
    Your photographs are very convincing in regards to your fondness for your Nex….for me they seemed
    to have dropped the ball by not incorporating an EVF and in camera or on sensor….stabilization…
    Like your pictures by the way…
    Cheers

  6. Nice images Alessandro!

    I like the approach Samsung has taken with their lenses. They’ve got a nice offering, the i-Function lenses are kind of intriguing, and the 85mm f1.4 looks really sweet!

    They’ve also greatly improved their sensors. The NX300 sensor rates right in the middle between the OM-D and NEX-7 (all 3 are pretty much on-par, and top-notch!)

    It really seems like Samsung is starting to ‘come of age’ with their system. I know they’ve been a bit disappointed with their market share, but I hope the stick with it. Would love to see them come out with an even higher-end semi-pro level body.

    1. The sensor is on par with the NEX-5N. In other words: nothing less than outstanding and more than enough to take beautiful pictures.

      What matters way more to me, is the responsiveness and handling of the NX300. I own both the NX300 and the NEX-5N, and I could not exactly say why, but the NX300 takes my attention a little more away from the gear and more towards photograhy (which means going out and shoot instead of thinking about super sexy Zeiss/Leica/Schneider glass).

        1. Well. Couldn’t quite find the words eh? I guess ignorance must indeed be bliss….Nope. Just checked. It’s just ignorant. Oops…says here “complacent and impotent” as well.

  7. Hi ….enjoyed these very much. My main concern here is the lack of EVF especially in bright sunlight … was this a problem. I hear the Amoled screen is very clear but not good in bright ambient light ….I would be very tempted by this camera but am waiting to see if they bring out a NEX6 / GX7 equivalent in the new year

    1. Amen to that.

      I absolutely love my NX300 + 30/2 and I give a s**t about the Samsung name on it, which many bash for being not a “real” photography brand. Because it doesn’t matter. What counts is the camera and what you can do with it.

      Like Steve said earlier, the NX300 is incredibly fun to shoot with. Alessandro’s photos are proof of that.

  8. I too feel like you that luggng around big gear becomes very tiring and limits your mobility. Quite frankly with the big gear we shoot to print 48 x 60 when we really only print small and the mirrorless system provides exactly what is needed for 95% of us,,great photos.

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