By CHONG JINN XIUNGbytz@thestar.com.my
Adding WiFi connectivity has made it a lot easier to instantly share photos from this camera.
SAMSUNG entered the MILC (mirrorless interchangeable lens camera) market last year with its NX series which even came with its own lenses and accessories.
This year the South Korean electronics manufactuer refreshed the NX line with three new models. We got our hands on the NX210 which is not the smallest of the pack but has a whopping 20-megapixel APS-C image sensor.
The NX210 has the look and feel of a classic rangefinder camera, a design that is best described as "retro modern." It is mostly identical to its predecessor, the NX200, except for the addition of WiFi setting on the mode dial.
Even though it's not the smallest NX model, it is still very compact and even with the lens attached it'll easily fit in a small bag.
The rear 3in screen is not of the swivel variety but it is pretty bright.
Unfortunately, there is no electronic viewfinder so you will be forced to squint when shooting under bright sunlight.
There is also no built-in flash but that's not a bad thing as it comes bundled with an external one for taking pictures in low light conditions.
The included basic 18-55mm kit lens has a metal mount, an improvement over the plastic one used in the previous version.
It is pretty standard starting lens for any camera system but what makes it unique is Samsung's intelligent iFunction (iFN) feature.
The iFN button, located on the side of the lens barrel, can be used in combination with the focus ring to make fine adjustments to settings such as shutter speed, aperture, exposure value, white balance and ISO.
You can, for instance, in full manual mode change between aperture and shutter speed with the press of the iFN button and twist the focus ring to make changes to either settings.
As useful as iFN is for making quick adjustments, it is worth mentioning that not all of Samsung's lenses support the feature though a vast majority do.
The camera's Smart Panel interface is another great way for changing settings on the fly, as it is both simple and easy to use.
If you want the absolute best quality, shooting in RAW format is still the best way to go but JPEG images also looked great and highly detailed with good colour reproduction.
The NX210 delivers great results as long as you don't shoot at ISO 3200 and above as the strong noise reduction degrades the overall detail and sharpness of images.
The camera is supposed to be able to shoot at up to 8fps (frames per second) in burst mode but we found the autofocus a bit sluggish in low light conditions and at times when capturing fast moving subjects.
The NX210 also records full HD videos and it's great that the dedicated recording button is within easy reach.
Videos turned out well - the autofocus and exposure remained accurate as we shifted between bright and dark scenes.
One of the biggest additions to the NX210 is WiFi connectivity which simplifies a lot of tasks. For instance, you no longer need a computer to upload your photos online. Instead you can share your photos and videos on Facebook and Flickr as well as send them via e-mail directly from the NX210.
However, a WiFi connection is not ideal for sharing photos in RAW format due to their large size so it's best to stick to JPEG images.
Users can also download the Mobile Link app, available for Android and iOS devices, to retrieve images stored on the camera.
Remote Viewfinder is another useful app that allows you to control the camera remotely with a phone or tablet and make adjustments to, say, flash and image size.
It's great for taking a group shot, as you can also trigger the shutter button remotely.
The Samsung NX210 has a sleek rangefinder design with an equally smooth interface to match - both amateurs and professionals will find it easy to use.
The camera performed well for both shooting photos and recording full HD videos, and the inclusion of WiFi connectivity makes it easy to share them online.
You can also do other cool stuff like using a smartphone to control the camera remotely.
On the whole, the NX210 is a good camera with lots of extras to offer.
Pros: Nice design; portable; WiFi connectivity; shoots decent photos and HD videos.
Cons: Autofocus occasionally slows down.
Mirrorless interchangeable lens camera
SENSOR: 20.3-megapixels (5,472 x 3,648-pixels)
VIEWFINDER: 3.0in display (614k-dots)
SHUTTER SPEED: 30sec - 1/4,000sec
ISO RANGE: 100 to 12,800
SHOOTING MODES: Program, Aperture Priority, Shutter Priority, Manual, Scene
VIDEO MODE FORMAT: H.264 or MPEG-4 at 30fps (up to 1,920 x 1,080-pixels)
BATTERY: 1,030mAh lithium-ion
INTERFACE: USB 2.0, HDMI out
OTHER FEATURES: Stereo microphone, built-in WiFi
DIMENSIONS (W x H x D): 117 x 63 x 37mm
PRICE: RM2,899 (with 18-55mm kit lens)
Review unit courtesy of Samsung Electronics Malaysia Sdn Bhd, 1-800-88-9999