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Thursday, May 15, 2014

Samsung NX Mini Unboxing Review & Lens Overview

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Samsung NX Mini Unboxing Review & Lens Overview

After almost nearly a month with the Samsung NX Mini, as promised in the previous post here's the review on the NX Mini.

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So what is the NX Mini? In short the NX Mini is Samsung's latest ultra-slim camera that will appeal to the latest trend in Malaysia, the dreaded #selfie (hashtag for irony) trend in which everyone who wants to be 'hip' will be doing nowadays, kind of like when internet lingos started getting widespread and everyone attempts to use them in their daily interaction whether it be on or offline.

But how does the NX Mini help in selfies? 

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The NX Mini's LCD display on the rear can be flipped 180 degrees so you'll be able to take self shots but that's not all, there is also several extra features that will make snapping photos EVEN easier :

Smile & Wink Shot Mode

A handy little feature for those with clumsy and/or short hands. When the camera is in self-shot mode (easily activated by flipping the LCD towards yourself) you can tap on the screen to activate either smile or wink mode. While smile mode is activated, all you have to do is to smile in order to take a picture instead of pressing on the shutter button and the same goes for wink mode. By default there will be a 3-second timer for the Smile & Wink mode which can be turned off in the settings

Introduction of the NX Mini

So what makes the NX Mini stand-out from the competitors? The first and most obvious difference is that the NX Mini has interchangable lenses, so you won't be stuck with just the default lens the entire time. Samsung has a whole range of lenses which I will be touching on in the later part of this review. So it's kind of like an ultra mini DSLR camera with it's 1" CMOS Sensor that's capable of churning out 20.5 Megapixels. Connectivity wise the NX Mini comes with Wifi & NFC connections so you'll be able to share your photos almost instantly to your social media. The NX Mini is also a lightweight camera (196 grams) and it will most certainly fit into your jacket pocket or handbag without any issues, which makes it an ideal everyday camera for almost everyone. 

Unboxing the NX Mini

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What to expect in the box : 

  1. Micro SD Card (16gb)
  2. Lithium Battery
  3. 9mm F3.5 Prime Lens
  4. Camera Strap
  5. USB Charger
  6. Micro USB Cable for Charge & Sync
  7. Full version of Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 5
  8. Bundled Softwares & Drivers
When I first opened the NX Mini I was quite surprised that Samsung included a full version of the Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 5, which will make editing RAW & JPG much easier. It's also worth mentioning that the NX Mini's Lithium Battery design follows Samsung's Galaxy Smartphone lineup with the same flat design and with a battery capacity of 2330mAH

Camera Specs

I've actually only included the important specs that I find relevant, if you'd like the full specs kindly head over to Samsung's official site.

Dimensions : 110.4mm x 61.99mm x 22.5mm
Weight : 158 grams (196 grams with Battery)
Sensor Size : 20.5 Megapixels BSI CMOS Sensor
Shutter Speed : Up to 1/16,000 seconds
ISO : 100 to 25,600
Connectivity : USB 2.0, Wifi & NFC, HDMI
Battery Capacity : 2330mAH
Video : Up to 1080p at 30 frames per second
Lens Mount : Samsung NX-M Mount
Display : TFT LCD with Touch Panel 
Display Size : 75.2mm (3")
Display Resolution : 320 x 480

Focusing Type : Contrast AF
Focusing Point : Single Point Free Selection, Multi Point Selection (Up to 21 points), Close Up (35 points), Face Detection (Detects up to 10 faces), Object Tracking AF
Focus Modes : Single AF, Continuous AF, Manual Focus, Touch AF&Shutter
Assists : AF-Assist Lamp
Shooting Modes : Single, Continuous, Burst, Self-timer, Bracket (AE/WB/PW/Depth)
Continuous : Up to 30 / 15 / 10 frames per second** in Burst, Normal JPG & Raw : 6 frames per second
*While in burst mode picture will be taken in 5 Megapixels only
Self-Timer : 2 - 30 Seconds (1 sec. incrementals)

Flash : Yes (Built-in)
Sync Speed : Up to 1/200
Angle of View Coverage : 24mm wide-angle

Quality : Super Fine, Fine, Normal, RAW, RAW+S.Fine, RAW+Fine, RAW+Normal
Memory : MicroSD, MicroSDHC, MicroSDXC, UHS-I MicroSD Support

Impression

First and utmost, the NX Mini is very easy to use. Booting up the camera takes less than a second and it's ready to shoot as it is. The AutoFocus rarely fails to focus on objects whether it be dark or bright lighting. For shooting modes you can expect to find most of the modes that you'll get on Full frame DSLRs such a Programmed Mode, Auto, Shutter Priority, Aperture Priority and even Full Manual mode but the NX Mini has an extra one called Smart Mode which has several modes that you can use such as Beauty Face, Macro, Food, Action Freeze, Rich Tones,Panorama and Light Trace (just to name a few) for the users who want a no-frills experience.

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For me, my only qualms with the camera is that while not impossible, controlling the between the ISO, Aperture and Shutter Speed in various modes can sometimes be a bit tedious as there isn't a dedicated turn dial to change them. But this will only really affect those who choose to shoot in Full Manual Mode as you'll need to cycle thru each settings before being able to change them individually (Between ISO,Aperture,Lighting Correction,Shutter Speed)

Even though this might seem to pose a problem. In actual face I've been shooting mostly in Aperture & Shutter Priority Mode, which I only need to tap down once and then I will be able to adjust the settings easily)

I find that the touchscreen is very responsive as it's a capacitive touch screen. Touch focusing works like a charm when I want to focus on only a particular spot when composing my photos. Another thing I like about the NX Mini is that the NFC touch spot is just beside the lens which has a large area to tap your smartphone with, unlike other cams which is awkwardly placed at the camera grip section on the sides which makes it hard to tap sometimes.

Connectivity via NFC is a breeze and is without hiccups from my personal experience with the NX Mini. I had absolutely no problem sending the photos from the camera to my smartphone. Besides sending photos via NFC, you can also use your smartphone's screen as a viewfinder via Samsung's Smart Camera App. Though I have never actually fiddled around with that as the Smile & Wink Mode was all that I needed to take self shots.

The battery life of the NX Mini is highly commendable, for the past month I've been using it, I've only charged it for maybe two or three times. The batteries never ran flat on me nor has it even gone down to even 50%.

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The size of the NX Mini with it's 9mm lens while being used.

Interchangeable lenses for my ever changing mood

As I've mentioned earlier in the post, the NX Mini comes with the options of changing lenses as long as it's a Samsung NX-M lens so here are a few lenses I've picked out that might interest you as a future upgrade if you're considering picking up the NX Mini.

9mm F3.5 Pancake Prime Lens
This is the default 9mm F3.5 lens that comes with the NX Mini. Though personally I'd prefer a focal length of 40mm or higher for my shots but the 9mm does it's job without any hiccups.

Image Samples

W16NB 16mm F2.4 Ultra Wide Pancake Prime Lens
The perfect lens for landscape shots due to it's ultra wide angle (82.6°) and with this lens you'll be able to adjust settings on the fly via the Function key next to the lens and then turning the lens dial. It's pretty compact too with it's pancake profile. It's a pretty fast lens too due to it's F/2.4 aperture capability.

Image Samples

M60SB 60mm F2.8 Macro ED OIS SSA Lens
Your photography collection isn't complete without a Macro capable lens. With the M60SB you'll be able to do macro photos and with it's supersonic actuator making the lens fast and silent, you'll be able to capture photos of bugs or animals without startling them.

Image Samples

These are just a few lenses I've selected that might or might not suit your shooting styles. If you'd like to see the complete list, do head over to http://www.samsung.com/my/consumer/camera-camcorder/smart-cameras/nx-lenses/ to check out all the lens available for the NX Mini

Verdict : Is the NX Mini suitable for you?

Who is the NX Mini suited for? Are you a person who loves taking selfies? If you're no longer satisfied with Smartphone quality photos. The NX Mini might just be the camera for you with it's all-rounder capabilities in terms of quality and versatility. It's also a suitable candidate for those who already have a full-frame DSLR but would like to have a more portable camera for day to day photos.

The NX Mini retails at RM1399 with the 9mm and can be found in any Samsung Outlets nationwide now.

3 comments:

id said...

Great write up! I bet anyone with an interest in samsung nx cameras ought to be able to make their mind now with your information here. I certainly am getting my samsung nx mini already.

ayu said...

Hi! I'm interested in buying this camera for vlogs/selfies! I just wanted to reconfirm something: so you're saying I can turn off the default 3 second timer in the self-shot mode settings if I want to take an selfie instantly rather than wait? Thanks!

Ryan Mo said...

@Ayu

Hey Ayu, yes you'll be able to turn off the 3 second timer, but I don't remember exactly where, either in the settings menu or when the screen is flipped towards you you'll just need to tap away the 3-second icon

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