NX500 – Hands on Review

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Here is my first 2 days impression hands on with the Samsung NX500. I have recently sold my LX100 because i wanted a small interchangeable camera where i can adapt my lenses to and which can shoot 4K Video with a crop sensor. So the NX500 with its affordable price for only 540€ looked like it can deliver that.

The buildquality  is very solid, only the wheels for aperture and shutterspeed could be a bit more solid but they work. The camera with its grip feels very good in the hand.

This NX500 camera has no viewfinder, first i thought that could be an issue, but i must really say that i don´t miss the viewfinder.

The AMOLED Display of this camers looks amazing, the colors and the resolution detail is great. AMOLED is not everyones taste, some say the colors look too oversaturated, but you can adjust that with customn profiles which you can save. Especially the resolution of the display makes it easy to judge if your pictures are in focus and it has a very quick 60 FPS refresh rate. And allmost forgott 🙂 It´s a touch screen and a very good one too, Samsung shows how much experience they have from their mobile phones touch displays, so you can do pinch to zoom and slide your pictures with the finger left-right-left like you would on your mobile phone and touch focus with quick response. Very good Samsung! The Screen is also tiltable down and up and you can do selfies.


About the Samsung NX500

The Samsung NX500 is a mirrorless interchangeable lens camera announced by Samsung in February 2015. Like the flagship Samsung NX1, it has a 28-megapixel back-illuminated sensor, but lacks the optical viewfinder of the top model. It succeeds the Samsung NX300.

 
Maker Samsung
Image sensor type BSI-CMOS
Image sensor size 23.5 x 15.7mm (APS-C type)
Maximumresolution 6480 x 4320 (28 megapixels)
Image processor DRIMeS
Recording medium SD, SDHC or SDXC card
Shutter speeds 1/6000s to 30s
Focus areas 209 focus points
Continuous shooting 9 frames per second
Custom WB Yes
Rear LCD monitor 3 inches with 1,036,000 dots
Dimensions 120 x 64 x 43 mm (4.72 x 2.52 x 1.69 inches)
Weight 287g including battery

The Samsung NX500 comes with a 16-50mm F3.5-5.6 zoom lens, which is not what i would buy, but it was included in the package, and after trying it out for photos and video i´m glad they are selling it with the kit lens.

This kitlens is probably one of the best kitlenses out there, its very sharp for photos and video, only at 50mm its a bit soft, i was very surprised how good this lens is. Autofocus is also very very quick in both stills and video, especially the continues autofocus with the multi AF points work great. I could shoot photos of my kid running around in the living room with no problem, the tracking is really, really good and also the High ISO capabilities of the NX500 are very good thx to its back illuminated sensor, which is basicly the same tech that also the Sony A7rII has.

Now lets look at some results with the kit lens only!

ISO2000 (lightroom editing, only a bit of denoise used on all high iso images)

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and heres an example of the continues autofocus with the multi AF points, you lock on the autofocus where you want, press the shutter, keep pressing it you can move or your subject moves and the  AF stays locked on

ISO2000

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The green little boxes indicate where the focus area is locked on

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ISO640

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ISO1600

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I also had a chance to test it out yesterday outside, the dynamic range of the Samsung BSI-CMOS Sensor is also good, but i think the Sony sensors are still the best in dynamic range, i compared it to my Sony A7II shots.

Saying that, its amazing what you can get out of this crop camera with a kit lense! It even gives you lossless RAW with 28 Megapixels, thats actually more than my A7II has.

Great Detail: ISO400, F8, 16mm

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ISO400

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ISO400

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ISO800

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ISO400

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ISO100

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ISO400

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ISO200

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ISO200

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ISO800

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ISO800

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How good is it for video?

First of all it has a heavy crop when you shoot video in 4k, so you have to think about that when you buy lenses for this camera. In real life use its not that much of an issue, you can preview how your video will be croped so you can walk some steps back if possible and it will work. The resolution which this little camera can record is great it can even shoot Cinema 4k DC 24P 4096×2160 and UHD with 30P 3840×2160 which looks great. There are no flat profiles, but you can save your own profiles in the camera and adjust contrast, color, sharpness.

Here are 2 Videos i shot in 4k DC 24P 4096×2176, shot with the Kit Lens and the Sigma 24mm 1.4

All shot handheld, tripod and monopod
Autofocus on
Color -8
Sharpness 0
Contrast -8

 

After my first results i think that Video is very usable upto ISO 1600, you just have to be carefull not to pull  to much on the shadows it can result i some noise. i will post more examples soon and will shoot all my future reviews with it. I´m also impressed how good the OIS: Optical image Stabilisation works, you can use shutter speeds down to 1/50

The autofocus again surprised me how good it actually works also for video, its probably the fastest autofocus i have seen so far and its also precise.

The NX500 allready has the H265 codec, which is much more efficient, but also not supported by a lot editing software. I have been testing a lot with codecs and finally came to the conclusion that the best workflow is to convert the H265 to ProRes 422 files. The Samsung NX500 comes with a software which can convert your H265 files, but its not really good  you loose quality and its slow. I can recommend to use the Rocky Mointains Movie Converter its a free software you can convert to ProRes422 and H264 very quick! Download

UPDATE 06.12.15 The H265 Codec is now supported by Premiere! It runs very good with no issues, so you don´t have to convert your files anymore 🙂

Conclusion so far

I am very impressed by this little crop sensor camera by Samsung, i know that a lot of youtubers out there are using the NX500 as a B-Camera, but i think its able to do  much more. For its very affordable price you get an excellent small and lightweight body with a very good kit lens and there are some excellent affordable Samsung lenses  too you can choose from + you can adapt your existing lenses. I will get my Canon to Samsung NX Mount adapter on tuesday and will blog again how good my Sigma 24mm 1.4 lens works on the NX500.

If you like these kind of Hands on Reviews and would like to purchase the NX500 please use these Amazon links:

Buy NX500 on Amazon US

NX500 kaufen auf Amazon Deutschland

Fotodiox Canon to Samsung NX Adapter on Amazon US

Fotodiox Canon zu Samsung NX Adapter auf Amazon Deutschland

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