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Samsung NX2000 Review
by Laura Hicks -  7/22/2013

Sitting snugly between the NX300 and the NX1100, the NX2000 was designed for entry to mid level photographers and those wanting to step up to a mirrorless camera system. The NX2000 has some pretty good specs--it offers users a 20.3-megapixel CMOS sensor, an ISO range of 100-25600, and a continuous shutter speed of 8 frames per second. With a price point so close to its siblings, does the NX2000 have what it takes to stand out or will it succumb to middle child syndrome and fall between the cracks?

Sometimes the biggest challenge to a camera's success has less to do with the camera and more to do with the product's placement in the market. Although I will not go so far as to say the NX2000 is doomed, I will say that having such a close price point between the NX cameras will likely result in slumped sales of one of them--or maybe even two of them. The NX300 is Samsung's flagship mirrorless camera--and with good reason. It is well constructed and solidly built. It has a new hybrid sensor, great Wi-Fi connectivity and speedy autofocus. It reviewed very well. I was happy with both the image quality and usability of the camera. Selling for about $750, the NX300 is a very good option when compared with similar mirrorless cameras.

 

The Samsung NX1100 sells for $150 less than the NX300, but it's specs sheet is much less admirable than it's big brother. It has a 20.3-megapixel sensor (just like the NX2000), a smaller 3-inch non-touch LCD screen and an ISO range of 100-12800. The construction of the body is lightweight at 222 grams (a minute 4 grams less than the NX2000). This is where you see a big difference between the NX300 and the other two cameras, the NX2000 and the NX1100. The build of the camera contains much less metal alloy. However, there are more physical buttons including a mode dial on the NX1100. The NX2000 were given very few. 

The NX2000 sells for $650. That sits at $100 less than the NX300 and $50 more than the NX1100 and is the subject of this review. The NX2000 is a satisfactory blend of Samsung's offspring. The NX2000 boasts a 20.3-megapixel CMOS sensor (not hybrid AF like the NX300), a 3.7-inch touchscreen (largest mirrorless touchscreen available at time of review, but not tiltable like the NX300) and a speedy autofocus (generally on par with the NX300). It's build quality is less robust than the NX300--weighing less due to lack of metal alloy when compared to the NX300. The NX2000 can shoot RAW and JPG. It has a maximum shutter speed of 1/4000 second. It accepts MicroSD, MicroSDHC, Micro SDXC and has UHS-1 Micro SD support. It also has 2GB of internal memory. 

Build and Design
Like the NX300, the NX2000 has the same shape and design as many other NX cameras. The NX2000 comes in black, white and pink. The camera has similar measurements as the NX300 at 4.7 x 2.5 x 1.4 inches (WxHxD) and weighs about 0.5 pounds without the battery or card. The camera offers a nice size hand grip for its overall dimensions. I spent a whole day carrying around the NX2000 all over NYC. It was easy to carry with no hand or neck strain. 

Ergonomics and Controls
The NX2000 offers users an almost entirely touchscreen experience. The only physical buttons that exist are the on/off switch with a shutter release, a direct link button for easy access to uploading the images wirelessly, a soft click dial to navigate the menu and change mode settings, a direct video recording button, a home screen button, and a playback button. 

The side of the camera has a flap that hides the HDMI and micro USB charging ports. The top of the camera has a hot shoe that snugly supports the included, yet detachable flash. The bottom of the camera has a tripod mount and access flap for the battery and MicroSD card. 

Menus and Modes
As I previously stated, the camera can be controlled almost exclusively by touchscreen navigation.  Touchscreen navigation is not my preferred method of changing the shooting mode, autofocusing or tapping the shutter. That being said, the user interface is well designed and very easy to navigate. The screen has a handy "fn" icon that takes you to a "Smart Panel" that allows you to adjust your shooting to whatever your heart desires. The NX2000 has a similar 4 page to with the NX300. 

Display/Viewfinder
Like the NX300 and the NX1100, the NX2000 lacks a viewfinder. But the large 3.7-inch screen is very crisp. It has 1,152k dots of resolution which makes composing and reviewing images very easy. In direct sunlight, the glossy screen does pose a slight problem with glare. However, it is no different than most other modern digital cameras. 

If you like a mirrorless NX camera, but don't want to live without a viewfinder check out the NX20 by clicking here.

 

Performance
The NX2000 handles a lot like the NX300 in terms of autofocus speed except in low-lighting, but I tended to like the images from the NX300 slightly better. They seemed just a tad bit sharper, but the color saturation was about the same. 

Shooting performance
Startup for the NX2000 is fast, taking about a second to start shooting. Shutter lag is imperceptible. Like the NX300 the autofocus on the NX2000 was pretty speedy in good lighting conditions. In low light, the camera hunts a bit to find focus. Unlike the NX300, the NX2000 does not offer hybrid autofocus. That's unfortunate because I was a big fan of it. 

The NX2000 offers focus peaking for those wanting to try their hand at manual AF. This feature comes in handy and I just love it when they include this in the camera's specs. 

The NX2000 comes with a hot shoe flash. It flips up for use or flips down when you want to store it on your camera, but not use it. 

The battery in the NX2000 is the same rechargeable BP 1130 as the NX300. It is rated for 170 minutes of video or 340 shots for the NX2000. If you like to delete your images in camera, be forewarned that you will have less battery available for capturing your images. Also, the more you use the Wi-Fi, the less shots you will be able to capture. Wi-Fi can eat up a lot of power. The battery is charged in camera via the included micro USB charging cord. It does not have an additional external charger. Although Samsung cameras are completely moving this direction, it does pose a problem if you intend to shoot more than 300 (or so) images at one setting. The only way around this is to purchase an additional battery and charge both of them before you head out to your shoot. Once one of the batteries is depleted you can swap it out and then recharge them both later. 

Lens Performance
The NX2000 comes paired with the 20-50mm f/3.5-5.6 lens when purchased in the kit. This lens has an equivalent focal length of 30-75mm--perfect for portraits or a variety of shooting situations. The kit lens handles itself well with little distortion, decent color saturation and good image quality. 

Feel like spreading your wings? The Samsung NX2000 has 12 interchangeable lenses at it's disposal. Shown below is the 18-55mm lens sold in a kit with the NX300.

 

Wi-Fi/NFC
As with the NX300 the Wi-Fi connectivity for the NX2000 is easy and seamless. I was able to quickly access the direct link through the button at the top of the camera. Or, after a picture is taken, you can quickly upload each image to Facebook, Picasa or several other options. Each image took about 7 seconds to upload to Facebook. 

The Samsung NX2000 is equipped with NFC (near field communication). Set up the link, tap the camera to a device that has NFC and the image will be transferred wirelessly. 

Video Quality
The camera records 1920x1080 at 30fps and can also record smaller file sizes. Sound is captured with an in-camera stereo mic. If you like better sound quality than you can get in-camera, the EM 10 microphone is available as an accessory for $130. 

The Samsung NX2000 produces just as good video results as it does still images. The colors are represented accurately and the subjects are sharp. 

Image Quality
We were very happy with the testing of the NX2000. Colors were well represented and came out with about the same amount of saturation as the NX300. Images are slightly less sharp than the NX300 with very little noise throughout ISO 1600. ISO 3200 started to show noticeable noise. By the time you reached ISO 6400 the noise was becoming considerable and the pixel smudging increased. If at all possible I would recommend keeping the ISO below 1600 as much as possible.

The camera offers 8 while balance settings: auto, daylight, cloudy, fluorescent, tungsten flash, custom and K (Kelvin Scale).  

The camera has a mulitiude of creative shooting modes including: Beauty Face, Landscape, Macro, Action Freeze, Rich Tone, Panorama, Waterfall, Silhouette, Sunset, Night, Fireworks, Light Trace, Creative Shot, and Best Face. It also has a bunch of effects pallets including: Vignetting, Minature, Colored Pencil, Watercolor, Wash Drawing, Oil Sketch, Ink Sketch, Acryl, Negative, and 4 Selective Color options.  

Check out these real world samples of the NX2000. I especially love the image of the dragonfly.

Additional Sample Images 


 

Conclusion
The Samsung NX2000 sits very comfortably between the NX1100 and the NX300--offering users a high quality camera for a reasonable price. If fact, at the time of this review we were able to find the NX2000 for about $600 (making it the same price as the NX1100. That's a $150 savings over the NX300. But is the price difference worth it? Not in my book. I would spend the extra money to get a camera with a little more beef and a hybrid AF system.

I'm not saying the NX2000 is a bad camera. It's not. It's actually really good...better than I expected. Its image quality is generally clean and sharp. Its autofocus is pretty speedy and its Wi-Fi connectivity is great. But I prefer the solid feel of the NX300 and the physical mode dial that rests on the top of its body. The hybrid AF is a bonus and I was very happy with its responsiveness.

But saving $100-$150 is important to some folks. If that's the case, I would recommend the NX2000. It's pretty close to being on par with the NX300, with only a few issues to nitpick.

Samsung is packaging the NX2000 with Adobe Lightroom giving users $150 worth of free software ($80 value if you already own a previous version of Lightroom). This is a another bonus to buying the NX2000, but the NX300 also comes with this same software. 

The camera has an MSRP of $650 and includes the 20-50mm lens. However, it's currently on sale for $600.

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