Seeing as the NX1000 and NX210 are effectively the same on the inside, when building this lower-end alternative, Samsung has had to come up with ways to make the NX1000 a sufficiently entry-level model and to justify the difference in price.
The NX1000 isn't an unpleasant camera to handle, even if the materials used here obviously aren't as nice as those used in the NX210. The grip handle is nice and deep. It's quite easy to keep hold of in spite of its slightly slippery finish. Generally speaking, the NX1000 is nice to hold and nice to use, with controls that fall conveniently under your fingers. There are no problems with assembly either. Note the loss of the little settings thumb-wheel seen on the top of the NX210 isn't particularly problematic.
The screen is probably the most striking difference in this camera, as instead of using AMOLED technology like the NX210, the NX1000 has a bog-standard LCD. However, it's difficult to complain about that when the LCD is sharply defined, has wide viewing angles and boasts generous contrast. Contrast is actually a little on the strong side, but it's not over the top. Plus, colour fidelity is on the better side of average for a camera screen. In the end, if you're looking to fine-tune the white balance onscreen, for example, we'd recommend this screen over the one in the higher-end cameras!
The NX1000's controls are in line with other recent Samsung cameras. The interface is clear, rather stylish, and the settings wheel (around the four-way arrows), the iFn button and the control ring around the lens make a nice control combination. The Wi-Fi functions are the same as in Samsung's other models, but a new Smart Link button lets you share shots with a smartphone directly and instantly with no need to use the Mobile Link function in Wi-Fi mode.
The good news is that the NX1000 has a faster start-up time than the NX210 and NX20—it now takes less than two seconds to take a first photo after hitting the "On" button. It's still not as fast as Sony and Panasonic models, but it's much less annoying.
Note, however, that you're likely to see results like these with updated NX210 and NX20 cameras too. The NX1000 we tested was running on firmware issue 1.10, whereas we tested the other two models with version 1.00.
Otherwise, the NX1000 does a good job, even if it can't match the fastest models out there. Focusing takes just over half a second in good light and photo-to-photo turnaround takes 1.7 seconds, which is certainly slower than the Panasonic GF5, but it's still acceptable for day-to-day shooting.
There shouldn't be too many surprises in store in this part of the review, as the NX1000 uses the same sensor, the same electronics and the same 18-55 mm kit lens as the NX210 and NX20.
Noise poses no problem up to 1600 ISO, and shots taken at 3200 ISO could still feasibly be used for 8" x 12" (20 x 30 cm) prints without granularity being too troublesome. At 6400 ISO, however, smoothing is brutal and detail is wiped out.
On this front, the Panasonic GF5 does offer slightly better performances. Plus, the Sony NEX-F3 is still a fair way ahead, with 6400 ISO shots that are still usable.
The 18-55 mm lens is well-known, notably for its variations in quality from one model to another. Our NX1000 came with a model that was fairly representative of the lens' general quality—in other words, it's decent, without being extraordinary. Sharpness levels are pretty good in the middle of the frame at all focal lengths. The edges of the frame are a little less accurate but they're still acceptable quality. Any 8" x 12" prints (20 x 30 cm) will look impeccable but, at the end of the day, the lens doesn't get the most out of the camera's 20 Megapixels.
The NX1000 films Full HD video at 30 fps. The image is sharp, noise is well controlled and light zones are effectively maintained without being overexposed (although, as a result, dark areas are a bit blocked up). Sound is decent too, with a nice stereo effect. Different noises are all reproduced relatively accurately.
However, one downside is that the autofocus tends to pump in video mode, particularly with moving subjects. With the train set in our video test scene, we found that the NX1000 tried to refocus each time the train moved past the camera, before finally fixing its focus on the static music box (see test scene).
- Decent build quality, pleasant to handle
- Clear interface, nicely designed GUI
- Wi-Fi (image transfer, control via an Android peripheral)
- Settings can be accessed via the iFn button on the lens
- Image quality up to 1600 ISO
- Video quality (image and audio)
- No built-in flash (separate accessory supplied)
- No swivel screen or touchscreen controls
- Autofocus "pumps" in video mode
The Samsung NX1000 is a more basic version of the NX210. It maintains all the advantages of the higher-end model and, as far as we're concerned, its LCD screen is actually better than the AMOLED display in the NX210! That said, Panasonic's GF5 and Sony's NEX-F3 are also nice cameras, both of which come with a built-in flash and a cheaper price tag.