[REVIEW] Samsung NX30

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin
Share on email

The NX300 that we reviewed last month has made some strides for Samsung in the compact camera market, so its sibling the NX30 takes things to a higher level in the mirrorless category. Less people are buying compact cameras these days because of the rapid improvement in smartphone cameras, so amateur photographers are opting instead for mirrorless cameras or a smallish SLR – which is where the NX30 comes into contention.

It makes use of the same CMOS sensor and Hybrid AF system as the NX300, but Samsung has taken all the technology and squished it into a mini SLR body. The result is a camera that performs and handles pretty well in a market that has incredibly high standards.


NX30 (5)

I’m a huge fan of cameras that fit snugly into your hand, where it doesn’t feel like extra effort to hold onto them. Samsung has a number of good cameras, like the NX300 that we reviewed last month, but the NX30 has a grip on the right-hand side that I really like.

It might not be high on other people’s specification list, but when I pick up a camera I need to feel like it’s an extension of my hand, which makes operation easier – and that’s exactly what the NX30 does.

It feels incredibly comfortable, but you might have a bit of a problem if you are left-handed because of how right-hand-centric the controls all are. In terms of other operations, the shutter button is located in front of all the other buttons and dials, and with the grip it’s easy to place your finger on the shutter first time.

The 3 inch, touch controlled swivel monitor at the back is also makes things feel more natural to the modern camera user who has become used to touchscreen interfaces from smartphones and tablets..

The thing that people will enjoy about this model, is that it operates like a high-end SLR camera, with the button layout very similar to some of the best brands in the business. In short, it handles like a champ.

Image quality

NX30 (4)

The NX30 definitely has the imaging chops to give some traditional SLR cameras a good run for their money.

The NX30The NX30 has definitely gives traditional SLR cameras a good run for its money.

It has a 20.3MP APS-C sensor, measuring in at 23.5×15.7mm in size. That might not sound significant, but with 20MP and a sensor of that size, it stacks itself close to the top when compared to mirrorless cameras from other notable brands.

As with most of Samsung’s cameras, the images are crisp and incredibly clear, although the company could have made a better effort to reduce noise on images which manages to creep in from time to time..

For night photography, The NX30 will do its level best to produce the images that you want with a high ISO of up to 3200. But, if that doesn’t work, there is a pop-up flash which has a range of about four to five meters. It might not seem like much, but that is pretty much all that you need to capture most creatures of the night that you may encounter on a trip to the bush.


NX30 (3)

The NX30 is one of the most enjoyable cameras that I have had the pleasure of working with. Besides for the great handling, it features the NX Mount system, which allows you to attach pretty much any lens in Samsung’s range which is pretty large these days.The range of options gives you a bit more freedom to plan your shoots and pack the right lenses for the job.

To capture some action photos that you fear you might miss, the camera can jump into burst mode, firing off at 30 frames per second – which handily beats the likes of Sony’s mirrorless Alpha 6000 which can only manage 11 frames per second.

To add a bit of colourful magic to your images, the NX30 has a number of filters built in, so after you have taken a picture you can change the mood with some artistic flair. I really like built in filters on cameras, as it eliminates (or at least reduces) the need to edit the images afterwards on editing software and will appeal to a market which has become used to filters from apps like Instagram.

Speaking of things that are built-in, it also has built-in WiFi and NFC, so you can back up your shots pretty much anywhere or send them to your smartphone with just a few button pushes.

The NX30 can also record video at full 1080p, with hybrid auto-focus.


NX30 (1)

As said before, the NX30 is a great camera to work with. Weighing only 375g it feels and works like a tiny SLR – which is always a good thing. It has the low light ability to make it a really useful camera for amateur photographers who are looking for an easy setup to get into the game.

[symple_box style=”boxinfo”]


Effective Pixel: Approx 20.3MP
Sensor Size: 23.5 x 15.7mm
Mount: Samsung NX
Viewfinder: Tiltable EVF with Eye Contact Sensor
Focusing: Hybrid AF (Phase & Contrast)
Shutter speed: Auto:1/8000sec. ~ 1/4sec.
Exposure: up to 25 600
Flash: A-TTL Pop-up flash
NFC: Yes
Weight: 375g
Dimensions: 127 x 95.5 x 41.7mm


Charlie Fripp

Charlie Fripp

Charlie started his professional life as a motoring journalist for a community newspaper in Mpumalanga, Charlie explored different journalistic angles since his entry into the fast-paced world of publishing in 2006. While fostering a passion for the arts, Charlie developed a love for technology – both which allowed him to serve as Entertainment and Technology Editor for an online publication. Charlie has since been heavily involved in consumer technology for various websites and publications. He thoroughly enjoys World War II films and cerebral documentaries; aviation; photography and indie music. Oh yes, and he also has a rather strange obsession with collecting coffee mugs from his travels.