Samsung NX200 review – A hybrid with purpose

By David Newton - Tuesday February 26 2013

Sensor Review
Introduction | Samsung NX200 sensor performance | Samsung NX200 versus competition | Conclusion

Sony NEX-6 Vs Canon EOS M Vs Samsung NX 200

Samsung NX200

In the large sensor hybrid market place, the Sony NEX-6 is one of the best performing cameras currently available, coming in at 32nd place on the overall scores. It represents a benchmark for other hybrids to compare themselves to.

Looking at the Portrait scores, the NEX-6 certainly comes out on top (23.7bits vs 22.6bits), scoring around 2/3rds if a stop better. It is closer in the Landscape tests, but there is still a difference of around 1/2stop in favour of the NEX-6 – this is throughout the ISO range until the very highest ISO setting on the NX 200 (ISO 12800) where image smoothing is applied and the dynamic range is much closer. The biggest difference here is visible at ISO 3200, where there is more than 1-stop difference in the results.

The ISO range is equally interesting – from ISO 100 to 3200, the NEX-6 is again around 2/3rds stop better than the NX 200. However, from ISO 6400 to 12800, the NX 200 catches up due to in-camera processing of the RAW files to remove image noise. At these two high ISO settings, the NX 200 actually outperforms the NEX-6, though the differences are marginal.

Samsung NX200
The color sensitivity of the Samsung NX 200 falls behind the Sony NEX-6 at all ISO settings until ISO 6400 where there is a jump in performance. This clearly indicates some form of in-camera processing to smooth the image and improve results.

While Sony are firmly established in the hybrid market, the Canon EOS M is a relative newcomer. Overall, the NX 200 outscores the EOS M by 69 to 65 DxOMark points. This is due to the 1/3rd stop better performance in the Portrait tests and around 1-stop better performance in the Landscape tests at ISO 100, although the EOS M does claw its way back beyond ISO 800. However, while the EOS M is not one of the top performers in the category in terms of ISO performance, it still outperforms the NX 200 by around 1/3rd stop. Given the larger sensor size in the NX 200, this is a surprise and shows quite how much of a weakness this is for the camera.

Panasonic Lumix DMC-GH3 Vs Nikon 1 V1 Vs Samsung NX 200

Samsung NX200

Looking at some of the other big players in this sector shows the same story as before. In overall score, the NX 200 is just a fraction behind the Panasonic Lumix DMC-GH3, but is a fair way ahead of the Nikon 1 V1. In terms of color depth (portrait) scores, there is barely anything between the GH3 and the NX 200, while the Nikon 1 V1 is around a stop behind. It’s the same with the landscape scores for dynamic range - the NX 200 and GH3 are very closely matched, with the NX 200 just coming out on top here. Again, the Nikon 1 V1 is a little over 1 stop behind.

It is, once again, the ISO scores where the NX 200 falls down. If it had better ISO performance, it would rival the top performers in the category, but only managing 618 ISO in the sports test sees it fall behind the GH3 by over 1/3rd stop. That said, compared to the Nikon 1 V1, at ISO 100, the Samsung score is 1.5stops ahead of the Nikon.