Selfie-friendly compact shooter [New Straits Time (Malaysia)]
(New Straits Time (Malaysia) Via Acquire Media NewsEdge) THE Samsung NX Mini is just the thing for a fun-packed outing, writes Nicholas King.
Samsung is quick to capitalise on trends and innovations by adding the little things that matter. With its new NX Mini, a small compact interchangeable camera, the company is targetting the selfie generation.
SMALL AND DANDY
The NX Mini has an interchangeable lens, which means you will have lens swapping options in the future, making it a one-size fits all camera. At 75.2mm or 3-inches, it is small enough to slip into your pocket for a weekend getaway.
The plastic-leather finish gives the NX Mini a premium feel and prevents fingerprints and smudges. The only concern is the flip screen and it doesn't help that a lot of features are only accessible via touchscreen.
If you've been using a Samsung smartphone or camera in the past year or two, you'll know what to expect from all the standard features in Samsung cameras. The NX Mini has numerous preset modes like face beautification to remove wrinkles and pimples from your pictures. face swap by taking numerous shots of your portraits, and allowing you to swap between your self-shot photos and food mode to give more colour and detail.
In addition to a range of other options such as whether to use the flash, the manual exposure mode allows you to set the aperture and shutter speed to your liking.
As with other NX models, the Mini also comes with NFC and WiFi capabilities for instant photo sharing between other NFC devices or social media. It also has Full HD recording, making the Mini a one- army snapper.
ON THE LIGHT SIDE
The NX Mini is a great namesake model, leaving you little-to-no excuse not to bring this snazzy palmed-sized camera for an outing. Picture quality is above that of what your average compact can deliver, though barely. When zoomed in, the usual Samsung cosmetic crops up with a play on lighter and darker shading, masking picture flaws when viewed on screen, but showing smudging details up close.
Many of the featured modes are very gimmicky and after a while, you wonder if it does anything different from your Samsung Galaxy smartphone or camera. And it also makes you wonder the wisdom of shelling out RM1,399 for a standalone camera.
WiFi is also iffy, as it is not always able to connect, even when every other device in the room at the same range has hooked up to the Internet. Even when my laptop and smartphone were already connected online, I was instructed to "move closer to the source of the WiFi".
One of the more pressing issues is that the NX Mini doesn't come with built-in zoom, so you have to rely heavily on whatever lenses you have and that can be a problem. The standard unit comes with a wide-angle 9mm f/3.5 lens, so you can forget about zooming.
For now, only two other lenses are available - an optical stabilised 9-27mm f/3.5-5.6 zoom lens, and an upcoming 17mm f/1.8 lens.
This is a fun camera to have and to hold. Nevertheless, there are some limitations in terms of performance.
The NX Mini treads dangerous ground as it appears to be just a standard compact camera and one with limited choices of interchangeable lenses. Thankfully, it does well enough to beat the average mark in the picture quality department.
It is a decent addition to the expanding NX line-up and shows how much more compact a mirror-less camera can be. Other than the usual photography modes and limited lens options, it is still great for a weekend getaway when no heavy photography is planned for.
Samsung NX Mini
Specifications: 20.5 megapixel, BSI CMOS, TFT LCD with touch panel, size -75.2mm, interchangeable lens, flip screen, WiFi, NFC
* Compact and light
* Lots of camera modes
* Interchangeable lens adds value
* Premium and solid design for price
* Modes are gimmicky
* Questionable amount of lens made available
* WiFi connectivity poor
* Image quality just above average
* Kit lens is fixed - no zoom
Our verdict: *** 1/2
Physical design: **** 1/2
User-friendliness: **** 1/2
Features: *** 1/2
Performance: *** 1/2
Value for money: *** 1/2
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