Samsung’s Beast Mini aka the NX500

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The NX500 is a 4k shooting Beast that's easy to carry all day.

The NX500 is a 4k shooting Beast that’s easy to carry all day.

It’s been a little over two months since I first got the NX500 in my hands. After long NY winter shooting with the NX1 on a near daily basis it was refreshing to have a camera that was light enough to drop in my messenger bag and forget it’s there. Just because the camera lost some of its size, it by no means lost any of its power. Read on for some of my impressions on the NX500 and some sample images.

Disclosure Notice: I’m part of Samsung’s Imagelogger program in which they send me shiny new cameras to try and take many, many pictures with. This is not a paid placement; all opinions from here on are my own. 

NX500 ProductWhen I first took the NX500 out of the box I was absolutely floored by how light it is. Sure, I absolutely get that it is a (relatively) tiny camera but I still can’t get over the technology that powers it. Inside the small and svelte frame is a 28-megapixel back-side illuminated APS-C sensor and DRIMe 5 image processor – the very same sensor and processor combo found in the larger (more expensive) NX1. The NX500 is capable of capturing 9fps in full resolution and comes with a gorgeous 3-inch AMOLED touch display and boasts 209 auto-focus detection points. When combined with the NX500’s Hybrid Phase Detection AF system, those 209-phase make for speedy changes in focusing that make shooting 4k video on the NX500 a dream.

NX500 w/ NX-45mm f/1.8 2D-3D at ISO3200

NX500 w/ NX-45mm f/1.8 2D-3D at ISO3200

Ultimately the biggest reason that I’ve fallen in love with the NX500 is that much like the NX300, the NX500 has allowed me to disappear into the background and capture those fleeting moments of city life without drawing too much attention to myself. For my style of shooting, I’d gladly give up a viewfinder for a chance to capture my subjects without drawing too much attention to myself. The NX500 is my current favorite camera for my street photography and it’s clear to see why; you don’t have to take my word for it, check out the gallery below for more photographs made with the NX500 and be sure to leave a comment. NX500 

If you’re ready to dive into the world of 4k video and pick up one of the best APS-C cameras under $800 consider shopping via the link below. It helps me keep the lights on and writing more posts like this one. Thanks again for your support.

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Samsung NX1 – First Impressions

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It's here and here are my first impressions.

It’s here and here are my first impressions.

The Samsung NX1 is the latest flagship NX-mount interchangeable lens camera from the Korean electronics manufacturer. It promises to be high-level piece of kit with 15fps of continuous shooting and more AF points than any other camera, the NX1 is looking to dominate the mirrorless market and make some converts out of the tied and true DSLR pros and high-end enthusiasts; but can it deliver?

Disclosure notice: I am a participant in Samsung’s Imagelogger program and will periodically get gear sent to me. No monetary compensation has been provided for this post or any other post on this site. The following hands-on impressions are my own.

The Specs

  • 28.2MP BSI APS-C CMOS Sensor
  • DRIMe V Image Signal Processor
  • 4K Video Recording at 24 fps
  • UHD Video Recording at 30 fps
  • 3.0″ 1036k-Dot Tilt-Touchscreen Monitor
  • 2360k-Dot XGA OLED Electronic Viewfinder
  • Advanced Hybrid Autofocus System
  • 205 Phase-Detection AF Points
  • 15 fps Burst with AF
  • Includes Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 5

Hitting the streets

NX1 with the NX 16-50mm S Lens at ISO 6400

NX1 with the NX 16-50mm S Lens at ISO 6400

On a rainy and cold November afternoon I took the NX1 to the Union Square area in New York City. One of the features that caught my eye on the NX1 was the weather-sealed magnesium body. Make no mistake this feels like a metal bodied camera and I love it. This isn’t like one of those cameras that’s weather-sealed but feels a bit too plasticky in your hands. There’s a heft to the camera – significantly heavier than my NX30 but still nowhere near as bulky as a traditional DSLR.

NX1 with 16-50mm S Lens at ISO 800

NX1 with 16-50mm S Lens at ISO 800

Having been familiarized with the NX system of cameras the menu system is familiar and settings can be accessed through a variety of ways from physical dials on the camera and i-Function button on the lens to a few screen taps on the gorgeously large Super AMOLED display. Seriously it’s an amazingly bright and sharp display. Probably one of the best I’ve seen on a camera.

As mentioned above the NX1 has a plethora of physical controls to help you get the shot you’re looking for without taking your eyes off your subject. The addition of a mode lock button on the top right and a separate dial for drive selection on the top left are new and welcomed additions to the camera body. The rear buttons are in familiar places with a few notable exceptions – having been shooting with the NX30 I’ve grown accustomed to being able to toggle between video and stills with a dedicated button where my right thumb would rest and adjust certain settings like AF and ISO with a tap on the jog dial found to the right of the display. These have been moved out of the box but can be designated through the settings menu. I’ll be exploring this in more detail at a later date.

NX1 with 16-50mm S Lens at ISO 800

NX1 with 16-50mm S Lens at ISO 800

During my first outing I found that the NX1 delivers the goods – quick autofocusing (though admittedly Continuous AF seemed a step quicker than Single AF) and even after a day of shooting out in the rain (no protection) the NX1 never missed a step. I was only able to spend a couple of hours and managed to get around 125-150 images and still have around 90% of the battery. The flip up screen was helpful in getting low shots and shooting from the hip (zone focusing folks. Zone focusing) though I admit that I prefer the swivel screen from the NX30; after seeing both side by side though I’ll take the sharper display over the swivel screen.

NX1 with 16-50mm S Lens at ISO6400

NX1 with 16-50mm S Lens at ISO6400

The Wrap Up

Keeping in mind that this is an APS-C “crop sensor,” in all honesty the NX1 can deliver some seriously sharp images in low light that have only been seen in full-frame cameras. The weight savings, even with the heavier combo of NX1 body and NX 16-50mm S Lens, makes this a serious consideration for the pros in the audience that may be a bit skittish about carrying around a “crop sensor” body instead of a full-frame. From my first few shots I’m hooked on this beast of a camera; definitely looking forward to bringing you a more thorough once over.

Like what you’ve read so far? Help keep the lights on and consider purchasing via the affiliate link below:

Samsung NX1 28.2 MP Wireless SMART Compact System Camera with 16-50mm f/2.0-2.8 “S” Lens