camcorders

Samsung NX20 Digital Camera Review

The Samsung NX20, like most Samsung cameras, doesn't stand out as a video recording device.

$1,099.99 MSRP
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Introduction

The Samsung NX20, like most Samsung cameras, doesn't stand out as a video recording device. Sharpness wasn't stellar and low light video was average at best, so this isn't a camera we'd recommend for recording movies. But we did like the NX20 for taking still photos, so if that's primarily what you're looking for in a camera, you should take a stern look at our full review.

Motion & Sharpness

Moving subjects are handled beautifully in videos captured with the NX20. Contrast trailing is nonexistent, so is artifacting, and the footage is generally very smooth. The camera captures HD video using the MPEG-4 codec and H.264 compression. Full HD video can be recorded at 30 frames per second, and there's an unusual 24p frame rate option that records 1920 x 810 resolution videos. Two standard definition recording options (480p and 240p) and a 720p setting are available as well. See our full motion performance review, including video clips.

Just like we saw with the Fujifilm X-Pro1, which deliberately omitted a low-pass filter to improve resolution, the NX20 suffers from extremely distracting moire when shooting patterned scenes. And just like X-Pro1, if you can stomach this effect than you’ll end with some decently sharp video footage. Both horizontally and vertically, the sensor can achieve 500 lw/ph of detail under full studio illumination. Still, these numbers are much lower than what you'd get from a good mid-range or high-end camcorder. Read our full sharpness performance review.

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Low Light

In order to gather 50 IRE of image data the NX20 requires at least 26 lux of ambient illumination. That’s decent for a camera but no match for any respectable camcorder. Again, the NX20 is not suited to low light videos. Read our full low light sensitivity performance review.

Comparable Products

Before you buy the Samsung NX20, take a look at these other interchangeable lens cameras.

Conclusion

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Overall, the Samsung NX20 isn't the best camera for recording video. The camera's results in our performance tests were mostly sub-par, although we were impressed with the camera's ability to capture motion cleanly. We also need to give Samsung props for including a good set of manual controls and recording options in video mode. The NX20's ability to capture both Full HD and standard definition video are positives, and that kind of flexibility with recording is becoming quite rare.

To read our full conclusions for the Samsung NX20 including analysis of the camera's video handling and audio options, plus see sample videos and photos, visit the full review at DigitalCameraInfo.com.

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