Samsung NX200 Ken McMahon, May 2012

Samsung NX200 vs Sony NEX-5N quality

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To compare real-life performance, I shot this scene with the Samsung NX200 and the Sony Alpha NEX-5N within a few moments of each other using their best quality JPEG settings.

The kit lenses on both cameras were set to an equivalent field of view and both were set to Aperture Priority exposure mode.

The sensitivity was manually set to 100 ISO on each camera.


  Samsung NX200 results
1 Samsung NX200 Quality
2 Samsung NX200 RAW vs JPEG
3 Samsung NX200 Noise
5 Samsung NX200 Sample images

The image above was taken with the Samsung NX200 with the 18-55mm f3.5-5.6 OIS kit lens. The lens was set to its maximum wide angle position at 18mm. With an Aperture of f5.6 the NX200 metered an exposure of 1/500 at 100 ISO. The original Extra fine JPEG image size was 8.95MB. The crops are taken from the areas marked with red squares and presented here at 100%.

To provide an equivalent field of view, the Sony NEX-5N's kit len was zoomed in a fraction. The NEX-5N metered 1/1250 at f5.6, but the +1.3EV compensation necessary to produce an exposure equivalent to that metered by the NX200 produced a lighter, overexposed result. To produce results on the two cameras that matched closely both visually and on their respective histograms I applied 0.7EV exposure compensation to the NEX-5N resulting in an exposure of 1/800 at f5.6.

For this tripod-mounted test, stabilisation was disabled and contrast enhancement on both cameras was left on the default settings - Smart range off on the NX200 and auto DRO on the NEX-5N.

Overall, the results from the NX200 are very promising. The exposure is nicely balanced with detail throughout the tonal range and colours are natural and well saturated. At first glance the detail in the crops looks sharp and well resolved. The first crop provides a good overview of the NX200's ability to render fine detail and any shortcomings that might arise as a result of its JPEG processing. At first glance it looks nice and crisp with plenty of fine detail and on closer examination there's nothing to change that view. The first thing to look for in this crop is the fine lines - the doors and windows in the chapel, the top edge of the wall, and the crosses on the roof, here they're all crisp with no halos. Next take a look at the detail in the grass and rocky outcrops on the hill. Again there's plenty of fine detail here and you can also see quite a bit of detail in the stonework of the chapel walls. The only negative, and it's a minor one, is that the blue sky looks a little bit textured.

The second crop is equally impressive. What we're looking for here is a cleanly resolved lighthouse, which we've got; you can even differentiate between the white column and the lamp house on top. There's also a good deal of detail in the island as well as the cliffs beyond. In the middle and foreground of the shot the chimneys, window frames and roof details are very crsiply rendered, though, once again, the sky in this crop looks a tiny bit noisy.

In the third crop from the extreme edge of the frame there's the merest hint of red fringing, but you have to look hard to spot it. The detail in the brickwork here looks to be as crisp and clear as in the middle of the frame from where the fourth and final crop is taken. As everywhere else the edge detail here is extermely crisp with not a hint of softness, if anything, the opposite is the case. Of all the crops this one from the centre of the frame which has lots of fine elements looks a little harsh and over sharpened. Overall though, the NX200 image quality is remarkably good and the in-camera JPEGs are crisp and punchy with bags of detail.

Compared with the crops from the Sony NEX-5N there's no question that the NX200 crops are sharper. Some of this will be down to in-camera processing of the RAW data, but the NX200 crops look to have more detail too. You've got to take your hat off to Samsung, the new 20.3 Megapixel sensor and kit lens combination produces results that compare very favourably with Sony's NEX-5N.

Now check out my NX200 RAW vs JPEG results on the next page or see how these models compare at higher sensitivities in my NX200 Noise results.


Samsung NX200 with 18-55 f3.5-5.6 OIS
Sony NEX-5N with 18-55 f3.5-5.6 OSS
f5.6, 100 ISO
f5.6, 100 ISO
f5.6, 100 ISO
f5.6, 100 ISO
f5.6, 100 ISO
f5.6, 100 ISO
f5.6, 100 ISO
f5.6, 100 ISO

Samsung NX200 results : Quality / RAW vs JPEG / Noise

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