The Samsung NX3000 is a compact sytem camera with a big APS-C sensor that in many ways is ideal for improving photographers looking for an interchangeable lens camera that will grow with them. It has an excellent 16-50mm powered zoom and the NX mount offers a fair choice of lenses.
It produces great quality photos and offers the full range of PASM exposure modes in addition to scene and panorama modes, has a hot shoe for an external flash and built-in Wifi with NFC for picture sharing and remote camera operation.
Samsung has also included features designed to make the NX3000 more appealling for spontaneous shooting fun, most obviously a self shot mode that activates when you flip the screen into its forward-facing position. But Samsung hasn’t gone overboard with fun features. The NX3000’s selection of filters is limited, and you can only use them to record fairly low resolution 640×480 video.
Compared with the selfie features of the Panasonic Lumix GF7, the NX3000 seems a bit, well, half hearted. The best thing about it is the way the screen turns the camera on when you flip it forward, that’s a great idea that you can bet will soon be adopted by other manufacturers as standard.
But while you can get used to fumbling for buttons on the back of the camera to select the right mode, you can’t beat a touch screen for this kind of thing and that’s where both the Olympus PEN E-PL7 and the Lumix GF7 score highly over the NX3000. The GF7 does it best with a range of modes that are easy to manage and have versatile settings – including the ability to fire-off several shots rather than just the one.
The other area in which the NX3000 takes third place behind the GF7 and E-PL7 is its built-in Wi-fi. With my iPhone 4S it proved quite frustrating to get an connection at all and the browsing and transfer features are quite crudely implemented. That said, Samsung’s remote shooting offers unparalleled control, though again, it’s let down by connection problems plus the ability to switch modes – you can’t go from shooting to transfer without quitting the app and re-connecting.
As an entry level compact system camera the NX3000 has certainly got plenty to offer at a decent price, but the hard truth is it’s both outclassed by the (admittedly more expensive) competition and let down by its shortcomings; namely lack of a touch screen, erratic and clunky wifi (at least with my iPhone), unreliable selfie modes and a lacklustre selection of filters. To be fair, it costs significantly less than both the Lumix GF7 and PEN E-PL7, so there’s an element of you get what you pay for. If you’re on a budget and aren’t particularly interested in selfies or filters, and if Samsung can fix the Wifi issues with a firmware update, it could offer an attractive alternative to the two Micro Four Thirds models I’ve compared it against. That’s a lot of ifs though.The NX3000’s video capabilities are good, but in some respects rather functional. The Lumix GF7 offers a 1080p60/50 mode compared with 1080p25/30 on the NX3000, and it also has a Snap movie feature which assembles a bunch of short clips into a movie. And, as on the Olympus PEN E-PL7 you can apply the GF7’s filters to HD video whereas on the NX3000 you’re limited to four filters at 640 x 480 resolution. In its favour the NX3000 does provide a quarter speed slowmo effect as well as fast motion modes.
Forward facing screen turns power on.
Great quality from APSC sensor.
Wifi with smartphone remote control.
Good quality kit power zoom.
Fast and accurate AF.
Good remote shooting features.
Lacks a touch screen.
Unreliable wink and smile shot modes.
Poor Wifi implementation.