The Samsung NX mirrorless camera series gets a new model in its ever-expanding line-up with the NX3300.
Replacing the NX3000 introduced last year, this new camera sits just above the entry-level NX mini ($649 with 9-27mm lens), which uses a one-inch image sensor.
For $699, the NX3300 gives you a much larger APS-C image sensor and a 16-50mm kit lens. But it comes in a bigger package than the NX mini, which is just 22.5mm thick.
The older NX3000 has a two-tone body with a silver metallic finish on the top and bottom, and white, black or brown faux leather in the middle.
The NX3300 comes in all-white or all-black. Apart from that, the build is the same. We reviewed the black version with the 16-50mm kit lens.
The selfie-friendly focus is evident from several features:
- On the NX3300 mode dial, Beauty Face replaces Panorama (which was on the NX3000 mode dial). In Beauty Face, you can use Face Retouch to make your skin appear lighter;
- The camera starts automatically when you flip up the display 180 degrees, perfect for selfies. It cannot be flipped downwards;
- Press the shutter release when the camera is in this position and it automatically triggers a 3sec timer for a selfie;
- And in this selfie position, you can change to Smile Shot or Wink Shot mode. The camera will take a picture when it detects a smiling face in Smile Shot mode, or a wink in Wink Shot mode.
However, there were times when the camera could not detect my smile or wink.
if you manage to get a shot, you can send it to an Android smartphone that has Near Field Communication (NFC) enabled. Download the Samsung Smart Camera app and tap the NFC-enabled Android smartphone (see NFC logo on the left side of the camera) to pair for photo transfer or remote control. If yours is an Apple iPhone, you can do the same via Wi-Fi connection.
This camera is pretty quick. It takes just 1.6sec to start up or shut down. Most of its competitors clock around 2sec. Using a microSD card with a write speed of 10MB per second, I shot five RAW images in 0.8sec before the buffer ran out.
In bright sunlight, the autofocus (AF) is almost instantaneous. But in dim conditions, it takes up to 2sec to get a sharp focus with the aid of AF assist light. In video recording, the AF locks nicely on to a new focus within a second whenever you pan to a new scene.
Image quality is good, with crisp details and accurate auto white balance. Image noise is kept low till ISO 1,600. At ISO 3,200, there is only a slight loss of details. But avoid using anything above ISO 3,200.
The NX3300's battery life is average for a mirrorless camera. It managed 370 frames on a full charge.
For selfie lovers, the Samsung NX3300 is an APS-C mirrorless camera not to be missed.
By Trevor Tan
Price: $699 (with 16-50mm kit lens)
Image sensor: 20.3-megapixel APS-C CMOS
Screen: 3-inch flippable LCD with 460,800 dots
Sensitivity: ISO 100 to 25,600
Shooting speed: Up to 5 frames per second
Connectivity: Wi-Fi, Near Field Communication
Weight: 260g (body with battery and memory card)
Value for money 4/5
Battery life 3/5
This article was first published on April 22, 2015.
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