Michael 84

Samsung NX Mini Review

Tech Blog
Friday, 8th August, 2014

Samsung NX Mini UK Review

I have been in need of a new pocket camera for a while. Over Four years ago I got the Sony HX10 which was an amazing camera, really good quality, it fit in my pocket and went with me on many journeys including London and Stockholm, as well as countless nights out. I’ve been using a DSLR for 2 or 3 years now, and I love it, I don’t think I could do without one, and even thought of getting myself up the DSLR ladder with a new camera. But first thing is first, and I wanted to get a new compact camera. My iPhone is pretty decent when taking snaps when I have no other option, and it’s always with me, but the quality is lacking. Is there still a market for a camera which sits in-between a camera-phone and a DSLR? I think so.

I have been looking around for a long time for the perfect camera with the qualities I need. First of all I want great quality images. Second it has to fit in my pocket; I’m not talking jacket pocket, I’m talking about it fitting in my jeans comfortably. Those two features are what I am looking for, and everything else is a bonus. I decided on the Samsung NX Mini, and I have to say it’s really good! 🙂

What features does the Samsung NX Mini have?

1″ Sensor (21MP) – A large 1″ sensor, much bigger than your standard compact camera, which will make for great pictures.

9mm Lens Kit – A super-wide lens, 9mm which is a pancake. With this lens fitted it keeps the camera thickness down to a minimum

Ultra thin – In fact it’s the thinnest interchangeable lens camera which you can currently get hold of. Does it fit in my jeans pocket? Yes!

180 degree flip up screen – YES! It has a dedicated “Selfie” mode. Flip up the screen, press the shutter and a 3,2,1 countdown begins before the shot is taken.

WIFI – Share your photos by downloading the app and connecting your camera to your phone. You can then share via Facebook/Twitter/Instagram

NFC – If you have an NFC device you can just tap to share

3″ Touchscreen – Nice large screen to see everything.

650 shots per battery charge (as quoted by Samsung)

A copy of Adobe Lightroom (Worth £100!)

The Build Quality

The build quality is pretty solid, you get a faux leather type front which looks better than it feels, which is a little bit plastic, the lens feels really solid and snaps into place really well. The top bezel is brushed aluminium, however it seems to scuff easily, I have had mine only a few weeks and it already has minor scuffs. The flip up hinge is thick and chunky and does not seem like it will easily break.

Samsung NX Mini - The Selfie Camera

The Selfie Gimmick Camera?

Don’t be put off by the “Selfie” gimmick. A lot of people seem to be put off by this, and think the camera is a kids toy. It takes quality images and fits in your pocket, it’s not going to match up with a larger DSLR, but you’ll not get one of those in your jean pocket! 😉

Who Is This Camera For?

There’s no doubt that it’s been marketed for the fashion coconscious, cool, internet crowd, if you share photos on the likes of Instagram then you’ll love this camera. It works well as a party camera, a good quality camera to take with you on a night out, abroad or any other place because of it’s small size and the fact it’s so light weight. If you want something small enough to fit in your pocket with really good quality and a whole load of features to boot, the Samsung NX Mini has to be worth taking a look at.

There’s other great cameras, especially the Lumix range such as the GM1 or GF7, these have bigger sensors and a much larger range of lenses, however none of them will fit in your jean pocket which is one of the key features of this camera.

The Ultimate Blogger Camera?

Since I am a blogger someone is bound to ask, is this a good camera to blog? I would have to say it is. Sometimes a big DSLR is a bit too obtrusive, if you’re a food blogger you might not want to take something so big and point it at your food. Fashion bloggers who want to post their OOTD (Outfit Of The Day) can easily take the selfie shot, or set the timer and share it on the go.

And Now The Bad – What I Don’t Like About The Samsung NX Mini

The WIFI Mode – It’s not the best. You have to download the app from the app store, and then connect your phone to your camera. This means your phone will disconnect from your home WIFI network if you’re connected to it, so you can connect to the camera. You can then transfer the pictures over, and when you close the app the connection is closed, you’ll then need to connect back to your home WIFI to upload to Instagram/Facebook/Twitter (you can use your 3G/4G I guess). This is frustrating. A better way would be for the camera to connect to your home network which your phone is already connected to, and then share the pictures over. There also seems to be no way to connect to your home WIFI to transfer the pictures from the camera to your home PC/MAC; Meaning you’ll have to use the USB cable which is provided.

No GPS!? – This camera has so many features; A baby monitor mode, selfie, WIFI and so on. There is no GPS! My 4 year old Sony HX10 had GPS! Back then I did not even turn it on, but this camera is all about sharing the pictures, well I want to be able to geo-tag them on Instagram when I share them, but unfortunately there is no GPS in this camera. Samsung claim you can use GPS via NFC, however I do not own an NFC device.

9mm Lens, Perhaps Too Wide? – If you use a DSLR with a cropped sensor like me (most entry-mid range models) the Canon 600D, you’ll of probably wanted a wider shot than you usually would get on the standard kit lens (or any lens above the kits 18mm). The 9mm lens can seem a bit wide. It’s great for selfies, parties, close up group shots and that kind of stuff, which is what it was really designed to do. However if you’re looking for a jack of all trades camera, this lens won’t do it. There is a 9-27mm lens available, however with that fitted the camera will not fit in your jean pocket.

Inverted Arrows When Browsing – I don’t know who’s stupid idea this was, but it’s annoying. When you view the pictures on the camera and use the left and right arrows to scroll between them, the left one goes to next and the right goes to the previous. This sounds like a minor point but it’s extremely annoying.

Hold Button In Panorama Mode – Like my Sony HX10 and iPhone, it has a panorama shot mode. The problem is on this camera instead of pressing the button and sweeping across, you have to keep the shutter button held down, when you release it, the picture stops. It’s not too easy to keep the button pressed down while sweeping the camera across and holding it as straight and steady as possible.

The RRP is £400 – Is It Worth The Money?

I was lucky enough to get this for £350 when a retailer was doing a promotion. I also bought it when Samsung were doing a £100 trade-in. This together with the fact you get Adobe Lightroom 5, worth £100 means you’re getting a £400 camera for £150 (£250 if you’re not including the cost Lightroom). This camera is a couple of months old, and the cost will continue to come down as is the case with all cameras. If you need one now, get it because the £100 cashback offer runs until 31st August 2014, so for £250 I can’t see a better camera at the moment. You should now find it below the RRP, and as always only buy from an authorised reseller (avoid grey imports) and try to find a participating retailer doing the cashback (John Lewis is one).

Conclusion

All in all this is a great camera, it’s still new to me so I am exploring how/when/where I will be using it. It makes a good addition to having a smartphone with not so great quality images, and having a large DSLR which you simply aren’t going to be carrying round with you everywhere in your day to day life.

Samsung NX Mini Smart Camera For Bloggers


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Michael Adams

About Michael

Michael Adams is the founder and editor of Michael 84, blogger and T-shirt designer from Newcastle, UK. Sharing men's fashion tips, style advice and lifestyle information for all guys.

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