Though it is nearly as small as the Panasonic G3, Samsung’s compact system NX11, graced with a 14.6-megapixel sensor, looks more like a traditional digital SLR. Like a SLR it’s easy to tinker with the manual settings. Samsung’s novel i-Function lenses mean you can press the i-Function button on the kit lens and use the focus ring to adjust sensitivity, white balance, aperture, shutter speed and exposure compensation.
To help you adjust focus you can magnify a section of the scene using the three-inch touchscreen. Unlike the other cameras on test, the NX11 only allows you to magnify the central portion of the scene though, so if the subject of your shot isn’t dead centre, nailing your desired effect will be more tricky.
Still image quality is good, with noise being controlled well. It occasionally underexposes when there are large sections of bright sky, but the NX11’s metering system puts in a good performance, ensuring the majority of images are correctly exposed. Colors are accurate and the auto mode works well. That said, it can’t compete with the stills quality of the proper DSLRs on test.
Warning: watch out for barrel distortion, causing straight lines to bend at the widest reaches of the 18-55mm kit lens.
Unlike the other cameras in this test the NX11 can only record 720p, rather than 1080p video. Don’t discount it out of hand, though. The NX11 offers manual control over exposure and quality is generally high despite the lower resolution. Autofocus is both quiet and smooth, if perhaps a little slow.
Compact, with well thought out manual controls, the NX11 is lacking in 1080p video and is ultimately outsmarted by proper DSLRs and the Panasonic DMC-G3.