Review: Samsung NX300

Switching it into the camera modes and you’ll get into the real meat and bones of what photography is all about: taking pictures.

On the NX300, the body is solid and the buttons are fairly tight, and with a combination of rear controls, i-Function on the lens, and touchscreen options, there are plenty of ways for most people to get started with the camera.

The automatic mode labeled “auto” does a good job of the basics, while the smart mode (a camera with an “s” inside) allows you to select the scenes you want to use. Some of them aren’t fantastic, and we struggled to get a good shot out of these, so moved onto the manual modes.

As expected, these worked a treat, and whether you’re interested in controlling the aperture, the shutter, or doing it all in manual mode, you’ll find this camera responds nicely.

We mentioned the ergonomics before, and with only one proper control wheel up top (the black one), a rear button normally used for exposure control allows you to quickly switch between aperture or shutter using that same wheel, reminding us of the control scheme Nikon uses for its beginner DSLRs, which is comfortable.

Snap of a guide dog in training.

Pictures from the camera are the real test, though, but there’s good news here, too.

In daylight, the NX300 is an excellent camera, providing lovely vibrant colours with the right exposure settings, and a decent amount of detail depending on the lens you’re using.

Images shot of some lovely Labradors down at the Guide Dogs NSW training centre showed some solid detail in the fur and faces of the pips, while the leaves had crisp colours.

Up close with another one year old Labrador, a 100 percent crop of the original image. More photos in the gallery at the end.

At night, the camera is capable of some solid shadows even despite the noise.

Up close with the face at Luna Park resulted in sharp sculpted eyelashes, while Vivid Sydney’s Harbour Bridge produced excellent fluorescent colours.

The downside for this camera seems to come when you jack the ISO up to compensate for the lack of light, which in turn makes everything soft and floral when you zoom to 100 percent.

Most people won’t worry about this, we’re sure, but details seem to go missing, especially once you’re at ISO6400.

ISO 6400 is pretty much the most you should take this camera.

While some of this can be attributed to the sensor, there’s also another factor, and that’s the kit lens Samsung ships with this camera, an 18-55 f/3.5-5.6.

It’s not a fantastic lens, and while it’s fine in daylight, isn’t great in low light. It also lacks macro support, making it very difficult to get close to anything in either environment.

The lack of a built-in flash is also a touch annoying, and while we appreciate the included flash you can have sit on top small as it is, it dents the sleek lines and simple look this camera has.

One positive thing about the NX300 relates to the power.

Following some of Samsung’s other choices, there is no external charger for the battery as there has been with other cameras in the past, and there is also no proprietary charge port. In fact, Samsung has taken the high road with this camera and stuck with the microUSB port nearly every smartphone charges from to recharge its battery.

That means going on vacation won’t need an extra battery charger, and you can merely plug the camera into the same plug you’re using with a Galaxy S4, or HTC One, or LG, or any other smartphone that isn’t made by Apple, as microUSB is the international standard.

Luna Park at night, ISO 1600. Creepy.


It’s hard to get into every nook and cranny of a camera, but what we’ve seen in the Samsung NX300, we’ve liked.

Overall, Samsung has designed a camera that looks good, is comfortable to use, and offers versatility.

We’re sure that not every camera owner will like its design, but amateurs and enthusiasts will find a great camera here, just make sure to buy a better lens as soon as you can.

Value for money
Ease of Use
Reader Rating0 Votes
Decent image quality; Comfortable ergonomics; Big enough feature set for both amateur and enthusiast photographers; NFC and wireless means you can easily move files from the camera to your phone or tablet; Lightroom included in the bundle;
Low light performance could be sharper; Flash isn't built in and requires use of hot shoe; Vari-angle screen doesn't offer much angle from below;