Samsung has included a high-quality APS-C CMOS image sensor (23.5 by 15.7 mm) with the mirrorless NX30 camera with 20.3-megapixels of resolution.
As with other mirrorless interchangeable lens Samsung cameras, the NX30 makes use of an NX lens mount. To the right of the mount is the lens release button.
The round button shown in the lower left of this photo is a depth preview button, which serves as a test to how the scene's depth of field will look when recorded. On the display screen you'll see a preview of the scene with the final aperture settings applied when using the depth preview button.
The NX30 kit includes an 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 zoom lens.
To attach a lens line up the red dots on the lens and lens mount, and then twist the lens until you hear a click. To remove the lens later press the D-shaped lens release button (shown here to the right of the lens housing) and twist the the lens in the opposite direction.
Samsung included optical image stabilization with the kit lens. It has a minimum autofocus distance of 11 inches.
The narrow ridged ring toward the front of the lens is the focus ring, used when you're shooting in manual focus mode. When you twist this ring, the image on the display screen or in the viewfinder will magnify, making it easier for you to precisely dial in the focus.
The wider ring near the focal length numbers on the lens is the zoom ring, which you'll twist to change the focal length setting for the lens.
When using the NX30's kit lens, you can change between autofocus (AF) mode and manual focus (MF) mode. Just press the toggle switch on the side of the lens up or down to select the desired focus mode.
The autofocus sensor found on the NX30 offers 247 contrast detection points and 105 phase detection points and works extremely quickly.
Just above the focus switch is the iFunction button, which will cause a set of digital rings to appear on the display screen. You then can use the command dial on the top panel of the camera, use the four-way ring on the back panel, or drag your finger across the touch screen display to change the settings for aperture, ISO, EV, and white balance. You also can control the iZoom function this way, which magnifies the image on the display screen, making it easier to determine whether you have a sharp focus.
The lens release button is shown on the right side of this photo.
When shooting flash photos with the Samsung NX30, you have the option of adding an external flash through the camera's hot shoe or using the built-in popup flash, which is shown here.
The flash mode options with the NX30 are: Off, Smart Flash, Auto, Auto Red-Eye, Fill-in, Fill-in Red, 1st Curtain, 2nd Curtain, and Hi-Speed. Keep in mind that the flash modes will change depending on which shooting mode you're using, and some flash mode options may only be available with an external flash unit attached.
You can adjust the intensity of the camera's flash by selecting the Flash command under the Camera menu. After picking a flash mode, press the Disp button on the four-way button to see the flash intensity slider bar, which allows for 1/2-step adjustments between -2 and +2.
You can open the popup flash using the button shown here in the lower right corner of the photo.
As is found with many Samsung cameras, the NX30 has a very impressive touch screen display, making use of AMOLED technology. The 3.0-inch articulated screen can twist and swivel away from the camera body, making it easy to shoot odd angle photos.
The touch screen display is very responsive, which helps make the NX30 one of the easier interchangeable lens cameras to use. Images on the screen are very sharp, thanks to the AMOLED screen's 1.037 million pixels of resolution. You can adjust the brightness setting by choosing one of five levels.
Samsung gave the NX30 an innovative design of its electronic viewfinder. The viewfinder housing pulls outward away from the camera body and then can be tilted upward, giving you the ability to look through the viewfinder at up to an 80-degree angle to the scene.
The EVF is extremely bright, which isn't always the case with electronic viewfinders. As you lift the camera to your eye, the EVF will automatically turn on while blanking the display screen. And as you lower the camera from your eye, the primary display screen turns on again.
This photo shows the viewfinder at the maximum 80-degree upward tilt. Although this tiltable EVF may seem like an overkill in the design of the Samsung NX30 -- after all this camera already has an articulated display screen that makes odd angle photos relatively easy to shoot -- if you're shooting with a tripod in a spot where you can't use the display screen, having the ability to use a tiltable EVF is a nice option.
The hot shoe is visible in this photo, shown with two silver brackets just above the viewfinder.
Samsung designed the NX30 with a large right-hand grip, which makes it very easy to hold and use this camera. However, the large grip does extend the thickness of this interchangeable lens camera versus some other mirrorless options.
At the top edge of the hand grip on the top panel of the camera is the power switch surrounding the shutter button. To the right are two buttons, the metering button on the top, which acts as a shortcut to the camera's metering function, and the Direct Link button, which activates the camera's primary Wi-Fi feature.
Below the shutter button is the command dial, which allows you to move through menu commands quickly as you spin it. You also can adjust the aperture value or shutter speed using this dial in certain shooting modes. When in Playback mode, spin the command dial to the left to see a thumbnail grid of stored images or spin it to the right to magnify the image on the screen.
The mode dial contains 10 different settings options. The option on the mode dial that's lined up with the white mark is currently active. The mode dial options are:
- Auto - Smart Auto mode
- P - Program
- A - Aperture Priority
- S - Shutter Priority
- M - Manual
- C1 - Custom 1
- C2 - Custom 2
- i - Lens priority mode
- S (inside camera icon) - Smart mode
- Wi-Fi - Connect to wireless network
To the right of the mode dial is the drive switch, which allows you to change between single-shot and continuous-shot modes. Having a dedicated switch is a great option for those who often switch between drive modes. The options are:
- Single - One box
- Continuous - Multiple boxes
- Self-Timer - Clock icon
- Bracketing - BKT
You also can see the movie recording button (with a red dot on it) in this photo.
The hot shoe is along the top panel as well, located to the left of the mode dial. Attach an external flash or other accessory through the NX30's hot shoe to expand the camera's feature set. The hot shoe contains a plastic cover that you'll have to slide out of place before using the hot shoe.
The right side of the back panel of the Samsung NX30 has a variety of control buttons. At the top right you can see the movie recording button, which is where you start and stop video recording.
Along the upper left is the EV adjustment button, with the AEL (adjusted exposure lock) button just below it. When in Playback mode, the AEL button works to mark a photo for protection from deletion.
Just above the four-way ring are the Menu button on the left and the Fn button on the right. The Fn button offers a shortcut to a graphical representation of the camera's settings, where each setting is listed in a grid. You then can use the touch screen to make changes to the settings, which is a great feature for changing multiple settings in a short amount of time.
The four-way ring spins, allowing you to move quickly through a set of commands or through a set of stored photos. Pressing the edges of the ring allows you to open a popup shortcut menu on the screen to change the settings for for the associated feature:
- DISP - Change data displayed on screen
- AF - Change autofocus mode
- ISO - Change ISO setting
- WB - Change white balance setting
Inside the four-way button is the OK button, which is used to make selections within the menus. You also can use this OK button in advanced shooting modes to expand or shrink the area that will be used as the autofocus area.
Along the bottom of the right side of the back panel, you'll see the Playback button on the left and the Delete button on the right. While the Delete button will send images to the trash in Playback mode, when you're in a shooting mode you can assign a specific function to this button by using the on-screen menus.