5 Stars By Vioxx on 2015-03-19
I've been playing with the camera for a few hours now, and here are some thoughts:
Crazy fast start-up time. You can take a photo within 1 second of powering the camera on. Nice feel, sits comfortably in my hands and I like how the shutter button is on a sloped angle, makes it much more natural to take the photo. The touchscreen, as we've come to expect from Samsung, is slick and very responsive. Very sharp screen, and it's an articulating screen which should please the selfie nuts. The included 16-50 power zoom lens seems like it's very good quality. It's mostly metal and had some weight on it, which is usually a good sign for an electronic product.
The several different "smart" photo options are great too. Rich Tones and Panorama are my 2 favorites so far, the waterfall one is very nice too (make sure you're using a tripod for that setting though). Onboard editing of pictures is great and very easy to do, and sharing images right to facebook or your cell phone couldn't possibly be any easier.
I previously owned the NX2000 and I feel, so far, that this camera is a very nice step forward in technology. A lot of the gripes about this camera will be directed towards the 4k crop video recording and the lac of a mic, since I have a Hero4 and don't intend to shoot video with this that doesn't really bother me at all. A reviewer below me gave the camera a mediocre review based on the "fact" that this camera has the same CPU as the NX1, which is false. This uses the Drime Vs CPU instead of the Drime V in the NX1. It's a scaled down version. If the Drime V was in the NX500 the camera would overheat in minutes, especially whilst recording 4k. It's a compact camera people, the technology simply isn't there yet for true 4k recording. The 60fps in 1080p does look incredibly sharp, for what it's worth. Videophiles will not be pleased with this camera (nor any compact for that matter) and that's just how it's going to be until technology advances.
I slapped my 30mm pancake lens on and shot a few photos, one is attached. I'm a mountaineer and look forward to some epic landscape shots with this camera and will update this review after the next time I climb. So far I'm quite impressed with the few pictures I have taken.
No hotshoe cover. My NX2000 came with a little plastic piece that went into the hotshoe slot to protect it when I wasn't using flash. The NX500 doesn't come with that and just sits naked.
Odd spot for the recording button, took me a couple minutes to find it.
Nothing major outside of these minor issues.
Overall I'm very pleased so far and look forward to using it in the mountains ASAP
5 Stars By Max Yuryev on 2015-06-29
Excellent compact camera for the money!
To start off I'm a Pro wedding/portrait photographer for over 4 years, as well as a filmmaker (weddings/business promo films) for 3. I'm also a camera enthusiast and have owned/used Canon, Nikon, Sony, Panasonic, Olympus, and Samsung. I currently own 2 Samsung NX1's and have used the NX500 for about a month now.
The NX500 is a fantastic camera overall. Its positives greatly outweigh it few negatives. Its impressive that they took their flagship sensor from the NX1 and fit it into this smaller body. The image quality gets very close to full frame cameras and the BSI (back side illuminated) 28MP sensor is fantastic. Raw images are great up to 3200iso where as when I owned 2 full frame Canon 5d Mark2's the max I would go to is 1600 so that very impressive.
The camera is built very well, much better than I thought for the price and I love the layout of the buttons and dials. There are two scroll wheels for your shutter speed and aperture just like on a full size DSLR/mirrorless camera so it makes it easy to use manual mode. If your coming down from fullsize camera or potentially getting on in the future this will give you a very good transition. The screen is the same from the NX1 and one of the very best I've seen. It's really high resolution and very sharp with great colors and viewing angles and the touch screen is very responsive, better than any other cameras touchscreen that I've used.
The 4k video looks fantastic and is almost identical to the flagship NX1. I had to take two 4k stills from the images and zoom in 4x to see just a hair more detail in the NX1 that's double the price. There are a few compromises that had to be made to meet the price point and more so the size of this camera. There's not mic or headphone jack, and there's a crop and rec time limit for 4k video. Instead of offering a EVF they gave us a verticle flip screen which may be a big benefit for you, or a negative depending on your shooting style (I like it).
I have a video review for the NX500 on my youtube channel where I go into detail with testing and examples for both photo and 4k video as well as a detailed comparison of the NX500 with a competitor the Panasonic LX100. Both these videos have links where you can download photo and video samples from the cameras. If your interested just do a search for Max Yuryev NX500 and you'll find them.
If you're interested in a compact camera with interchangeable lenses that takes fantastic images and 4k video I would recommend this camera to you. Samsung's Pancake 30mm F2 lens is a great combo for this camera!
5 Stars By Pauly on 2015-03-20
I take pictures of ultra marathons and mma fights this ...
I take pictures of ultra marathons and mma fights this camera gets really close to my Nikon D810 when it comes to image quality! The new LR6 can edit the raw files. This camera also beats my Sony A6000 when it comes to details and pushing the raw files with DR and just beating them up.
5 Stars By Andrew thelongdivider on 2015-11-01
I just enjoy hiking and keeping the beautiful views with me forever
I begin this post as many do, by stating that I am not a professional. I just enjoy hiking and keeping the beautiful views with me forever. For this, this camera is amazing. It's video capabilities are also incredible. I was between this and the sony rx100 mark 4, as both support 4k video and are compact. I settled on the Samsung mostly because the reviews were better, it has an amoled screen, and it happened to be on sale for $600, down from $800.
I included a few pictures with this review, though after amazon processing they will not be representative. Even with kit lens, the photos are phenomenal. I can zoom into them on my computer (4k screen) to about 1/25th the size and everything still looks well detailed. In good lighting, I could not be more happy with this camera. It is a huge step up from any smartphone camera and compares favorably to many DSLRs.
It also supports 4k/UHD movie recording, 1080@60fps, 720@120 fps. The upgrade to the nx1 gets you only 1080@120 fps. These are very nice video formats for a reasonably compact camera. I really enjoy playing back these videos... but...
There are 2 minor issues (for some people). They have implemented the HEVC/h265 video codec into this camera for video recording. One MAJOR advantage to this is that you do not need a 128GB, 200 mbps write speed, SD card to handle recording videos at high resolution. The file sizes are 2x smaller, and are thus more easily able to be written to something like a 45 mbps write SD card. The disadvantage is that it is not totally prevalent yet. My high end desktop is able to play the files back with ~50% CPU usage of 8 threads, and some GPU acceleration. The most modern graphics cards have dedicated decoders for this codec, but my 2 radeon r9 280x do not... It may require an update to view the files or converting them (long) to h264 if you are using a laptop...
The second disadvantage is that the video recorded above 4k is cropped (4k is about 1.6 crop factor, and UHD about 1.77). This just makes it slightly harder to record, and may require taking a sample video to line things up or cut the beginning of a video in post to account for adjustment. Many people complain about this, but I'm really okay with it. If you are not, record at 1080@60 and enjoy crispy video (especially if you plan to upload to youtube or facebook or whatever, as the compression is so high that the gains of 4k won't be noticed). I prefer to deal with the crop on the other hand, as the video is noticeably more detailed from my testing.
Overall, I'm very satisfied with my purchase, and hope more interested buyers can catch it on sale for $597.98 :)
1 Stars By Rene Vincit on 2017-10-25
DON NOT PURCHASE IF YOU ARE SERIOUS ABOUT PHOTO/VIDEO production
I started off as an amateur travel photographer needing something compact with great strong features.
Which, don't get me wrong, it take beautiful pictures, I've shot weddings, landscape, portrait, macro, street photography with great success.
At the time, I had no mentoring in the field, had I known then what I know now, I would have not invested the amount of money I did in this system.
Purchasing a camera with interchangeable lenses is an investment. Whether, you plan on making a career out of it or just for fun. I say this because each lens will yield different results, you make start out as a street photographer but soon after may desire to expand your creativity.
Lenses are not cheap. Some are over priced like most of the samsung lenses. The only lens that is worth mentioning is the movie pro 50-150mm S lens, which at $1,300 it better be good. Unfortunately, good stopped there, after all the praise for this camera settled down. Samsung made an unexpected decision to begin exiting the camera market since the launch of the NX500 they have only released one other version the NX3300. Which is practically its cuter younger brother, but the fun stops there. I say that because again samsung has no plans to invest money into better lenses for their camera bodies. The Samsung website doesn't even have a dedicated camera link. Their focus is now cell phones and improving the cameras they come equipped with. Latest update I read has called out samsung for pulling out their camera division out of Australia and a couple other countries. With all that said here are the necessary pros and cons for any level photographer.
Sturdy heavy build (survived a wave on the beach the body did at least)
Lenses are quiet
Touch Screen is very responsive
built in wi-fi/bluetooth NFC come in handy
Great for action photos
Im not a fan of filters but they are nice if you want to post something quickly
Video quality is great....with the $1300 lens
-The AMOLED screen is practically black in daylight. Even at its brightest I have to put my hand over it and squint.
-The availability of quality lenses
-Samsung does not keep up with firmware or App Updates. There has been 1 firmware update since 2014 and one app date only because customers were livid as was I that the new app updates didn't work with the phone software rendering the apps useless. The apps themselves appear archaic and are slow and buggy and I need to have like 2 or 3 apps installed to make one work I don't even know I gave up on that feature.
-I HAVE TO PUT THIS IN ALL CAPS BECAUSE IT HAS TO BE THE ABSOLUTE BIGGEST FLAW ANY CAMERA COMPANY COULD EVER MAKE FOR A CAMERA OF THIS DEGREE.....
NO AUDIO INPUT JACK! NO USB AUDIO INPUT! NO EXTERNAL HOT SHOE MIC ON THE MARKET IS COMPATIBLE! The only mic that works with this camera is the built in one which sits on the top, you know that spot you breath into when you are shooting. The audio quality of the mic is not great, at all. So if you plan on shooting video DO NOT BUY THIS CAM because you will have to record the audio on a different device than add it in post production. HAVE FUN WITH THAT.
ALSO, I bought this same bundle in 2015 for $700 ON AMAZON LOL, the body alone is now worth maybe 300.....Im confused at the audacious price listed here.
Conclusion, don't waste your money NOT EVEN IF YOU ARE GIFTING IT TO SOMEONE YOU HATE.
Stick to the big 3, NIKON, CANNON, and now Sony which is on the rise and they are fully invested in there products i.e. the sony AS7....
5 Stars By Z. Wagner on 2015-05-09
Samsung brings the goods
I'll try to make this short. I don't want to go on and on here. But I did want to get my rating in here for this camera, and some general thoughts if it helps others.
First, if you are coming from another NX camera, or even more specifically an NX300, this camera will feel incredibly familiar. Basically the body is the NX300 body with some small tweaks to improve handling/feel. This is no bad thing. The 300 felt great in my hand, and the 500 feels better. The sloping panel for the shutter button is a nice improvement. Overall, if you like what Samsung is going for with their NX line, this will not disappoint and is surely their best iteration to date as far as handling. Buttons are laid out intuitively, the screen moves easily but stays in place; I'm sure a lot of people don't know want to admit it, but Samsung knows how to make a well-functioning camera that makes sense.
This continues into the menu system, which is easily one of the best mirrorless menu systems on the market. It blows Olympus and Panasonic away, and makes Sony look like sheer lunacy. It's even better than Fuji in this respect. Very easy, very intuitive, simplistic yet deep. Samsung owners will already know and appreciate what I'm saying, but newbies, I say this to you: this is one of the easiest cameras to use right from the outset with little to no knowledge.
The AF system. Yes, it is fast. Very fast. Is it faster than the latest micro four thirds cameras, the Sony A6000, and the Fuji X-T1? I think it depends. For moving subjects (speaking strictly of mirrorless systems), this is simply one of the best systems you can buy. I've not used the A6000, though I read that it is very good as well. I have used some of the latest micro four thirds gear, and the Fuji X-T1, and it is better than them. For single shot AF, really it's a toss-up. MFT is very fast at this point for single subject acquisition. I would say the latest MFT cams are probably faster overall in this arena but the lens you are using, and the lighting at the moment, etc, really has a lot to do with how any camera performs. While the Samsung AF is rated very well in dim light, I find it does struggle as the light goes away (but this really is true for all mirrorless systems). What I will say is this: for moving subjects this is one of the best mirrorless AF systems you can buy, and for single subject acquisition it is among the best. So really there's not much bad to say here. Could it be better? Of course. But we really are seeing now that mirrorless cameras are going to compete with the best DSLRS in the realm of continuous focusing, period. It's already happening to some extent.
The sensor. Is fantastic. If you believe DxO Mark, it's one of the best APS-C sensor cameras in existence. I've read some people saying that it should have been much better, with the BSI technology, etc. But I think for increasing the resolution as Samsung has while still besting basically everyone else with a similar sensor size, Samsung gets a gold star. Sony's a tough nut to crack sensor-wise these days, and Samsung is truly competing now; there really is nothing bad to say here.
In the real world, I've had fantastic results. I've seen great dynamic range capability, and really low noise, especially at low ISOs, which is commendable for the resolution increase. As you get up around 3200, things will start to even out and here Samsung pulls about even with a lot of APS-C competitors. But up to 3200, it really does best most everyone else. The haters can say what they like; Samsung is finally a player in sensor quality. Period.
The screen is beautiful, and the touch screen works pretty much as well as your modern smartphone. In fact, some touch implementations are genius, like the ability to touch for focus and then touch another area for exposure. In bright light you might have some trouble, but with the brightness up on the screen, it works pretty well for me; I haven't had many issues seeing the screen.
Wifi is fantastic, connects quickly, works intuitively, very good. I don't use it much, but I've liked what I've seen.
What sucks? Anything? Yes. The buffer. I'm sure this sounds like a broken record at this point from other reviewers, but it really does suck. Horrid. For raw I think I was getting about 6-7 shots before slow down. This is pathetic, and in many ways negates the fantastic continuous AF ability because why would you use it for sports/action when the buffer sucks so bad anyway? You really wouldn't. I'm hoping the buffer can be improved with a firmware update, but I think if we do see an increase it will likely be minimal. I don't really get the logic on this one either... makes very little sense to me.
No viewfinder. So what? Who cares? People who want a viewfinder simply won't buy this camera. I'm not one of those, so I did. It's a silly thing to complain about. You want a camera this size with a viewfinder? Great, there are other options. I personally love it. Would I be sad if it HAD a finder? It would depend on how the implementation changed the body, both in size and shape. But in general it's never bad to have more stuff! Am I going to slit my wrists because it's not there? Hardly.
The kit lens. Is fine. It's nice and compact, which is great. Build quality is fine, but not fantastic. I love the iFunction buttons on Samsung lenses. For a kit lens it's relatively sharp, and certainly has a usable range. I think it's a good starting/walk-around lens. But I only used it for a little while before I sold it and picked up a prime. But for a kit lens, it's certainly a worthy offering.
Sorry, I'm not much of a video guy. If I was, I'd be pretty saddened by the crop when shooting 4k, for sure. So perhaps that's an issue for you. And maybe there are other issues as well. Sorry I can't speak better to this aspect.
In the end, I could probably go with a 4.5 for this camera, because of the asinine buffer. But I'll give it the 5 instead of the 4 just because the sheer enjoyment of using the camera helps push it back up there. Obviously this camera/manufacturer isn't for everyone, but Samsung truly has done a fantastic job 'catching up' to the competition and in some ways surpassing them, which is really great to see. It's never a bad thing to have more options, and Samsung is finally a worthy option; in fact a great one. The lens line needs work, but they are addressing this as well with new pro lenses. It's a great time to be a photographer, it truly is. So many manufacturers are making fantastic products that you really can't lose with any system at this point.
5 Stars By US medstudent on 2015-12-08
Be sure to check the firmware!
This is a great camera, should work quite well for the average user. Features and function will remind you of a smartphone. The picture quality is great. Watch some review videos on youtube to see side by side comparison with higher end cameras. A pro will use a pro camera, but a pro will expect to pay more for equipment. The average person will do great with this one though.
The build quality is really nice. It's small enough to be easily portable, but is big enough you will notice it, unlike the entry level point and shoot cameras. The picture quality and experience is so far and above the cheap cameras you will not mind the extra bulk. The next model needs a built in flash, but this one is easily removed however.
My favorite feature is the slick wifi sharing. So simple to distribute pics to others and even cooler is the ease in putting right up on my tv.
I read many reviews and the pros complained about the video mostly. The 4k is cropped and takes a convertor to get into the files. They also downed it for lack of a mic jack and no view finder. I have a nice video camera and these things were not important to me, but might be for some. The screen works well for me so no EVF does not bother me either.
My biggest gripe is it was shipped with version 1.0 firmware. My bad for not checking it first thing, I feel dumb for missing that. Surprisingly BTA-MALL has stock in December dating to before June when the first update came out. Another minor one was released in November. The low light pics were so bad initially I almost returned this jewel. Functionality increased as well, since several more fine tuning options show up with the newer firmware.
I suggest using the Multipoint Auto Focus setting. There some other pro tips floating around on dpreview and some photog sites that might be worth checking out. Just google nx500 tips.
3 Stars By Tim Golden on 2016-01-11
Good pictures, but a little buggy
I got this for a trip to Europe. I didn't want to haul around my huge Canon 5d mk3, but I wanted something a little better than my iPhone. I got this based on all the amazing reviews for Samsung's NX1, since this little guy shares the same sensor and many of the features. Overall I had a good experience, but I kept running into issues with the camera freezing up and the only way to fix it was to remove the battery. I know this happens from time to time on cameras, especially ones that have this many software features, but it was more than once a day for me. Also the kit lens while a great focal length, small, light, and perfect for travel had pretty mediocre performance. Not very sharp, and terrible chromatic aberration. A lot of that can be fixed in software though so I still got some great pics from it. The problem is for the price, you could probably find a point and shoot with better optics from sony or some other brand. To get better optics, you have to upgrade to a bigger more expensive lens, and then you loose the portability which is really this camera's selling point. At that point, just get the NX1, or some other, bigger mirrorless camera.
Overall a great little camera, and if the price keeps dropping, then you can always skip the kit lens and go for something a little nicer.
3 Stars By GH on 2016-05-23
NX500: 5stars for Stills; ONE star for Video.....PICS & VIDEO GREAT. BAD lowlight focusing & BAD ZOOM NOISE!
I give the NX500 4.5 stars for still photos......Excellent in most situations. Love the quick touch focus. BUT (Big BUT) I give the Samsung NX500 ONE star for video. I'm having trouble with shooting video with the NX500, especially when shooting in 4K...I get very slight horizontal and vertical wavy type lines on anything that has vertical and horizontal lines (examples are buildings, street grates, even the wooden planks on Coney Islands boardwalk)...I've tried filming on auto, and some different shutter speeds on manual. Still slight wavy lines. I use a Sandisk extreme PRO 32gb UHS-1/U3 SDHC flash memory card (writes up to 95mb/s) I'm assuming the card can handle 4k (Am I wrong? Is there a better faster card than the above?) Also when filming the zoom is nosey when coming back from tele to wide. (It is NOT nosey when zooming back (from tele to wide when shooting still photos--go figure?) I don't get the wavy lines when filming in 1920 HD but my last video in HD I noticed a modest fluctuation in lighting on what was a steady cloudy overcast day. Since I am not a videographer, and I love this cameras still photography capabilities, I'm going to try to solve whether it's me or the cameras fault for the video short comings....If I can't find out what is causing the video problems in another month I'll call Samsung and see what they say (whether I should try different settings or send it back for repair) I'll try to update in a month or too my findings. Hope this review helps.
5 Stars By adam stielstra on 2016-04-21
Tested and Satisfied
Incredible little camera with a BIG punch. To test this, I was recently working in Ecuador and the Galapagos islands on a video and stills assignment.
I used several cameras and lens' but always kept this one with me. It's small enough to take anywhere and the still images I got at full RAW res 28.9mg pixel were stunning. The camera does shoot on the saturated side, even in its default RAW. So you may want to tone down those colors in post. I brought the standard lens 16-50mm and a 10mm for shooting wide video (it's a fish-eye while shooting stills). Due to the cropping from the amazing but smaller sensor, a 10mm is the perfect WIDE lens while the standard zoom was great for stills and most video. With the option to shoot true 4K, Ultra HD, HD 1080, and HD 720, an intervalometer, and varied frame rates for slow motion, and quality glass, I am completely impressed and found myself defaulting to it at times when I had my 5D Mk III around my neck. I still prefer the full 35mm sensor with the shallower depth of field, but the Samsung had some great looks selective focus was still quite nice. For the price, and for a static B Roll 4K camera, this Samsung is excellent and the price is right.