Samsung NX500 Review

Samsung NX500 review
The tiltable, touch screen LCD is of a very high quality. Samsung

The Bottom Line

Those seeking to migrate from a point and shoot camera toward a more advanced camera typically will consider the best entry level DSLR cameras. But if you'd like to maintain the slim camera body you enjoyed with a basic camera, consider a mirrorless interchangeable lens camera (ILC). This Samsung NX500 review shows a great option for those seeking a mirrorless ILC as a first advanced model.

The NX500 is extremely easy to use, and it provides high-end image quality in both Program mode and full Auto mode. It includes a touch screen LCD that measures 3.0 inches diagonally. The screen also tilts 180 degrees to allow for selfies, and it's a high-resolution display screen with more than 1 million pixels. Having a great display screen is important for the NX500 because it has no viewfinder option.

With a starting price of slightly less than $800, the Samsung NX500 has a higher price point than entry level DSLR and mirrorless cameras. But at 28.2 megapixels of resolution, it also can outperform many of those entry level cameras in terms of resolution. If you don't mind paying a little more for this camera versus other entry-level models, the NX500 will give you outstanding image quality, while remaining fun and easy to use.


  • Resolution: 28.2 megapixels
  • Optical zoom: N/A, uses interchangeable lenses
  • LCD: 3.0-inch, 1,036,000 pixels, touch screen, tiltable
  • Maximum image size: 6840 x 4320 pixels
  • Battery: Rechargeable Li-Ion
  • Dimensions: 4.7 x 2.5 x 1.7 inches
  • Weight: 1 pound (with battery and memory card)
  • Image sensor: BSI CMOS APS-C, 23.5 x 15.7 mm
  • Movie mode: 4K or 1080p HD


  • Camera performs well in both Program mode and fully Auto mode
  • 3.0-inch touch screen, tiltable LCD is of an outstanding quality
  • Can record either 4K or full HD video
  • Very high pixel count in APS-C sized image sensor results in very good image quality
  • Plenty of lens options with NX lens mount


  • Some slight shutter lag is noticeable
  • Must purchase external battery charger if you want to charge battery outside of the camera
  • Battery life could be better
  • No viewfinder
  • No built-in flash unit

Image Quality

The Samsung NX500's APS-C sized image sensor is comparable in size to the sensor found in DSLR cameras like the Canon Rebel T5i or the Nikon D3300. (All camera makers who provide cameras with APS-C sized image sensors offer slightly different physical sizes.)

With 28.2 megapixels of resolution in the image sensor, the Samsung NX500 is going to provide higher resolution images than most cameras with APS-C sized image sensors. A higher pixel count doesn't necessarily guarantee greater image quality in every camera, but the NX500 is able to make the most of its pixel count in terms of high-end image quality.

Samsung did not include a built-in flash with this unit, but the NX500 ships with a tiny external flash unit that you'll attach to the hot shoe. Although the external flash unit performs well, it would be handy to have a popup flash option with the NX500. 

When shooting in low light without the flash unit, you'll find that you can increase the ISO setting to 1600 or 3200 before you begin to notice noise in your images. The Samsung NX500 is an especially strong camera when it comes to shooting portraits in low light.

Recording movies with the Samsung NX500 is easy, thanks to a dedicated movie button. And you'll have the option of shooting in either 4K video resolution or full HD video resolution. And unlike some other cameras that are offering 4K video resolution, you can shoot at a frame rate of up to 30 fps with the NX500, rather than the 15 fps of 4K video that some mirrorless cameras are limited to, such as the Nikon 1 J5


In terms of its performance speeds, the Samsung NX500 is about average versus others in its price range. It requires nearly 2 seconds to record its first picture after pressing the power button. And you will notice a slight shutter lag with this camera. It has less than half a second of shutter lag, but it could cause you to miss the occasional spontaneous photo.

You'll have some versatility in the burst mode options you can use with the Samsung NX500, where you can shoot at 10, 15, or 30 frames per second.


Once of the best aspects of having a mirrorless ILC is its thin and lightweight camera design. Even with the lens attached and the battery inserted, the Samsung NX500 only weighs 1 pound, which is lighter than DSLR style cameras. The camera body is thin before you attach an NX lens, but it does offer a right-hand grip that makes it easier to hold the camera comfortably.

The NX500 is very easy to use, in large part because of the high quality 3.0-inch LCD screen that makes this model one of the best touchscreen cameras on the market. One benefit of a touch screen camera is that it's easier to learn to use, which makes the NX500 a great option for those seeking an advanced camera for the first time. Samsung also does a great job in developing its menu layouts for touch screen cameras, further simplifying usage of the NX500.

Additionally, the LCD screen can tilt up to 180 degrees, allowing you to make the LCD face the front so you can shoot selfies more easily.

Unfortunately, Samsung chose not to give the NX500 a viewfinder, which is a feature many photographers would like to see in their cameras at this price point.

Samsung gave the NX500 both NFC and Wi-Fi compatibility, which would be more beneficial to use if the camera's battery life was better.