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Samsung NX1 vs NX500

The Samsung NX1 and the Samsung NX500 are two digital cameras that were revealed to the public, respectively, in September 2014 and February 2015. Both the NX1 and the NX500 are mirrorless interchangeable lens cameras that are equipped with an APS-C sensor. Both cameras offer a resolution of 28 megapixels.

Below is an overview of the main specs of the two cameras as a starting point for the comparison.

Headline Specifications
Samsung NX1 versus Samsung NX500
Samsung NX1 Samsung NX500
Mirrorless system camera Mirrorless system camera
Samsung NX mount lenses Samsung NX mount lenses
28 MP, APS-C Sensor 28 MP, APS-C Sensor
4K/30p Video 4K/30p Video
ISO 100-25,600 (100 - 51,200) ISO 100-25,600 (100 - 51,200)
Electronic viewfinder (2360k dots) No viewfinder, LCD framing
3.0 LCD, 1036k dots 3.0 LCD, 1036k dots
Tilting touchscreen Tilting touchscreen
15 shutter flaps per second 9 shutter flaps per second
Weathersealed bodynot weather sealed
500 shots per battery charge370 shots per battery charge
139 x 102 x 66 mm, 550 g 120 x 64 x 43 mm, 287 g

Going beyond this snapshot of core features and characteristics, what are the differences between the Samsung NX1 and the Samsung NX500? Which one should you buy? Read on to find out how these two cameras compare with respect to their body size, their imaging sensors, their shooting features, their input-output connections, and their reception by expert reviewers.

Body comparison

The side-by-side display below illustrates the physical size and weight of the Samsung NX1 and the Samsung NX500. The two cameras are presented according to their relative size. Three successive views from the front, the top, and the rear are shown. All size dimensions are rounded to the nearest millimeter.

Size Samsung NX1 vs Samsung NX500
Compare NX1 versus NX500 top
Comparison NX1 or NX500 rear

If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Samsung NX500 is considerably smaller (46 percent) than the Samsung NX1. Moreover, the NX500 is substantially lighter (48 percent) than the NX1. It is worth mentioning in this context that the NX1 is splash and dust resistant, while the NX500 does not feature any corresponding weather-sealing.

The above size and weight comparisons are to some extent incomplete since they do not consider the interchangeable lenses that both of these cameras require. Hence, you might want to study and compare the specifications of available lenses in order to get the full picture of the size and weight of the two camera systems.

The battery packs of both cameras can be charged via USB, which can be very convenient when travelling.

The following table provides a synthesis of the main physical specifications of the two cameras and other similar ones. In case you want to display and compare another camera duo, just click on the right or left arrow next to the camera that you would like to inspect. Alternatively, you can also use the CAM-parator to select your camera combination among a larger number of options.

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Body Specifications
  Camera
Model
Camera
Width
Camera
Height
Camera
Depth
Camera
Weight
Battery
Life 1
Weather
Sealing
Camera
Launch 2
Launch
Price (USD)
Street
Price
 
Samsung NX1 139 mm 102 mm 66 mm 550 g 500 Y Sep 2014 1,499i
 
Samsung NX500 120 mm 64 mm 43 mm 287 g 370 n Feb 2015 799i
 
Canon M3 111 mm 68 mm 44 mm 366 g 250 n Feb 2015 679i
 
Fujifilm X-Pro2 141 mm 83 mm 46 mm 495 g 350 Y Jan 2016 1,699 i
 
Fujifilm X-T2 133 mm 92 mm 49 mm 507 g 340 Y Jul 2016 1,599i
 
Leica Q Typ 116 130 mm 80 mm 93 mm 640 g 300 n Jun 2015 4,249i
 
Leica SL 147 mm 104 mm 39 mm 847 g 400 Y Oct 2015 7,450i
 
Nikon D5600 124 mm 97 mm 70 mm 465 g 970 n Nov 2016 699 i
 
Nikon D5500 124 mm 97 mm 70 mm 420 g 820 n Jan 2015 899i
 
Nikon D7200 136 mm 107 mm 76 mm 765 g 1110 Y Mar 2015 1,199i
 
Panasonic GH4 133 mm 93 mm 84 mm 560 g 500 Y Feb 2014 1,499i
 
Ricoh GR II 117 mm 63 mm 35 mm 251 g 320 n Jun 2015 699 i
 
Sony A6500 120 mm 67 mm 53 mm 453 g 350 Y Oct 2016 1,399i
 
Sony RX10 II 129 mm 88 mm 102 mm 813 g 400 Y Jun 2015 1,299i
 
Sony A6000 120 mm 67 mm 45 mm 344 g 360 n Feb 2014 599i
 
Sony A7 127 mm 94 mm 48 mm 474 g 340 Y Oct 2013 1,699i
Notes: Measurements and pricing do not include easily detachable parts, such as add-on or interchangeable lenses or optional viewfinders.
(1) Number of images that can be taken on a full battery charge according to the CIPA-standard; (2) Official announcement.

The price is, of course, an important factor in any camera decision. The manufacturer’s suggested retail prices give an idea on the placement of the camera in the maker’s lineup and the broader market. The NX500 was launched at a markedly lower price (by 47 percent) than the NX1, which puts it into a different market segment. Usually, retail prices stay at first close to the launch price, but after several months, discounts become available. Later in the product cycle and, in particular, when the replacement model is about to appear, further discounting and stock clearance sales often push the camera price considerably down.

Sensor comparison

The imaging sensor is at the core of digital cameras and its size is one of the main determining factors of image quality. All other things equal, a large sensor will have larger individual pixel-units that offer better low-light sensitivity, wider dynamic range, and richer color-depth than smaller pixels in a sensor of the same technological generation. Further, a large sensor camera will give the photographer additional creative options when using shallow depth-of-field to isolate a subject from its background. On the downside, larger sensors tend to be more expensive and lead to bigger and heavier cameras and lenses.

Both cameras under consideration feature an APS-C sensor and have a format factor (sometimes also referred to as "crop factor") of 1.5. Within the spectrum of camera sensors, this places the review cameras among the medium-sized sensor cameras that aim to strike a balance between image quality and portability. Both cameras have a native aspect ratio (sensor width to sensor height) of 3:2.

Samsung NX1 and Samsung NX500 sensor measures

The two cameras under review do not only share the same sensor size, but also offer an identical resolution of 28 megapixels. This similarity in sensor specs implies that both the NX1 and the NX500 have the same pixel density, as well as the same pixel size. It should, however, be noted that the NX500 is a somewhat more recent model (by 4 months) than the NX1, and its sensor might have benefitted from technological advances during this time. Coming back to sensor resolution, it should be mentioned that neither of the two cameras has an anti-alias filter installed, so they are able to capture all the detail the sensor resolves.

The Samsung NX1 has a native sensitivity range from ISO 100 to ISO 25600, which can be extended to ISO 100-51200. The Samsung NX500 offers exactly the same ISO settings.

NX1 versus NX500 MP

Consistent information on actual sensor performance is available from DXO Mark for many cameras. This service determines an overall sensor rating, as well as sub-scores for low-light sensitivity ("DXO Sports"), dynamic range ("DXO Landscape"), and color depth ("DXO Portrait"). Of the two cameras under consideration, the NX500 has a markedly higher DXO score than the NX1 (overall score 4 points higher), which will translate into better image quality. The advantage is based on 0.6 bits higher color depth, 0.7 EV in additional dynamic range, and -0 stops in additional low light sensitivity. The adjacent table reports on the physical sensor characteristics and the outcomes of the DXO sensor quality tests for a sample of comparator-cameras.

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Sensor Characteristics
  Camera
Model
Sensor
Class
Resolution
(MP)
Horiz.
Pixels
Vert.
Pixels
Video
Format
DXO
Portrait
DXO
Landscape
DXO
Sports
DXO
Overall
 
Samsung NX1 APS-C 28.0 6480 43204K/30p24.213.2136383
 
Samsung NX500 APS-C 28.0 6480 43204K/30p24.813.9137987
 
Canon M3 APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/30p22.811.8116972
 
Fujifilm X-Pro2 APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/60p........
 
Fujifilm X-T2 APS-C 24.0 6000 40004K/30p........
 
Leica Q Typ 116 Full Frame 24.0 6000 40001080/60p24.312.7222185
 
Leica SL Full Frame 24.0 6000 40004K/30p25.013.4182188
 
Nikon D5600 APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/60p24.114.0130684
 
Nikon D5500 APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/60p24.114.0143884
 
Nikon D7200 APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/60p24.514.6133387
 
Panasonic GH4 Four Thirds 15.9 4608 34564K/30p23.212.879174
 
Ricoh GR II APS-C 16.1 4928 32641080/30p23.613.7107880
 
Sony A6500 APS-C 24.0 6000 40004K/30p24.513.7140585
 
Sony RX10 II 1-inch 20.0 5472 36484K/30p23.012.653170
 
Sony A6000 APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/60p24.113.1134782
 
Sony A7 Full Frame 24.0 6000 40001080/60p24.814.2224890

Many modern cameras are not only capable of taking still images, but also of capturing video footage. Both cameras under consideration are equipped with sensors that have a sufficiently high read-out speed for moving images, and both provide the same movie specifications (4K/30p).

Feature comparison

Apart from body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a variety of features. For example, the NX1 has an electronic viewfinder (2360k dots), which can be very helpful when shooting in bright sunlight. In contrast, the NX500 relies on live view and the rear LCD for framing. The adjacent table lists some of the other core features of the Samsung NX1 and Samsung NX500 along with similar information for a selection of comparators.

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Core Features
  Camera
Model
Viewfinder
(Type or
000 dots)
Control
Panel
(yes/no)
LCD
Size
(inch)
LCD
Resolution
(000 dots)
LCD
Attach-
ment
Touch
Screen
(yes/no)
Mech
Shutter
Speed
Shutter
Flaps
(1/sec)
Built-in
Flash
(yes/no)
Built-in
Image
Stab
 
Samsung NX12360 Y 3.0 1036 tilting Y 1/8000s 15.0 Y n
 
Samsung NX500none n 3.0 1036 tilting Y 1/6000s 9.0 Y n
 
Canon M3optional n 3.0 1040 tilting Y 1/4000s 4.2 Y n
 
Fujifilm X-Pro22360 n 3.0 1620 fixed n 1/8000s 8.0 n n
 
Fujifilm X-T22360 n 3.0 1040 tilting n 1/8000s 8.0 n n
 
Leica Q Typ 1163680 n 3.0 1040 fixed Y 1/2000s 10.0 n Y
 
Leica SL4400 Y 3.0 1040 fixed Y 1/8000s 11.0 n n
 
Nikon D5600optical n 3.2 1037 swivel Y 1/4000s 5.0 Y n
 
Nikon D5500optical n 3.2 1037 swivel Y 1/4000s 5.0 Y n
 
Nikon D7200optical Y 3.2 1229 fixed n 1/8000s 6.0 Y n
 
Panasonic GH42359 n 3.0 1036 swivel Y 1/8000s 12.0 Y n
 
Ricoh GR IIoptional n 3.0 1230 fixed n 1/4000s 4.0 Y n
 
Sony A65002359 n 3.0 922 tilting Y 1/4000s 11.0 Y Y
 
Sony RX10 II2359 Y 3.0 1229 tilting n 1/3200s 14.0 Y Y
 
Sony A60001440 n 3.0 922 tilting n 1/4000s 11.0 Y n
 
Sony A72400 n 3.0 1230 tilting n 1/8000s 5.0 n n

One feature that is present on the NX1, but is missing on the NX500 is a top-level LCD. While being, of course, smaller than the rear screen, the control panel conveys some of the essential shooting information and can be convenient for quick and easy settings verification.

The NX500 has an articulated screen that can be turned to be front-facing. This characteristic will be appreciated by vloggers and photographers who are interested in taking selfies. In contrast, the NX1 does not have a selfie-screen.

The Samsung NX1 and the Samsung NX500 both have an intervalometer built-in. This enables the photographer to capture time lapse sequences, such as flower blooming, a sunset or moon rise, without purchasing an external camera trigger and related software.

Concerning the storage of imaging data, both the NX1 and the NX500 write their files to SDXC cards. The NX1 supports UHS-II cards (on its first slot), while the NX500 can use UHS-I cards.

Connectivity comparison

For some imaging applications, the extent to which a camera can communicate with its environment can be an important aspect in the camera decision process. The table below provides an overview of the connectivity of the Samsung NX1 and Samsung NX500 and, in particular, the interfaces the cameras (and selected comparators) provide for accessory control and data transfer.

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Input-Output Connections
  Camera
Model
Hotshoe
Port
Internal
Microphone
Internal
Speaker
Microphone
Port
Headphone
Port
HDMI
Port
USB
Port
WiFi
Support
NFC
Support
Bluetooth
Support
 
Samsung NX1YstereomonoYYmicro3.0YYY
 
Samsung NX500Ystereomono--micro2.0YYY
 
Canon M3YstereomonoY-mini2.0YY-
 
Fujifilm X-Pro2YstereomonoY-micro2.0Y--
 
Fujifilm X-T2YstereomonoY-micro3.0Y--
 
Leica Q Typ 116Ystereomono--micro2.0YY-
 
Leica SLYstereomonoYYfull3.0Y--
 
Nikon D5600YstereomonoY-mini2.0YYY
 
Nikon D5500YstereomonoY-mini2.0Y--
 
Nikon D7200YstereomonoYYmini2.0YY-
 
Panasonic GH4YstereomonoYYmicro2.0YY-
 
Ricoh GR IIYstereomono--micro2.0YY-
 
Sony A6500YstereomonoY-micro2.0YY-
 
Sony RX10 IIYstereomonoYYmicro2.0YY-
 
Sony A6000Ystereomono--micro2.0YY-
 
Sony A7YstereomonoYYmicro2.0YY-

It is notable that the NX1 has a microphone port, which is missing on the NX500. Such an external microphone input can help to substantially improve the quality of audio recordings when a good external microphone is used.

Both the NX1 and the NX500 have been discontinued, but can regularly be found used on eBay. Neither of the two has a direct successor, so they represent the end of the respective camera lines from Samsung. Further information on the two cameras (e.g. user guides, manuals), as well as related accessories, can be found on the official Samsung website.

Review summary

So what conclusions can be drawn? Is the Samsung NX1 better than the Samsung NX500 or vice versa? The listing below highlights the relative strengths of the two models.


Advantages of the Samsung NX1:

  • Better sound: Can connect to an external microphone for higher quality sound recording.
  • Better sound control: Has a headphone port that enables audio monitoring while recording.
  • Easier framing: Has an electronic viewfinder for image composition and settings control.
  • Easier setting verification: Features an LCD display on top to control shooting parameters.
  • Faster shutter: Has higher mechanical shutter speed (1/8000s vs 1/6000s) to freeze action.
  • Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (15 vs 9 flaps/sec) to capture the decisive moment.
  • Longer lasting: Can take more shots (500 versus 370) on a single battery charge.
  • Better sealing: Is weather sealed to enable shooting in dusty or wet environments.
  • Faster data transfer: Supports a more advanced USB protocol (3.0 vs 2.0).
  • Faster buffer clearing: Supports a more advanced SD data transfer standard (UHS-II vs UHS-I).
  • More heavily discounted: Has been on the market for longer (launched in September 2014).


Arguments in favor of the Samsung NX500:

  • Better image quality: Scores markedly higher (4 points) in the DXO overall evaluation.
  • More dynamic range: Captures a broader range of light and dark details (0.7 EV of extra DR).
  • More selfie-friendly: Has an articulated screen that can be turned to be front-facing.
  • More compact: Is smaller (120x64mm vs 139x102mm) and will fit more readily into a bag.
  • Less heavy: Has a lower weight (by 263g or 48 percent) and is thus easier to take along.
  • More affordable: Was introduced into a lower priced category (47 percent cheaper at launch).
  • More modern: Was introduced somewhat (4 months) more recently.

If the number of relative strengths (bullet points above) is taken as a guide, the NX1 is the clear winner of the match-up (11 : 7 points). However, the pertinence of the various camera strengths will differ across photographers, so that you might want to weigh individual camera traits according to their importance for your own imaging needs before making a camera decision. A professional wedding photographer will view the differences between cameras in a way that diverges from the perspective of a travel photog, and a person interested in cityscapes has distinct needs from a macro shooter. Hence, the decision which camera is best and worth buying is often a very personal one.

NX1 11:07 NX500

How about other alternatives? Do the specifications of the Samsung NX1 and the Samsung NX500 place the cameras among the top in their class? Find out in the latest Best Mirrorless Interchangeable Lens Camera listing whether the two cameras rank among the cream of the crop.

In any case, while the comparison of the spec-sheets of cameras can offer a general idea of their imaging potential, it says little about, for example, the shooting experience and imaging performance of the NX1 and the NX500 in practical situations. At times, user reviews, such as those published at amazon, address these issues in a useful manner, but such feedback is on many occasions incomplete, inconsistent, and unreliable.

Expert reviews

This is why expert reviews are important. The table below provides a synthesis of the camera assessments of some of the best known photo-gear review sites (cameralabs, dpreview, ephotozine, imaging-resource, and photographyblog). As can be seen, the professional reviewers agree in many cases on the quality of different cameras, but sometimes their assessments diverge, reinforcing the earlier point that a camera decision is often a very personal choice.

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Review Scores
  Camera
Model
camera
  labs  
dp
review  
ephoto
  zine  
imaging
resource
photography
  blog  
Camera
Launch
Launch
Price (USD)
Street
Price
 
Samsung NX1..87/1005/54.5/55/5 Sep 2014 1,499i
 
Samsung NX500..81/1005/54.5/54.5/5 Feb 2015 799i
 
Canon M3o75/1004.5/54.5/54/5 Feb 2015 679i
 
Fujifilm X-Pro2+83/1004.5/54.5/54.5/5 Jan 2016 1,699 i
 
Fujifilm X-T2+ +86/1004.5/55/55/5 Jul 2016 1,599i
 
Leica Q Typ 116..80/1004.5/5..4.5/5 Jun 2015 4,249i
 
Leica SL..84/1004.5/54/54/5 Oct 2015 7,450i
 
Nikon D5600..79/1004.5/54.5/54/5 Nov 2016 699 i
 
Nikon D5500+79/1004.5/55/54.5/5 Jan 2015 899i
 
Nikon D7200+ +84/1004.5/54/54.5/5 Mar 2015 1,199i
 
Panasonic GH4+ +85/1005/55/55/5 Feb 2014 1,499i
 
Ricoh GR II....4.5/54.5/54.5/5 Jun 2015 699 i
 
Sony A6500+ +85/1004.5/55/54.5/5 Oct 2016 1,399i
 
Sony RX10 II+ +82/1004.5/54.5/54/5 Jun 2015 1,299i
 
Sony A6000+80/1004.5/55/55/5 Feb 2014 599i
 
Sony A7+ +80/1005/54.5/55/5 Oct 2013 1,699i
Notes: (+ +) highly recommended; (+) recommended; (o) reviewed; (..) not available.

Care should be taken when interpreting the review scores above, though. The ratings were established in reference to similarly priced cameras that were available in the market at the time of the review. Thus, a score needs to be put into the context of the launch date and the launch price of the camera, and rating-comparisons among cameras that span long time periods or concern very differently equipped models make little sense. Also, please note that some of the review sites have changed their methodology and reporting over time.

Samsung NX1:
Check Ebay offers
Samsung NX500:
Check Ebay offers

Other camera comparisons

Did this review help to inform your camera decision process? If you would like to see a different side-by-side camera review, just use the search menu below. There is also a set of direct links to comparison reviews that other users of the CAM-parator app explored.

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    Specifications: Samsung NX1 vs Samsung NX500

    Below is a side-by-side comparison of the specs of the two cameras to facilitate a quick review of their differences and common features.

    Camera Specifications
    Camera Model Samsung NX1 Samsung NX500
    Camera Type Mirrorless system camera Mirrorless system camera
    Camera Lens Samsung NX mount lenses Samsung NX mount lenses
    Launch Date September 2014 February 2015
    Launch Price USD 1,499 USD 799
    Sensor Specs Samsung NX1 Samsung NX500
    Sensor Technology BSI-CMOS BSI-CMOS
    Sensor Format APS-C Sensor APS-C Sensor
    Sensor Size 23.5 x 15.7 mm 23.5 x 15.7 mm
    Sensor Area 368.95 mm2 368.95 mm2
    Sensor Diagonal 28.3 mm 28.3 mm
    Crop Factor 1.5x 1.5x
    Sensor Resolution 28 Megapixels 28 Megapixels
    Image Resolution 6480 x 4320 pixels 6480 x 4320 pixels
    Pixel Pitch 3.63 μm 3.63 μm
    Pixel Density 7.59 MP/cm2 7.59 MP/cm2
    Moiré control no AA filter no AA filter
    Movie Capability 4K/30p Video 4K/30p Video
    ISO Setting 100 - 25,600 ISO 100 - 25,600 ISO
    ISO Boost 100 - 51,200 ISO 100 - 51,200 ISO
    Image Processor DRIMe 5 DRIMe Vs
    DXO Sensor Quality (score) 83 87
    DXO Color Depth (bits) 24.2 24.8
    DXO Dynamic Range (EV) 13.2 13.9
    DXO Low Light (ISO) 1363 1379
    Screen Specs Samsung NX1 Samsung NX500
    Viewfinder Type Electronic viewfinder no viewfinder
    Viewfinder Field of View 100%
    Viewfinder Magnification 0.69x
    Viewfinder Resolution 2360k dots
    Top-Level Screen Control Panel no Top Display
    LCD Framing Live View Live View
    Rear LCD Size 3.0inch 3.0inch
    LCD Resolution 1036k dots 1036k dots
    LCD Attachment Tilting screen Tilting screen
    Touch Input Touchscreen Touchscreen
    Shooting Specs Samsung NX1 Samsung NX500
    Focus System On-Sensor Phase-detect On-Sensor Phase-detect
    Manual Focusing AidFocus PeakingFocus Peaking
    Max Shutter Speed (mechanical) 1/8000s 1/6000s
    Continuous Shooting 15 shutter flaps/s 9 shutter flaps/s
    Time-Lapse PhotographyIntervalometer built-inIntervalometer built-in
    Fill Flash Build-in Flash Build-in Flash
    Storage Medium SDXC cards SDXC cards
    Second Storage Option Single card slot Single card slot
    UHS card support Single UHS-II UHS-I
    Connectivity Specs Samsung NX1 Samsung NX500
    External Flash Hotshoe Hotshoe
    USB Connector USB 3.0 USB 2.0
    HDMI Port micro HDMI micro HDMI
    Microphone Port External MIC port no MIC socket
    Headphone Socket Headphone port no Headphone port
    Wifi Support Wifi built-in Wifi built-in
    Near-Field Communication NFC built-in NFC built-in
    Bluetooth Support Bluetooth built-in Bluetooth built-in
    Body Specs Samsung NX1 Samsung NX500
    Environmental SealingWeathersealed bodynot weather sealed
    Battery Type BP1900 BP1130
    Battery Life (CIPA)500 shots per charge370 shots per charge
    In-Camera Charging USB charging USB charging
    Body Dimensions 139 x 102 x 66 mm
    (5.5 x 4.0 x 2.6 in)
    120 x 64 x 43 mm
    (4.7 x 2.5 x 1.7 in)
    Camera Weight 550 g (19.4 oz) 287 g (10.1 oz)

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