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.
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.
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.
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.
|Samsung NX1||139 mm||102 mm||66 mm||550 g||500||Y||Sep 2014||1,499|
|Samsung NX500||120 mm||64 mm||43 mm||287 g||370||n||Feb 2015||799|
|Canon M3||111 mm||68 mm||44 mm||366 g||250||n||Feb 2015||679|
|Fujifilm X-Pro2||141 mm||83 mm||46 mm||495 g||350||Y||Jan 2016||1,699|
|Fujifilm X-T2||133 mm||92 mm||49 mm||507 g||340||Y||Jul 2016||1,599|
|Leica Q Typ 116||130 mm||80 mm||93 mm||640 g||300||n||Jun 2015||4,249|
|Leica SL||147 mm||104 mm||39 mm||847 g||400||Y||Oct 2015||7,450|
|Nikon D5600||124 mm||97 mm||70 mm||465 g||970||n||Nov 2016||699|
|Nikon D5500||124 mm||97 mm||70 mm||420 g||820||n||Jan 2015||899|
|Nikon D7200||136 mm||107 mm||76 mm||765 g||1110||Y||Mar 2015||1,199|
|Panasonic GH4||133 mm||93 mm||84 mm||560 g||500||Y||Feb 2014||1,499|
|Ricoh GR II||117 mm||63 mm||35 mm||251 g||320||n||Jun 2015||699|
|Sony A6500||120 mm||67 mm||53 mm||453 g||350||Y||Oct 2016||1,399|
|Sony RX10 II||129 mm||88 mm||102 mm||813 g||400||Y||Jun 2015||1,299|
|Sony A6000||120 mm||67 mm||45 mm||344 g||360||n||Feb 2014||599|
|Sony A7||127 mm||94 mm||48 mm||474 g||340||Y||Oct 2013||1,699|
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.
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.
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.
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.
|Leica Q Typ 116||Full Frame||24.0||6000||4000||1080/60p||24.3||12.7||2221||85|
|Leica SL||Full Frame||24.0||6000||4000||4K/30p||25.0||13.4||1821||88|
|Panasonic GH4||Four Thirds||15.9||4608||3456||4K/30p||23.2||12.8||791||74|
|Ricoh GR II||APS-C||16.1||4928||3264||1080/30p||23.6||13.7||1078||80|
|Sony RX10 II||1-inch||20.0||5472||3648||4K/30p||23.0||12.6||531||70|
|Sony A7||Full Frame||24.0||6000||4000||1080/60p||24.8||14.2||2248||90|
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).
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.
|Leica Q Typ 116||3680||n||3.0||1040||fixed||Y||1/2000s||10.0||n||Y|
|Ricoh GR II||optional||n||3.0||1230||fixed||n||1/4000s||4.0||Y||n|
|Sony RX10 II||2359||Y||3.0||1229||tilting||n||1/3200s||14.0||Y||Y|
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.
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.
| WiFi |
|Leica Q Typ 116||Y||stereo||mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||Y||-|
|Ricoh GR II||Y||stereo||mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||Y||-|
|Sony RX10 II||Y||stereo||mono||Y||Y||micro||2.0||Y||Y||-|
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.
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.
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.
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.
|Samsung NX1||..||87/100||5/5||4.5/5||5/5||Sep 2014||1,499|
|Samsung NX500||..||81/100||5/5||4.5/5||4.5/5||Feb 2015||799|
|Canon M3||o||75/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||4/5||Feb 2015||679|
|Fujifilm X-Pro2||+||83/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||4.5/5||Jan 2016||1,699|
|Fujifilm X-T2||+ +||86/100||4.5/5||5/5||5/5||Jul 2016||1,599|
|Leica Q Typ 116||..||80/100||4.5/5||..||4.5/5||Jun 2015||4,249|
|Leica SL||..||84/100||4.5/5||4/5||4/5||Oct 2015||7,450|
|Nikon D5600||..||79/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||4/5||Nov 2016||699|
|Nikon D5500||+||79/100||4.5/5||5/5||4.5/5||Jan 2015||899|
|Nikon D7200||+ +||84/100||4.5/5||4/5||4.5/5||Mar 2015||1,199|
|Panasonic GH4||+ +||85/100||5/5||5/5||5/5||Feb 2014||1,499|
|Ricoh GR II||..||..||4.5/5||4.5/5||4.5/5||Jun 2015||699|
|Sony A6500||+ +||85/100||4.5/5||5/5||4.5/5||Oct 2016||1,399|
|Sony RX10 II||+ +||82/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||4/5||Jun 2015||1,299|
|Sony A6000||+||80/100||4.5/5||5/5||5/5||Feb 2014||599|
|Sony A7||+ +||80/100||5/5||4.5/5||5/5||Oct 2013||1,699|
|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.
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.
- Canon G7 X Mark II vs Samsung NX500
- Canon RP vs Samsung NX1
- Canon SX420 vs Samsung NX500
- Canon SX50 vs Samsung NX500
- Leica M10 vs Samsung NX1
- Leica V-LUX 1 vs Samsung NX500
- Nikon D3 vs Samsung NX1
- Nikon D3400 vs Samsung NX500
- Olympus E-P5 vs Samsung NX1
- Panasonic S1 vs Samsung NX1
- Panasonic ZS80 vs Samsung NX1
- Samsung NX500 vs Sony RX10
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 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 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|
|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 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|
|Shooting Specs||Samsung NX1||Samsung NX500|
|Focus System||On-Sensor Phase-detect||On-Sensor Phase-detect|
|Manual Focusing Aid||Focus Peaking||Focus Peaking|
|Max Shutter Speed (mechanical)||1/8000s||1/6000s|
|Continuous Shooting||15 shutter flaps/s||9 shutter flaps/s|
|Time-Lapse Photography||Intervalometer built-in||Intervalometer 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|
|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 Sealing||Weathersealed body||not weather sealed|
|Battery Life (CIPA)||500 shots per charge||370 shots per charge|
|In-Camera Charging||USB charging||USB charging|
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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