Samsung NX30 vs NX500
The Samsung NX30 and the Samsung NX500 are two digital cameras that were revealed to the public, respectively, in January 2014 and February 2015. Both the NX30 and the NX500 are mirrorless interchangeable lens cameras that are equipped with an APS-C sensor. The NX30 has a resolution of 20 megapixels, whereas the NX500 provides 28 MP.
Below is an overview of the main specs of the two cameras as a starting point for the comparison.
|Samsung NX30||Samsung NX500|
|Mirrorless system camera||Mirrorless system camera|
|Samsung NX mount lenses||Samsung NX mount lenses|
|20 MP, APS-C Sensor||28 MP, APS-C Sensor|
|1080/60p Video||4K/30p Video|
|ISO 100-25600||ISO 100-25600 (100-51200)|
|Electronic viewfinder (2359k dots)||No viewfinder, LCD framing|
|3.0" LCD, 1036k dots||3.0" LCD, 1036k dots|
|Swivel touchscreen||Tilting touchscreen|
|9 shutter flaps per second||9 shutter flaps per second|
|360 shots per battery charge||370 shots per battery charge|
|127 x 96 x 58 mm, 375 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 NX30 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: Samsung NX30 vs NX500
The physical size and weight of the Samsung NX30 and the Samsung NX500 are illustrated in the side-by-side display below. The two cameras are presented according to their relative size. Three successive views from the front, the top, and the rear are shown. All width, height and depth measures 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 (37 percent) than the Samsung NX30. Moreover, the NX500 is markedly lighter (23 percent) than the NX30. In this context, it is worth noting that neither the NX30 nor the NX500 are weather-sealed.
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 NX30»||5.0 in||3.8 in||2.3 in||13.2 oz||360||n||Jan 2014||999||-||Samsung NX30|
|Samsung NX500«||4.7 in||2.5 in||1.7 in||10.1 oz||370||n||Feb 2015||799||-||Samsung NX500|
|Canon M5« »||4.6 in||3.5 in||2.4 in||15.1 oz||295||n||Sep 2016||979||Canon M5|
|Canon M3« »||4.4 in||2.7 in||1.7 in||12.9 oz||250||n||Feb 2015||679||-||Canon M3|
|Canon T6s« »||5.2 in||4.0 in||3.1 in||19.9 oz||440||n||Feb 2015||649||-||Canon T6s|
|Fujifilm X-E3« »||4.8 in||2.9 in||1.7 in||11.9 oz||350||n||Sep 2017||899||Fujifilm X-E3|
|Nikon D5600« »||4.9 in||3.8 in||2.8 in||16.4 oz||970||n||Nov 2016||699||Nikon D5600|
|Nikon D5500« »||4.9 in||3.8 in||2.8 in||14.8 oz||820||n||Jan 2015||899||-||Nikon D5500|
|Nikon D3300« »||4.9 in||3.9 in||3.0 in||15.2 oz||700||n||Jan 2014||499||-||Nikon D3300|
|Ricoh GR II« »||4.6 in||2.5 in||1.4 in||8.9 oz||320||n||Jun 2015||699||Ricoh GR II|
|Sony A6400« »||4.7 in||2.6 in||2.0 in||14.2 oz||410||n||Jan 2019||899||Sony A6400|
|Sony A5100« »||4.3 in||2.5 in||1.4 in||10.0 oz||400||n||Aug 2014||549||Sony A5100|
|Sony A6000« »||4.7 in||2.6 in||1.8 in||12.1 oz||360||n||Feb 2014||599||-||Sony A6000|
|Sony A3000« »||5.0 in||3.6 in||3.3 in||14.5 oz||470||n||Aug 2013||329||-||Sony A3000|
|Note: Measurements and pricing do not include easily detachable parts, such as interchangeable lenses or optional viewfinders.|
Any camera decision will obviously take relative prices into account. The listed launch prices provide an indication of the market segment that the manufacturer of the cameras have been targeting. The NX500 was launched at a somewhat lower price (by 20 percent) than the NX30, which makes it more attractive for photographers on a tight budget. Normally, street prices remain initially close to the MSRP, but after a couple of months, the first discounts appear. 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: Samsung NX30 vs NX500
The size of the sensor inside a digital camera is one of the key determinants of image quality. A large sensor will generally have larger individual pixels that offer better low-light sensitivity, provide wider dynamic range, and have 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.
Technology-wise, the NX500 uses a more advanced image processing engine (DRIMe Vs) than the NX30 (DRIMe IV), with benefits for noise reduction, color accuracy, and processing speed.
While the two cameras under review share the same sensor size, the NX500 offers a higher resolution of 28 megapixels, compared with 20 MP of the NX30. This megapixels advantage translates into a 18 percent gain in linear resolution. On the other hand, these sensor specs imply that the NX500 has a higher pixel density and a smaller size of the individual pixel (with a pixel pitch of 3.63μm versus 4.30μm for the NX30). However, it should be noted that the NX500 is a somewhat more recent model (by 1 year and 1 month) than the NX30, and its sensor might have benefitted from technological advances during this time that at least partly compensate for the smaller pixel size. 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 resolution advantage of the Samsung NX500 implies greater flexibility for cropping images or the possibility to print larger pictures. The maximum print size of the NX500 for good quality output (200 dots per inch) amounts to 32.4 x 21.6 inch or 82.3 x 54.9 cm, for very good quality (250 dpi) 25.9 x 17.3 inch or 65.8 x 43.9 cm, and for excellent quality (300 dpi) 21.6 x 14.4 inch or 54.9 x 36.6 cm. The corresponding values for the Samsung NX30 are 27.4 x 18.2 inch or 69.5 x 46.3 cm for good quality, 21.9 x 14.6 inch or 55.6 x 37.1 cm for very good quality, and 18.2 x 12.2 inch or 46.3 x 30.9 cm for excellent quality prints.
The Samsung NX30 has a native sensitivity range from ISO 100 to ISO 25600. The corresponding ISO settings for the Samsung NX500 are ISO 100 to ISO 25600, with the possibility to increase the ISO range to 100-51200.
For many cameras, data on sensor performance has been reported by DXO Mark. This service assesses and scores the color depth ("DXO Portrait"), dynamic range ("DXO Landscape"), and low-light sensitivity ("DXO Sports") of camera sensors, and also publishes an overall camera score. Of the two cameras under consideration, the NX500 offers substantially better image quality than the NX30 (overall score 11 points higher). The advantage is based on 1.3 bits higher color depth, 1.5 EV in additional dynamic range, and 0.4 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.
|Samsung NX30»||APS-C||20.0||5472||3648||1080/60p||23.5||12.4||1014||76||Samsung NX30|
|Samsung NX500«||APS-C||28.0||6480||4320||4K/30p||24.8||13.9||1379||87||Samsung NX500|
|Canon M5« »||APS-C||24.0||6000||4000||1080/60p||23.4||12.4||1262||77||Canon M5|
|Canon M3« »||APS-C||24.0||6000||4000||1080/30p||22.8||11.8||1169||72||Canon M3|
|Canon T6s« »||APS-C||24.0||6000||4000||1080/30p||22.6||12.0||915||70||Canon T6s|
|Fujifilm X-E3« »||APS-C||24.0||6000||4000||4K/30p||-||-||-||-||Fujifilm X-E3|
|Nikon D5600« »||APS-C||24.0||6000||4000||1080/60p||24.1||14.0||1306||84||Nikon D5600|
|Nikon D5500« »||APS-C||24.0||6000||4000||1080/60p||24.1||14.0||1438||84||Nikon D5500|
|Nikon D3300« »||APS-C||24.0||6000||4000||1080/60p||24.3||12.8||1385||82||Nikon D3300|
|Ricoh GR II« »||APS-C||16.1||4928||3264||1080/30p||23.6||13.7||1078||80||Ricoh GR II|
|Sony A6400« »||APS-C||24.0||6000||4000||4K/30p||24||13.6||1431||83||Sony A6400|
|Sony A5100« »||APS-C||24.0||6000||4000||1080/60p||23.8||12.7||1347||80||Sony A5100|
|Sony A6000« »||APS-C||24.0||6000||4000||1080/60p||24.1||13.1||1347||82||Sony A6000|
|Sony A3000« »||APS-C||19.8||5456||3632||1080/60i||23.7||12.8||1068||78||Sony A3000|
Many modern cameras are not only capable of taking still images, but can also record movies. Both cameras under consideration have a sensor with sufficiently fast read-out times for moving pictures, but the NX500 provides a better video resolution than the NX30. It can shoot movie footage at 4K/30p, while the NX30 is limited to 1080/60p.
Feature comparison: Samsung NX30 vs NX500
Apart from body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a variety of features. For example, the NX30 has an electronic viewfinder (2359k 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 following table reports on some other key feature differences and similarities of the Samsung NX30, the Samsung NX500, and comparable cameras.
|Samsung NX30»||2359||n||3.0||1036||swivel||Y||1/8000s||9.0||Y||n||Samsung NX30|
|Samsung NX500«||-||n||3.0||1036||tilting||Y||1/6000s||9.0||Y||n||Samsung NX500|
|Canon M5« »||2360||n||3.2||1620||tilting||Y||1/4000s||9.0||Y||n||Canon M5|
|Canon M3« »||-||n||3.0||1040||tilting||Y||1/4000s||4.2||Y||n||Canon M3|
|Canon T6s« »||optical||Y||3.0||1040||swivel||Y||1/4000s||5.0||Y||n||Canon T6s|
|Fujifilm X-E3« »||2360||n||3.0||1040||fixed||Y||1/4000s||8.0||n||n||Fujifilm X-E3|
|Nikon D5600« »||optical||n||3.2||1037||swivel||Y||1/4000s||5.0||Y||n||Nikon D5600|
|Nikon D5500« »||optical||n||3.2||1037||swivel||Y||1/4000s||5.0||Y||n||Nikon D5500|
|Nikon D3300« »||optical||n||3.0||921||fixed||n||1/4000s||5.0||Y||n||Nikon D3300|
|Ricoh GR II« »||-||n||3.0||1230||fixed||n||1/4000s||4.0||Y||n||Ricoh GR II|
|Sony A6400« »||2359||n||3.0||922||tilting||Y||1/4000s||11.0||Y||n||Sony A6400|
|Sony A5100« »||-||n||3.0||922||tilting||Y||1/4000s||6.0||Y||n||Sony A5100|
|Sony A6000« »||1440||n||3.0||922||tilting||n||1/4000s||11.0||Y||n||Sony A6000|
|Sony A3000« »||202||n||3.0||230||fixed||n||1/4000s||2.5||Y||n||Sony A3000|
The Samsung NX30 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 NX30 and the NX500 write their files to SDXC cards. Both cameras can use UHS-I cards, which provide for Ultra High Speed data transfer of up to 104 MB/s.
Connectivity comparison: Samsung NX30 vs NX500
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 NX30 and Samsung NX500 and, in particular, the interfaces the cameras (and selected comparators) provide for accessory control and data transfer.
|Samsung NX30»||Y||stereo||mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||Y||-||Samsung NX30|
|Samsung NX500«||Y||stereo||mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||Y||Y||Samsung NX500|
|Canon M5« »||Y||stereo||mono||Y||-||mini||2.0||Y||Y||Y||Canon M5|
|Canon M3« »||Y||stereo||mono||Y||-||mini||2.0||Y||Y||-||Canon M3|
|Canon T6s« »||Y||stereo||mono||Y||-||mini||2.0||Y||Y||-||Canon T6s|
|Fujifilm X-E3« »||Y||stereo||mono||Y||-||micro||2.0||Y||-||Y||Fujifilm X-E3|
|Nikon D5600« »||Y||stereo||mono||Y||-||mini||2.0||Y||Y||Y||Nikon D5600|
|Nikon D5500« »||Y||stereo||mono||Y||-||mini||2.0||Y||-||-||Nikon D5500|
|Nikon D3300« »||Y||mono||mono||Y||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-||Nikon D3300|
|Ricoh GR II« »||Y||stereo||mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||Y||-||Ricoh GR II|
|Sony A6400« »||Y||stereo||mono||Y||-||micro||2.0||Y||Y||Y||Sony A6400|
|Sony A5100« »||-||stereo||mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||Y||-||Sony A5100|
|Sony A6000« »||Y||stereo||mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||Y||-||Sony A6000|
|Sony A3000« »||Y||stereo||mono||-||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-||Sony A3000|
Both the NX30 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: Samsung NX30 vs NX500
So what conclusions can be drawn? Is there a clear favorite between the Samsung NX30 and the Samsung NX500? Which camera is better? Below is a summary of the relative strengths of each of the two contestants.
Arguments in favor of the Samsung NX30:
- Easier framing: Has an electronic viewfinder for image framing and settings control.
- More flexible LCD: Has swivel screen for odd-angle shots in portrait or landscape orientation.
- Faster shutter: Has higher mechanical shutter speed (1/8000s vs 1/6000s) to freeze action.
- More heavily discounted: Has been on the market for longer (launched in January 2014).
Reasons to prefer the Samsung NX500:
- More detail: Has more megapixels (28 vs 20MP), which boosts linear resolution by 18%.
- Better image quality: Scores substantially higher (11 points) in the DXO overall evaluation.
- Richer colors: Generates noticeably more natural colors (1.3 bits more color depth).
- More dynamic range: Captures a broader range of light and dark details (1.5 EV of extra DR).
- Better low-light sensitivity: Can shoot in dim conditions (0.4 stops ISO advantage).
- Better jpgs: Has a more modern image processing engine (DRIMe Vs vs DRIMe IV).
- Better video: Provides higher definition movie capture (4K/30p vs 1080/60p).
- More compact: Is smaller (120x64mm vs 127x96mm) and will fit more readily into a bag.
- Less heavy: Has a lower weight (by 88g or 23 percent) and is thus easier to take along.
- Easier wireless transfer: Supports Bluetooth for image sharing without cables.
- More affordable: Was released into a lower priced segment (20 percent cheaper at launch).
- More modern: Was introduced somewhat (1 year and 1 month) more recently.
If the number of relative strengths (bullet points above) is taken as a guide, the NX500 is the clear winner of the contest (12 : 4 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 sports photographer will view the differences between cameras in a way that diverges from the perspective of a street photog, and a person interested in family portraits has distinct needs from a landscape 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 NX30 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 remains partial and cannot reveal, for example, the shooting experience and imaging performance when actually working with the NX30 or the NX500. User reviews, such as those found at amazon, can sometimes inform about these issues, but such feedback is often incomplete, inconsistent, and biased.
Expert reviews: Samsung NX30 vs NX500
This is where reviews by experts come in. The following table reports the overall ratings of the cameras as published by some of the major camera 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 NX30»||-||77/100||4.5/5||4/5||4.5/5||Jan 2014||999||-||Samsung NX30|
|Samsung NX500«||-||81/100||5/5||4.5/5||4.5/5||Feb 2015||799||-||Samsung NX500|
|Canon M5« »||+||82/100||4/5||4.5/5||4/5||Sep 2016||979||Canon M5|
|Canon M3« »||o||75/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||4/5||Feb 2015||679||-||Canon M3|
|Canon T6s« »||+||77/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||4.5/5||Feb 2015||649||-||Canon T6s|
|Fujifilm X-E3« »||+||84/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||4.5/5||Sep 2017||899||Fujifilm X-E3|
|Nikon D5600« »||-||79/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||4/5||Nov 2016||699||Nikon D5600|
|Nikon D5500« »||+||79/100||4.5/5||5/5||4.5/5||Jan 2015||899||-||Nikon D5500|
|Nikon D3300« »||+||77/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||4.5/5||Jan 2014||499||-||Nikon D3300|
|Ricoh GR II« »||-||-||4.5/5||4.5/5||4.5/5||Jun 2015||699||Ricoh GR II|
|Sony A6400« »||+||85/100||4.5/5||-||4/5||Jan 2019||899||Sony A6400|
|Sony A5100« »||+||-||4.5/5||4.5/5||5/5||Aug 2014||549||Sony A5100|
|Sony A6000« »||+||80/100||4.5/5||5/5||5/5||Feb 2014||599||-||Sony A6000|
|Sony A3000« »||+||-||4/5||4.5/5||4/5||Aug 2013||329||-||Sony A3000|
|Notes: (+ +) highly recommended; (+) recommended; (o) reviewed; (-) not available.|
Care should be taken when interpreting the review scores above, though. The ratings are only valid when referring to cameras in the same category and of the same age. Hence, a score should always be seen in the context of the camera's market launch date and its price, and comparing ratings of very distinct cameras or ones that are far apart in terms of their release date have little meaning. 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 make a corresponding selection in the search boxes below. Alternatively, you can follow any of the listed hyperlinks for comparisons that others found interesting.
- Canon 2000D vs Samsung NX500
- Canon G3 X vs Samsung NX500
- Canon M50 vs Samsung NX30
- Canon M6 vs Samsung NX500
- Fujifilm X-E3 vs Samsung NX500
- Fujifilm X-T10 vs Samsung NX500
- Fujifilm X70 vs Samsung NX500
- Nikon D7500 vs Samsung NX500
- Panasonic FZ82 vs Samsung NX30
- Ricoh GR II vs Samsung NX500
- Ricoh WG-60 vs Samsung NX500
- Samsung NX500 vs Sony RX100 VI
Specifications: Samsung NX30 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 NX30||Samsung NX500|
|Camera Type||Mirrorless system camera||Mirrorless system camera|
|Camera Lens||Samsung NX mount lenses||Samsung NX mount lenses|
|Launch Date||January 2014||February 2015|
|Launch Price||USD 999||USD 799|
|Sensor Specs||Samsung NX30||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||20 Megapixels||28 Megapixels|
|Image Resolution||5472 x 3648 pixels||6480 x 4320 pixels|
|Pixel Pitch||4.30 μm||3.63 μm|
|Pixel Density||5.41 MP/cm2||7.59 MP/cm2|
|Moiré control||no AA filter||no AA filter|
|Movie Capability||1080/60p Video||4K/30p Video|
|ISO Setting||100-25600 ISO||100-25600 ISO|
|ISO Boost||no Enhancement||100-51200 ISO|
|Image Processor||DRIMe IV||DRIMe Vs|
|DXO Sensor Quality (score)||76||87|
|DXO Color Depth (bits)||23.5||24.8|
|DXO Dynamic Range (EV)||12.4||13.9|
|DXO Low Light (ISO)||1014||1379|
|Screen Specs||Samsung NX30||Samsung NX500|
|Viewfinder Type||Electronic viewfinder||No viewfinder|
|Viewfinder Field of View||100%|
|Viewfinder Resolution||2359k dots|
|LCD Framing||Live View||Live View|
|Rear LCD Size||3.0 inch||3.0 inch|
|LCD Resolution||1036k dots||1036k dots|
|LCD Attachment||Swivel screen||Tilting screen|
|Shooting Specs||Samsung NX30||Samsung NX500|
|Autofocus System||On-Sensor Phase-detect||On-Sensor Phase-detect|
|Manual Focusing Aid||Focus Peaking||Focus Peaking|
|Max Shutter Speed (mechanical)||1/8000/s||1/6000/s|
|Continuous Shooting||9 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||UHS-I||UHS-I|
|Connectivity Specs||Samsung NX30||Samsung NX500|
|USB Connector||USB 2.0||USB 2.0|
|HDMI Port||micro HDMI||micro HDMI|
|Wifi Support||Wifi built-in||Wifi built-in|
|Near-Field Communication||NFC built-in||NFC built-in|
|Bluetooth Support||no Bluetooth||Bluetooth built-in|
|Body Specs||Samsung NX30||Samsung NX500|
|Battery Type||BP1410 power pack||BP1130 power pack|
|Battery Life (CIPA)||360 shots per charge||370 shots per charge|
|In-Camera Charging||USB charging||USB charging|
127 x 96 x 58 mm
(5.0 x 3.8 x 2.3 in)
120 x 64 x 43 mm
(4.7 x 2.5 x 1.7 in)
|Camera Weight||375 g (13.2 oz)||287 g (10.1 oz)|
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