Samsung NX30 vs Sony RX100
The Samsung NX30 and the Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX100 are two digital cameras that were revealed to the public, respectively, in January 2014 and June 2012. The NX30 is a mirrorless interchangeable lens camera, while the RX100 is a fixed lens compact. The cameras are based on an APS-C (NX30) and an one-inch (RX100) sensor. Both cameras offer a resolution of 20 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 NX30 and the Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX100? 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 physical size and weight of the Samsung NX30 and the Sony RX100 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 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 Sony RX100 is considerably smaller (51 percent) than the Samsung NX30. In this context, it is worth noting that neither the NX30 nor the RX100 are weather-sealed.
The above size and weight comparisons are to some extent incomplete and possibly misleading, as the RX100 has a lens built in, whereas the NX30 is an interchangeable lens camera that requires a separate lens. Attaching the latter will add extra weight and bulk to the setup.
The battery packs of both cameras can be charged via USB, which can be very convenient when travelling.
The table below summarizes the key physical specs of the two cameras alongside a broader set of comparators. In case you want to display and compare another camera duo, you can use the CAM-parator app to select your camera combination among a large number of options.
|1.||Samsung NX30||127 mm||96 mm||58 mm||375 g||360||n||Jan 2014||999|
|2.||Sony RX100||102 mm||58 mm||36 mm||240 g||330||n||Jun 2012||649|
|3.||Canon G9 X Mark II||98 mm||58 mm||31 mm||206 g||235||n||Jan 2017||529|
|4.||Canon M5||116 mm||89 mm||61 mm||427 g||295||n||Sep 2016||979|
|5.||Canon G9 X||98 mm||58 mm||31 mm||209 g||220||n||Oct 2015||529|
|6.||Canon M3||111 mm||68 mm||44 mm||366 g||250||n||Feb 2015||679|
|7.||Canon T6s||132 mm||101 mm||78 mm||565 g||440||n||Feb 2015||649|
|8.||Fujifilm X-E3||121 mm||74 mm||43 mm||337 g||350||n||Sep 2017||899|
|9.||Nikon D5500||124 mm||97 mm||70 mm||470 g||820||n||Jan 2015||899|
|10.||Nikon D3300||124 mm||98 mm||76 mm||430 g||700||n||Jan 2014||499|
|11.||Samsung NX500||120 mm||64 mm||43 mm||287 g||370||n||Feb 2015||799|
|12.||Sony A6400||120 mm||67 mm||50 mm||403 g||410||Y||Jan 2019||899|
|13.||Sony A6000||120 mm||67 mm||45 mm||344 g||360||n||Feb 2014||599|
|14.||Sony RX100 III||102 mm||58 mm||41 mm||290 g||320||n||May 2014||799|
|15.||Sony A3000||128 mm||91 mm||85 mm||411 g||470||n||Aug 2013||329|
|16.||Sony RX10||129 mm||88 mm||102 mm||813 g||420||Y||Oct 2013||1,299|
|17.||Sony RX100 II||102 mm||58 mm||38 mm||281 g||350||n||Jun 2013||749|
|Notes: Measurements and pricing do not include easily detachable parts, such as add-on or interchangeable lenses or optional viewfinders.|
Any camera decision will obviously take relative prices into account. 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 RX100 was launched at a lower price than the NX30, despite having a lens built in. 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 size of the sensor inside a digital camera is one of the key determinants 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. Moreover, a large sensor camera will give the photographer more control over depth-of-field in the image and, thus, the ability to better isolate a subject from the background. On the downside, larger sensors tend to be associated with larger, more expensive camera bodies and lenses.
Of the two cameras under consideration, the Samsung NX30 features an APS-C sensor and the Sony RX100 an one-inch sensor. The sensor area in the RX100 is 69 percent smaller. As a result of these sensor size differences, the cameras have a format factor of, respectively, 1.5 and 2.7. Both cameras have a native aspect ratio (sensor width to sensor height) of 3:2.
Even though the NX30 has a larger sensor, both cameras offer the same resolution of 20 megapixels. This implies that the NX30 has a lower pixel density and larger individual pixels (with a pixel pitch of 4.30μm versus 2.41μm for the RX100), which gives it a potential advantage in terms of light gathering capacity. In addition, the NX30 is a somewhat more recent model (by 1 year and 6 months) than the RX100, and its sensor might have benefitted from technological advances during this time. Coming back to sensor resolution, it should be mentioned that the NX30 has no anti-alias filter installed, so that it can capture all the detail its sensor resolves.
The NX30 has on-sensor phase detect pixels, which results in fast and reliable autofocus acquisition even during live view operation.
The Samsung NX30 has a native sensitivity range from ISO 100 to ISO 25600. The corresponding ISO settings for the Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX100 are ISO 100 to ISO 6400, with the possibility to increase the ISO range to 100-25600.
For many cameras, data on sensor performance has been reported by DXO Mark. This service is based on lab testing and assigns an overall score to each camera sensor, as well as ratings for dynamic range ("DXO Landscape"), color depth ("DXO Portrait"), and low-light sensitivity ("DXO Sports"). Of the two cameras under review, the NX30 has a notably higher overall DXO score than the RX100 (overall score 10 points higher), which gives it an advantage in terms of imaging quality. This advantage is based on 0.9 bits higher color depth, and 1.4 stops in additional low light sensitivity. The following table provides an overview of the physical sensor characteristics, as well as the sensor quality measurements for a selection of comparators.
|3.||Canon G9 X Mark II||1-inch||20.0||5472||3648||1080/60p||21.9||12.5||522||65|
|5.||Canon G9 X||1-inch||20.0||5472||3648||1080/60p||21.5||12.3||495||63|
|14.||Sony RX100 III||1-inch||20.0||5472||3648||1080/60p||22.4||12.3||495||67|
|17.||Sony RX100 II||1-inch||20.0||5472||3648||1080/60p||22.5||12.4||483||67|
Many modern cameras are not only capable of taking still images, but can also record movies. 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 (1080/60p).
Beyond body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a range 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 RX100 relies on live view and the rear LCD for framing. The adjacent table lists some of the other core features of the Samsung NX30 and Sony RX100 along with similar information for a selection of comparators.
|1.||Samsung NX30||2359||n||3.0 / 1036||swivel||Y||1/8000s||9.0||Y||n|
|2.||Sony RX100||none||n||3.0 / 1229||fixed||n||1/2000s||10.0||Y||Y|
|3.||Canon G9 X Mark II||none||n||3.0 / 1040||fixed||Y||1/2000s||8.2||Y||Y|
|4.||Canon M5||2360||n||3.2 / 1620||tilting||Y||1/4000s||9.0||Y||n|
|5.||Canon G9 X||none||n||3.0 / 1040||fixed||Y||1/2000s||6.0||Y||Y|
|6.||Canon M3||optional||n||3.0 / 1040||tilting||Y||1/4000s||4.2||Y||n|
|7.||Canon T6s||optical||Y||3.0 / 1040||swivel||Y||1/4000s||5.0||Y||n|
|8.||Fujifilm X-E3||2360||n||3.0 / 1040||fixed||Y||1/4000s||8.0||n||n|
|9.||Nikon D5500||optical||n||3.2 / 1037||swivel||Y||1/4000s||5.0||Y||n|
|10.||Nikon D3300||optical||n||3.0 / 921||fixed||n||1/4000s||5.0||Y||n|
|11.||Samsung NX500||none||n||3.0 / 1036||tilting||Y||1/6000s||9.0||Y||n|
|12.||Sony A6400||2359||n||3.0 / 922||tilting||Y||1/4000s||11.0||Y||n|
|13.||Sony A6000||1440||n||3.0 / 922||tilting||n||1/4000s||11.0||Y||n|
|14.||Sony RX100 III||1440||n||3.0 / 1229||tilting||n||1/2000s||10.0||Y||Y|
|15.||Sony A3000||202||n||3.0 / 230||fixed||n||1/4000s||2.5||Y||n|
|16.||Sony RX10||1440||Y||3.0 / 1229||tilting||n||1/3200s||10.0||Y||Y|
|17.||Sony RX100 II||optional||n||3.0 / 1229||tilting||n||1/2000s||10.0||Y||Y|
One differentiating feature between the two cameras concerns the touch sensitivity of the rear screen. The NX30 has a touchscreen, while the RX100 has a conventional panel. Touch control can be particularly helpful, for example, for setting the focus point.The NX30 has an articulated LCD that can be turned to be front-facing. This characteristic will be appreciated by vloggers and photographers who are interested in snapping selfies. In contrast, the RX100 does not have a selfie-screen.
The Samsung NX30 has 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.
The NX30 writes its imaging data to SDXC cards, while the RX100 uses SDXC or Memory Stick PRO Duo cards. The NX30 supports UHS-I cards (Ultra High Speed data transfer of up to 104 MB/s), while the RX100 cannot take advantage of Ultra High Speed SD 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 NX30 and Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX100 and, in particular, the interfaces the cameras (and selected comparators) provide for accessory control and data transfer.
Mic / Speaker
|1.||Samsung NX30||Y||stereo / mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||Y||-|
|2.||Sony RX100||-||stereo / mono||-||-||micro||2.0||-||-||-|
|3.||Canon G9 X Mark II||-||stereo / mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||Y||Y|
|4.||Canon M5||Y||stereo / mono||Y||-||mini||2.0||Y||Y||Y|
|5.||Canon G9 X||-||stereo / mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||Y||-|
|6.||Canon M3||Y||stereo / mono||Y||-||mini||2.0||Y||Y||-|
|7.||Canon T6s||Y||stereo / mono||Y||-||mini||2.0||Y||Y||-|
|8.||Fujifilm X-E3||Y||stereo / mono||Y||-||micro||2.0||Y||-||Y|
|9.||Nikon D5500||Y||stereo / mono||Y||-||mini||2.0||Y||-||-|
|10.||Nikon D3300||Y||mono / mono||Y||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-|
|11.||Samsung NX500||Y||stereo / mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||Y||Y|
|12.||Sony A6400||Y||stereo / mono||Y||-||micro||2.0||Y||Y||Y|
|13.||Sony A6000||Y||stereo / mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||Y||-|
|14.||Sony RX100 III||-||stereo / mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||Y||-|
|15.||Sony A3000||Y||stereo / mono||-||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-|
|16.||Sony RX10||Y||stereo / mono||Y||Y||micro||2.0||Y||Y||-|
|17.||Sony RX100 II||Y||stereo / mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||Y||-|
It is notable that the NX30 has a hotshoe, while the RX100 does not. This socket makes it possible to easily attach optional accessories, such as an external flash gun.
Both the NX30 and the RX100 have been discontinued, but can regularly be found used on eBay. The RX100 was replaced by the Sony RX100 II, while the NX30 does not have a direct successor. Further information on the two cameras (e.g. user guides, manuals), as well as related accessories, can be found on the official Samsung and Sony websites.
So what conclusions can be drawn? Is the Samsung NX30 better than the Sony RX100 or vice versa? A synthesis of the relative strong points of each of the models is listed below.
Advantages of the Samsung NX30:
- Maximized detail: Lacks an anti-alias filter to exploit the sensor's full resolution potential.
- Better image quality: Scores markedly higher (10 points) in the DXO overall assessment.
- Better low-light sensitivity: Requires less light for good images (1.4 stops ISO advantage).
- Better live-view autofocus: Features on-sensor phase-detection for more confident autofocus.
- Easier framing: Has an electronic viewfinder for image composition and settings control.
- More flexible LCD: Has a swivel screen for odd-angle shots in portrait or landscape orientation.
- Fewer buttons to press: Is equipped with a touch-sensitive rear screen to facilitate handling.
- More selfie-friendly: Has an articulated screen that can be turned to be front-facing.
- Faster shutter: Has higher mechanical shutter speed (1/8000s vs 1/2000s) to freeze action.
- Easier time-lapse photography: Has an intervalometer built-in for low frequency shooting.
- More flexible: Accepts interchangeable lenses, so that lens characteristics can be altered.
- Better lighting: Features a hotshoe and can thus hold and trigger an external flash gun.
- Easier file upload: Has wifi built in for automatic backup or image transfer to the web.
- Easier device pairing: Supports NFC for fast wireless image transfer over short distances.
- Faster buffer clearing: Has an SD card interface that supports the UHS-I standard.
- More modern: Is somewhat more recent (announced 1 year and 6 months after the RX100).
Arguments in favor of the Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX100:
- Better moiré control: Has an anti-alias filter to avoid artificial patterns to appear in images.
- More detailed LCD: Has a higher resolution rear screen (1229k vs 1036k dots).
- Ready to shoot: Has an integrated lens, whereas the NX30 necessitates an extra lens.
- More compact: Is smaller (102x58mm vs 127x96mm) and will fit more readily into a bag.
- Less heavy: Has a lower weight even though it has a lens built in (unlike the NX30).
- Sharper images: Has stabilization technology built-in to reduce the impact of hand-shake.
- More affordable: Was introduced at a lower price, despite coming with a built-in lens.
- More heavily discounted: Has been on the market for longer (launched in June 2012).
If the count of relative strengths (bullet points above) is taken as a measure, the NX30 is the clear winner of the match-up (16 : 8 points). However, the relevance of individual strengths will vary across photographers, so that you might want to apply your own weighing scheme to the summary points when reflecting and deciding on a new camera. 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 NX30 and the Sony RX100 place the cameras among the top in their class? Find out in the latest Best Mirrorless Interchangeable Lens Camera and Best Travel-Zoom Camera listings 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 incomplete and does no justice, for example, to the way the NX30 or the RX100 perform in practice. 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 adjacent summary-table relays the overall verdicts of several of the most popular camera review sites (amateurphotographer [AP], cameralabs [CL], digitalcameraworld [DCW], dpreview [DPR], ephotozine [EPZ], photographyblog [PB]). 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.
|1.||Samsung NX30||3/5||..||..||77/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Jan 2014||999|
|2.||Sony RX100||5/5||+ +||..||78/100||4/5||5/5||Jun 2012||649|
|3.||Canon G9 X Mark II||4/5||..||4/5||75/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Jan 2017||529|
|4.||Canon M5||4/5||+||4/5||82/100||4/5||4/5||Sep 2016||979|
|5.||Canon G9 X||3.5/5||+ +||..||..||4.5/5||4.5/5||Oct 2015||529|
|6.||Canon M3||4/5||o||..||75/100||4.5/5||4/5||Feb 2015||679|
|7.||Canon T6s||5/5||+||..||77/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Feb 2015||649|
|8.||Fujifilm X-E3||4.5/5||+||4.5/5||84/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Sep 2017||899|
|9.||Nikon D5500||5/5||+||..||79/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Jan 2015||899|
|10.||Nikon D3300||3/5||+||..||77/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Jan 2014||499|
|11.||Samsung NX500||4.5/5||..||..||81/100||5/5||4.5/5||Feb 2015||799|
|12.||Sony A6400||4/5||+||4/5||85/100||4.5/5||4/5||Jan 2019||899|
|13.||Sony A6000||5/5||+||4.5/5||80/100||4.5/5||5/5||Feb 2014||599|
|14.||Sony RX100 III||5/5||+ +||..||82/100||4.5/5||5/5||May 2014||799|
|15.||Sony A3000||3/5||+||..||..||4/5||4/5||Aug 2013||329|
|16.||Sony RX10||5/5||+||..||80/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Oct 2013||1,299|
|17.||Sony RX100 II||5/5||+ +||..||79/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Jun 2013||749|
|Notes: (+ +) highly recommended; (+) recommended; (o) reviewed; (..) not available.|
The above review scores should be interpreted with care, though. The assessments were made in relation to similar cameras of the same technological generation. A score, therefore, has to be seen in close connection to the price and market introduction time of the camera, and comparing ratings of very distinct cameras or ones that are far apart in terms of their release date have little meaning. It should also be noted that some of the review sites have over time altered the way they render their verdicts.
Other camera comparisons
Did this review help to inform your camera decision process? In case you would like to check on the differences and similarities of other camera models, just make your choice using the following search menu. Alternatively, you can follow any of the listed hyperlinks for comparisons that others found interesting.
- Canon 1D vs Samsung NX30
- Canon 6D Mark II vs Samsung NX30
- Canon S120 vs Sony RX100
- Fujifilm X-H1 vs Sony RX100
- Leica Digilux 3 vs Samsung NX30
- Leica X Vario vs Sony RX100
- Nikon D1X vs Sony RX100
- Panasonic G1 vs Samsung NX30
- Panasonic TZ200 vs Samsung NX30
- Samsung NX30 vs Zeiss ZX1
- Sony A7R IV vs Sony RX100
- Sony HX90V vs Sony RX100
Specifications: Samsung NX30 vs Sony RX100
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||Sony RX100|
|Camera Type||Mirrorless system camera||Fixed lens compact camera|
|Camera Lens||Samsung NX mount lenses||28-100mm f/1.8-4.9|
|Launch Date||January 2014||June 2012|
|Launch Price||USD 999||USD 649|
|Sensor Specs||Samsung NX30||Sony RX100|
|Sensor Format||APS-C Sensor||1" Sensor|
|Sensor Size||23.5 x 15.7 mm||13.2 x 8.8 mm|
|Sensor Area||368.95 mm2||116.16 mm2|
|Sensor Diagonal||28.3 mm||15.9 mm|
|Sensor Resolution||20 Megapixels||20 Megapixels|
|Image Resolution||5472 x 3648 pixels||5472 x 3648 pixels|
|Pixel Pitch||4.30 μm||2.41 μm|
|Pixel Density||5.41 MP/cm2||17.18 MP/cm2|
|Moiré control||no AA filter||Anti-Alias filter|
|Movie Capability||1080/60p Video||1080/60p Video|
|ISO Setting||100 - 25,600 ISO||100 - 6,400 ISO|
|ISO Boost||no Enhancement||100 - 25,600 ISO|
|Image Processor||DRIMe IV||BIONZ X|
|DXO Sensor Quality (score)||76||66|
|DXO Color Depth (bits)||23.5||22.6|
|DXO Dynamic Range (EV)||12.4||12.4|
|DXO Low Light (ISO)||1014||390|
|Screen Specs||Samsung NX30||Sony RX100|
|Viewfinder Type||Electronic viewfinder||no viewfinder|
|Viewfinder Field of View||100%|
|Viewfinder Resolution||2359k dots|
|LCD Framing||Live View||Live View|
|Rear LCD Size||3.0inch||3.0inch|
|LCD Resolution||1036k dots||1229k dots|
|LCD Attachment||Swivel screen||Fixed screen|
|Touch Input||Touchscreen||no Touchscreen|
|Shooting Specs||Samsung NX30||Sony RX100|
|Focus System||On-Sensor Phase-detect||Contrast-detect AF|
|Manual Focusing Aid||Focus Peaking||Focus Peaking|
|Max Shutter Speed (mechanical)||1/8000s||1/2000s|
|Continuous Shooting||9 shutter flaps/s||10 shutter flaps/s|
|Time-Lapse Photography||Intervalometer built-in||no Intervalometer|
|Fill Flash||Built-in Flash||Built-in Flash|
|Storage Medium||SDXC cards||MS or SDXC cards|
|Second Storage Option||Single card slot||Single card slot|
|UHS card support||UHS-I||no|
|Connectivity Specs||Samsung NX30||Sony RX100|
|External Flash||Hotshoe||no Hotshoe|
|USB Connector||USB 2.0||USB 2.0|
|HDMI Port||micro HDMI||micro HDMI|
|Wifi Support||Wifi built-in||no Wifi|
|Near-Field Communication||NFC built-in||no NFC|
|Body Specs||Samsung NX30||Sony RX100|
|Battery Life (CIPA)||360 shots per charge||330 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)
102 x 58 x 36 mm
(4.0 x 2.3 x 1.4 in)
|Camera Weight||375 g (13.2 oz)||240 g (8.5 oz)|
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