Thursday, March 8, 2012

Thought Of The Day: Sony NEX-7 or Samsung NX200?

I've talked a lot about Sony's NEX-7, which is the best compact (sort of pocket) camera on the market. It has 24 megapixels on an APS-C sized sensor, giving this camera more resolution than all DSLRs that don't use a full-frame sensor (or medium format). Sony did a fantastic job designing the NEX-7 and they didn't cut corners.

Considering that the NEX-7 outperforms some DSLR's that cost over $2,000, the asking price of $1,350 (including a lens) seems very reasonable.

There is another camera that I have not talked about, but could be a very good alternative to the NEX-7: the Samsung NX200.

The NX200 has 20 megapixels on an APS-C sized sensor, giving it almost as much resolution as the NEX-7. The difference between 20 and 24 megapixels isn't huge and shouldn't be a deal breaker for anyone.

The NX200 does have some advantages over the NEX-7. First, the NX200 has lower noise at high ISO than the Sony model. This could be huge if you do a lot of low-light photography. Next, Samsung has more (and some say better) lenses available for the NX200 than Sony has for the NEX-7. The NX200 does better at producing accurate skin tones. The NX200 has a shoe for an external flash, while the NEX-7 doesn't. Also, the NX200 has a better, more intuitive user interface. Finally, the NX200 is slightly smaller and lighter.

That's not enough to make the NX200 a better camera than the NEX-7, but a price tag of $900 (including a lens) might convince you to choose the Samsung over the Sony. Amazon had the NX200 on sale yesterday for $750. That's 45% less than the NEX-7 for a camera that is almost as good!

I don't think there is much debate that the NEX-7 is the better overall camera. Right now, the NEX-7 is the best compact camera on the market and it even bests a number of DSLRs.

But the NX200 is a close second best, and it's a better value.

If money is no object, the Sony NEX-7 is the camera to get. If you are on a budget (and who isn't these days?), the Samsung NX200 is great compromise, delivering the image quality you want for less money.


  1. Nex-7 has hotshoe, just not standard one, need to use adapter or Sony flash. Also if you resize nex-7 to 20mp you will find less noise
    That to me is major issue with it, should have stuck with nex5n 16mp sensor...

  2. Thanks, Malcolm, for your comment! It is appreciated.

    From an image quality point-of-view, the biggest thing holding back the NEX-7 and NEX-5n are Sony's lenses, which are not particularly great. Fuji's and Samsung's lenses are better.

    The NEX-7 is a great but imperfect camera. Because of demand, it's currently overpriced by about $500. Watch for the price to drop as orders are fullfilled.

    While there is nothing wrong with the NEX-5n and it's more than capable of capturing great images (just as long as the one using it is capable), the only reason I'd choose it over the Samsung NX200 is if I did a lot of low-light photography (which I don't). Otherwise, I think the NX200 is better.

  3. Even if I had the money, I'd still plunk down for the NX200, and get a lens or two for the same price of ONE single NEX-7.

    The NX200 produces sharper images all around if compared to the NEX-7...and I've seen this time and again, and spent hours pixel peeping to confirm this.

    Not to say the NEX-7 does not create good quality images, because it does. Its color is excellent, but may be a little too saturated for my taste.

    1. The NEX-7 and NX200 are both fine cameras. The advantage of the NX200 is price and better lenses. The advantage of the NEX-7 is better sensor and more features.

      After writing this post, I chose to purchase an NX200 instead of the NEX-7 and I'm very happy with that choice.

      Thanks for your comment!

  4. Hallelujah, I am now a happy owner of an Samsung nx200. And what a camera..!!! Great images, very userfriendly. I got the the 18-200mm f/3.5 for now but cant wait to get my hand on the Samsung 85mm f/1.4 and later on, the Samsung 60mm f/2.8 macro

    1. Thanks for your comment, kjetil!

      I've heard that the 85mm f1.4 is a fantastic lens. I don't own it to say first hand, but hopefully in the near future I will be able to buy it and try it.

  5. Thank you so much for your review! I planned to get NX200 but got stuck when I saw NEX-7. Upgrading from a point-&-shoot...
    Your post is really helpful!