The Samsung NX500 is a powerful 4k-capable camera in a small and durable design. This compact and high-resolution option is a hot choice on the market right now thanks to the updated Bluetooth and WiFi connectivity for easy sharing, fast and accurate shooting, and versatile lens design to fit your diverse shooting needs.
Perfect for travelers and families, the NX500 displays gorgeous portraits and landscapes and records quick footage in 4k video.
Find everything you need to know if the NX500 is right for you and your budget. See how the NX500 is special, how it works, and weigh the pros and cons of selecting this camera for your next big tech purchase, whether you need a small and compact camera to easily travel or just want to snap some shots of the kids.
What Is the Samsung NX500 and How Does It Work?
A lightweight and compact camera, the Samsung NX500 attempts to bring all the awesome features of the NX1 model in a more consumer-friendly affordable price and small size. It comes in three stylish colors including brown, black, and white, and the design of the camera itself is gorgeous to look at.
The NX500 is a mirrorless interchangeable lens camera (ILC), which means you should expect to look through a digital display rather than a traditional optical viewfinder when taking photos. The mirrorless aspect means the camera, unlike a conventional SLR camera, has an electronic viewfinder that shows what the camera sensor will pick up.
Mirrorless cameras can be simpler, quieter, and easier to use because they eliminate the need to move the mirror as you peer through the viewfinder. With fewer parts moving constantly, cameras like the NX500 are expected to be more durable, cheaper, and easier for non-professional photographers to use.
The camera automatically finds the right light setting with autofocusing and one of the most powerful light metering sensors on the market today, resulting in clear images. Samsung also included two control dials, so you don’t need to use a button to change exposure settings.
With scene modes including, face, landscape, waterfall, sunset, fireworks, night, and action-freeze capabilities, you can shoot beautiful portraits inside or out (or even of yourself using the auto-timer or selfie-perfect mode), capture nature’s wonder in your various world travels, or freeze an action-packed frame to produce some truly amazing photos and videos.
- New 28MP Back Side Illuminated APS-C Sensor.
- The NX AF System III on the NX500 is supported by 205 phase detect auto focus points
- NX500 can shoot at up to 9 FPS at full resolution
View your images before you snap a shot through the digital flip-up display, which can actually move at 180 degrees. Point the display down around 45 degrees or flip upward to initiate the selfie mode, which can even make your skin appear clearer. Or, you can record 4k video at up to 24 frames per second to save memory space on your camera without sacrificing performance and quality.
On the left side of the camera, located under a plastic door, are the micro-HDMI that allow you to output video through HDMI and a micro USB port to charge the camera’s battery. You can send photos to your other devices or PC easily using WiFi and Android devices.
You’ll use an app called MobileLink to view and transfer your photos to your smart device or share on social media, which even beginners can use. The WiFi setting allows you to sync your images across all your devices or send a photo via email directly from your camera, making it convenient for travel photographers sharing their work on social media and parents sharing videos of their kid’s birthday party with out-of-town family members.
Even though the NX500 is very similar to Samsung’s popular NX1 model because it has the same excellent 28MP BSI CMOS sensor, DRIMe V processor, and advanced hybrid autofocus system, this design offers a few differences that set the NX500 aside from its predecessor. Imagine similar features to the NX1, only a more scaled back version.
First, the design of the camera has been altered to include a built-in rangefinder instead of a traditional electronic SLR viewfinder that’s placed on top of the lens. Because an SLR will use the lens for the view whereas this camera uses a rangefinder-style mirrorless design, you may get a better idea of what an image will look like with this rangefinder.
28 MP CMOS sensor
DRIMe V processor
Advanced autofocus system
3" Super AMOLED display touchscreen
180-degree tilting capability
4K UHD video at 9fps
Built-in Wi-Fi and Bluetooth
While the viewfinder is no longer electronic on this model, the NX500 does have a 3” Super AMOLED display with touch controls to easily adjust shutter speed and aperture and an LCD screen with 180-degree tilting capability. The AMOLED display shows bright colors, and it has a smooth refresh rate as well.
There is also a burst mode on the NX500 that has a frame per second rate of 9 instead of the NX1’s 15 fps. However, the Samsung NX500 really stands out when it comes to the 4k UHD video function. While the video recording is not as elaborate as its big brother, the NX500 does not have a full-sensor readout or built-in flash.
It does come with an external flash you can attach and comes with an advanced Wi-Fi system that can use Bluetooth to stay connected when you want to transfer photos to another device, like your laptop, tablet, or phone.
Overall, the NX500 is a more compact, lightweight model than the NX1 and the touchscreen LCD tilting display with twin dial operation for shutter speed and aperture adjustments, as well as the 4K video quality, really sets this model apart from other ILC’s on the market today. It’s more versatile in terms of shooting and sharing options, produces stunning images, and can easily be transported from one location to another without taking up too much space.
Reviewers on Amazon say the NX500 is slightly more expensive than its competitors considering the differences in viewfinders, but the NX500’s broader features and excellent action-friendly performance makes it worth the price in comparison to more expensive professional camera options.
Photographers who need an electronic viewfinder to complete their work or those who plan to record wide-angle videos in 4k may find this camera is not for them. However, anyone who needs a compact camera that’s easy to take on-the-go and produces high-quality photos and videos at a low price would love this option.
Sending photos by email is easy (when connected to WiFi) and the user interface is said to have been designed well enough to make it your main reason for buying, as long as you are not an iOS user of course. The camera is portable and produces great photo and video quality, which is really all most people need.
Overall, the NX500 is a powerful camera shrunk into a smaller frame. It’s easy for beginners to use and still offers versatility for pros. Reviewers call it a quality budget-friendly option, but not a perfect camera for professional photographers. The images are crisp, the functions are easy to learn, and it won’t weigh down both your wallet and your arm when carrying it around.
A perfect option for average users who want to learn how to use more than a point and shoot camera, without needing the excessive hard-to-use features that can come with a professional camera. Many people say using “this camera will remind you of a smartphone.”
Pros complain that the camera crops videos, meaning you need to use a converter to get into the files and may spend more time editing files and videos. Some people also don’t like that the NX500 has no viewfinder, but other users say no EVF isn’t a problem because the screen works well.
Users favorite feature of the NX500 is the ability to easily pair with WiFi to share images and even put them up on the TV. Also, the lens selection options available through Samsung are all high quality versus some competitors.
Like all cameras, the NX500 comes with its own list of pros and cons to consider before making a big purchase. Considering both sides of the coin can help you decide what camera is right for you, depending on your uses, needs, and preferences.
If you are a Mac or iPhone user, beware. Reviewers have shared that the camera’s video files and many wireless implementations aren’t compatible with Mac or iOS due to Apple restrictions, and another main concern is that there is no headphone jack or audio input for sound support. Without an external mic, you may not be able to pick up clear audio when recording 4k videos and some have said they can hear the lens move when you adjust while recording as well.
Another con is that Samsung requires you to install three apps to set up the WiFi capabilities and share photos and videos between your devices. Once you get everything set up, Bluetooth makes it quick and easy to sync up in seconds. iOS users will need to set up differently and join the network manually. You can use this camera with Apple devices, but it may be more difficult to transfer images using WiFi.
Samsung, offers one year warranty to their cameras which cover certain types of damage (parts and labor) if you have proof of purchase. Limitations often vary based on the state you live and bought the product in, but all warranty repairs must be completed at a specific site in the United States.
The NX500 isn’t the only compact mirrorless camera option with affordable prices and ease-of-use. If you don’t need the expensive features of a professional camera but want the ability to play with an interchangeable lens camera and produce gorgeous images, many people also consider the Sony Alpha A6500 or Fujifilm X-T20. Each is a small and lightweight, with the Sony weighing the most at 453 grams. Let's see how these two differ from the Samsung NX500.
- 24.2MP APS-C Exmor sensor w/ advanced processing up to ISO 51.200
- Wide 425 phase detection AF points, Fast 0.05 sec. AF acquisition
- POWER ZOOM for smooth zooming with superb operability and quietness
Like the NX500, the Sony Alpha A6500 is compact and lightweight. However, it may have a few features which the latter doesn't have.
For starters, if you wish to shoot photos in the dark, you don't need to attach a flash on the A6500 because it has a built-in flash. Meanwhile, NX500 takes so much time to set up and update with so many different apps and lenses you can buy and switch out. Thus, setting up and maintaining the NX500 takes longer than the A6500.
Moreover, Sony prevails in weather sealing. Extreme weather won't hold you back with Sony's Alpha A6500, which also has a digital viewfinder but no tilting screen that could break off or touch screens that can crack.
- 24.3MP X-Trans CMOS III APS-C sensor with no low-pass filter and X-Processor Pro
- 5.0Fps Live-view shooting, start-up time of 0.4sec., shutter time lag of 0.050sec. And shooting Interval of 0.25sec
- NEW larger SQUARE INSTAX Film (2.4" x 2.4") is ideal for Instagram prints
Unlike the other cameras in this review, the X-T20 has a GPS system perfect for travel. Also, the X-T20’s larger viewfinder with more focus points allows you to snap more and faster.
If you're looking for a small, interchangeable lens camera, the Fujifilm X-T20 could work incredible for you. Although it already comes with one lens, it can definitely shoot really good quality.
Samsung took all the best features of the NX1 and scaled them down into a smaller, more affordable option that’s perfect for travelers, action-lovers, and families alike.
While downloading the multiple apps can make the setup more difficult than other popular cameras, Android users have little to no problems once setup is complete. The NX500 allows you to easily change lens and other functions and take stunning images or capture 4k video while you are on the go.