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4th January 2010
Our hands-on preview of Samsung's new NX10 hybrid system camera
by Ian Burley
6638: Our hands-on preview of Samsung's new NX10 hybrid system camera

Here's our first-look review of Samsung's new hybrid system camera

Read our editorial examing the potential for the hybrid camera concept.

UPDATE: UK guide price likely to be 599 with 18-55 kit zoom.

UPDATE: Some additional information has been included in the article since it was first published - see bold text:

** Official Samsung NX10 press release

We have a product tour gallery of no less than 35 images further down this page; not Samsung PR images, but our own unique shots of the new Samsung NX10, and the three lenses that accompany it.

We'll be looking at the NX10 and what Samsung is looking to achieve with its new camera system in more detail over the next few days, but just to whet your appetite, here are the key points about the NX10 that caught our attention when we were briefed on the NX10 by engineers from Samsung's R&D in Korea:

  • Compact and lightweight non-reflex (mirror-less) body using interchangeable lenses - a hybrid system camera in the mould already cast by Panasonic Lumix and Olympus..
  • Brand new Samsung NX lens mount.
  • NX lens mount is not compatible with K-mount lenses, although an adapter for use of K-mount lenses will be offered. The adapter only provides a physical mount - no data pass-through for exposure, or focus information/control, is provided.
  • Lenses at launch: 30mm f/2 pancake (45mm equivalent), 50-200 f/4-5.6 tele zoom (75-300), and 18-55 f/3.5-5.6 kit zoom (27-83). The 18-55 has a plastic lens mount, while the other two have metal mounts. Several more lenses are scheduled to be launched later in the year - but we can't tell you about them just yet.
  • Samsung has opted to go down the lens optical image stabilisation route instead of a moving sensor system. Of the three lenses announced, only the pancake is not equipped with IS.
  • 14 megapixel APS-C CMOS sensor (basically the same highly -regarded Samsung chip used in the Pentax K20D and the Samsung GX20 DSLRs).
  • Compared to the Samsung GX10 and GX20 DSLRs, the flange back distance (the distance from the front of the lens mount to the sensor plane) has been reduced from 45.5mm to 25.5mm.
  • NX platform is completely developed and engineered by Samsung; it's not a joint project with Pentax, as the GX DSLR series is.
  • Samsung's own VGA (pixels) electronic viewfinder is used in the NX10. That's 307,200 pixels, or 921,600 dots. That falls short of the 1.44 megadot EVFs used by Panasonic and Olympus in their own hybrid cameras, but you probably wouldn't notice the relative lack of dots in real life - the NX10's EVF certainly impressed me.
  • Another impressive feature of the NX10 is its AMOLED (Active Matrix Organic Light Emitting Diode) 3 inch LCD screen. Samsung says its in-house developed AMOLED screen has significantly greater brightness, contrast ratio, and lower power consumption compared to the best conventional TFT LCD screens found on digital cameras today. Resolution is VGA (pixels), matching the EVF.
  • Autofocus; Samsung says its contrast detect AF is a match in terms of performance to the class-leading AF system from Panasonic Lumix, and superior to that of Olympus with its PEN EP series of Micro Four Thirds hybrid cameras.
  • HD video recording mode is provided as standard - to 720 30p specification, or 1280x720 resolution, 30 frames per second progressive scan. H.264 compression is used and clips can be recorded up to 25 minutes long.
  • Audio is only recorded in mono and there is no external microphone port.
  • Autofocus is not possible while a video recording is in progress, only at the very start of the recording.
  • Two flash units, the SEF20A (featured in our product gallery below) and the SEF42A, are provided for the NX10. The NX flash system is not compatible with GX DSLRs

Here's our NX10 gallery - click on an item to make the image larger:


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