Compact, light, smart and stylish, the latest hybrid interchangeable lens NX system camera from Samsung
The stylish and sophisticated new Samsung NX100
Samsung's NX100 makes it a choice of eleven hybrid or mirror-less interchangeable lens system cameras from four manufacturers, the others being Panasonic (4), Sony (2), and Olympus (3), while Samsung now has two of its own when you add the NX100 to the original NX10. It's still early days for this category of system camera, but there is no lack of commitment from the four mirror-less marques, who all have a common aim of eclipsing traditional reflex mirror-equipped digital single lens reflex cameras.
Samsung is especially ambitious. Mr. SangJin Park, president of Samsung's Digital Imaging Division, Samsung Electronics, declared: "Our aim is to lead the mirror-less camera market in the same way we do the DualView category, and the new NX100 is the embodiment of that goal."
So just what does the NX100 have to lure prospective buyers? On page 2 of this article you can compare the specifications of the NX100 with three of its key rivals, while further down this page we have a gallery of images from Samsung of the NX100, lenses and accessories.
Let's start with the design. Samsung has not been afraid to be daring with its camera designs and the NX100 is no exception. As you can see in the view above, the top plate widens and slopes forward around the area of the shutter release, making the design look slightly wonky. It looks better from other viewpoints. There is a definite organic feel to the design. The lens fitted in the above picture is a second pancake lens, a 20mm f/2.8 (30mm equivalent), supplementing the 30mm f/2.8 (45mm equivalent) pancake launched with the original NX10.
At the back is a big and bright 3 inch AMOLED screen and a neat arrangement of controls. A connector immediately behind the flash hot shoe accommodates an optional clip-on electronic viewfinder, although this is of the low resolution (200K dots) variety. Underneath the skin we have the latest variation of Samsung's own 14 megapixel APS-C CMOS sensor, and the ISO sensitivity range has been increased to 6400 at the upper limit.
A neat innovation introduced with the NX100 is called i-Function, which is the ability to use the focus ring on selected lenses as a control ring for a range of modes, including aperture, shutter speed, ISO, etc. Choose the adjustment mode on the camera body and then you can use the focus ring as a supplementary adjustment wheel for the selected mode. This is possible because the focus ring is a fly-by-wire control so it's easily reconfigured temporarily as a control for other systems in the camera.
New kit zoom
Besides the new 20mm pancake there is a new 20-50mm f/3.5-5.6 kit lens (30-75mm equivalent). It's super compact and light to match the design of the NX100 body. This and the 20mm pancake feature suitability icons on the lens barrel to indicate what the lens is ideally suited for, for example portrait, landscape, etc. Not only that, according the suitability rating of the lens, when mounted to the camera body appropriate settings can be automatically applied to make best use of that lens.
Some time in the next nine months we can expect at least two more lenses for NX system cameras; a 60mm (90mm equivalent) macro lens, and a 18-200 (27-300mm equivalent) superzoom. We can also look forward to a compact design electronic flash, and a GPS receiver so you can geo-tag your photos.
All NX system lenses are Samsung-only branded. Samsung feels that the NX range represents the in-depth resources of its in-house technologies and manufacturing capabilities, from sensors, AMOLED screens, through to lens optics. Samsung could have used the Schneider Kreuznach branding that highlights its premium compacts, but for NX Samsung is saying 'this is all our work'.
There's also a variety of interesting features, from a Smart Filter that lets you apply special effects to images, a Sound Picture option for recording audio tagged to the picture taken, and of course there is a 720P HD video recording mode.
The Samsung NX100 is another welcome addition to the hybrid range of cameras, widening the scope of choice for photographers who want a sophisticated camera that isn't a DSLR.
Now explore the NX100 with our product image gallery below or click to page 2 for a side by side comparison of the specifications of the NX100 and key rivals
Click on a thumbnail below to see a larger captioned version of the picture...
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Mirror-less interchangeable lens Samsung NX100 steps up pressure on DSLRs
DPNow Mirror-less interchangeable lens Samsung NX100 steps up pressure on DSLRs
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