Samsung is in a way similar to Sony. They like to experiment with digital cameras. If it shows to be a flop – no problem, something else will come next year that would sell well. Samsung already has a mirrorless system based around the NX lens mount and APS-C sized sensor, several cameras and a fistful of lenses. Therefore, the next logical (?) step was to introduce another mirrorless system, based around the smaller 13 x 9 mm sensor. So there it is: the NX mini. It is obvious who are the main target group – people who want small stylish camera with network connectivity and capable of somewhat better image quality compared to theirs iPhone. But is it more than that? That’s what I wanted to find out during my time with the NX mini.
Samsung has been a player in mirrorless market almost since the first mirrorless cameras arrived. It has released a number of cameras and a range of lenses in the last few years but it seems it cannot grab a hold of significant market share nonetheless. The new NX2000 is positioned at the bottom of the Samsung mirrorless lineup and I was anxious to see what it has to offer.
NX300 is the latest mirrorless offering from Samsung. Behind the very nice retro design, NX300 has a full range of features which should appeal to prospective buyers: 20 MP APS-C sensor, full HD video, 3.3″ LCD with tilt and touch capability and Wi-Fi connection just to name a few. This is theory, but in practice NX300 is a classic example how a good product can be ruined by rushing it out on market without thoroughly testing it before release.
Samsung has published the source code for two of its latest mirrorless cameras: NX2000 and NX300. This is first time any major camera manufacturer offered camera firmware to public and opens a whole range of possibilities for users to enhance the camera’s capabilities.
Having in mind how successful Magic Lantern was with theirs firmware upgrade for Canon EOS bodies, this latest move from Samsung is a potential game changer. Possibilities are almost endless: advanced file processing, RAW video, HDR (yuck), time-lapse, focus peaking… programmers imagination becomes the limit.
Source code can be found at this link.
Is it a Smartphone? No, you can’t make calls with it. Is it a camera? Not quite, it’s more than that. So what is this latest Samsung’s product – the Galaxy Camera? Samsung describes it as compact superzoom/Android smart device hybrid, and I agree. It’s a previously unseen combination of 21x optical zoom digital camera, 4.8″ touch screen and Android operating system with full Smartphone functionality except phone calls. I had an opportunity to play with it for a few hours, and although that’s not enough for detailed review, it was enough to give me a very good insight about its abilities and image quality.