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Samsung Announces New Mirrorless NX30 & Two New Lenses

Samsung Announces New Mirrorless NX30 & Two New Lenses

With all the announcements in the past few months from manufacturers like Olympus, Nikon and Sony, it's easy to forget that Samsung has a large footing in the interchangeable lens compact (ILC) market. I know many of you may not consider their cameras presently, but Samsung is taking the development of their ILCs very seriously. I had a chance to sit down and chat with the folks at Samsung as they walked me through their latest announcement, the NX30.

Samsung leaped forward and is now #2 in mirrorless compact cameras in the US, a huge jump from their 2012 stranding as something like 5 or 6 in the market. They're gaining considerable footing due to the amount of effort they're putting into their cameras' performance. Autofocus with their sensors is a wholly different experience than what you might expect out of their competitors. It's wicked fast, no matter the light.

The NX30 uses the same sensor as the NX300, if not slightly improved. It will employ an advanced Hybrid Auto Focus system featuring both phase and contrast detection points, and a great many more of each than any other camera on the market (that's what gives it such a snappy fast AF). The camera also offers 1/8000s shutter speed and 9fps continuous shooting. The NX30's ISO performs between 100-25600.

The NX30 is built with multiple use cases in mind. They included a high-resolution tilt electronic viewfinder (EVF, XGA, 2,359K-dot resolution) allowing you to position the EVF at up to an 80-degree angle upward and downward making it easy for any shooting angle, and also an improved 3.0-inch swiveling pop-out AMOLED display. That display is brighter than its predecessor, the NX20 which is always a welcome improvement.

Dropbox is pre-loaded on the NX30 in selected regions – making it the first camera-specific device to offer direct-to-Dropbox uploading. Additionally, users of the NX30 in select regions can upload directly to Flickr, the full resolution photo sharing site – another first in a camera-specific device. Using the advanced connected features of the NX30, images can be uploaded automatically so that snap happy photographers will not need to be concerned with filling up their memory cards ever again.

NX30 1 Fstoppers

NX30 2 Fstoppers

NX30 16-50mm_001_Front_black Fstoppers

NX30 16-50mm_002_Right-Angle1_black Fstoppers

NX30 16-50mm_008_Dynamic1_black Fstoppers

NX30 18-55mm_003_Right-Angle1_black Fstoppers

NX30 18-55mm_023_Dynamic4_black Fstoppers

NX30 and 16-50mm 1 Fstoppers

NX30 and 16-50mm 2 Fstoppers

NX30 and 16-50mm 3 Fstoppers

NX30 and 16-50mm 4 Fstoppers

NX30 and 16-50mm 5 Fstoppers

NX30 and 18-55mm 1 Fstoppers

NX30 and 18-55mm 2 Fstoppers

NX30 and 18-55mm 3 Fstoppers

NX30 and 18-55mm 4 Fstoppers

NX30_01 Fstoppers

NX30_03 Fstoppers

The nitty gritty of the specs can be seen below:

Image Sensor 20.3 effective megapixel APS-C CMOS
Display 76.7mm (3.0”) AMOLED with a Swivel Touch Panel Display
FVGA (720x480) 1036K dots (S-Stripe)
Viewfinder Tiltable EVF w/Eye Contact Sensor
XGA (1024x768) 2,359K dots
Field of view : 100%
Magnification : 1.0x (Equivalent to a 50mm lens)
ISO Auto, 100, 200, 400, 800, 1600, 3200, 6400, 12800, 25600
Image JPEG (3:2):20.0M (5472x3648), 10.1M (3888x2592), 5.9M (2976x1984),
2.0M (1728x1152), 5.0M (2736x1824): Burst mode only
JPEG (16:9):16.9M (5472x3080), 7.8M (3712x2088), 4.9M (2944x1656),
2.1M (1920x1080)
JPEG (1:1):13.3M (3648x3648), 7.0M (2640x2640), 4.0M (2000x2000),
1.1M (1024x1024)
RAW : 20.0M (5472x3648)
* 3D Image Size : MPO, JPEG (16:9) 4.1M (2688x1512), (16:9) 2.1M (1920x1080)
* 3D Image Size : JPEG (16:9) 4.1M (2688x1512), (16:9) 2.1M (1920x1080)
Video MP4 (Video: MPEG4, AVC/H.264, Audio: AAC)
1920x1080, 1920x810, 1280x720 , 640x480, 320x240(for Sharing)
Video Output NTS, PAL, HDMI 1.4a
Additional Features Tag & Go (NFC/Wi-Fi): Photo Beam, AutoShare, Remote View Finder Pro, Mobile LinkSMART Mode : Beauty Face, Landscape, Macro, Action Freeze, Rich Tone, Panorama, Waterfall, Silhouette, Sunset, Night, Fireworks, Light Trace, Creative Shot, Best Face, Multi-Exposure, Smart Jump Shot
3D still image & video capturing
Wi-Fi Connectivity IEEE 802.11b/g/n support Dual Channel (SMART Camera 2.0)
. AutoShare
. SNS & Cloud
. Email
. Auto Backup
. Remote Viewfinder Pro
. MobileLink
. Samsung Link
. Group Share
. Direct Beam
. HomeSync
. Home Monitoring
. Baby Monitoring
NFC Advanced Passive NFC(Wired NFC)
Bundle PC software iLauncher, Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 5
Storage SD, SDHC, SDXC, UHS-1
Battery BP1410 (1410mAh)
Dimension (WxHxD) 127 x 95.5 x 58.4mm (excluding the projection part)
Weight 342 g (without battery)

Samsung has built in what they call the SMART 3.0 platform, which is a software which allows easier sharing of images taken with the NX30 and includes Flickr and Dropbox integration.

The system's new "Tag & Go" feature allows users to quickly share images and video to NFC-enabled devices with, as expected, a tap of the camera. The new Photo Beam feature allows users to share images with a quick tap from the mobile device to the camera. Additionally, for sharing with larger groups, Samsung has incorporated the Group Share feature, which enables users to simultaneously share images with up to four devices near the camera.

With the addition of Remote Viewfinder Pro, users can extend their photography experience to their smartphone or tablet device and remotely adjust settings and trigger the camera’s shutter. Expanded controls include new integrations with exposure compensation and smart panel functions giving photographers more governance over their images.

Samsung’s unique iFunction feature, which offers easy control over camera settings via a button on the lens, has also been improved to cater to advanced photographers. Users can now extend their iFunction settings beyond the lens and program up to three keys to adjust certain manual settings the photographer finds most important.

In addition to the camera, Samsung has also announced two 16-50mm lenses, one at a constant f/2.0 in what they are calling their premium S-Series lines of optics, and the other much flatter and smaller at f/3.5-5.6. In case you didn't know, Samsung actually makes all their own lenses now instead of going to other manufacturers, which makes them more responsible for the performance of the glass, which they insist is only getting better.

16-50mm F2-2.8 S ED OIS Lens 1 Fstoppers

16-50mm F2-2.8 S ED OIS Lens 2 Fstoppers

Samsung claims the 16-50mm F2.0-28 S ED OIS lens "contains some of the most advanced engineering of lenses Samsung has to offer." They put significant effort into top-notch materials and oversight into quality and value control, to a degree that Samsung believes the lens to be great enough to classify in a new premium brand of lenses to complement the already growing mirrorless NX-line.

16-50mm F3.5-5.6 Power Zoom ED OIS lens B 1 Fstoppers

16-50mm F3.5-5.6 Power Zoom ED OIS lens B 2 Fstoppers

In addition to its first premium “S” series lens, Samsung has also announced the 16-50mm F3.5-5.6 Power Zoom ED OIS lens, the most compact wide-angle zoom lens in the NX system. You read that right: it's a lens that actually zooms with power, something that I'm not sure anyone has ever done before on a interchangeable lens body much like the Sony 16-50mm power zoom lens. It acts like a point and shoot zoom or a more traditional SLR zoom, depending on what you want.

If you're at CES, you can go and see these new products now, but for those of you not at the massive Las Vegas show, pricing and availability will supposedly be coming in the near future.

Jaron Schneider's picture

Jaron Schneider is an Fstoppers Contributor and an internationally published writer and cinematographer from San Francisco, California. His clients include Maurice Lacroix, HD Supply, SmugMug, the USAF Thunderbirds and a host of industry professionals.

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"it’s a lens that actually zooms with power, something that I’m not sure anyone has ever done before on a interchangeable lens body" - isn't that just like Sony's 16-50 E-mount power zoom?

I was not aware of that lens. Thanks for the update. Does it actually zoom with power, or just retract to make itself smaller when not in use?

No problem Jaron! It retracts when switched off and changes focal length (zooms) through a lever on the side. The ring on the lens can also be used to adjust focal length quickly (this function switches to manual focus when half-pressing the shutter button).

Edit: I think Sony have another power lens as well, an 18-200 which comes bundled with some particular NEX camcorders since the power zoom is ideal for video

Cool thanks. Updated!

Pentax also had power zoom lens in the film age for there SLR's.

This enabled auto lens retraction (for lens that changed size on focus), Zoom effect (auto zoom during an exposure), Image size tracking (zoomed to keep the subject the same size during the exposure) and power zoom (zoom by twisting the zoom ring on the barrel or by controls on the body).

Sadly in the digital area this feature has been removed from there lens and while the older lens still work on pentax body's only a basic level of the zoom feature works (changing zoom by twisting the zoom barrel).

The Power Zoom contact's are now used for SMD/DC focus motors in lens.

kinda like Minolta's xi power zoom lenses from the early 1990s?

yea, pentax lens were early 90's too like there FA* 28-70 f2.8 and FA* 80-200 f2.8 but also other non * lens too.

The pentax version let you push the zoom ring forward to enable the zoom feature or use the zoom as manual but from what I can see on the Minolta XI lens it was always on and not that great?

Wow~ okay back to my old-but-doing-good D700 :D

When I was at PPE this year, I met with most all of the camera manufacturers. The Samsung Galaxy phone was one of the most impressive by far. I'm excited to see what the new model can show off

"Additionally, users of the NX30 in select regions can upload directly to Flickr, the full resolution photo sharing site – another first in a camera-specific device." A small clarification, actually the Sony A7(r) also upload directly to Flickr and Facebook for all regions.

Interesting. That particular bit of language came straight outta Samsung.

Very smart design! I really like that eyepiece! Companies like Samsung, Sony, and Olympus are really advancing the state of the art of in digital cameras. What the hell Nikon and Canon are thinking with garbage like the Nikon 1 system or the Rebel SL1 is beyond me. Those two companies need a massive wake-up call.