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.
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),
JPEG (1:1)：13.3M (3648x3648), 7.0M (2640x2640), 4.0M (2000x2000),
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)
. SNS & Cloud
. Auto Backup
. Remote Viewfinder Pro
. Samsung Link
. Group Share
. Direct Beam
. Home Monitoring
. Baby Monitoring
|NFC||Advanced Passive NFC(Wired NFC)|
|Bundle PC software||iLauncher, Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 5|
|Storage||SD, SDHC, SDXC, UHS-1|
|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.
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.
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.