We already chewed the cud on these 20.3-megapixel shooters in the early hours of this morning, but Samsung knows we have multiple stomachs for this kind of thing so it invited us in for a little hands-on time. Now, it's worth reiterating that these cameras are far from cheap: the DSLR-rivalling NX20 costs $1,100 with the kit lens, the compact NX210 costs $900 and the wee NX1000 has yet to be priced but could likely come in at around $700. Even so, now that we've had the pleasure of meeting each one individually, there are a few key selling points that make them stand out, and which could potentially turn Samsung into more of a challenger in this game. What selling points, exactly? Oh, only things like big APS-C sensors, AMOLED displays and built-in WiFi across the board. If any of that appeals, read on for more.
It's pretty remarkable that even the little NX1000, which weighs just 360 grams and feels tiny, packs such a large sensor. If it's priced right, it could woo people away from the Nikon V1 and J1, which both have relatively tiny sensors -- an optical drawback that can increase noise and provide less flexibility over depth of field. Samsung's APS-C generosity might even push the whole market up a notch.
Another key spec shared by all three cameras is the use of AMOLED displays. This resulted in bright and punchy images even we viewed images in front of a sun-drenched window. The NX20 actually has a slightly different panel, which Samsung calls Clear AMOLED and which contains an extra layer that is meant to boost contrast. We didn't notice much of a difference, but then the lighting around us wasn't harsh enough to push it. What we did notice, however, was that the NX20 packs a flip-out display, like the Nikon D5100 and the Canon G1 X, which is a great asset -- if only the NX20 was comparably priced.
One more crucial spec that these cameras share, and that other players in the field don't, is the in-built WiFi. It wasn't ready for us to play with, but it aims to do more than you might expect -- such as uploading images direct to social networks and allowing the shutter and various other camera functions to be controlled remotely via a smartphone.
In addition to allowing the camera to transfer files direct to a PC, or to a Smart TV over DLNA, all these cameras can also connect to local networks, and they even have mini-browsers so that you can gain access to hotspots with web-based login screens. When you consider that the D3200 has a less capable widget that juts out at the side and costs extra, it's clear that Samsung is out to get noticed.
These cameras should start arriving next month, but in the meantime here's the PR and a hands-on video from Engadget Chinese -- just in case you missed them at 3am.
Capture, connect and share with a Samsung SMART CAMERA
Share life in perfect detail with the NX1000, NX20 and NX210 - the world's first SMART compact system cameras with built-in Wi-Fi connectivity
BEIJING, China – April 19, 2012 – Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd, a global leader in digital media and digital convergence technologies is breaking new ground with its award-winning NX series with three new compact system cameras (CSC) that pioneer built-in Wi-Fi connectivity: the NX1000, NX210 and NX20. Now professional quality images can be easily captured, shared and stored straight from your camera - wherever you are in the world.
Introducing the NX1000, NX210 and NX20
The innovative additions to Samsung's NX range represent the future in CSC technology: SMART cameras with in-built Wi-Fi technology that allow users to connect to wireless networks without any additional cards or devices. Full Wi-Fi connectivity is complemented by an impressive range of features, continuing the heritage of innovation that the NX series has been consistently recognized for since the launch of the NX10 in 2010.
As standard, all three NX models feature a 20.3 Megapixel APS-C CMOS sensor, developed in-house by Samsung to give high quality images in rich color and detail. They are also fully compatible with the NX series' unique i-Function system, enabling users to control parameters using the lens itself, adjusting the image without ever having to move off target. With Samsung's range of nine lenses and professional standard accessories, the NX eco-system ensures that all imaging ambitions can be realised, whatever the user's photographic speciality or interest.
Enhancing Samsung's 2012 SMART CAMERA ecosystem, these latest additions to the NX range have been designed to satisfy the ambitions of users of all abilities, whether an experienced professional or someone just looking to trade-up from their point-and-shoot.
The NX1000 is highly portable and its eye-catching compact design makes it as useable as it is attractive. Available in stunning White, classic Black or eye-catching Pink it houses a feature-rich range of specs, with technology such as Smart Auto 2.0 and the Smart Link Hot Key, making it simpler than ever to shoot and share great images instantly.
The NX210 follows the NX's design heritage, with a premium metallic finish. Like its predecessor the NX200, the NX210 also offers a 3.0" AMOLED display for viewing images and Full HD movies in brilliant resolution. With easy access to Wi-Fi functions, the NX210 allows quick sharing with friends and family, whilst with Samsung Mobile Link users can show off their best images on phones and tablets, or on the big screen with TV Link connecting the NX210 wirelessly to internet-enabled TVs.
The NX20 is the perfect match for enthusiast amateur or professional photographers looking for a highly portable camera that gives the professional look and feel of a DSLR but at a fraction of the size and weight, with the addition of an ergonomic grip to fit comfortably into the hand. Delivering impressive speed with its 1/8000s Fast Shutter, breath-taking images are shown on its clear 3.0" clear AMOLED swivel display, increasing visibility by approximately 20%. The NX20 also incorporates a range of functions and manual controls in order to deliver pro-standard pictures every time, including SVGA EVF so users can frame images like a professional.
In-Built Wi-Fi for simple sharing and saving
With Samsung's latest SMART features, users can share pictures at the touch of a button, uploading to social networks including Facebook and Picasa, or emailing them to friends and family – all straight from their new NX camera. The cameras also offer further options for capturing and displaying images via other devices, including the ability to link to a Samsung smartphone and use as a remote viewfinder, and - with the Samsung Mobile Link function - to display images on devices such as tablets or internet-enabled TV.
Creative control at the touch of a button
Pictures shared on the spur of the moment are no longer restricted to simply shooting and sending - with the creative features of the new NX cameras, Facebook pictures can be artistic without ever going near a computer. The ten Smart Filters and added Selective Color function, for example, mean that users can adjust the look and feel of shots as they take them. In addition, all three cameras also feature Panorama and 3D Panorama, allowing the whole story to be told in one complete picture. With the Smart Panel featured on all the new models, settings and features can be easily accessed and applied, making creative photography easier than ever.
Mr. Myoung Sup Han, Senior Vice President and Head of the Digital Imaging Business, Samsung Electronics, commented: "The three new additions to the NX range mark an evolution in Samsung's SMART CAMERA offering, demonstrating our understanding that digital imaging is about sharing the best moments with family and friends, and not only about taking great pictures. Samsung is paving the way, introducing the world's first SMART Compact-System-Cameras for professional standard images that are worth sharing."
"With the inclusion of in-built Wi-Fi connectivity, our customers can now share pictures and videos straight from their NX camera. More importantly, however, the NX camera's wireless connectivity does not mean sacrificing fantastic image quality – you can now have the best of both at your fingertips. This dedication to innovation will make Samsung a leader in the SMART CAMERA market."