One of the most underrated mirrorless camera systems, Samsung NX, has just been refreshed with a new model. The Galaxy NX carries on with manufacturer’s widely used 20.3 megapixel APS-C sensor and supports the whole current NX lens line-up. The thing that attracts most attention at first, though, is the name of this compact system camera. “Galaxy” is a family of Samsung’s popular Android smartphone line-up. Which means, yes, Galaxy NX is the first ever mirrorless camera with Android Jelly Bean (version 4.2.2).
Overview and Specifications
As a company, Samsung is a real South Korean giant. It’s big. Let me rephrase that – it is very, very big. Multi-industry company with businesses spread worldwide and founded in 1938, Samsung has about fifteen times more employees than one of the biggest camera industry players we all know so well, Nikon. What’s more, Samsung is not just one of the biggest electronics giant we know it to be. There’s also the construction part. And shipbuilding. And then medical equipment, chemicals, precision instruments, et cetera, et cetera. For many, though, Samsung is best know for its electronics, which includes TVs and other home appliances, compact cameras (and DSLRs while in partnership with Pentax) and very popular and numerous Android mobile phones that dominate today’s smartphone industry. All of that, for some reason, isn’t enough to make Samsung NX compact system cameras desirable. They may not have attracted enough attention playing by the rules of more established manufacturers, but Samsung isn’t giving up. They have innovation up their sleeve.
Samsung Galaxy NX has the usual set of specifications with a high resolution APS-C CMOS sensor and ISO sensitivity range of 100-25600. Just like any other mirrorless camera, it supports RAW capture and 1080p25 video with stereo sound recording. It has a shutter speed range of 30s-1/6000s and, more importantly, a hybrid AF system with both phase- and contrast-detect autofocus. As a high-end camera in the NX line-up, Galaxy NX comes with an EVF, though resolution isn’t great at 800 x 600 pixels. Impressively, the Galaxy NX is capable of firing up to 8.6 frames per second. Even more impressively, it has a massive 4.8″ touchscreen at the back. It’s very sharp, too, with 1280 x 720 pixel resolution – no other camera, be it mirrorless or DSLR, comes even close to that. Most of the camera operating is done with the help of this touchscreen as, save for the dial at the top, a shutter button, movie record button and on/off button, there are no other controls available. The back of the camera is dominated by the huge touchscreen which also makes the camera quite large.
Finally, we need to address the part where this camera is also a “smart” Android device. All appropriate connectivity is on-board, including Wi-Fi, 3G/4G, Bluetooth and GPS, so you can actually browse the internet or chat through Skype/Hangout and check your email if you want to. In other words, you can do everything that a regular Android smartphone allows you to do. This camera is powered by a 1.6GHz quad-core processor and packs 2 GB of RAM memory and 16 GB of built-in storage. Storage can be further expanded through microSD cards with up to 64 GB of memory.
Here’s is a short list of key specifications:
- APS-C CMOS sensor with approx. 20.3 megapixels
- ISO sensitivity of up to 25600
- 4.8″ capacitive touchscreen with HD resolution, plus EVF
- RAW support
- Shutter speed of up to 1/6000
- Android 4.2.2 Jelly Bean with Samsung’s TouchWiz user interface
- 1.6GHz quad-core processor with 2GB of RAM and 16GB of built-in storage expandable with microSD cards
- 1080p25 Full HD video recording
- Hybrid AF sysem
- Up to 8.6 frames per second continuous shooting
- Wi-Fi, GPS, Bluetooth, 3G/4G connectivity, 3.5mm audio jack
- Weighs 495g (1.09 lb / 17.46 oz) with batteries
- Measures 137x101x26mm (5.39 x 3.98 x 1.02″)
Having Android OS on board can certainly make a camera very flexible and functional. However, I own a Samsung smartphone myself and from my experience, Android can be quite… let’s say, problematic. It’s not a bad OS by no means – Google sure knows what they’re doing. It’s just that it’s not as fluid and quick and problem-free as a camera should be. It’s fine for most phones, yes, but with DSLR’s and serious mirrorless cameras you take speed for granted and want everything to be instantaneous. Start-up times are another question, too, because a smartphone takes quite a while to turn on and off. It’s yet unclear if these issues will be present with the Galaxy NX, so we’ll just have to wait until we get one into our hands before jumping to conclusions.
Official Press Release
Introducing GALAXY NX, the First Interchangeable-Lens Camera with 3G/4G LTE & Wi-Fi Connectivity
Always connected, the Samsung GALAXY NX turns every picture into a story worth telling
LONDON, UK – June 20, 2013 – Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd. today announced the launch of the GALAXY NX, the first 3G/4G LTE Connected Compact System Camera (CSC). Versatile and easy to use, the GALAXY NX combines cutting edge optical performance with connectivity capabilities and a galaxy of applications based on the Android eco-system, all in one stylish package. The result is a new type of connected device that allows users to turn their experiences into a story that can be instantly shared with anyone they choose, from wherever they might be, in amazing color and outstanding detail.
“The GALAXY NX reflects the unique needs of a user who needs to take professional photos and share them immediately in any situation. For those who want to express themselves and the exciting moments that make up their lives quickly, easily and on the go, the GALAXY NX is an ideal choice” said Myoung Sup Han, Senior Vice President and Head of the Digital Imaging Business, Samsung Electronics.
Share everything, from anywhere
With 3G/4G LTE technology, the GALAXY NX allows photographers to stay constantly connected with their world. Promising speedy sharing whether on the move or right at home, the GALAXY NX’s seamless connectivity transcends the current offering to photographers, providing a device which puts the sharing of professional level images at its heart. The GALAXY NX embraces the era of visual communication to provide an outlet for passionate photographers to express their exciting experiences immediately in spectacular quality.
The GALAXY NX is equipped to help you capture the scene and mood of every hotspot you visit. Photo Suggest provides location based recommendations of popular photography spots, sourced from a huge library of images taken by fellow photographers across the world. Story Album lets users enjoy timeless memories by displaying special moments on one timeline, reframing and resizing them to create digital photo books that can be viewed and shared on other devices.
Stunning picture quality
Superior image quality is available whenever and wherever with the GALAXY NX and an array of interchangeable lenses. The 20.3MP APS-C Sensor produces images which are bright and detailed, even in low light conditions, while the DRIMe IV Image Signal Processer delivers the speed and accuracy which today’s photographers demand.
Life moves fast and the GALAXY NX makes sure that you don’t miss a moment. Its Advanced Hybrid Auto Focus (AF) System ensures accurate phase and contrast detection for crisp, vibrant shots, while the 1/6000 sec shutter speed and 8.6fps shooting lets you capture the action as it’s happening.
The flexibility offered by the GALAXY NX’s selection of Interchangeable Lenses places creative control firmly in the hands of the photographer, opening up a world of imaging possibilities, whatever the scenario. From compact pancake lenses and an ultra-wide fisheye, to exquisite longer prime and zoom lenses, the extensive range of lenses help change users perspective on their world to create images which are truly special and help them to tell their story in a new way. True 3D Creator also brings an added element of realism to the GALAXY NX results, allowing users to shoot images and movies in 3D with Samsung’s 45mm 2D/3D lens.
Simple and easy to use
With Android 4.2 Jelly Bean, the functionality of a smartphone is utilized to improve the photographic experience. Users can choose from an entire universe of Android apps to help personalize their GALAXY NX and do more than just shoot amazing photographs and video, from editing images to adding special effects to staying in touch with friends and family.
The GALAXY NX is packed with features which help photographers to take images that embody their passions and express their unique outlook on the scenes they are shooting. More than 30 Smart Modes lets users choose the optimum settings for the environment they are capturing, as well as create fresh, artistic images. ‘Multi Exposure’ merges two different shots together to produce one distinctive image, while ‘Animated Photo’ connects continuous shots of up to five seconds, creating a moving GIF file. For added realism, ‘Sound & Shot’ stores sound and voice together as the picture is taken, so moments are captured exactly as they happened.
For added personalization, Camera Studio allows users to easily customize settings with their most frequently used applications or camera modes, making sure their photos are captured exactly as desired every time.