Samsung has announced the GALAXY NX mirrorless interchangeable lens camera. The first MILC running on Android platform and supports 3G / 4G LTE wireless connectivity, as well as Wi-Fi-. Now doubt that 2013 is the year for Samsung in both the mobile phone and tablets’ category, and it seems that it might be for the photography category as well. Innovation is the key in this industry. In this article we’ll take a closer look at this unique mirrorless camera and see what makes this camera such an attractive offer to the amateur and enthusiast photographer.
Samsung is already strong in the Compact System Camera business, but not as strong as it would want to be. This CSC market is ruled by Panasonic, Olympus and Sony and Samsung way to increase its market share is to innovate, as much as possible. The Galaxy NX is not the first digital camera with Android operating system, but the first Compact System Camera with both Android and 3G / 4G LTE connectivity. This is not a phone, you can use the GALAXY NX to make or receive phone calls. The 3G / 4G LTE allows the phone to send and receive data over a high-bandwidth cellular network.
This is exactly what a digital camera needs, especially one this is aimed towards the enthusiast photographer, This brings the Android eco-system into the Interchangeable-lens camera’s world, extending the camera’s functionality using downloadable apps and use the 3G / 4G LTE technology to stay connected with the world, share, backup and store images on the move when there isn’t a computer next to you.
This type of functionality was possible before, but you had to have a Wi-Fi enabled camera plus an Android smartphone in order to enjoy the benefits of both worlds. Now it’s much easier to take advantage of the Android platform right inside your camera. You can share gorgeous images with your friends, sign up to photography competitions and submit your image when your are outside, share your photos and videos via social networks and much more. The possibilities are endless due to the extendability that you get from downloading and installing apps on the Samsung Galaxy NX camera.
Samsung has three unique cameras to attract the enthusiast photographer, including the Samsung Galaxy S4 Zoom 10x optical zoom smartphone, the Samsung Galaxy Camera with Android 4.1 OS (3G + Wi-Fi) and of course the latest offering, the Galaxy NX CSC camera with both Android, Wi-Fi and 3G / 4G LTE data transfer over a cellular network.
Meet the Samsung Galaxy NX
Samsung GALAXY NX, you can call it an “Android Compact System Camera” has a 20.3MP APS-C size and DRIMe IV image processor. For those who are new to those technical terms, an APS-C is a sensor that is much larger than the one found on mobile phones, this leads to larger pixels that can capture more light. This result in much better low-light performance, less noise in high-ISO, higher dynamic range and better color accuracy. The image quality would be several times better than what you are used to with mobile phone and tablet cameras.
The GALAXY NX belongs to Samsung NX series of mirrorless Interchangeable lenses. So it differs from a conventional camera, by the fact that you can mount different lenses on it, instead of having a fixed lens attached to the camera. This versatility allows the photographer to me more creative in its work by using special lenses like fish-eye, 1:1 macro, ultra-wide angle, fast prime lenses, etc.
The unique wireless connectivity turns this camera into the perfect travel camera. Now you can share gorgeous photos with friends and family without being limited by the phone’s camera limited creative capabilities. On of the main reasons why people get these type of cameras other than the obvious lens selection, is the high performance and having the option to have better control over the depth of field and being able to completely throw the background out of focus (degree depends on the lens used).
The Samsung Galaxy NX is not a DSLR camera, rather a Compact System Camera. It doesn’t have a reflex mirror and use an electronic viewfinder instead of an SVGA optical viewfinder. Not all CSC has an electronic viewfinder, some of them have only an LCD. This is certianly a welcomed feature and we can clearly see that Samsung want this camera to be favorite among amateurs but also among enthusiasts as well. There is a big move of people switching from DSLR to a Compact System Camera, and the NX might convince them tot switch over to Samsung instead of the competition. Whether or not the Android and Cellular connectivity will convince them to switch over to Samsung, only time will tell.
The Galaxy NX camera also features a Wi-Fi wireless connectivity so you can use it at home to upload files to your computer or transfer your files to your mobile device. With the Galaxy NX it’s easy to share your photos and videos on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and even upload videos to YouTube, all done with a few steps. Of course there is the added functionality that you get with apps that it’s just priceless. There are tens of thousands of apps that were designed for Android and you can use them even to edit your photos right inside the camera itself without the need of an external software. Just think of it as the perfect hybrid of smartphone and a high-quality camera and you get the idea what the GALAXY NX is all about.
The Galaxy NX also features an advanced Hybrid autofocus, a combination of contrast-detect AF and phase-detect AF for improved speed and accuracy for stills and video recording. The Phase detection AF calculated the distance from the subject and contrast-detect fine tunes the focus furthermore. This result in better subject tracking and fast AF performance even in difficult lighting situations. The result is a sharp and detailed image with the subject in focus just as you want it to be.
Android 4.2 Jelly Bean
Samsung Galaxy NX runs on Android 4.2 Jelly Bean operating system, the latest release of the Android OS. With this OS you can take advantage of the hundreds of thousands of apps to edit, backup, share and store your images and enjoy many online services that until now were only available for Android smartphones. This includes apps for applying image effects and filters, videos editing and effect, sharing photos and videos on Facebook, YouTube and tons of apps that will make using your camera a big joy.
The Samsung NX features the sensors that you expect to find on a smartphone device, like accelerometer, digital compass, gyroscope, light sensor, proximity sensor and A-GPS + GLONASS GPS receiver as well for geotagging your photos. As an android device you get to enjoy a gorgeous 4.8-inch TFT LCD touchscreen. This might sound like a huge screen, and it is, but let’s not forget that this is a large camera, not a phone that you will put into your pocket, so it’s great that Samsung brought us this large HD touch-sensitive display.
The camera comes with everything that you can expect from an Android-enabled device, including Google Maps, Image browser, built-in photo editor, Dropbox for storing your files, Android camera user interface with shooting modes (ie. Kids shot, Color bracket, Landscape, Best face, etc.), Google Play, Web Browser, etc.
The camera’s user interface adds some added functionality as you can see from the video above that responds to the mode dial wheel at the top of the camera for paging between the available options, but those of course can be paged using the slider on the screen using your fingers. The top dial wheel just helps making changes to the settings faster, especially when you use the EVF to compose your shots, rather than the back LCD.
Full Manual Control
As a Compact System Camera, the camera offers full manual control over the exposure. This means that you have full control over the ISO, Aperture and Shutter Speed, and you can put the camera on ‘M’ mode and set different settings for each of them manually. This helps photographers to gain much better control over the final image as they can make fine adjustment in order to get the result that they are after.
Samsung NX Lenses Comparability
The Samsung Galaxy NX is an NX smat digital camera and like other cameras in this series (e.g. NX300, NX2000, N1100, NX1000, NX20, NX210, NX200), the camera is compatible only with Samsung NX lenses. The camera will be sold with the 18-55mm OIS Kit lens. Of course you are not restricted to buy this lens or use this lens. You can buy the camera body and attach any lens of your choice, including a 18-200 mm f/3.5-6.3 ED OIS telephoto-zoom lens, 30mm f/2 pancake lens, 85mm f/1.4 ED SSA portrait lens and others. Just remember that those lenses are sold separately (for those who are new to this type of camera system).
The 18-55mm f/3.5-5-6 OIS II is probably the best lens for beginners who are making their first steps into the world of CSC/DSLR photography. It features a 3x optical zoom with optical image stabilization and fast auto focus. It’s relatively cheap and therefore good option for those who still don’t know which other lenses they want / need to use. As you gain more experience, you’ll know exactly what type of lenses you need to make the best out of this camera and your skills.
The Samsung Galaxy NX is a welcomed camera to the NX series, and a unique and exciting camera that will ignite a change in the world of interchangeable lens cameras. This is an evolutionary camera and I am not surprised that Samsung was the first to create one. This camera is aimed towards amateur and enthusiast photographers who can appreciate the advanced camera features (e.g. large sensor) and also those who will take advantage of its capabilities as an Android-based digital camera. The possibilities are endless. This is the vision of many photographers who are tired of other people deciding which functions that camera should have and which to put out. Now you can extend the camera’s capabilities with apps and download the apps that you find useful for the job.
This is the best you can get from both worlds. Image quality will be far superior to what you are used to with smartphones and the creative possibilities have just been multiplied by tends of thousands (and I am not overreacting ). In later article I will compare this exciting new camera against the Galaxy Camera and the Galaxy S4 Zoom, so you can better understand the difference between those three devices.
For a visual size comparison, head to camera size website.
More Reviews and Articles
- Samsung Announced NX200 Premium and Stylish Mirrorless
- HTC One UltraPixel Camera vs Samsung Galaxy S4 Camera
- iPhone 4S Camera vs Samsung Galaxy S3 vs Nokia 808 PureView – Comparison
- HTC One X Camera vs Samsung Galaxy S3 vs iPhone 4S vs Nokia PureView 808
- Sony RX1 Preview – Full Frame Compact Camera
- Samsung NX2000 vs NX1100 – Differences
- Sigma announced 18-35mm F1.8 DC HSM Art Lens
- Fujifilm XF1 Preview
- Sony NEX-5R Preview