Could a small, mirrorless camera that features a 14.6-million-pixel APS-C-sized sensor give the Micro Four Thirds format a run for its money? We find out
- Hybrid Entry-Level Camera
- 14.6-million-pixel APS-C-sized CMOS sensor
- 3in AMOLED screen
- Electronic viewfinder
- HD video capture
- Street price around £520 with 18-55mm kit lens
In August 2008, Panasonic and Olympus jointly announced the revolutionary new Micro Four Thirds system. Not to be outdone, 25 days later Samsung executive vice-president Byung Woo Lee announced, in an exclusive interview with AP, that Samsung was also going to introduce its own hybrid system. Like the Micro Four Thirds system, Samsung’s new family of cameras would do away with the conventional SLR mechanism by removing the mirror box and optical viewfinder. The difference between the two systems would be that Samsung would use APS-C-sized sensors, which were larger than the Four Thirds sensors that were planned for the Olympus and Panasonic cameras.
Roll on 18 months and the Micro Four Thirds cameras from both Olympus and Panasonic have become one of the great recent successes in the photographic industry. At the time of writing there have been eight Micro Four Thirds cameras, backed up by a strong range of 11 lenses and various accessories.
Now it is Samsung’s turn to release its mirrorless, nterchangeable-lens camera to the world. It uses the same 14.6-million-pixel APS-C-sized CMOS sensor as the Samsung GX-20, Pentax K20D and K-7, and has a built-in electronic viewfinder. There are three lenses available: an 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6, a 50-200mm f/4-5.6 and a slim, fixed-focal-length 30mm f/2 pancake. These three lenses should cover the basic needs of most photographers, both in terms of portability and focal length.
The NX10’s compact build, tried-and-tested APS-C-sized sensor, 3in AMOLED screen and 1280×720 HD video capture make it a fantastic model on paper. However, with Panasonic and Olympus making significant headway in the market, Samsung’s NX10 must offer enough to tempt those who have so far resisted buying a hybrid micro-system camera.