It looks like Samsung is getting serious with their new line of Galaxy cameras, with the announcement of an upcoming release into the SLR class of cameras.
The Samsung Galaxy NX will be roughly equivalent to a low-end SLR in quality, with a 4.8” touchscreen on the back running Android 4.2 Jelly Bean. The NX will be an interchangeable lens, mirrorless camera that will be available as a body or a kit with a 18-55 mm F3.5-F5.6 lens. Inside the camera, there will be a 20.3 MP APS-C sensor and an Advanced Hybrid Auto Focus system, kind of like what is found in most other SLRs. That should mean the same kind of snappy focusing in a variety of light conditions found in higher grade cameras. There’s also an SVGA electronic viewfinder up top, along with a pop-up flash. The NX is capable of up to 1/6,000 second shutter speed, and can shoot at eight frames per second.
The Android part on the touchscreen runs on a 1.6 GHz quad-core processor. All of the camera controls for adjusting ISO, shutter speed, and aperture can be found on that touchscreen, along with 30 smart modes that approximate the kind of presets that you would normally find on an SLR dial – landscape mode, nighttime mode, and the like. That include multi exposure, which merges two pictures into one, and animated picture, which creates a gif.
According to the spec sheet, you will be able to shoot in RAW format and take 1080p video at 25 frames per second. You can save all of that onto the NX’s 16 GB of internal memory, which can be expanded using the MicroSD card slot (up to 64 GB). That said, the Galaxy NX will be ideal for shooting and uploading on the fly – in addition to Wi-Fi and Bluetooth 4.0 support, you’ll also be able to get a 4G LTE connection on the camera, for quick uploading to your photo sharing site of choice.
Seasoned photographers might not be comfortable with the lack of physical controls, so it’s hard to gauge what the reception will be like for the NX. It’ll be interesting to see, because this is the first real crack at a truly connected SLR. With services like Instagram getting more and more people interested in photography, the SLR class is becoming attractive to more than just the professionals and semi-professionals. The Galaxy NX might represent a halfway point between performance and connectivity that could hit the sweet spot for many casual photographers. Of course, that all depends on price – something Samsung hasn’t divulged just yet.