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IFA - electronics trade show in Berlin

IFA - electronics trade show in Berlin - IFA's on in Berlin and Matt Grayson's there for ePHOTOzine.

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IFA logoIFA starts in Berlin today and ePHOTOzine were given early access to the electronics trade show to have a chat with Samsung and find out as much as we can about new products. Of course they're keeping tight lipped about future projects but Matt Grayson got to see the new NX camera, which is the APS-C version of the Micro FourThird cameras from Panasonic and Olympus.

Samsung Keynote speech IFA 2009
Mr. Boo-Keun Yoon
In a press conference, Boo-Keun Yoon,  President of Samsung's VD division was positive of the approach that Samsung are taking and how well they're doing when he said: "We've done well because we've not stood still."

Indeed, they've created a new company (Samsung Digital Imaging) and have pushed boundaries in some of the newer technologies, even if they are a little on the gimmicky side.

Let's look at the ST550; it's got a little screen on the front for self portraits, which is a gimmick but I like the idea. I have kids and they never smile when a camera's about. The ST550 has an animated cartoon that runs on the screen to get them to smile at the camera.

He also pledged that Samsung will be eco friendly by 2013. To ensure this success they've invested $4.3 Billion.

ePHOTOzine were also part of a talk with Seung Soo Park, Vice President of Samsung Digital Imaging. He's described the new cameras as: "The next generation communication device." This is mainly down to the sharing capability of the ST1000 which has WiFi, Bluetooth and GPS geologging.

It looks like Samsung are among the companies that are changing their stance on the pixel race as they want to be "Innovation leaders for lifestyle, not creating technology for technology's sake" and when asked about new features Mr Park said: "Samsung are pursuing to fulfil the unmet needs of the consumer."

They want to be a company that the customer will be loyal to and are working on after sales features, such as new animations for the cartoon feature of the ST550 that can be downloaded from the website. There are certainly cameras that are doing more and mobile phones that do nearly everything, so would Samsung consider designing a unit that does absolutely everything? "Products will always co-exist. Top end camcorders will always be used and photographers will always use a dedicated camera, " explained Mr Park.

Samsung NX
The Samsung NX.
So what about the GX range? Is that going to be shelved? It certainly seems that Samsung are concentrating on the NX system over GX DSLRs but we were told that it doesn't mean they'll disappear entirely. Robert King, Commercial Director for Samsung UK said "Samsung GX cameras are popular and it would be bad business to see them off the shelves completely. The GX20 is nearing the end of its shelf life" so that could mean a new DSLR on its way but he remained inconclusive about anything else being released in the foreseeable future. To add insult to injury of the GX, Mr Park added "The expected age range of customers buying the NX is 35-45 who will buy it because a DSLR is too big or heavy." However, he sees a compact camera as a back up to a DSLR instead of the NX system. So where does Mr. Park see NX going in the future? "We expect it to take 20% market share."

After seeing some of the equipment being showcased by the major players at IFA, it seems that the way forward, in television at least, is 3D. The release of the new film, AVATAR, shows that it's becoming more serious in the industry and when I asked Robert King if he thought it was the way forward for television in the homes, he generally agreed telling me: "This the next step forward for the US market because HD is pretty much fully intergrated into US homes now. The UK are still getting used to HD but America have had it for a while and now they're looking for the next big thing."

This could mean an integration into photography over the years meaning that we'll have to take pictures with cameras that have two lenses such as the new Fujifilm 3D camera we reported on in July this year.

Panasonic, Sony, Fujifilm, Samsung and a number of independent companies are alll showcasing 3D technology at IFA this year.

Matt will keep you posted will all that's happening at this year's IFA.

More images of the Samsung NX:
Samsung NX
The Samsung NX show cased at IFA behind a lot of glass.
Samsung NX
The back looks simple enough with a few well placed buttons.
Samsung NX Samsung NX
Seen here with the 50-200mm lens attached. One of three that were also displayed.
Samsung NX
The typical Samsung command dial with the raised icons. Could be useful for people who are visually impaired.

While I had a few spare minutes, I visited the Canon tent after spending a ridiculous amount of money on lunch.

I managed to get a hold of the EOS 7D. Unsurprisingly, they only had one model which was beta but I grabbed a few shots of the camera and managed to swipe a print out of a shot taken with the camera (no digital original I'm afraid. Security was tight). I'm waiting for it to flatten out, as I had to roll it up to transport it to the UK from Germany, and I'll scan it in.

The camera feels good, it's pretty similar to the EOS 50D to hold which I like anyway. Focusing is fast enough but I wasn't allowed to put my card in to shoot.

Below are some shots of the Canon EOS 7D DSLR:
Canon EOS 7D DSLR Canon EOS 7D DSLR
The Canon EOS 7D DSLR seen here with the 18-135mm f/3.5-5.6 IS EF-S lens. This model was Beta so i couldn't take pictures with it.
Canon EOS 7D DSLR
A more detailed view of the top plate LCD screen.The light button on the EOS 50D is nearer the prism.
Right: A wider shot of the top plate incorporating the command dial. Scene modes have been removed showing the camera's position in the market along with and extra 'C' option.
Canon EOS 7D DSLR
Canon EOS 7D DSLR Canon EOS 7D DSLR
Buttons are arranged more like the full frame EOS 5D MkII with the exception of the Live view being moved to the opposite side and a Quick Control Setting button has been fitted.
Canon EOS 7D DSLR
The screen is the same bright 3in type found on the EOS 50D and EOS 5D MkII. There's more buttons to aid the lower end of the market.
Canon EOS 7D DSLR
An addition of a start/stop button aids video control although a simple red dot would get the message across just as easily.

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