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Samsung NX100 Preview

Samsung adds another mirrorless system camera to their product range, the NX100. Coupled with the 20-50mm zoom lens, it is due to hit the shops at 429 and is previewed here by Will Cheung, along with exclusive pictures!

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The Samsung NX100 is due to sell for £429 with the 20-50mm f/3.5-5.6 standard zoom lens. The new camera and two iFunction lenses will be available in-store from October.

Mirrorless, interchangeable lens cameras are the latest big thing in terms of camera innovation and they are proving very popular with photographers of all levels. Just witness the popularity of products like the Panasonic G series and the Sony NEX duo.

Samsung are also in the mix with their NX10 and that camera has now been joined by the NX100.
"The Samsung NX100 has across the board appeal," explained Paul Scott, digital imaging product manager of Samsung UK. "In terms of features, the NX100 will attract more experienced users because it is a fully featured system camera, while the fashion conscious will appreciate that it does not have the bulk of a DSLR but is still capable of higher quality results than a typical compact camera. They will also appreciate its good looks. The NX100’s body is contoured and curvy and that is a response to feedback from consumers and market research.

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ePHOTOzine's Will Cheung enjoys the curvy lines of the Samsung NX100 Paul Scott of Samsung points out the iFunction feature.

"The really big shout about today's launch, though, is not necessarily the NX100, although that is obviously important, but the new iFunction lenses. There will be two to start with, a 20mm f/2.8 pancake and a 20-50mm f/3.5-5.6 [the crop factor of the NX series is 1.5x].

"The iFunction allows the user to alter values like shutter speeds and apertures, or select scene modes – depending on which exposure mode the camera is set to – by using the iFunction button on the lens and then adjusting the focusing ring. The rear monitor lets you see what has been chosen."

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Smooth curvy lines are a design feature of the Samsung NX100. Samsung's Supersonic technology helpes to keep the CMOS sensor free of dust.
The 3inch AMOLED monitor is excellent giving bright, crisp images. The 20-50mm zoom is equivalent to 31-77mm in the 35mm format.

At the launch, working pre-production samples of the NX100 and the two lenses were on hand but sadly we were unable to take any shots using our cards. However, ePHOTOzine did get hands-on at Photokina and shot some images to check out the quality of the NX100 and you can see these images below.

However, the NX100’s sensor of the same as that found in the NX10 so we know image quality to be impressive. Compared with earlier body, the NX100 has gained a faster top of ISO speed of 6400.

Creative users will appreciate the selection of seven Smart filters available including miniature, fisheye and soft-focus. These filters are applied to an existing JPEG file at the playback stage and then saved separately so always have the original non-filtered version to go back to.

In terms of handling, the NX100's curvy body does feel comfortable in the hands. My only minor niggle is that the body finish is very smooth and I often carry the camera in my hand when out shooting and the finish does not give great grip.

By the way, Samsung have white and brown coloured versions of the NX100 available but these will only go on sale in this country if there is sufficient demand. Reading between the lines, this means brown and white NX00 cameras will be available if a major retailer wants to offer a 'special'.

It is worth noting that the NX100 does not have an integral electronic viewfinder so composition is via the monitor only. However, an optional electronic viewfinder, the EVF10 that slips into the hot-shoe will be available. Other accessories launched with this camera include a flashgun, the SEF-15A and a GPS device, the GPS10. Only non-working samples were on show at the launch.

Speaking of the monitor, it is the same bright 3in AMOLED screen found on the NX10. Key benefits of this screen type are good visibility even on bright light and at different angles, plus low power consumption, which is an important benefit.

Getting a feel for using the iFunction button takes a little practice. After the lens FN button is pressed, only a small twist of the focusing ring is needed to adjust settings. I started by zipping back and forth, sometimes missing what I wanted, until I got the hang of it.

Existing NX lenses will work fine on the NX100 but iFunction lenses will not work on the NX10 until a Firmware update is made available in November.

One mode that had an appeal to me was the Sound Picture mode. This function was not available on the sample cameras so I could not try it but it could be handy. The principle is simple enough: sound is recorded when the still image is shot so perfect for making audio notes of your pictures.

The NX100 and the iFunction lens concept are certainly interesting so we look forward to testing the camera and lenses fully when review samples are available.

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Samsung NX100
Image sensor 14.6 Mega-pixels APS-C size CMOS sensor
Useable lens Samsung Lenses
Display 3.0" VGA AMOLED Display
ISO Equivalent Auto, 100 - 3200, Extension settable : ISO 6400
Shooting modes SmartAuto, Lens Priority, Program, Shutter Priority,
Aperture Priority, Manual, Scene, Movie
Scene mode Beauty shot, Children, Close Up, Text, Sunset, Dawn,
Backlight, Fireworks, Beach & Snow, Night, Portrait,
Landscape, Sports, Sound Picture
Movie recording 720P HD Movie Recording (H.264)
Storage media SD, SDHC (Up to 32GB)
EVF Optional
GPS Geo-tagging w/ Optional GPS Module (GPS10)
Battery life Still : 420shot , 210min (CIPA Standard) Movie : 130min
Dimensions (WxHxD) 120.5 x 71 x 34.5mm (excluding the projection part)
Weight 282g (without battery and Memory card)
SAMSUNG Standard Zoom Lens (20-50mm F3.5-5.6 ED)
Focal Length 20 - 50mm (equivalent to 30.8-77mm in 35mm format)
Elements in Groups 9 elements in 8 groups
(1 Aspherical lens, 1 Extra-low Dispersion lens)
Aperture F3.5 - 5.6 (Min. F22), (Circular Aperture Diaphragm)
Minimum Focus Distance 0.28m
Filter Size 40.5mm
Dimensions 64 x 39.8mm
Weight Approx. 119g

SAMSUNG Pancake Lens (20mm F2.8)
Focal Length 20mm (equivalent to 30.8mm in 35mm format)
Elements in Groups 6 elements in 4 groups (1 Aspherical lens)
Aperture F2.8 (Min. F22), (Circular Aperture Diaphragm)
Minimum Focus Distance 0.17m
Filter Size 43mm
Dimensions 62.2 x 24.5mm
Weight Approx. 89g

Dimensions (WxHxD) 53 x 66 x 31.8mm
Weight Approx. 61.7g
Battery 2 AAA batteries
Battery duration Approx. 13 hours
Internal memory 128MB

SAMSUNG Electronic Viewfinder
Dimensions (WxHxD) 49.7 x 29.7 x 38.5mm
Weight Approx. 23g
Resolution QVGA (300x224), 201k
Magnification Approx. 0.83x (APS-C, 50mm, -1m-1)
Coverage Approx. 98%
Eye relief 17mm
Diopter Approx. -4.0 ~ +1.0m-1

Dimensions (WxHxD) 55 x 45.5 x 73.6mm
Weight Approx. 80.4g
Guide Number 15
Covered focal length 18mm (APS-C) / 28mm (35mm)
Flash mode A-TTL / Manual
Battery 2 AAA battery : Alkaline, Ni-MH

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Photographs taken using the Samsung NX100

Heavy MetalMean MachineThings to comeStorm 2Suburban StormBack to Whitchurch Market.Ightfield Church revisitedWhitchurch MarketIghtfield Ch.GargoyleUrban SnowShropshire WinterSahara SunShadowsLight and Shade

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