Samsung started the CES party early, announcing the 20-megapixel NX300 system camera today along with a curious new 3D lens.
Samsung has been coy about what they're bringing to CES 2013 next week, but they've started to pull the curtain back by announcing the NX300 (specs) mirrorless system camera and a new 45mm f/1.8 2D/3D lens.
The latest additions to the NX family flesh out Samsung's interchangeable-lens system, with the NX300 replacing last year's NX210. The NX300 is a speedy, compact shooter that inherits the NX210's wireless functionality, but comes with a new 20.3-megapixel APS-C CMOS sensor and a hybrid (contrast and phase-detection) autofocus system. It's a similar to the AF system found in Sony's latest NEX cameras, as well as in mirrorless models from Canon and Nikon.
The NX300 uses the new DRIMe IV processor, which allows for continuous capture at up to 9 frames per second and an ISO range that extends from 100-25600. It also sports a 3.31-inch articulating touchscreen AMOLED monitor, a slight spec bump over last year's model.
Perhaps most interesting piece of the announcement is the 45mm f/1.8 lens, which can capture two distinct images in order to create a 3D parallax effect for both stills and videos. It will still offer the shallow depth-of-field of a f/1.8 lens, though in 3D mode the aperture will be limited to about f/3.5, according to Samsung. We're not clear about whether it uses a polarized shutter for 3D shooting, but it is not a dual-lens solution, like we've seen from Panasonic in the Micro Four Thirds format.
The NX300 continues the recent trend of WiFi-capable cameras from Samsung, with a full suite of direct functionality. Samsung particularly highlights the ability to integrate the camera with smartphones, especially with the AutoShare feature. AutoShare will automatically send any photo you take with your NX300 directly to your smartphone wirelessly even while you're still shooting, allowing for quick editing or uploading to a social network. In addition, the NX300 will include staple features like remote-viewfinder capability and cloud storage.
The NX300 will be compatible with the new 45mm f/1.8 lens, though it will be kitted with a standard 18-55mm OIS lens. Prices aren't mentioned in the press release, but Samsung tells us that the standard kit will debut at $749.99, while the 45mm f/1.8 lens will be available for $499.99. Both are expected to be available Q1 of this year. For more on today's announcements, please head on over to Samsung's CES press page.
Official Press Release*
Samsung NX300 Combines Speed, Performance and Connectivity for Perfect Shooting in Every Moment
Samsung 45mm F1.8 2D/3D lens is the World’s first one-lens 3D system, capable of capturing both stills and 1080p Full HD video in perfect 3D quality
RIDGEFIELD PARK, N.J. – January 3, 2013 – Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd, a global leader in digital media and convergence technologies, today announced the launch of the NX300, the new flagship model in its successful NX series. The NX300 once again raises the bar for compact system cameras (CSC), delivering an outstanding combination of features, functionality and style for perfect shooting in every moment. Samsung also announced the new NX 45mm F1.8 2D/3D lens, the first one-lens 3D system capable of capturing both still images and full HD movies in perfect 3D quality.
Myoung Sup Han, Senior Vice President and Head of the Digital Imaging Business, Samsung Electronics, commented: “Since its launch in 2010, the Samsung NX System has become synonymous with innovation and design, making the best digital imaging technology available to everyone without compromising on style. The NX300 builds even further on this illustrious heritage. Not only does it deliver incredible speed and accuracy through advanced photographic features, but it is truly built around the user, with upgraded SMART Camera functions making shooting and sharing both easy and seamless. We are also very proud to introduce the first one-lens 3D system alongside the NX300, opening up a whole new world of 3D
photography and video recording for consumers everywhere.”
Central to the NX300’s outstanding imaging performance is its brand new 20.3 Megapixel APS-CMOS sensor, capable of capturing high quality detailed. Images boast sharp, life-like colors and are crisp and clear in all light conditions. The wide ISO range (ISO100-25600) further improves performance, letting users capture beautifully balanced images in even the darkest conditions. A brand new Hybrid Auto Focus (AF) system also delivers fast, accurate phase and contrast detection, while the 1/6000 sec shutter speed and 9fps continuous shooting mode ensure you never miss a moment.
The Samsung’s unique in-house developed DRIMe IV imaging engine provides outstanding developments in speed, and image quality. The DRIMe IV engine enables better color reproduction and greater noise reduction, as well as support for full 1080p HD video capture in both 2D and 3D (when combined with Samsung’s new 45mm 2D/3D lens).
The NX300’s 84mm (3.31”) AMOLED screen makes capturing and reviewing your images a pleasure, while the hybrid touch screen and 5-way manual key interface is simple and intuitive to use. The tilt display makes it easier than ever to take high and low angle shots, letting you capture your world from any angle you choose.
Easy usability and stylish retro design
The compact NX300 makes it simple for anyone to achieve pro-like and impressive pictures easily with minimal technical knowledge or time spent adjusting parameters. Using the camera’s Smart Mode, users can choose from 14 different settings, such as Creative Shot, Landscape, Light Trace or Action Freeze which will automatically adjust parameters such as aperture and shutter speed in order to obtain the best shot possible for the desired situation. The NX300 also includes i-Depth, an easy and simple way to adjust the depth of an image using the NX Series’ unique i-Function system which enables users to modify camera parameters using the lens itself, adjusting the image without ever having to move off target.
The NX acclaimed design returns with the NX300 sporting a stylish yet simple retro feel that is available in either black or white with a contrast silver band, conveying elegance and authenticity.
Instant sharing through enhanced Wi-Fi connectivity
The NX300’s Wi-Fi connectivity of SMART CAMERA allows users to share their cherished photos instantly and securely between their camera and smartphone (or tablet). To connect a smartphone to the camera, users simply need to download the Samsung SMART CAMERA App., which is available for both Android and iOS based application markets, onto their smartphone or tablet and follow the easy steps to create a secure connection with the camera. The NX300 will be able to detect and auto-connect to the smartphone wirelessly whenever any of the SMART CAMERA features are activated. These include AutoShare; which automatically sends every high-quality photos to your smart phone for safe keeping, and Mobile Link; which allows users to select and transfer images or album from the camera directly to your smartphone at their leisure. The SMART CAMERA App. also features a Remote Viewfinder function for the NX300, allowing for even more inventive and exciting photography.
The NX300’s enhanced Wi-Fi connectivity also lets users share images with friends and family directly from the camera via social networking sites using the cameras one-touch DIRECT LINK hot key. Alternatively, images can be automatically backed up or stored in the cloud through AllShare Play ensuring they are always safe and easily accessible.
Samsung 45mm 2D/3D lens
The Samsung 45mm 2D/3D lens(sold separately) opens up an exciting world of 3D imaging possibilities and is the world’s first one-lens 3D system for a consumer camera. Capable of capturing both still pictures and full 1080p HD video, the Samsung NX300 and 45mm 2D/3D lens kit have become the only compact system camera supporting both 3D still and 3D movie. The NX300 is also compatible with Samsung’s entire range of NX lenses and professional standard accessories, giving users an unparalleled range of options when striving for that perfect shot.