The leaks were true, and the Samsung NX camera has been made official by Samsung. It is an extremely compact camera that features a very thin design (22mm, lens excluded) and a very light body weight of 196g (with battery) which is equivalent to a large smartphone. Of course, additional weight will be added up by one of the three special NX-M lenses available: a 9mm f3.5, 9-27mm f3.5-f5.6 OIS and 17mm f1.8 OIS. Obviously, I’m mainly interested by that last one because I’m all about low-light photography.
The industrial design of the Samsung NX mini preserves the general design language of the NX family, with a blend of retro and modern. We will see how comfortable it is to use when we get our hands on it, but this is basically as small as it gets while still being usable. Samsung absolutely wanted to add the capability for great selfies, so it has integrated a 3” flip touchscreen that turns 180 degrees toward the user. Interestingly, selfies can also be triggered by a pretty self-explanatory feature called Winkshot.
The NX mini may be small, but it comes with a 20.5 BSI (back-side illumination) sensor and has enough muscles to capture at 6 frames per second. If you really want to capture crisp photos devoid of any motion blur, Samsung points out that the shutter speed can go as high as 1/16000 sec, but you need a very nice and sunny day. In any case, I typically use 1/100 for people walking around, but Sports would require a much higher speed.
Just like other NX cameras, this model is a Smart Camera, so it comes with NFC and WiFi. That gives it the ability to send/backup photos to cloud services or sync with a smartphone to have a remote viewer function. It is also possible to set it up as a Baby Monitor, which is a cool feature if you are planning to bring the camera to a party anyway.
The NX-M 9mm (fixed) is the most compact lens. The low-profile and large angle makes it a good companion if compactness is your main priority. The NX-M 9-27mm is more of a general workhorse, as it offers a 3X zoom. The aperture of f3.5-f5.6 is not really impressive, but the integrated optical image stabilization (OIS) should help. Finally, the NX-M 17mm (fixed) has a large f1.8 aperture which not only helps in low-light, but should also provide beautiful blur in the background. Samsung also has an adapter for larger NX lenses mount called the NX-M Mount adapter (product code ED-MA4NXM).
Given its price of $449 to $549 (depending on kit lens choice), I would hope that the NX mini performs very well, but we will see that soon enough when we take it for a field trip. In the meantime, I think that Samsung just released the smallest and lightest interchangeable lens camera, and this is a ratio image-quality/size that smartphones are unlikely to match in the short term.
I have not mentioned it before, but the camera will come in Pink, Black, White, Brown and Blue.
Key Samsung NX Specifications
- 20.5 MP CMOS BSI Sensor
- Samsung NX-M mount (NX adapter is optional)
- Optical Image Stabilization (OIS) : in the lens
- Dust Reduction: N/A
- 3″ 320×480 TFT LCD display
- AF Assist Lamp: Yes
- ISO 160-12800
- Built-In Flash: Yes
- External Flash Option: Yes (Samsung SEF7A)
- Max Photo Size: 5472×3648 (4:3)
- Movie Recording: H.264 MP4, AAC Audio, 1080 30p
- Storage Media: 2GB of internal storage + micro SDXC
- NFC: Yes
- WiFi: Yes
- USB 2.0 sync/charge
- 2330mAh battery (530-650 shots)
- Software included: Lightroom 5