Last year Olympus announced that it would be moving away from DSLRs in favor of mirrorless cameras. Today Samsung revealed that it’s moving towards mirrorless as well, except from compact cameras instead of DSLRs. The company is converting its main Chinese camera plant to manufacture high-end mirrorless cameras rather than the cheap point-and-shoots it has made in the past.
Digital imaging division head Han Myoung-sup told the WSL that Samsung’s “low-end compact camera offerings will gradually be reduced, as we are now concentrating on the mirrorless segment”. Samsung currently holds a 5% market share, and hopes to become the largest mirrorless company by 2015 with a 25% share. Worldwide mirrorless sales are also expected to increase by 60% this year, so Samsung is placing its bets on a hot section of the digital camera market.
It’s a big day for camera releases; hot on the heels of Nikon’s D3200 release, Samsung have officially announced three new highly-anticipated compact system cameras: the NX20, NX210 and NX1000 — all featuring built-in wifi connectivity, a 20.3-megapixel APS-C sensor, 8fps continuous shooting and full 1080pHD video recording. Read more…
Dutch website Focus Media has published several photographs of the upcoming Samsung NX20 mirrorless camera, along with a list of specs. The camera will be slightly larger than the NX11 (there a thicker grip), and will offer a 20.3MP sensor, built in Wi-Fi for uploading images to the web, 8fps continuous shooting, ISO 100-12800, i-Function 2.0, built-in flash, an electronic viewfinder, 1080p HD video recording (with a separate button), and a 3-inch tilting screen on the back.camera/#ixzz1pJPIu4K9 Read more…
Back in January, Polaroid unveiled its SC1630 Smart Camera that’s powered with Google’s Android operating system. Now, more manufacturers may be gearing up to have the popular smartphone OS built into their cameras: Samsung and Panasonic are both reportedly exploring this idea. Regarding what this means for consumers, Engadget writes,
It could be a major breakthrough from a usability standpoint, opening up the in-camera ecosystem to third-party developers. We could see Twitter and Facebook apps that let you not only publish your photos directly with a familiar interface, but also see photos shared by your friends. A capacitive touchscreen would let you type in comments directly as well. You could publish to web-based services, utilize apps that enable post-capture creativity or receive firmware updates directly over WiFi. That hotshoe or USB port could accommodate a variety of different accessories, like a microphone or 4G modem that could be used with several models, including those from other manufacturers.
One potential downside to having an Android-powered camera may be stability — imagine having to regularly reboot your frozen camera.
Samsung has developed what the company claims is the world’s first CMOS sensor that can capture both RGB and range images at the same time. Microsoft’s Kinect has received a good deal of attention as of late for its depth-sensing capabilities, but it uses separate sensors for RGB images and range images. Samsung’s new solution combines both functions into a single image sensor by introducing “z-pixels” alongside the standard red, blue, and green pixels. This allows the sensor to capture 480×360 depth images while 1920×720 photos are being exposed. One of the big trends in the next decade may be depth-aware devices, and this new development certainly goes a long way towards making that a reality.
For Valentine’s Day this year, Samsung created this short film that features custom bokeh shapes shot with Samsung NX gear. They come up with some pretty creative ideas for various shapes: pop a balloon filled with glitter to create a firework look, or shoot out of a car window at night to capture spaceships flying through space! If you’re interested in learning how to customize your own bokeh, check out this video tutorial or the tutorial Samsung published alongside this video.
Samsung has released a new line of SD and microSD memory cards that focus not only on speed and durability but appearance as well. They come with a brushed metal look in silver or black, and are able pretty dang tough as well:
In order to ensure their reliability, Samsung has designed both lines of memory products to be waterproof, shockproof, and magnet proof, allowing them to withstand some of the harshest conditions. All models are guaranteed to survive up to 24 hours in water, withstand the force of a 1.6 ton vehicle (3,200 lbs), and resist up to 10,000 gauss (slightly less than the power of a medical imaging magnet).
Prices range from $10 to $90 for 2GB to 32GB cards.
Fujifilm and Olympus have been hard at work lately bringing the beauty of film cameras to the world of digital. Perhaps sensing a new trend, Samsung wants in: the company is planning to release a “retro” mirrorless camera of its own. Sadly, it’s effort pales in comparison to what the other manufacturers are doing. Rather than imitate rangefinder cameras (e.g. Fujifilm X-Pro1 and the Leica M9) or resurrect old film SLR designs (e.g. the Olympus OM-D), Samsung has seemingly decided that retro camera designs can be boiled down to one thing: silver-colored top plates. This Saturday, Samsung will be announcing a “retro” version of the NX200 called the NX200 RS. The only thing that differs from the standard model is a silver top plate.
Major camera makers including Olympus, Samsung and Sony have all filed patents in recent days for liquid lens technology. Unlike traditional glass lenses, liquid lenses don’t have any moving parts. Instead, liquid is used to focus light, and different voltages are applied to the liquid to change the shape of the liquid, thereby controlling the image. In the video above, techie Ben Krasnow introduces the technology, and then shows off a device he made by ripping a liquid lens out of a USB webcam.