Samsung has announced the NX300, its latest NX series mirrorless camera. In addition to a revamped 20.3MP APS-CMOS sensor, the NX300 features updated smart camera functionality and a new hybrid autofocus system. Also revealed was a compatible 45 mm f1.8 2D/3D lens which is said to be the first one-lens 3D system capable of capturing both stills and HD video.
On paper the NX300 has similar sensor credentials to previous NX models, but Samsung is keen to stress its 20.3 megapixel APS-C CMOS sensor is brand new. According to the company, this translates to sharp and detailed images in any lighting conditions and has seen an increase in ISO range which now covers 100-25600.
Focusing has also been given a boost with a hybrid autofocus system that combines 243-point contrast detection sensors and 105 phase detection sensors. The DRIMe IV imaging engine means the NX300 is capable of not only continuous shooting at a very respectable 9 fps, but also supports 1080/60p video.
Design-wise the Samsung NX300 has a considerably more retro style than other NX cameras. Available in black or white with a silver band, it almost looks like the love-child of a Sony NEX and a Fuji X100. On the rear there's a 3.3 inch AMOLED tilting touchscreen with 768,000 dots.
While some had predicted Samsung would bring the Android OS to the NX series after its Galaxy Camera, the NX300 the doesn't go quite that far. Instead there's enhanced dual-band Wi-Fi connectivity and users can connect a smartphone to the camera with the Samsung SMART CAMERA App which is available for Android and iOS.
Features include the ability to automatically send photos to your smart phone as they are taken, select images for transfer, or use the phone as a remote viewfinder. There's also a hot key on the camera which allows for one-touch sharing of images via social networking sites.
The Samsung 45 mm, f1.8 2D/3D lens (equivalent to 69.3 mm in 35 mm format) is said to be the world’s first one-lens 3D system for a consumer camera. In 3D mode it works by using two LCD filters to project slightly different images onto the camera's sensor. Combined with the NX300 it allows the capture of 5 megapixel 3D stills and 1080/30p HD video in 3D.
Measuring 122 x 63.7 x 40.7 mm (4.8 x 2.5 x 1.6 inches) and weighing 280g, the NX300 is due to be available from March for US$750 with a 20-50 mm kit lens. The Samsung 45 mm f1.8 2D/3D lens will also be released in March and will cost $500.
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