COLOGNE, Germany--Samsung, showing off its new higher-end compact NX100 camera, declared its ambition Monday to become a power in the camera industry.
"I believe the NX100 will be the catalyst for photo innovations in the digital camera industry and will propel Samsung forward to become one of the world's leading manufacturers," said Sangjin Park, president of Samsung's digital imaging division, speaking at press event at the Photokina show here.
Compact ILC (interchangeable lens camera) models are all the rage as the industry seeks to build new demand in a somewhat saturated market. Olympus and Panasonic led the way with their compatible Micro Four Thirds models, and Samsung and Sony have now arrived with models of their own featuring a larger sensor and their own proprietary lens mounts. These higher-end models aren't cheap: Samsung's costs $599 with a 20-50mm lens and $649 with a 20mm lens.
The ILC trend is still in its early days, though, and InfoTrends analyst Ed Lee believes it'll take the arrival of the industry's high-end camera powerhouses, Canon and Nikon, to truly legitimize the market.
But Samsung isn't waiting. Front and center in the effort to make more usable cameras is a new feature called i-Function to control camera settings that the company hopes will attain that holy grail, a camera that's easy to use but that offers a wealth of creative possibilities. Control over details such as shutter speed and aperture has never been simple, but Samsung promises i-Function will be different.
It works through a button on the side of an i-Function-compatible lens, of which Samsung plans a range that begins with a 20mm f2.8 pancake and a 20-50mm f3.5-5.6 zoom. Pushing the button cycles through various parameters that can be set--shutter speed, aperture, ISO, and exposure compensation--while turning the lens' focus ring changes the setting. … Read more