Samsung introduces Android-powered interchangeable lens camera Galaxy NX

June 20th, 2013
Samsung introduces Android-powered interchangeable lens camera Galaxy NX

Now that’s a first for an interchangeable lens camera: Samsung just announced the Galaxy NX, which is powered by Google’s almighty Android operating system. (It’s not called DSLR because technically it does not have a mirror – although that doesn’t make any difference for filmmakers anyway!)

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I have said for a long time that cameras which allow the user to use a free ecosystem of software will be the winners in the long run, because then all that separates the hardware and the end user from “the best possible camera” is a mighty talented programmer (or a bunch of them). Magic Lantern prove what is possible through the hacks they’ve accomplished (especially the RAW hack for Canon DSLRs that we reported about extensively).

The Japanese camera manufacturers were never really strong in software, only hardware – and now it seems like the South Koreans are leading the way when it comes to programmable and customizable cameras. This relatively open approach is the future of camera technology, yet it remains to be seen how flexible programmers really will be when it comes to accessing all the camera’s different functions.

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Now wait a minute, some will say, Android? Yes, it’s originally been made for smartphones but by its (free) nature, nobody prevents manufacturers from powering other categories of devices with it. Samsung was the first to embrace that with the original Samsung Galaxy camera last year, but that only had a fixed lens and was therefore not really interesting for filmmakers.

The Galaxy NX however is an interchangeable lens camera with an APS-C sized 20.3 megapixel image sensor that also shoots 1080p video at 24 or 50 frames per second. Really Samsung? We need 25 frames per second over here in Europe and many other markets to actually be able to use this camera professionally. Please add 25p via a firmware update! Yes, it would be nice if a function like this could be enabled by a third party who’s developing for Android – but as it look now, the customization of the camera doesn’t go that far … yet. Let’s see where Android takes us!

Also, Samsung’s cameras are not at all established in filmmaking circles at all, they have a lot of catching up to do in our industry. Of course their proprietary NX mount lenses are necessary to be used on the camera – we are trying to find out if it will be possible to attach any other brand using an adapter.

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No word on its native sensitivity, but it can shoot up to ISO 25,600 (you know, it’s not as if you can usually actually use that). It comes with a touchscreen (actually pretty essential when running Android), the size is 4.3″.

Apart from Wi-Fi connectivity it comes with LTE, so believe it or not, you can now use Instagram, Facebook or Twitter right from your camera. Crazy times indeed!

We also don’t know anything about availability of pricing yet, but The Verge is speculating that it will fall “pretty close to $1,000 with a kit lens”, which doesn’t sound too bad at all.

Head over to Engadget to check out their hands-on with the camera.

via The Verge

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PeterK
PeterK
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June 21st, 2013

Cool idea but the lens system turns me off, they should have used the micro four thirds system, even if that means a smaller sensor I’m ok with it because I would prefer the use of an established lens system.

marklondon
Guest
June 21st, 2013

Very cool. I’m waiting for the S4 zoom, which is a phone with a p+s camera built in. This is the way of the future. I’d love to be able to put my pics up immediately, and I’m over 40 :-)

Chung Dha Lam
Guest
June 20th, 2013

Well be cool if this has zero restrictions in building any app you want there by raw video recording with this and pushing the sensor to its limit trying to film higher resolution than the standard app it supply. Basically hacking the cam like magic lantern but this time not hacking but be total open source to play with.

Tyler
Tyler
Guest
June 20th, 2013

If this comes with Movie Studio which is available on the latest version of Android then it could be a brilliant tool for low cost, fast news gathering. You could capture footage, edit something together quickly and send it off to the internet all within the same device.

You could also do live streaming quite easily as long as you are on a network good enough, just set up live streaming software, and shoot away.

Probably not something I’d buy though, it just isn’t for me.

PeterK
PeterK
Guest
June 21st, 2013
Reply to  Tyler

Live streaming sounds perfect for this.

Andrew Orlow
Guest
June 20th, 2013

Korean Madness

Angus Lion
Guest
June 20th, 2013

It’s funny that you complain about lack of 25P yet isn’t the whole point of this camera the fact that someone could make an app like Filmic Pro that would give you any frame rate you want? Why would you need a “firmware update” to add a feature like that on this kind of camera? Kinda missing the point there aren’t we?

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