Samsung has a history of trying something unexpected every once in a while. This is the company that gave us the Dual View series - point-and-shoots with small secondary LCDs on the front panel - as well as the first cameras to run full Android operating systems with LTE connectivity. In a similar spirit they've introduced the Samsung NX Mini. Using a BSI 20.5MP CMOS sensor of the 1"-type, it nabs the title of 'world's slimmest interchangeable lens camera'.

The NX Mini gives the world yet another lens mount, accepting NX-M lenses. There are three lenses in the range at present - a 9mm F3.5 (24.3mm equivalent) prime, 9-27mm F3.5-5.6 (24.3-72.9mm equivalent) collapsible zoom, and a 17mm F1.8 (45.9mm equivalent) prime. An NX mount adapter is sold separately for $149.99.

Samsung engineers have clearly put an emphasis on the 'slim' aspect of the camera. It's only 22.5mm thick, and with the diminutive 9mm prime it's well within the bounds of jacket-pocketability. The body itself is the size of a compact point-and-shoot, and the lenses inspire the same kind of 'those can't possibly be real lenses!' reaction that the Pentax Q7 and its optics did when we first laid eyes on them.

Samsung NX Mini key features

  • 20.5MP 1"-type BSI CMOS sensor
  • Wi-Fi and NFC
  • 1080/30p HD video
  • P/A/S/M modes
  • Raw shooting
  • Capacitive 3.0-inch 460k-dot touch screen LCD, tilts upward 180 degrees
  • Electronic shutter with 1/16000 max shutter speed
  • 650 shot battery life with 9mm lens, 530 shots with 9-27mm lens

It may be a fresh face, but the Samsung NX Mini isn't the only super-small interchangeable lens camera game in town. Nikon's 1 series uses a 1" sensor and proprietary lens mount, while Panasonic offers the GM1 and GM5 with a larger Four Thirds sensor and Micro Four Thirds mount. The intrepid Pentax Q7 came before them all, though it uses a 1/1.7" sensor - smaller than any of the above.

 
Samsung NX Mini
Panasonic GM1
Nikon 1 J3
Resolution
20.9MP
16MP
14.2MP
Sensor
1" (13.2 x 8.8 mm)
Four Thirds (17.3 x 13 mm)
1" (13.2 x 8.8 mm)
Lens mount
Samsung NX-M
Micro Four Thirds
Nikon 1
ISO range
100-25600
125-25600
160-6400
LCD design (tilt up/down)
Tilting (180° up)
Fixed
Fixed
Screen resolution
3.0" / 460K dot
3.0" / 1036K dot
3.0" / 921K dot
Max burst rate
6 fps
5 fps
15 fps
Video resolution
1920 x 1080 / 30p
1920 x 1080 / 30p
1920 x 1080 / 30p
Battery life (CIPA)
530 shots *
230 shots
220 shots
* With 9-27mm lens

Kit options and pricing

The NX Mini is available in white, brown, black, mint green and pink. A kit with 9mm lens is offered at $449 US / €399. Bundled with the 9-27mm zoom and external flash, it costs $549 / €499.

The Samsung NX Mini will be offered in several colors with the 9-27mm kit zoom.

As with Samsung's recent advanced cameras, the NX Mini ships with a full version of Adobe Lightroom 5.

If you're new to digital photography you may wish to read the Digital Photography Glossary before diving into this article (it may help you understand some of the terms used).

Conclusion / Recommendation / Ratings are based on the opinion of the reviewer, you should read the ENTIRE review before coming to your own conclusions.

We recommend to make the most of this review you should be able to see the difference (at least) between X, Y, and Z and ideally A, B, and C.

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