I attended the Samsung press conference at CES in eager anticipation of new developments in Samsung's NX line, but there was no mention of mirrorless cameras at all. Fridges though. Fridges have become a lot more advanced since the last time I was in a Sears. 

CES press conferences can be a bit overwhelming, especially when they're presented by companies that make lots of different things. Take Samsung for instance: a company with an incredibly diversified portfolio of consumer electronic products. Their press conference draws an enormous crowd of technology journalists and industry folks from vastly different fields. Compared to the Nikon press conference I attended earlier this morning, the Samsung one easily had 20x the number of attendees, eager to hear about everything from fridges to virtual reality headsets. Of course, DPReview was there in the hope of reporting on new photography-related products. Silly us. 

The one-hour event opened with talk of Samsung’s wide range of products and went on to detail developments in everything from 8K televisions to smartwatches with Jean-Michel Basquiat’s artwork plastered on the face.

Somewhere in the middle of a presentation on space-age refrigerators with inward facing video cameras (so you can see just how moldy that peach you forgot about is?), I realized that Samsung’s line of mirrorless cameras had yet to come up. Hmmm. Looking at my non-smart watch with a mere 20 minutes to go, I figured there was still time for cameras to be at least mentioned. Even if only in terms of how they might work with other freshly-announced Samsung products. After all, Samsung impressed us enormously in 2015 with the ambitious, 4K-capable NX1 and NX500 and the company's camera division seemed to have built up a lot of momentum in the middle of last year.

The Samsung NX1 is one of our favorite mirrorless cameras ever. But will there be an NX2?

But sadly I was wrong. Aside from the space-age fridge with the video camera inside it, the closest thing to photography that was mentioned was Project Beyond, a 360-degree VR camera, which was announced a few months earlier. The press conference concluded without dedicated stills cameras being mentioned once. 

Of course all of this is building up to the inevitable question: Is Samsung pulling out of digital cameras altogether? With the news back in November that Samsung was yanking the NX1 from European markets, the complete omission of digital cameras from a press conference at the world’s largest consumer tradeshow doesn't bode well.

As the press conference wrapped up, and high-tech washing machines and smartphone-connected stoves appeared on stage via floating platforms (no kidding), I wondered whether the lack of photography news was a blip, or whether Samsung has indeed decided to place its bets on the connected home and device being the future of consumer technologies, not digital cameras. 

If so (and trust us, we know no more than you do) that's a real shame. The NX1 raised the bar for mirrorless camera technology considerably, and the two 'S' lenses released alongside it are outstanding. Some of this technology may live on in some form or another in other Samsung products of course, but we were really looking forward to seeing how the NX system evolved.

At the end of the day, the last thing I want to see in the world of digital imaging is a lack of competition, and the loss of even one player is a mighty blow. Still, business is business, and maybe - just maybe - consumer mirrorless cameras are no longer part of Samsung's long-term planning. We'll continue to ask that question and we'll let you know if we get a clear answer.

For now, pop open that Internet-connected Samsung fridge (you know, the one with the giant tablet built right into the door), grab an ice cold one and pour it on out for Samsung NX, because at this point, I would not be surprised if it's a thing of the past. 

Hopefully I’m wrong.