First impressions of Samsung's Galaxy NX: An Android-powered camera with promise
Samsung's latest phone-camera hybrid is the Galaxy NX, a rather bold experiment that bolts a high-end Android smartphone to an interchangeable lens camera. With a 20.3 megapixel CMOS sensor and Samsung NX lens mount and a tried-and-true mobile operating system, the Galaxy NX is composed of known quantities — and like other hybrids on the market today, from Sony's QX lens-cameras to Nokia's impressive Lumia 1020, it offers plenty of intriguing promise. We got our hands on a pre-production model from Samsung early on, but now we've taken a closer look at a finished production model.
- 20.3MP APS-C CMOS sensor (same as NX300)
- 18-55mm F3.5-5.6 kit lens
- Advanced Hybrid Autofocus: 105 points on-chip phase-detect; 247-point contrast-detect
- 4.8-inch 921K LCD with capacitive touchscreen with Gorilla Glass
- SVGA electronic viewfinder with diopter control
- JPEG, RAW, RAW+JPEG capture
- 8.6 fps continuous shooting
- Video recording at 1080/30p, 720p60
- 16GB Memory, with microSD card slot
- 1.6GHz Quad-core processor
- Android 4.2 (Jelly Bean)
- 4360mAh battery
- Dual-band 802.11 a/b/g/n Wi-Fi
- Bluetooth 4.0 (LE) and NFC
- 4G LTE/3G HSPA+42Mbps cellular data
- Built-in GPS + GLONASS
The Galaxy NX's 20.3 megapixel APS-C sensor sits behind a standard Samsung NX mount, though it's worth mentioning that Samsung's lens collection is relatively small at this point. The NX comes either body-only or kitted with an 18-55mm OIS lens. What most noticeably sets the device apart is the massive 4.8-inch touchscreen on the back through which you will control the camera and frame your shots. Connectivity is off the charts for a DSLR: the Galaxy NX offers 3G/4G cellular date, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and NFC.
The body itself is is a bit lopsided, with a slim central portion but a large handgrip, on which most of the controls are placed. There is a grand total of four buttons and one dial — which means that you'll be controlling nearly all camera functions via the Galaxy's touchscreen display.
You've got separate buttons for shutter and movie recording, a flash pop-up button and a multi-purpose dial that can be pressed like a button and assigned to a number of different tasks. It's worth noting that the kit lens and many others from Samsung have a handy "i-Function" button on them, which allows for quick switching and adjusting of common exposure settings.
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