First impressions of Samsung's Galaxy NX: An Android-powered camera with promise
Operation and interface
With so few buttons and dials, the camera is, by necessity, largely operated via the spacious touchscreen on the back. Samsung's own default camera app puts all the expected controls at your fingertips — although it's curiously unsuited for quick and convenient operation.
In use, the Galaxy NX really is more like a smartphone that you can put a big lens on than a mirrorless camera built around a touchscreen interface. It's a bit of a nice distinction, so I'll be more specific.
The camera interface is about as capable as any point-and-shoot with a touchscreen display. There are nods to touch-centric design here and there, but it still feels like something that could easily be operated with a directional pad. For example, changing the ISO or shutter speed involves hitting a tiny rectangular target at the very top of the screen, while displaying filters requires pressing a tiny up arrow at the very bottom of the screen.
You will almost always hold the camera by the grip, since holding it any other way will likely lead to accidental activation of the touchscreen. That means that your thumb is always just to the right of the screen. But instead of placing a variety of tools at the right side, there's only a virtual mode selection dial and buttons to capture a still or video.
If you've used Samsung's flagship Galaxy S4 smartphone, you'll understand just where the Galaxy NX's user interface came from. The camera apps are almost identical, despite being intended for completely different styles of device. It seems Samsung suffers from a lack of imagination here; a DSLR device should have necessitated more intuitive functions and gestures tailored to the camera user's needs.
The pedestrian interface nags at one's mind when considering the $1,600 body-only price tag, but in practice it doesn't get too much in the way of snapping pictures. One of the best things about shooting with a big smartphone is the bright, high-resolution screen — all of a sudden the lure of an optical viewfinder isn't quite as strong. It's no different on the Galaxy NX: the screen feels gigantic and is a perfectly usable way to frame shots.
The color is decent, but the resolution isn't the best: 1280x720 on a 4.8-inch screen means you'll notice visible pixels both in text and in image previews. However, that's comparing this device to a high-end smartphone, on which the screens are generally amazing, and not similar cameras which offer rear LCDs that are generally little more than adequate.
Unfortunately, the EVF isn't quite as good. Having been spoiled by the similarly-priced Olympus E-M1, I found the Galaxy NX's eyepiece rather dull and laggy. It works, but feels unnecessary when so much of the camera is invested in a powerful rear display that's generally bright enough to use in daylight and is, in fact, more convenient.
The main dial, once set to the not-so-helpfully-named "Option 3," allows for fairly easy thumb adjustment of a number of settings while using the electronic viewfinder, or if you're otherwise unable to use the touchscreen for that purpose. The dial feels good and the spiky finish is pleasantly grippy.
|Fangorn Forest by cand1d|
|Yosemite Falls with Moonbow by Jonathan Shapiro|
from Best Landscape of the Week 4
The new stuff should have better red hues, improved sensitivity and finer grain - but don't worry - will still shift blues to green, greens to purple and yellows to pink.
Ricoh has introduced a new rugged compact camera with a 16MP CMOS sensor, 28-140mm lens, 2.7" LCD and built-in LED macro lights. Read more
This compact drone can shoot HD video using a 2-axis stabilized 12MP camera. Read more
The new Prynt Pocket can print a photo directly from their iPhone simply by inserting the phone into the printer, then snapping a photo. Each print will cost about 50 cents. Read more
Updates for Adobe Camera Raw and Lightroom CC bring support for the Sony A9 and Panasonic ZS70/TZ90, along with bug fixes.
The Triggertrap remote camera control system is no longer sold due to the company folding, but now users will be able to build their own. Read more
The Magic Format Converter comes with internal optics that expand the image circle of full-frame DSLR lenses for use on the Fuji medium format camera. Read more
The usually Apple-exclusive MacPhun software developer has announced that it will introduce PC versions of two of its most popular applications. Both Aurora HDR and Luminar should be available for the Windows operating system by the autumn of this year. Read more
Sony's newest G Master telephoto zoom, announced alongside the a9, is the first of the company's FE lenses to reach 400mm natively. We had one in California and photographed horses, portraits, and landscapes - check out how it did. Read more
Garmin has entered the 360-camera market with the VIRB, which captures 5.7K video at 30p as well as 15MP stills. Read more
German media reports that the founders of the company behind the Panono 360-degree ball camera have filed for bankruptcy at a court in Berlin. Read more
With a claimed 800 new custom parts, Microsoft's updated Surface Pro comes with the latest Kaby Lake processors, better battery life, a new hinge, plus the Surface Pen is updated as well. Read more
DW Photo is attempting to resurrect the Hy6 medium format camera, though the legal tangles of its development may stop it being branded Rolleiflex.
The Kodak EKTRA, the company's 'camera first' smartphone, is now available to purchase in the United States. Read more
Apple and Nokia have settled their years-old patent dispute. Apple will make an undisclosed payment to Nokia and sign a licensing agreement related to digital health products with the Finnish company.
David Gibson, one of Britain's best known street shooters, shares all.
Photographers from the SKYGLOW project travelled 150k miles and took 3 million photos in increasingly rare locations: those without light pollution.
The world's fastest 200mm was produced for 16 years. In that time, only 8000 were made.
Photokina, the biennial photo industry trade show in Cologne, Germany, has announced that it will become an annual event beginning in 2018, and expand its focus to additional areas of imaging technology. Read more
No mic socket? No problem. In this video, Daniel Peters at Photo Gear News shows you how to make a lapel microphone using just a smartphone and a pair of earbuds.
How does the iPhone 7 Plus stack up against the Arri Alexa cinema camera? Watch this short video to find out.
Canon Australia's video series "The Lab" is designed to make photographers experiment and think outside the box. In the latest video a group of photographers create images based on their sense of taste.
The GH5 is expected to get a firmware update this summer to support 400Mbps internal recording. NewsShooter explores what memory cards you'll need to make it work.
Microsoft's new Surface Pro offers Intel's latest processor generation and improved battery life.
Riding a mountain bike downhill is dangerous enough in daylight, but potentially lethal at night. Which is where drones come in.
Rumors abound that Canon (and maybe Nikon) may produce a mirrorless camera based using their existing DSLR mount. Does this guarantee immediate great lens choice or a perpetually second-rate experience? Read more
According to rumors, the next camera from Nest will be able to capture 4K video, though that resolution will be only used for 'virtual' pan and tilt functions.
Boundary's Prima 'fully modular' backpack is expandable to 30L and has a removable camera case and tablet sleeve. Early Kickstarter backers can get one for $189.
Stanley Greene captured 'brutally honest' photographs in the war zones of the Middle East, Chechnya and Georgia. He was also one of the few African-American photographers working internationally.
Owners of Leica M cameras that suffer from peeling CCDs will be able to claim a free repair in the future so long as the camera was purchased within five years of the fault becoming apparent, the company has announced. Read more