Samsung's EVIL NX-100 Puts DSLR Power In Compact Body

Samsung’s new EVIL (electronic viewfinder, interchangeable lens) camera follows about a year after the NX-10 became more than a rumor, though it was only announced in January. That more SLR-looking device seemed solid, but I never heard much of it. This brand new NX-100, though, looks like a winner. The styling, specs, and features are tempting, but can it survive in the face of high-powered point-and-shoots and versatile DSLRs?

By the way, this is definitely the one spied in that video. Here are the vital statistics:

  • 14.6 megapixels (APS-C sensor)
  • 3″ AMOLED LCD at 640×480
  • ISO 100-3200
  • 720p movie recording

Optional are an EVF, flash, and GPS module. And of course lenses come separately.

Speaking of lenses, the ones launching with the NX-100 are special — they call them i-Function. Yeah, original, right? But it’s a good idea for this kind of camera, and something we’ve seen in high-end camcorders for a while now. Basically, the ring on the lens adjusts whichever aspect of the exposure you select using a button on the lens. It could be focus, or shutter speed, or aperture, or whatever. Select the mode, make the adjustment, then move on to the next.

DSLRs let you do this with the wheels and dials, but this is a really accessible way to let someone fiddle with serious settings. At launch, there will be a 20-50mm F/3.5-5.6 zoom that looks positively enormous next to this thing’s little body, and a 20mm F/2.8 pancake lens should come out shortly after. I’d go with the pancake and just crop in, you’ve got enough megapixels to do that. In 2011 you’ll see 60mm macro, 18-200mm super zoom, 16mm wide angle, 85mm, and 16-80mm lenses coming as well.

Anyway. Looks like a pretty sweet little camera. Too bad there’s no pricing or availability info, which kind of dampens my enthusiasm. What if it’s, like, a thousand bucks? And not available for six months? I will have moved on by then. Likely to a T2i. I’ll update this if they get back to me. $599, and in October! Not bad.