The Samsung Galaxy NX has gone on sale in the UK, with leading retailers Jessops, Park Cameras and Wex Photographic offering the Android camera with an 18-55mm lens for £1299. The price has caused a few eyebrows to be raised, with many wondering who exactly the Galaxy NX is aimed at.
So why is this camera so expensive? Data connectivity is the answer. You can insert a SIM card and enjoy not only 3G but also 4G LTE speeds.
Samsung has been keen to stress the innovative nature of the Galaxy NX. We have seen Android cameras with Wi-Fi connectivity before, but mobile data support on a mirrorless shooter is new.
Despite the vast array of Wi-Fi hotspots that litter the planet, it is still often more convenient to use mobile data.
As you would expect of a camera with a £1299 price tag, the Galaxy NX features some impressive specs. It has a 20.3 megapixel APS-C CMOS sensor, burst shooting speed of 8.6 fps, maximum shutter speed of 1/6000 sec, 4.8-inch LCD screen, electronic viewfinder, Wi-Fi and is powered by Android 4.2 Jelly Bean.
But is all that enough? We have seen no shortage of cameras over the years that look great on paper but fail to deliver the performance expected.
It is worth taking a minute to compare the Galaxy NX to some alternatives. In the way of compact system cameras, we have the Samsung NX1000. It has a 20.3 megapixel APS-C sensor, Wi-Fi support and can shoot full HD movies. What’s more, the NX1000 is currently available on Amazon with a 20-55mm lens for under £250.
Alternatively you could take a look at the Panasonic Lumix DMC-G5, available for £449 with a 14-42mm lens. There is no wi-fi connectivity here, but what you will be getting instead is one of the best compact system cameras on the market, capable of capturing superb quality images. The Lumix DMC-G5, like the Galaxy NX, also has an electronic viewfinder, in addition to a large LCD screen.
Neither the NX1000 or DMC-G5 are like-for-like comparisons with Samsung’s new Android camera. What is unique about the Galaxy NX is its 3G and 4G LTE support.
The prospect of being able to share high quality images anywhere there is a mobile data connection will obviously appeal to some people.
But the fact that sharing images is quick and easy will not be enough for most potential buyers. In order for it to be a success, the Galaxy NX will need to perform well as a camera.
Both Fujifilm and Olympus have compact system cameras selling in a relatively similar price bracket to the Galaxy NX.
So a compact system camera selling at £1299 is not exactly an unimaginable proposition. But to be a success, the Galaxy NX’s imaging performance will need to be good enough to attract customers who are willing to splash that kind of cash.