While traditional compact camera sales have fallen in recent years, thanks in no small part to an increase in smartphone ownership and the ever expanding universe of photo-specific apps available for them, compact system camera (CSC) sales have grown quite significantly. Indeed CSCs are currently the fastest-growing segment of the digital camera market with new manufacturers eager to get on board and share the spoils.
Samsung isn’t exactly a complete newcomer to CSCs. Indeed, the company has been enthusiastic early adopter of the standard, announcing within weeks of the launch of the Micro Four Thirds standard that it would be focusing on a CSC standard of its own. Since then the company has abandoned DSLR manufacturing altogether to concentrate instead on its NX range of CSCs.
In the intervening years we’ve seen the NX100 make its debut, along with the more DSLR-styled NX10 and NX11 models. As the direct successor to the nearly 18-month-old NX100, the NX200 looks to up Samsung’s game considerably.
In terms of construction the NX200 benefits from more metal and less plastic, while movie recording jumps to 1080p Full HD from the 720p HD capabilities of the NX100. Likewise, maximum burst rate rise to 7fps (from 3fps). Perhaps most eye-catching of all though is a brand new APS-C CMOS sensor with an effective resolution of 20.3MP – a considerable improvement over the 14.6MP of the NX100 and second only to the 24.3MP Sony NEX-7 within its class.
Of course with all the hardware and specification improvements, the NX200 doesn’t come particularly cheap. Discounting means the camera body and 20-50mm kit zoom package can be sourced for around £550 online, putting it up against the likes of the 16.1MP Sony NEX-5N (c.£550 with 18-50mm), 16MP Panasonic Lumix GX1 (c.£550 with regular 14-42mm kit zoom), 12.3MP Olympus E-P3 (c.£700 with 14-42mm), and to perhaps a lesser extent, the more novice-friendly 10.1MP Nikon J1 (c.£400 with 10-30mm).
Stiff competition from all sides, then. Lets take a closer look and see if the NX200 has what it takes to compete…