Samsung Launches NX200

Samsung NX200 - Great camera but no optical viewfinder

Mixed in with the announcement of new point-and-shoot models, Samsung also rolled out the NX200, an upgraded version of the NX100.

The NX200 is Samsung’s offering for the hottest sector of the camera market right now, the mini cameras with big chips and interchangeable lenses.

The NX200 is built around a 20.3-megapixel APS-C CMOS sensor with an ISO rating of 100 to 12,800.  Surrounding that is a heavier magnesium alloy shell with a bigger grip that answered customer complaints about the handling characteristics.

Mysteriously Samsung left out an optical viewfinder, which is a real head-scratcher for those of us in the business.  Trying to use the LCD to frame stills on an interchangeable lens camera is both clumsy and bizarre.

Samsung tried to address the missing viewfinder with the i-Function 2.0 lenses which allows the user to control more of the camera technology from the lens.  Control functions on the lens include shutter speed, aperture, exposure value (EV) and white balance.

Video is 1080 HD at 30fps with the H.264 codec and stereo sound.

Available lenses include the i-Function 18-200mm zoom, and 16mm, 60mm and 85mm fixed. No word on pricing for the lenses at this writing.

The 100ms Advanced Auto Focus is coupled with a 7 fps continuous shooting mode for high-speed continuous images.  Full frame images are as fast as 400ms.

Other than the strange omission of the viewfinder, give Samsung credit for putting a big chip behind decent interchangeable glass.

Success of the line will depend on pricing.  The NX10 and NX100 were famous for their reasonable price point, prompting many to overlook their shortcomings.  If they can keep the street price under $500, Samsung might have a winner in the NX200.

Some quick comparisons of the NX200 vs some of its competitors: