Samsung has a new smart, connected camera, the NX2000: the $650 device was introduced on Wednesday with a 20 to 50mm lens. This 20.3 megapixel camera has interchangeable lenses like a DSLR camera and both integrated Wi-Fi and NFC communications like a smartphone. The back of the camera uses a 3.7-inch touchscreen and the NX2000 can shoot 3D video with a special lens. I wasn’t a fan of the company’s recent Galaxy Camera with LTE at $549 plus data fees, but I like the NX2000, even with its $100 price premium over the older models.
Why? This is more a traditional camera that has integrated connectivity. The older Galaxy Camera with LTE seemed more like an Android device with camera capabilities bolted on. You won’t find Android on the NX2000, although I suspect the user interface is similar to the camera app on Samsung’s Galaxy S 4: Company representatives told me that Samsung is trying to use the same interface across phones and cameras.
Forgetting the interface and connectivity for a second, the NX2000 offers some impressive capabilities that you won’t find on a smartphone: shutter speeds up to 1/4000th of a second, a wide ISO range from 100 to 25800, and a large ASP-C sensor that is typically found on DSLRs. The NX2000 has a burst mode of 8 frames per second, which can certainly be useful, but we are starting to see high-end smartphones rival that.
Aside from taking advantage of a common user interface, Samsung is also cleverly using its own brand of Wi-Fi sharing. What used to be called AllPlay on Samsung phones and tablets is now Samsung Link. With it, you can wirelessly share photos from the NX2000 to Samsung mobile devices and smart televisions. The camera also supports the standard Wi-Fi Direct for sharing images and videos to other Wi-Fi devices. And connecting the camera to a phone or tablet should be easy with integrated NFC.
I spent a limited amount of time with the older Galaxy Camera and found the image quality to be slightly better than a smartphone, but not even that close to what I can get from a $700 DSLR. That’s the problem with grafting a point-and-shoot camera onto an Android-based Wi-Fi device: You get instant and simple connectivity but at the cost of image quality.
I suspect that won’t be the case with the NX2000, which looks like a camera with interchangeable lenses from the ground up, with the added benefits of Wi-Fi and NFC technology.