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Hands-on: Samsung NX300 & 45mm F1.8 2D/3D Lens

By Wong Casandra & Vijay Anand - 12 Jan 2013

Hands-on: Samsung NX300 & 45mm F1.8 2D/3D Lens

Hands-on: Samsung NX300 & 45mm F1.8 2D/3D Lens

Samsung has been building up its portfolio of NX series cameras, and at CES 2013, the company announced the NX300, the successor to the NX210. That's not all of course, along with the camera, the new NX 45mm F1.8 2D/3D lens, the first one-lens 3D system capable of capturing both still images and Full HD movies in perfect 3D quality, has been announced as well. At CES 2013, we joined a closed-door session to learn more about both.

Samsung NX300

The design hasn't changed much from the NX210 and the NX300 retains its old-school retro feel. Note the contrast silver band! The camera is available in two shades, black and white.

The familiar handgrip makes a return as well. We found it nicely-sized and not too bulky or intrusive.

The tilt display makes it easier to take high and low angle shots. You can tilt it up flat at 90 degrees...

... as well as sideways at 45 degrees.

Seen here on its ample sized touchscreen are some of its smart functions at work. If you haven't noticed, the AMOLED screen has increased from 3- to 3.31-inches on the NX300 from the NX210.

Of course, while the exterior hasn't changed too much, there are a couple of upgrades to its performance. First off, the NX300 features a higher ISO range of 100-25600, 1/6000 sec shutter speed and 8.6fps continuous shooting mode as well as incorporates a brand new Hybrid AF (Auto Focus) system. The new hybrid af system comprises of both phase detection (105 points) and contrast detection (247 points); according to Samsung, the combination allows for the best of both worlds, enhanced speeds and accuracy.

The Samsung’s in-house developed DRIMe IV imaging engine enables better color reproduction and greater noise reduction, as well as support for full 1080p HD video capture in both 2D and 3D (when combined with Samsung’s new 45mm 2D/3D lens). 

The mode dial includes a convenient Wi-Fi feature that allows quick access to all Wi-Fi related functions, making it for easy access to easy sharing. The dual-band Wi-Fi connectivity also lets users share images with friends and family directly from the camera via social networking sites using the camera's one-touch DIRECT LINK hot key.

Once you twist the mode dial to Wi-Fi, you can a screen with all Wi-Fi related functions, all on one screen. For one, images can be automatically backed up or stored in the cloud through AllShare Play.

The built-in dual-band Wi-Fi connectivity (2.4G/5G) also allows users to share their photos instantly and securely between their camera and mobile devices. To connect a smartphone to the camera, users simply need to download the Samsung Smart Camera App, available for both Android and iOS devices, onto their smartphone or tablet and follow the steps to create a secure connection with the camera (you can check this video for a demo of some of Samsung's camera smart functions). While the Android version is already available in Google Play, the iOS version will only be available next month.

The Samsung Smart Camera app has been updated to combine three features - Auto Share, Mobile Link, Remote Viewfinder. Previously, both Mobile Link and Remote Viewfinder features were in two separate apps. Auto Share is a new feature that allows users to set your camera to auto send images to your mobile devices as they are being shot.

The Samsung NX300 is expected to sell for US$749.99 with a typical 18-55mm kit lens from March 2013. Unfortunately, nothing has been decided for an Android interchangeable lens camera.

45mm F1.8 2D/3D Lens

The Samsung 45mm 2D/3D lens (sold separately for US$500) opens up an exciting world of 3D imaging possibilities and is the world’s first one-lens 3D system for a consumer camera. The Samsung NX300 and 45mm 2D/3D lens kit combined have become the only compact system camera supporting both 3D (.npo) still and 3D movies (h.264).

The world’s first one-lens 3D system for consumers cameras. As seen through the lens barrel, the divider dictates the use of a side-by-side 3D format to store each frame's content.

As seen from the photo above, the lens has a divider running in the middle dictating that it's using a side-by-side 3D format to store content. This would mean horizontal resolution is halved when storing the required frame per eye. However when shooting in 2D mode, this isn't a concern.

Simply switch from 2D to 3D shooting by simply moving the switch found on the lens. The iFn button allows you to easily change important settings like shutter, aperture and so forth on your screen. Pressing it switches you from one setting to another.

Other than this special lens, the NX300 is also compatible with Samsung’s entire range of NX lenses and professional standard accessories.

 Like the camera, the lens will be available by end of Q1, 2013.

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