It seems like just yesterday that we met the Panasonic Lumix GM1, the smallest interchangeable lens camera on the market. Then, on Wednesday this week, Samsung announced the super thin NX Mini. Not only is it the ultimate selfie machine thanks to its 3-inch rotating flip-touch screen, but at just 0.8 inches in thickness and a weight of 158 grams, it is also officially the thinnest interchangeable lens compact system camera (CSC) on the market. The GM1, on the other hand, retains its title as the smallest as far as length and width are concerned.
The 20MP one-inch BSI CMOS sensor, 6 fps continuous shooting, ISO range of 160 to 12800, and HP 1080p video recording probably won’t be of particular interest to this camera’s target market. The brand new “wink function” however, may certainly turn some heads. In addition to pressing the shutter button, you can now simply wink at the camera to take a photo. (Of course the camera gives you two seconds to strike a pose after you’ve winked!)
Additionally, potential users of this camera (most likely teenagers and young adults) will be pleased with the various tools and SMART features. They include built-in Wifi and NFC, filters, Social Media Upload, E-mail, Photo beam, DirectLink, MobileLink, PC Auto-backup, Remote Viewfinder PRO, AllShare and Baby Monitoring. For the fashion conscious, the camera comes in four colours: white, green, black and pink.
Despite the NX name, the NX-M mount (35mm-equivalent 2.7x crop factor) used on the camera is actually brand new. It has been built to accommodate three new lenses: the 9mm, 9-17mm and 17mm with an f/1.8 aperture. Being fairly wide, they are perfect for seflies and group shots. Samsung will also bring out an adapter for those who want to use NX series lenses on the NX Mini.
A final bonus is the inclusion of Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 5 in the kit. In all honesty, I’m not sure how much the average user of this camera would appreciate or use a professional program such as Adobe but it is a nice addition nonetheless.
Out of all mirrorless camera companies, Samsung is undoubtably the one most invested in social media. It is also major smartphone and tablet producer, and quite often you will come across a deal such as ‘Buy a Samsung camera and get a tablet for free’ or vice versa. They have realised that for a point-and-shoot to be popular, it has to do everything a mobile can do.
This fact, coupled with its one-inch sensor and compact build, makes it an interesting rival for more expensive one-inch sensor cameras out there like the Sony RX100 II and Nikon V3. Priced at under $500 with the 9mm kit lens, it is poised to give you the best value for your money. Having said this, I can’t help but wonder whether these cameras have really been conceived with the user in mind, or if their production is just a way to let the world know that they are capable of building innovative cameras with the best smart features on them. Is it tech pride, or perhaps something more? I guess we will have to try it to find out!