Samsung NX500 revealed as a shrunken NX1 in a CSC body

Tom Morgan
5 Feb 2015

The seriously desirable NX500 compact system camera takes everything we loved about the NX1 and shrinks it into a tiny body

Samsung has officially revealed the NX500, a new flagship compact system camera (CSC) that borrows heavily from the dSLR-rivalling NX1 we saw back in August at the Photokina trade show. That means it has the same 28-megapixel APS-C back side illuminated (BSI) sensor, DRIMeV image processor and hybrid autofocus system, but now fits in the palm of your hand rather than a chunky DSLR body.

That sensor is capbable of shooting 28-megapixel stills in JPEG and RAW, with an ISO range of 100-25,600 and 1/6000 shutter speed. There's no inbuilt flash, but you can add an external one using the standard hotshoe mount on the top of the camera. The NX500 also includes built-in Wi-Fi and Bluetooth for remote shutter control from a smartphone or sharing images, plus NFC for quick pairing with compatible handsets. It also has a flip-up 3in AMOLED touchscreen display for selfie-shooting, single mode dial, twin command dials and compatibility with Samsung's iFunction NX lenses for additional manual controls.

There have been a few compromises in order to squeeze the NX1's features into a CSC body. The super-fast burst mode has dropped from 15fps to 9fps in the NX500, as the shutter mechanics couldn't be downsized any further, and the metal/plastic body isn't weather sealed. Full HD video recording has also dropped from 120fps down to 60fps, but it is still able to shoot 4K clips at 24fps (4,096x2,160) or 30fps (3,840x2x160).

Based on the specifications, it looks as though Samsung is aiming to give CSC leaders Sony, Panasonic and Olympus a run for their money with the NX500. Sony's Alpha A6000 costs a similar amount and can't shoot 4K video, while Panasonic's Lumix GX7 has an electronic viewfinder (EVF) but a smaller Micro Four Thirds sensor. We can't wait to see how image quality stacks up when we get a review unit into the labs.

Samsung expects the NX500 to go on sale in the UK from March onwards, in a choice of Black, White and Brown colours. There's currently no word on a UK price, although American customers can expect to pay $799 for a kit with a 16-50mm f/3.5-5.6 power zoom lens. That works out at roughly £525 before tax and VAT, so we're expecting something in the region of £550-600 (EDIT: updated with correct $/£ conversion rates). When we get official confirmation we'll be sure to update this story.

We're currently in Monaco for Samsung's European Forum, and hope to bring you a hands-on first look a little later today. 

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