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Samsung NX500 revealed as a shrunken NX1 in a CSC body

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 (4,096×2,160) 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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