Samsung preps a compact NX1 in the NX500

Like big camera sensor but not necessarily a big camera body? No worries, because Samsung looks set to shrink its big NX1 into something smaller this year, taking the heart of that camera and plonking it into a compact body.

In the next week or so, you’ll likely see a lot of camera news, as the world’s makers of bits that take pictures of things start to unveil their entries and revisions for 2015 ahead of CP+, the massive camera show that takes place in Japan at the beginning of each year.

We’ve already seen a couple of entries so far, with Panasonic and Olympus both getting new things out, and now it’s time for Samsung to show off what it has been working on in the camera space.

This week, the company has pulled the curtains from a new camera aimed at being useful not just for stills photographers, but people keen to take video in the growing 4K space.

Samsung calls this one the NX500, and it’s a small camera body that looks like it takes after 2013’s NX300, with a retro-inspired design, leather-look finish, and Samsung’s mirror-less camera mount.

Inside the camera, we’re told that Samsung has taken its 28 megapixel APS-C sensor found in last year’s NX1, complete with RAW support and the ability to capture 4K and UHD video, with 4K running at 24fps while UHD’s 3840×2160 supporting 30fps.

Manual modes can, of course, control what’s on offer, as can some automatic modes, and there will be an Ultra HD time-lapse mode, as well, making it possible to capture day and night around you for a UHD TV by leaving the camera on a tripod and just sitting back.

WiFi will also be here, making it possible to control the camera from afar, with transfer of images also likely supported through the same system we experienced on the NX1, though without 802.11ac support, which the NX1 has.

The size and weight will be extremely different, too, because the two style of bodies are very different, and from what we understand, the NX300 will be roughly half the weight of the NX1, clocking in at 287g without the battery or lens, while the NX1 tips the scales at 550g body only.

“We recognise the sentimental value of a photograph in people’s lives and being able to capture and share the perfect moment from wherever they are,” said Sangmoo Kim, Senior Vice President of IT and Mobile Communications at Samsung Electronics. “That is why Samsung has built a camera suitable for everyday photographers.”

“The compact size of the NX500 and its revolutionary shooting and focus speed allow consumers to enjoy superb image quality,” he said. “We are redefining what is possible for people who are not professional photographers, and offering everyone the ability to capture their signature moments in every shot.”

Unfortunately, pricing or availability has not been announced in Australia, though we’re nudging our contacts at Samsung Australia to find out more, and will keep you updated when we find out anything.

UPDATE (February 13): We have a quote, and it’s from Samsung’s Head of Digital Imaging, Craig Gillespie, who says “we’re very excited to confirm that the Samsung NX500 will be arriving in Australia in April of this year. The camera integrates some of NX1’s innovations into a stylish lightweight design and I look forward to providing more details closer to the launch.” There you go people. More info in April.