This is a guest article from Leonard Goh:
The tides in the camera industry are shifting, with big boys such as Canon and Nikon taking a (slight) beating from previously smaller players such as Sony and Fujifilm. In the US, Sony cameras has already surpassed Nikon in the full frame category, and it won’t be unexpected that such a trend spreads.
Amidst all these chatter, let us remember that a Korean conglomerate once made some of the best and innovative cameras of the era then.
Yes, that’s Samsung.
The Samsung NX10 comes with an APS-C sized sensor, the first in a mirrorless camera.
I remember when I was writing for the now-defunct CNET Asia and Samsung announced its first mirrorless camera, the NX10. Bear in mind that in 2010, mirrorless cameras had just taken off, with Olympus and Panasonic spearheading this category with their own Micro FourThirds cameras. It was only a matter of time before the big boys caught on to the trend of “small cameras, large sensor”. But what was unexpected was that it wasn’t a big player who came out with it first. It was actually Samsung.
With an APS-C-sized sensor, the NX10 was effectively the world’s first mirrorless camera with a sensor used in dSLRs.
Other than a large LCD at the back, the ST550 also have a front-facing LCD, perfect for selfies.
Just a year earlier, in 2009, Samsung showcased the ST550, a compact camera with a dual LCD; one on the rear and a smaller one on the front so you can see and frame yourself before taking a selfie. Remember, in 2009, selfie wasn’t even that big a deal yet.
Samsung has never officially announced that it was out of the imaging circuit, but multiple news outlets have reported that the company has ceased sales and service in various countries. Draw your own conclusion on this.
So what happened to Samsung’s cameras? Some might argue that the Korean company predominantly makes home appliances such as fridges, washing machines and TVs, so people never took them seriously. But if you look at Sony and Panasonic, they fall into the same category as well.
No one knows, really. Samsung invested heavily in the marketing of its cameras, no less than the big boys, so there’s really no reason why the public wouldn’t be aware of their cameras.
One reason I can think of, is perhaps that, during the same period when Samsung was trying to build up its imaging reputation and portfolio, the company was also targeting the mobile industry aggressively, more so than the imaging side. Hence, the public were exposed to more of Samsung’s mobile phones and its cameras were somewhat sidelined in their minds.
The NX1 was Samsung’s last mirrorless camera before it was rumored that the company has exited the camera industry.
Samsung, however, didn’t leave quietly. Its last mirrorless camera, the NX1, received rave reviews and accolades from professionals. I know of one photographer who owns 2 NX1s and several of the lenses, and he claims that the video quality is superb.
We’ll never know if Samsung will make a comeback in the imaging sphere. But here’s hoping that if, and when they do, they can shake up the industry again.
Link to the original post: leonardgoh.com/post/163123213420/remembering-samsung