On an earlier thread several of you gave me suggestions in my quest for a pocketable 16:9 stills camera.
However, in the last few weeks it has become clear that certain jobs in the future would benefit from a more feature-rich camera and one that had a viewfinder as well as a screen. In addition, a hot shoe for a triggered flashgun would be an advantage, as well as the abilty to remotely operate the shutter.
In the end, my choice was the Samsung NX11, which is a compact system camera (detachable lens) in a DSLR style but without the DSLR bulk. It has all the above features and, with it's big APS-C sensor it will do 16:9, 3:2 and 1:1 stills up to 14 meg size in jpg or RAW as well as HD video (mono sound) with 'shallow DOF' if required.
There are a couple of extra features that I hadn't originally thought of but which could be useful for a recce and the like. One is that it can record up to 10 secs of sound with each still so idents and comments can be made while taking a picture. The other is a panoramic feature - hold down the shutter button while moving the camera from side to side or up and down and it will stitch the stills together (in a second or two) to make one continuous picture - could be useful for surveys of new venues.
If it had been at the full rrp of £450/£500 I wouldn't even have considerd it, but Jessops are currently doing it for£299 (with a free 4Gb SDHC card thrown in).
It won't fit into a suit pocket but with the lens detached it will certainly fit into an outer coat so it just about fits my 'pocketable' requirement. Everything worked out of the box and it looks as if Samsung are offering quite a range of accessories for these NX cameras.
Seems like its 30fps (720p) only for video?
That would rule it out for me.
Agreed that HD video recordings are made only as 1280 x 720 at 30fps (.mp4 H.264 files) (plus 640x480 and 320x240 for SD /internet stuff)
However, it has a mini-HDMI 1.3 output socket with PAL/NTSC selection and options of 1080i, 720p and 576p/480p so there is the option of playback/capture as well as file transfer via USB2 (High Speed). From the Accessories bumf it would seem that the micro-USB socket even has composite video + audio available, via special cable.
No doubt the next upgrade of this camera will have AVCHD with wider video recording options, but as there was no announcement from Samsung at CES I reckoned that the upgrade will be some months away and I needed something now. Besides, my requirement was for a stills camera - the HD video capability is a bit of a bonus on a DSLR-quality camera costing less than three hundred quid.
There is higher end model of the NX series available now and it is the NX200, it is quite a bit more expensive than your bargain purchase but still seems to be a lot of camera for the money. Seems to go for just over £500 on amazon with a 20 - 50 lense.
Agreed that the NX200 has greater sensitivity and 1080p video (though still only 30fps) but it lacks the NX11's viewfinder and on-board flash. These two features allow a photographer with an NX11 to shoot instantly with the brightest sunlight on the back of the camera*, or in darkness.
A saving of over £200 is a big advantage, too!
* The NX11 switches automatically from screen to viewfinder if it detects the viewfinder being held to the eye.