Anyone looking for a new camera has a dozen solid options to choose from. And now, there's one more to add to the list — Samsung's new NX30 mirrorless DSLR-lookalike has been confirmed for an Australian release, with an attached price tag that is surprisingly reasonable.
In previous years, Samsung has had some solid mirrorless cameras in the NX20 and NX300, but hasn't really cracked the code of making them easily available and affordable and competitive with similar cameras from Olympus, Panasonic and Sony. The new NX30 is aiming to change that, and one weapon in its arsenal is an affordable, attractive price tag.
The NX30 will launch in Australia in the middle of April — that's around about now, we're presuming — with a recommended retail price of $1099 for the camera and accompanying 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 OIS kit lens. That's a great price, putting the NX30 squarely in competition with the $1199 Olympus OM-D E-M5 and the $1649 Fujifilm X-T1.
Samsung has a decent mirrorless lens line-up for its NX camera range too, and it's quickly evolving to include some serious pro-level glass. The 85mm f/1.4 portrait prime is a particular standout, and shows that Samsung has committed genuine effort and interest into its mirrorless offerings.
Samsung's NX30 has all the company's technological know-how on its side — Samsung may not be a camera company, but it certainly knows a thing or two about imaging sensors, OLED screens and electronic viewfinders. We've spent an entire day test-driving the NX30 now, and it's a solid mirrorless camera that, for the first time, is a genuine competitor with established camera manufacturers.
The NX30 has just received TIPA's Best Compact System Camera (Advanced) award for 2014, beating some high-profile competitors. It's a serious camera for amateurs and enthusiasts — it's easy to use and has plenty of hand-holding features, but doesn't skimp on high-tech accoutrements. Built-in Wi-Fi for remote shooting and image transfer to smartphones and tablets is one of Samsung's big selling points for the NX30, and in our experience it is one of the best implementations of the technology we've seen so far.
With the Samsung NX30 entering the mirrorless camera market imminently, Olympus, Panasonic and the other sub-DSLR manufacturers have renewed competition on their hands. We can't wait and see what they come up with, but we'd be equally happy if Samsung is top dog for a while.