LIST PRICE: $699 (with 18-55mm ƒ/3.5-5.6 lens)
Camera manufacturers have long sought to provide the desirable features of an SLR (top image quality, interchangeable lenses, convenient eye-level viewing, etc.) without the bulk. A bit of history: Olympus’ OM-1 35mm SLR noticeably reduced the size and weight of the SLR back in the early 1970s, but the size of the 35mm image frame and the SLR mirror box set a bulk limit below which no camera designer could go. When DSLRs went digital, smaller sensors could have made for smaller cameras, but most camera makers adapted their large 35mm SLRs to digital duty. The Four Thirds System, featuring a smaller 17.3×13.0mm image sensor, promised smaller DSLRs, but those produced weren’t all that much smaller.
More recently, in 2008, the Micro Four Thirds System was introduced, featuring the same Four Thirds sensor, but doing away with the SLR mirror box, focusing screen and pentaprism finder. The result: cameras that are noticeably smaller than DSLRs, with some even providing eye-level electronic viewfinders so they can be used like DSLRs rather than held at arm’s length like compact digital cameras.
Now, we have a new player. Samsung’s NX10 puts a larger APS-C-sized DSLR image sensor into a tiny body with a built-in eye-level electronic viewfinder that’s about the same size as the Micro Four Thirds models.
STANDOUT FEATURE: The NX10 provides the look, convenience and sensor of an interchangeable-lens DSLR, but in a much smaller size.
VERDICT: The NX10 wraps an APS-C-format, DSLR-sized sensor with high-resolution still and HD video capability in a truly compact body, with an eye-level EVF and excellent OLED monitor.