Update – Release Date: So a lot of people are wondering what the release date for the NX500 is, and I snooped around as best I could, and phoned a few stores, and I definitely wouldn’t say this is 100%, but someone from a local store (probably shouldn’t name it in case they get in trouble?) told me it was coming “the last week in March”. I said “oh really, that’s for sure?” and they said “uh yup”. So there you have it, a definitive “uhh yup”.
Samsung had a pretty exciting announcement about 2 weeks ago: They’re releasing the NX500, which will be a pared down, smaller version of their NX1 Mirrorless (which people absolutely are absolutely loving.)
The exciting thing about the NX500 is that it shares a lot of things with the NX1 – same sensor, same resolution (28MP stills, 4K video), same lens system, almost everything in fact – but it shrinks it into a smaller package and removes only some things that are nice to have but not essential – the EVF, weather-sealing, the patterned AF illuminator.
So it retains all the stuff that will really affect image quality, and it comes with a lens, and it comes in at a $799 street price instead of the $1499 of the NX1 (which, again, is without a lens).
To me, this is almost a miracle camera, because I’ve really been debating whether to get the NX1 or not. The thing about the NX1 is that it’s got amazing features for the price, and people who use it absolutely love and rave about it, but there are 2 small rubs against it:
First, it records to the h.265 codec which is not supported by all software yet. However, it will be, and you can just transcode files in the meantime, so this is not a huge deal. Transcoding adds a bit of time to your workflow, but that’s it. (Also worth noting I’ve been reading up on the h.265 codec lately and it’s actually amazing and will be great once all the software supports it.)
Second, I personally am a bit hesitant to get a $1500 camera from a manufacturer who is very new to the space. It’s a pretty big leap of faith to buy a whole bunch of lenses that will only fit the Samsung NX1 mount, and then basically just hope that Samsung doesn’t lose interest in photography and peter out. One nice thing is that so far, all signs point to them being very serious about these enthusiast cameras and they’ve been doing some very cool things – everybody raves about how often they’re updating the firmware and adding features for instance.
The fact they’re releasing the NX500, which has all the important stuff from the NX1 at a much lower price (and again, with a lens) is a fantastic move that might easily get people like me off the fence and dipping their toes into the Samsung ecosystem. And that’s a great thing for everyone, because the better they do, the longer they’ll stay in the game.
So yeah, for me, I have basically decided to get this camera when it comes out. I’m not sure if I’ll pre-order in the next few ways, or just wait till the release date (sometime in March, can’t figure out when exactly.) My only real choice is between the colors – it comes in black, brown and white. I’m leaning towards the black. The other colors look fine, and maybe the brown even fits the slightly retro aesthetic better, but I’m thinking the black is more my thing.
Techradar review (summary: great camera with an unnecessary selfie mode)
Gizmodo overview – Very positive with no real quibbles