Samsung Kicks Off New Year by Announcing NX30, Galaxy Camera 2

While we've barely stopped singing "Auld Lang Syne," Samsung already has cameras to show off

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CES 2014 is just around the corner, but Samsung apparently couldn't wait to unveil some of its newest products. The company is showing off two new models, including the flagship NX30 and an updated version of the company's Android-powered Galaxy Camera.

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Even though the Galaxy Camera's imaging stack hasn't changed, it sports a new look and beefier specs.

We got a chance to spend some time with these two new cameras a few weeks ago, and found that both are modest updates on existing Samsung models. The NX30 replaces the NX20 in Samsung's lineup, with an enhanced body design, improved image sensor, and a 2.36-million dot tiltable XGA EVF. The Galaxy Camera 2 is optically the same as the previous Galaxy Camera, but features more RAM, a faster processor, and a newer version of Android, 4.3 (AKA Jelly Bean).

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The NX30 is another DSLR-styled mirrorless camera, following in the footsteps of the NX20.

The NX30 should improve on the performance of the NX20, with the same 20.3-megapixel CMOS image sensor as the NX300. The sensor has 105 phase-detection AF points on the sensor and the same 100-25600 ISO range, but Samsung is claiming slightly improved noise performance over the NX300. That is due to some changes to the circuit manufacturing process employing copper as opposed to aluminum to improve conductivity.

In terms of other hardware, the NX30 has a free-angle 1037k-dot super AMOLED screen with touchscreen control. The camera has a built-in flash with a guide number of 11, as well as a maximum flash sync of 1/8000th of a second.

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The NX30 features a tilting EVF and an articulated LCD touchscreen.

When shooting video, the NX30 can capture full 1080/60p with full manual control, dual image stabilization, and it even features a 3.5mm mic input. The camera can also use its WiFi to stream 1080/30p video to an external device. The WiFi is even dual band, which should improve streaming in areas with lots of WiFi congestion.

The Galaxy Camera 2 doesn't see quite as many improvements over its predecessor, with Samsung focusing mostly on design enhancements. The Galaxy Camera 2 will have the same image sensor and 21x lens as the original, though the improved processor and memory could allow for improved image quality through software changes.

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The Galaxy Camera 2 comes with Android 4.3 Jelly Bean right out of the box.

The Galaxy Camera 2 combines a 21x optical zoom with a standard 1/2.3-inch image sensor, a 2000mAh battery, and a 4.8-inch touch-sensitive LCD. The battery is not backwards compatible, but it represents a 350mAh upgrade over the first Galaxy Camera. Samsung's worked on the integration between the hardware and software, adding pinch-to-zoom control—when you spread two fingers apart on the touchscreen, the Galaxy Camera 2's optical zoom lens springs to life.

Otherwise the main addition to the GC2 is NFC connectivity, allowing for easy pairing of devices with the camera. On the outside the new Galaxy Camera sports a handsome leatherette covering on the outside, a more rounded body design, and comes in at 43 grams less than its predecessor. All in all, it's a camera that's much closer in design to Samsung's NX300 than any of its previous Android cameras.

Neither the NX30 nor the Galaxy Camera 2 have been pegged for release quite yet. We'll update this post as soon as we get finalized pricing and shipping dates for both products.

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