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Samsung conceptualizes its first hybrid camera

The company's interchangeable lens point-and-shoot is slated for shipment in the second half of 2009.

Last September, Samsung sort of announced its intent to create a standard for non-SLR cameras with interchangeable lenses, dubbed "hybrids," and while there's no talk of standards in the latest announcement, Samsung has announced a prototype for a hybrid model that the company plans to ship in the latter half of this year.

Samsung's annoucement provided few details--I'll try to get more when I meet with the company this week, so stay tuned. As indicated previously, the first NX series camera will be based around an APS-C size sensor, though it's not yet clear which size APS-C that means; it's likely that it will be one that results in an effective 1.5X focal-length multiplier like that used in all consumer dSLRs save Canon's. The concept photos seem to include a fixed-focal-length lens that I guess would be about 33mm or 35mm for a resulting 50mm-equivalent angle of view.

This is a pretty smart step for Samsung's newly formed Samsung Digital Imaging Company, though it's risky planning the camera for six months or more out. Right now there's currently only a single competing hybrid on the market, the Panasonic Lumix DMC-G1; we're still waiting to see a real product from Olympus' concept announcement. Still, a lot can change over that amount of time.