When gaudily wrapped presents are placed seductively around the Christmas tree, it's tempting to sneak in and open one before the big day. Samsung has done just that, succumbing to temptation and announcing the new NX11 lens-swapping camera ahead of the frenzied unwrapping of technological gifts that is CES.
The NX11 is the latest entry to Samsung's NX lens format, which lets you swap lenses on and off compact, mirrorless snappers. NX uses a large APS-C sensor for better image quality.
The 14.6-megapixel NX11 also shoots 720p high-definition video. It boasts an electronic VGA (640x480-pixel) viewfinder, a 3-inch AMOLED screen, and a built-in pop-up flash.
Samsung was NX10, lagging behind a wide range of interchangeable-lens rivals in Olympus and Panasonic's Micro Four Thirds format. It's been conservative in its new creations: the NX10 was followed by the , but the NX11, the third in the line-up, is a tune-up and follow-up to the NX10. If you need that extra push over the cliff, the NX11 goes all the way up to 11.
The main difference is that it supports Samsung's i-Function lenses, including an 18-55mm lens that comes with the camera. i-Function lenses have a handy button on the side that let you cycle through shooting options such as shutter speed, aperture, white balance and ISO, then adjust them with the lens ring. Other i-Function glass includes a new 20mm pancake lens and silver 20-50mm zoom lens.
A lens priority mode dial on the NX11 lets you pick the best settings for the lens you're using. The NX11 offers a redesigned grip and a new panorama mode, which allows you to take extra-wide pictures with one press of the shutter and one smooth sweep of the camera, similar to Sony's sweep panorama feature.
You'll be able to unwrap the Samsung NX11 in February, with UK dates and pricing yet to be announced.