Samsung at IFA_photozine_0903

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IFA - electronics trade show in Berlin
4 Sep 2009 ePHOTOzine at IFA - IFA's on in Berlin and Matt Grayson's there for ePHOTOzine. IFA starts in Berlin today and ePHOTOzine were given early access to the electronics trade show to have a chat with Samsung and find out as much as we can about new products. Of course they're keeping tight lipped about future projects but Matt Grayson got to see the new NX camera, which is the APS-C version of the Micro FourThird cameras from Panasonic and Olympus. In a press conference, Boo-Keun Yoon, President of Samsung's VD division was positive of the approach that Samsung are taking and how well they're doing when he said: "We've done well because we've not stood still." Indeed, they've created a new company (Samsung Digital Imaging) and have pushed boundaries in some of the newer technologies, even if they are a little on the gimmicky side. Let's look at the ST550; it's got a little screen on the front for self portraits, which is a gimmick but I like the idea. I have kids and they never smile when a camera's about. The ST550 has an animated cartoon that runs on the screen to get them to smile at the camera. He also pledged that Samsung will be eco friendly by 2013. To ensure this success they've invested $4.3 Billion. ePHOTOzine were also part of a talk with Seung Soo Park, Vice President of Samsung Digital Imaging. He's described the new cameras as: "The next generation communication device." This is mainly down to the sharing capability of the ST1000 which has WiFi, Bluetooth and GPS geologging. It looks like Samsung are among the companies that are changing their stance on the pixel race as they want to be "Innovation leaders for lifestyle, not creating technology for technology's sake" and when asked about new features Mr Park said: "Samsung are pursuing to fulfil the unmet needs of the consumer." They want to be a company that the customer will be loyal to and are working on after sales features, such as new animations for the cartoon feature of the ST550 that can be downloaded from the website. There are certainly cameras that are doing more and mobile phones that do nearly everything, so would Samsung consider designing a unit that does absolutely everything? "Products will always co-exist. Top end camcorders will always be used and photographers will always use a dedicated camera, " explained Mr Park. So what about the GX range? Is that going to be shelved? It certainly seems that Samsung are concentrating on the NX system over GX DSLRs but we were told that it doesn't mean they'll

disappear entirely. Robert King, Commercial Director for Samsung UK said "Samsung GX cameras are popular and it would be bad business to see them off the shelves completely. The GX20 is nearing the end of its shelf life" so that could mean a new DSLR on its way but he remained inconclusive about anything else being released in the foreseeable future. To add insult to injury of the GX, Mr Park added "The expected age range of customers buying the NX is 35-45 who will buy it because a DSLR is too big or heavy." However, he sees a compact camera as a back up to a DSLR instead of the NX system. So where does Mr. Park see NX going in the future? "We expect it to take 20% market share." After seeing some of the equipment being showcased by the major players at IFA, it seems that the way forward, in television at least, is 3D. The release of the new film, AVATAR, shows that it's becoming more serious in the industry and when I asked Robert King if he thought it was the way forward for television in the homes, he generally agreed telling me: "This the next step forward for the US market because HD is pretty much fully intergrated into US homes now. The UK are still getting used to HD but America have had it for a while and now they're looking for the next big thing." This could mean an integration into photography over the years meaning that we'll have to take pictures with cameras that have two lenses such as the new Fujifilm 3D camera we reported on in July this year. Panasonic, Sony, Fujifilm, Samsung and a number of independent companies are alll showcasing 3D technology at IFA this year. Matt will keep you posted will all that's happening at this year's IFA

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