Samsung Still Low On Self-Esteem


In yet another "soft" announce, the Samsung NX2000 has popped quietly onto the scene. The German Samsung subsidiary and B&H jumped the gun a bit before the official Samsung press release hit the wires, but for the most part the camera was introduced via the press release itself.

So what's this new camera? Basically take an NX1100 and remove most of the controls (Direction pad, buttons, etc.). Instead, mount a large (3.7") WVGA LCD on the back and make it touchscreen. Hey, you're poking your smartphone's screen to control its camera, maybe that's the secret to mirrorless success. 


Rumors have long been circulating that Samsung is moving towards the Tizen OS. Tizen is the Intel/Samsung collaboration that's YALV (Yet Another Linux Variation). Think of it as unGoogle Android. Note the up arrow button on the camera, for example. (Okay, it's the Home button, but be careful about giving products with simplified icons to us old folk, we just might not see what you see ;~).

In theory, Android/Tizen/YALV based cameras would be programmable (allow installation of apps that add features). To date, virtually all of such apps I've seen tend to be either generic YASV (Yet Another Sharing Variation) or generic YAII (Yet Another Instagram Imitator). Until a camera maker releases a real low-level API and sells enough units to offer an app developer an upside, we're not likely to see much useful app action, though. That's a bit of a chicken-and-egg problem, and a well-known one dating back to the early personal computer days. It's why Apple started an Evangelism department, after all. If you want to sell an app-driven product, you need apps. If you want apps, you need enough users to attract developers. Somewhere you have to break the "early stall" problem, and the best way is to have some compelling apps from day one. The only way you get that is by hooking some developers with early access and guaranteed money and/or heavy promotion. 

That's why these soft releases by Samsung are curious to me. They just don't show any confidence on Samsung's part. In essence, you basically reinforce the chicken-and-egg problem by doing a soft release. Granted, Samsung's poor showing so far in mirrorless cameras would require them to really bring a Reality Distortion Field of epic proportions into their evangelism of developers effort, but Samsung's a big, rich company: it could afford the attempt to "buy a better start." 

Instead, their products limp into a market that isn't exactly on fire at the market, and they're lucky they even get noticed by anyone. 

Bottom line: another dart thrown at the board that misses and puts another hole in the wall instead of scoring.

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