The first ‘hybrid’ digital camera from Samsung will make its debut in the second half of this year, according to information released ahead of PMA which begins tomorrow.

The first in Samsung’s ‘NX’ series digital camera system will be accompanied by a range of compatible lenses, also due to go on sale later this year.

As exclusively reported by Amateur Photographer (AP) last year, the camera is designed to appeal to photographers who want the flexibility of an interchangeable lens camera in a body that is less bulky than a traditional SLR.

It is expected to house an APS-C size imaging sensor, larger than the sensor inside a Micro Four Thirds camera such as the Panasonic G1.

Samsung has brought forward the camera’s 2010 launch date and is now expected to introduce the camera in the second half of 2009.

The firm predicts that this segment of the market will account for more than 20% of all digital cameras sold by 2012.

The lack of a mirror box will help keep down the size and weight of the camera body.

Samsung had not been expected to released the camera until Spring 2010, in a move aimed at propelling the company to the top of world’s digital camera sales.

Last year, the firm told AP that the new camera will carry the company’s own 14 million-pixel APS-C sized CMOS sensor and a new lens mount. ‘Many people find DSLR cameras too heavy and big to carry,’ said a spokesman, ‘so Samsung will introduce a new hybrid system that will be small and light like a bridge-type camera, but with interchangeable Samsung-made lenses.’

Like Micro Four Thirds, Samsung’s hybrid system will use electronic viewfinders (EVF) and a compact camera-style, live, rear LCD screen for framing. The focusing system will use a video type automatic process, and lenses will be smaller than the company’s current GX series optics.

The ‘Hybrid’ system is expected to run alongside the current GX DSLR series.

Read AP’s Exclusive interview here.

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