Korean electronics giant Samsung has revealed plans to introduce a new compact camera system based on its CMOS APS-C sized sensor, and with interchangeable lenses.

Korean electronics giant Samsung has revealed plans to introduce a new compact camera system based on its CMOS APS-C sized sensor, and with interchangeable lenses.

The plans were revealed by Samsung Techwin?s Executive Vice President Byung Woo Lee, during exclusive back to back interviews with What Digital Camera Editor Nigel Atherton and Amateur Photographer editor Damien Demolder at the IFA consumer electronics show in Berlin.

?Our research has shown us that there is a big demand for a new type of camera product,? explained Lee. ?One that has the sophistication and interchangeable lenses of a digital SLR, but is smaller and more user-friendly.?

He continued that Samsung?s believed that a large number of people would like something better than their current compact but find DSLRs both bulky and confusing to understand.

?This new system will be easier to use than a DSLR and will embrace Samsung?s goal of ?seamless connectivity? between devices such as the PC and the TV? Lee predicted. ?It will feature an electronic viewfinder, a high quality LCD screen and a newly developed lens mount.?

The news comes just weeks after Olympus and Panasonic announced plans to launch a similar system called Micro Four-Thirds, using the four-thirds standard. Samsung were at pains to point out that their system is very different, and will feature the larger APS-C sized sensor found in the companies DSLRs, but from a consumer?s point of view the concept ? of a bridge type camera with interchangeable lenses ? is similar. However, Lee was adamant that Samsung has been working on their concept for some time, deflecting any accusations that Samsung are simply copying Olympus and Panasonic.

Lee expects the first cameras in the new hybrid system to be ready around spring 2010 but insists that Samsung is also still committed to digital SLR development, and to its relationship with Pentax in that market, despite the overwhelming dominance of Canon and Nikon.

?The DSLR market is dominated by two companies,? said Lee, ?and it will be very difficult to break that, but we certainly aim to be in the top tier in the DSLR market by 2010, in parallel with our development of the hybrid system, and of course our continued commitment to traditional compacts and camera phones.?

Samsung is already the number one compact brand in the UK by volume, and number three worldwide behind Canon and Sony.

When asked about rumours of a Samsung full frame DSLR sensor Lee was more circumspect. ?We will see if there is a high demand for such a sensor and if there is we will consider whether to produce a full frame DSLR. We certainly have the capability to do so.?

Picture Caption: The impressive Samsung hall at the IFA show in Berlin and, in the foreground, Samsung’s now discontinued flagship fixed-lens bridge camera, the Pro 815. Could the new hybrid camera look anything like this?

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