The company's recently announced Samsung NX10 will be its first entry in the SLD market when it ships later this month in Korea, with North American and Western European sales to follow in early March. Like Olympus and Panasonic's Micro Four Thirds-format cameras - which created the category, and have since proven very popular - the NX10 drops the mirror box that's found in a traditional SLR design to save size, weight, cost and complexity. By necessity, SLD cameras use a live view display to frame images on either the LCD or an electronic viewfinder, with the live view stream being based on data from the image sensor.
The article, authored by the Korea Herald's Jin Hyun-Joo, suggests that Samsung is expecting the SLD market to show unit sales rivalling that of the SLR market by 2015, with predicted annual sales of around nine million units. Current forecasts are for one million SLD cameras to be sold this year, with sales ramping to around five million units by 2012. Also of note is that Samsung is aiming for a 15% share in the compact camera market for 2010, gaining from a 12% share last year.
Interestingly, while an unnamed Samsung executive is quoted as stating that the company intends to concentrate resources on the SLD segment, rumors of a split with SLR partner Pentax are downplayed. Samsung ffirst launched its cooperation with Pentax in late 2005, some time before the Japanese company was taken over by Hoya Corp. Samsung's involvement in the SLR market has remained modest, however, being limited to rebadging (and in some cases, modest restyling) of existing Pentax SLRs, as well as related lenses and accessories. The main fruit of the relationship to date seems to have been the use of Samsung image sensors in certain of Pentax's own SLR designs. With its Japanese partner seemingly not having been included in Samsung's NX-format SLD plans, some have suggested that the relationship might now be reaching its end, and that Samsung might exit the SLR market. Speaking directly to this suggestion, the unnamed executive is quoted as stating that Samsung has maintained close ties with Pentax.
More details can be found in the Korea Herald article.