Women in 20s, 30s are snapping up mirrorless cameras

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Women in 20s, 30s are snapping up mirrorless cameras

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As spring approaches, more female consumers in their 20s and 30s are keeping an eye on the camera market. “Mirrorless cameras” have risen from a niche market item into a competitive camera market, surpassing smartphone cameras and digital single-lens reflex (DSLR) cameras in popularity.

Like the name suggests, mirrorless cameras don’t have a mirror inside; making them slimmer and lighter than dull-looking DSLRs.

Some mirrorless cameras are named after female celebrities who endorse the product and appear in its commercials. Actress Son Ye-jin is the main model used by Sony to promote its Alpha NEX-F3 and the Sony A500 is usually seen in advertisements with actress Song Hye-kyo.

To entice young female consumers, who show more interest in mirrorless cameras than their male counterparts, manufacturers including Samsung, Sony and Fujifilm are rolling out products that weigh about as much as a cup of coffee.

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The JoongAng Ilbo looked into the differences between three recently released mirrorless cameras - the Samsung NX mini, the Sony A5000 and Fujifilm’s X-A1.

Samsung’s NX mini is 2.25-centimeters (0.9-inch) thick and weighs 158 grams (5.6 ounces). An image sensor in the NX mini (13.2 millimeters by 8.8 millimeters) is 25 millimeters smaller than the original, which makes the camera the smallest in the market. It features a “Tag & Go” function to share pictures on smartphones and tablet PCs via Wi-Fi and near-field communication (NFC). With the NFC on, the NX mini can send a picture to any Samsung smart device. The camera also features a 7.52 centimeter display that rotates up to 180 degrees to allow for easy self-portraits.

“NX mini is the most appropriate device for the image communication era,” said Lee Young-hee, an executive vice president of Samsung’s marketing team.

“We offer five different color options [white, brown, black, pink and mint green], and it got a favorable response mostly from female consumers. The price range is from 449,000 won [$432] to 699,000 won depending upon the price of lenses.”

Sony, the No. 1 mirrorless camera manufacturer in the industry by market share, launched the Alpha A5000 and Alpha A6000 in February. The A5000 model has an image sensor of 20.1 megapixels and the A6000 has 24.3 megapixels. Both are fairly light - the A5000 weighs 210 grams and the A6000 is 285 grams. A5000 is 50 percent smaller and 40 percent lighter than Sony’s previous model but has the same lens performance. It contains a DSLR-like image sensor, advanced photo system type-C (APS-C), and a “soft skin” function, which automatically corrects the brightness and contrast of a picture. It costs 648,000 won.

Fujifilm’s X-A1 allows for sharp and clear photos, even in the dark. The high ISO setting enables the camera to take quality pictures in low light. The X-A1 model can take 5.6 pictures per second and its screen rotates 90 degrees. It weighs 280 grams and is available in Korea for 599,000 won.

BY KIM YOUNG-MIN [haeyoonk1311@joongang.co.kr]



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