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Samsung to give new NX30 mirrorless cameras on June 4 to those who ditch their DSLRs

Samsung NX30 front right angle

Samsung will give a new NX30 in exchange for a DSLR trade-in on June 4, in New York City's Times Square. The promotion is to help drive interest in Samsung's mirrorless cameras.

Update June 3, 2014: Samsung sent us info about the trade-in. Unfortunately, you can’t trade in just any old DSLR, as it must be operational.

  • All Items submitted for trade-in under this Promotion are subject to acceptance by the Promoter in its sole discretion.
  • Items that the Promoter accepts for trade-in under this Promotion will be paid for with the Trade Up Reward. Participants will not be entitled to any other form of payment or exchange for items submitted for trade-in under this Promotion. 
  • You represent and warrant that you have the legal right to sell all items you submit for trade-in under this Promotion, that the items are not counterfeit or stolen, and that your submission of them complies fully with the Promotion requirements. Promoter may utilize a national stolen goods database to determine if submitted items were ever reported stolen. 
  • Qualifying Digital Camera: For your existing digital camera to qualify for the Trade Up Reward, it must be a digital camera which is fully operational, including the main battery. and power supply and functioning lens, must not be permanently marked or defaced and must be complete and undamaged (reasonable wear & tear excepted) (the “Trade-In Criteria”). For the avoidance of doubt, each of the following is considered beyond reasonable wear and tear; cracked/split or open chassis structure, cracked or non-working display, does not power on, missing/failed AC adaptor or battery charger, missing battery (if applicable), lens cracked, or mechanism seized or failed. Only cameras that fully comply with the Trade-In Criteria shall be deemed a “Qualifying Digital Camera” for the purposes of this Promotion and such determination shall be at the sole discretion of the Promoter.
  • Participants may only submit one Qualifying Digital Camera for a maximum of one Trade Up Reward.

Click here for the full details.

Hey DSLR users, would you consider switching to a mirrorless compact system camera (CSC) if you could get one for free? That’s what Samsung is hoping you’d do at its one-day marketing campaign, which the company is calling #DitchtheDSLR. Those who “ditch” their DSLRs will receive a new NX30 camera in return (those who don’t do a trade can still get a $50-off coupon for one of Samsung’s various models). And where else would Samsung hold its event, on June 4, 2014, but the tourist-heavy Times Square area of New York City – where there are sure to be plenty of DSLR-toting pedestrians.

So, what’s up with the stunt, you ask? Samsung makes nothing but mirrorless CSCs in its NX interchangeable lens camera series. But the problem is that CSCs carry a stigma, that their smaller sizes equate to weaker performance when compared to a DSLR. At least, that’s the consumer thinking in the U.S., where mirrorless cameras haven’t sold as well as traditional DSLRs – that’s what the numbers and research are suggesting. Samsung’s event, which will include demos, speed tests, and other “education” programs, is to help dispel that consumer mindset – so, you know, it can sell more CSCs in the U.S.

We’ve reviewed quite a few models, and we’ve been impressed by their performance and features. In fact, we awarded the NX30 with our Editors’ Choice award, so Samsung is making some very good cameras. As a whole, the CSC sector has come a long way, with models that can keep up with many DSLRs. Advantages that many CSCs offer – Samsung’s in particular – are their ease of use and wireless connectivity, which could appeal to users stepping up to an ILC for the first time.

If you’re a DSLR newbie who hasn’t made a lot of investment into equipment, and are looking to upgrade to new gear – and just happen to be in Times Square – this campaign might seem worthwhile. If you’re an enthusiast who has invested in a pricey DSLR and a few lenses, we doubt you’ll commit to such a dare. Ditto for pros, who swear by their high-end DSLRs and arsenal of lenses. Chances are, it’s entry-level DSLR and step-up users who will find this appealing, and would be more willing to try the DSLR-like NX30.

Samsung hasn’t revealed any specifics, such as the number of NX30s that will be available on hand (PetaPixel says “while supplies last”). Realize that the NX30 retails for $999, so it may not be wise to trade in a $2,000 DSLR. The event is open to the public, and will take place between 12 p.m. and 6 p.m. (ET), between 42nd and 43rd streets. If you’re interested, you should probably try to be the first in line.

(This article was originally published on May 28, 2014.)