The significance of this modestly priced model belies its small proportions. It heralds the entry of Samsung into the D-SLR market. The GX-1L's resemblance to the Pentax K100D is no coincidence; it's the product of Samsung's collaboration with Pentax. The body is featherweight but solid, and its mount accepts 40-odd Pentax K-mount AF and manual-focus lenses in addition to two Schneider D-Xenon zooms, an 18-55mm and a 50-200mm.
Despite the camera's small profile, its viewfinder is bigger than those in several higher-priced models, and its LCD is notably large (2.5 inches) and sharp (210,000 pixels). At this price the GX-1L has simplified autofocus and a modest image buffer, and lacks the K100D's image stabilization. But it includes features you wouldn't expect in a starter model, such as a true spot meter and sensitivity up to ISO 3200. (An extra $100 will buy you the Samsung GX-1S, which offers 11-point AF and more shots per burst.)