One Month One Camera – July 2020 (I) – Samsung GX-1S

The last three months I’ve relaxed my One Month One Camera (OMOC) project, which has coincided with my usual annual return to predominantly shooting colour with my favourite summer cameras.

This month, July, my plans are similar, but I do want to return to just one camera, rather than flitting between three. 

The camera I’ve chosen is one I stumbled across (that old chestnut!) via an eBay saved search.

I have a number of searches set up for more unusual gear that is on my long term curious list, but I don’t want to be poring over auctions daily for. When a match crops up, I receive an email with a link to the listing.

When Pentax were a few iterations into their first DSLR range, the *ist D and its successors, Samsung got involved in a joint venture and produced a number of cameras of their own which were barely disguised Pentax clones.

The Samsung GX-10 was a clone of Pentax’s then (2006) flagship DSLR, the K10D, which I owned and changed the game for me significantly around three years ago. 

There soon followed the GX-1 series, which were rebadged Pentax *ist D cameras.

Also when I had my K10D, I found a Samsung GX-1S, based on the best equipped and most sought after *ist, the DS2.

For some now unfathomable reason (oh yes, I discovered the Ricoh GRD III, Pentax Q and Lumix LX3 and thought I’d never return to DSLRs) I sold the GX-1S, and soon regretted it.

Last summer, I returned to the world of Pentax’s lovely CCD sensor DSLRs, with a K100D, and not long after, a K-m.

A couple of weeks ago, one of those eBay searches turned up a Samsung GX-1S, like I had before.

Given that the *ist bodies seem to be increasing in value and some are advertised at £150-200 or more, £35 with a lens seemed a steal for the GX-1S, based as it is on the highest spec *ist, the DS2.

Turns out that the lens, an unusual Hoya 24mm f/2.8, wasn’t quite in the condition advertised, the aperture is stuck wide open, and the rear element was loose.

The latter tightened up easily, and the former may encourage me to be brave and remove a few screws and see if I can release the aperture blades. Otherwise it’s in decent optical condition.

I let the seller know anyway, and he promptly apologised and issued a partial refund.

So the GX-1S – slightly worn cosmetically, with a dusty sensor, and 20k shots under its belt but working well – ended up costing just £25.

Well in alignment with the £26 I paid for the K100D (which has the same 6MP sensor) and the £31 the K-m cost me, with its 10MP CCD.

A cautious clean of the sensor with a cotton bud has removed the debris I could see in early shots, so the GX-1S now seems set for plenty of yummy CCD action. 

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It will be interesting to see how it compares with the other two CCDs I have, and the K-30 I’ve been using most recently.

In fact I can already say that it’s refreshing going back to the GX-1S, the simplest of all four DSLRs I now have, especially over the K-30 which I seem to be forever fiddling with, exposure wise.

The photograph in this post was made with an initial outing with the Samsung and my beloved Helios 44-2.

More to follow as the month unfolds.

What will you be shooting with this month? 

Please let us know in the comments below (and don’t forget to tick the “Notify me of new comments via email” box to follow the conversation).

Thanks for looking.

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2 thoughts on “One Month One Camera – July 2020 (I) – Samsung GX-1S”

  1. Nice catch. I looked for a Samsung GX-1S here in the US Ebay and couldn’t find one – for sale or in their sales history. They must be pretty rare. The DS2 is usually pricey when it shows up, as is the K100D and K110D – which would be the 6MP CCD cameras I would go for I think, since they have in body stabilization.
    But I like the 10MP sensor better so I’m sticking to that…

    1. Do you have much Samsung stuff where you are, like phones and tablets? They’re pretty prevalent over here, I don’t it feels like maybe 25% of phones are Samsung, 40% Apple, then Sony, Huawei, Nokia etc fight over the scraps. I have a search set up in eBay for Samsung GX and it probably finds something two or three times a week, most commonly the GX10. I could have bought a dozen this year. There’s quite a few NX series and stuff too, Samsung must do well out of UK customers!

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