So what is a Compact System Camera? Essentially it is a product which looks to offer image quality and features to rival DSLR's but in a package much closer to the size of a traditional point and shoot style device. This means we get interchangeable lenses like the DSLR, offering us loads of potential for artistic shooting without the bulk associated with it. In addition to this CSC's often have image quality and power to exceed many DSLR's.
How do the manufacturers achieve the smaller form factor, in basic terms these new designs have been developed to remove the reflex mirror system used in DSLRs. This means less hardware within the camera, reducing the size while retaining the larger sensor size (APS-C) for maximum image quality.
As a comparison we have shown three different models above. In the first image is the Samsung NX200 CSC (left) and Samsung's WB-750 point and shoot (right). In terms of the main body the NX is a little larger but not too much, only the lens really adds to the bulk, though that is replaceable/removable. In the second and third images we have the Samsung CSC side by side with a Canon DSLR. The difference in size between the two is clearly evident, though surprisingly the Samsung model on the left has more features and more megapixels than the Canon.
Let's take a look at the NX200 in a little more detail.