Samsung Electronics Co, the world's No.3 maker of compact digital cameras, unveiled a hybrid camera on Tuesday and predicted the new segment will grow 10-fold in five years to surpass the high-end single-lens reflex (SLR) market.

Traditional camera makers such as Canon Inc and Nikon are facing a threat to their dominance of the SLR market from Sony's NEX and other so-called mirrorless cameras by Olympus Corp and Panasonic Corp. They have ditched the mirror from the traditional SLR format, allowing them to make the cameras smaller, and bet the middle segment will appeal to both compact users trading up and photography enthusiasts tired of lugging around heavy equipment. Samsung joined the foray on Tuesday with a hybrid camera model NX100 that combines a light-weight body with the high-quality images of an SLR camera.

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