LAS VEGAS – Samsung is working on plans to launch a higher-end compact system camera (CSC) to rival DSLRs and has moved all camera production from South Korea to China to cut production costs.

Sunhong Lim, Samsung?s newly recruited Digital Imaging sales and marketing vice president, outlined the plans in an interview with Amateur Photographer at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas.

However, Lim (pictured) stressed that the firm must first ?democratise CSC? by establishing a wider range of CSC models aimed at both consumers and enthusiasts and making them ‘more affordable’.

‘CSC is the new technological innovation,’ said Lim. ‘Lighter, and almost the same quality for consumers [as DSLRs]. We should leverage this innovation.’

But Lim believes the firm needs to build brand awareness for its CSC cameras, before releasing a higher-end model.

He added: ‘Once we have a full range, the volume and scale will allow us to communicate [the brand] to the consumer.’

The move is an indication that sales of Samsung cameras have not met company expectations, in the face of stiff competition from other CSC manufacturers, such as Panasonic and Sony.

Samsung indicated that a higher-end CSC will take ‘several years’ to develop.

The firm remained tight-lipped on details – and refused to commit to a launch date – but Yoo hinted that the company’s R&D department has already started working on it.

Lim, who joined Samsung from the firm?s mobile phone business after Christmas, said photographers can expect Samsung?s future CSC range to include built-in Wi-Fi connectivity, as featured on the firm?s new Smart compact cameras, announced ahead of CES yesterday.

Samsung predicts CSC sales eclipsing DSLRs by ?2015?.

?Our aim is very high ? to become number one in every segment,? Lim told AP.

To this end the firm plans to launch another NX camera body this year with ?new functions? such as Wi-Fi.

Lim confirmed that Samsung has switched all its camera production to China where labour costs are cheaper and where it has already established relationships in other areas of its business.

Lim said Samsung will also announce a ‘couple’ of new CSC lenses this year. These will also be made at a factory in China.