Samsung just unveiled its new flagship CSC and the tech specs are nothing less than impressive: 28mp sensor, 15fps with continuous autofocus, and 4k video recording, just to name a few.
Is the Samsung NX1 the most powerful MILC to date?
Like the NX30, Samsung sticks with a DSLR type design with the new NX1 but the camera weighs only 550g, which is about the same as the Panasonic GH4 but from the camera specs it seems that the NX1 is bigger. One of the first things to notice is that the NX1 also features a top LCD screen very similar to the one found on mid and high end DSLRs. This is a novelty on a pro level CSC and is a very nice addition as it allows you to quickly check the main settings like aperture and shutter speed without the need of the LCD screen or the EVF. The camera also features a rear 3.0-inch Super AMOLED display with 1.036k dots of resolution and an electronic viewfinder with XGA OLED display with 2.36 million dots. The EVF has a lag time of 0.005 seconds (same as the X-T1’s EVF). The NX1 body is made of magnesium alloy and is dust and splash proof.
At the heart of the camera is a brand new 28 megapixel APS-C CMOS sensor with BSI (Back Side Illumination) technology and a micro lens array. The ISO range goes from ISO 100 to ISO 25600 with an extended level of 51200 ISO. Samsung assures us that the low-light capabilities of the NX1 are exceptional thanks to the BSI technology but also a proprietary technology designed exclusively for this camera. Basically the camera can distinguish each image area and identify it, such as skies or edges or textures, and apply an optimal noise reduction without losing details by softening the image.
The autofocus system of the NX1 is also impressive on paper: the camera can shoot 15 frames per seconds in continuous autofocus mode. The AF system features 205 Phase Detection AF points and Samsung claims an AF speed of 0.055s. These wide Phase Detection points allow the NX1 to accurately track subjects almost anywhere in the frame. Also, the new DRIMe V Image Processor can identify high-speed motion and adjust shutter-lag in real-time. Furthermore, the NX1 has a new technology called SAS (Samsung Auto Shot): the camera is able to predict the exact time to capture the shot (like the moment a baseball player strikes the ball). While this needs to be proven in the field, it shows how powerful this camera can be.
Are you already super excited? Well, this is not all. Because the NX1 also includes internal 4K and UHD recording capabilities, making it only the second MILC capable of doing this after the Panasonic GH4.
The NX1 is the first camera to incorporate the new generation HEVC Codec with H.265 compression (successor of the popular H264 at the heart of most common video codecs). They do not specify the nitrate but with the new codec there is not a direct comparison anyway. The NX1 can shoot at 24fps or 25fps in 4K, 30fps in Ultra HD and up to 60fps in Full HD. The phase detection AF also works for video.
Samsung also includes a conversion software to edit the 4k footage. H265 is brand new and many video editing software programs aren’t compatible yet.
Of course, the NX1 would not be a Samsung camera if it didn’t include Wifi and NFC capabilities. Actually the NX1 includes bluetooth too for transferring images to smartphones and tablets! The Wifi functionalities are many and are very advanced, including the possibility to stream 4k footage to an UHD TV.
The camera also features a built-in flash and is compatible with SD cards with UHS-II standards (the second MILC after the X-T1).
Did I forget something? Oh yes, the new 50-150mm 2.8 S ED OIS lens.
Samsung has also announced a new professional telephoto zoom lens with a constant aperture of 2.8 and a focal length of 77-231mm (full frame equivalent). The lens has an Advanced Multi-Axis Optical Image Stabilization system that should give up to a 4.5 stop advantage. The lens also includes Samsung’s Ultra Precise Stepping Motor (UPSM) and is also dust and splash proof. This lens along with the 16-50mm f/2-2.8 is the second professional zoom released by Samsung. The lens has a minimum focus distance of 70 cm to 98cm. Its lens system includes 20 elements in 13 groups and weighs 915g.
Judging from the pictures, the lens features the Samsung i-function button, the AF/MF switch and an interesting focus range switch that also has a custom option. I guess you can set on-camera the minimum and maximum focus distance you want for the lens. There is also a Lock dial that is probably aimed to lock a specific focal length.
Until we get our hands on a sample at Photokina I cannot say much more but at least on paper, the NX1 looks like one of, if not the most exciting camera at Photokina this year.
Do you have any questions about the new NX1 or Samsung cameras in general? Make sure to leave a comment and we will ask the Samsung team in Cologne!