The Samsung NX1: One Majorly Juiced Up 28MP 4K Camera in a Compact Body

by on September 16, 2014

by Stephan Jukic – September 16th, 2014

Samsung’s new NX1 DSLR camera is the first of its kind that can really be considered good enough to consider as a possible choice amongst the competition from more established players in the camera market like Sony, Canon and Panasonic.

And like its competitor products such as the Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ1000 and the Lumix GH4, the Samsung NX1 is also offering the keystone feature of being able to deliver 4K video in a very small package that’s also rich in associated features.

However, the new Samsung camera isn’t just a gimmicky piece of technology that tries to sell itself as great simply because of the label “4K Ultra HD video/photo”. Upon closer inspection this truly is a very good camera that’s rich in some really outstanding leading edge photographic technology and high end specs.

This is an important factor for Samsung because on the whole, the company has been heavily ignored by professional photographers as a serious camera maker for several years now despite having come out with some surprisingly decent cameras in the same timeframe.

In the case of the NX1 however, these professionals may finally be convinced of otherwise. This camera definitely packs features that no other similar product on the market will give you for the same cost.

For starters, the NX1 hefts a DSLR-sized APS-C sensor with a very hefty 28 megapixel capacity and backside illumination. This means that the camera has what is the world’s highest resolution APS-C chip and also the world’s largest sensor to use a backside setup.

While massive MP resolution isn’t exactly necessary for high quality shooting, this camera offers a great amount of megapixels for those who like to edit their images and want the extra megapixels without sacrificing quality.

Furthermore, the NX1’s backside construction is also useful because it takes electronics away from the front of the 28 megapixel image sensor and thus allows it more room for some larger light-sensing photodiodes. This means a better overall shooting quality and better clarity under varied light conditions. In fact, it’s the same technology that has been successfully used in the professionally loved Sony RX100 line of compact 4K cameras.

Aside from its image sensor, the NX1 also sports Samsung’s latest DRIMe 6 image processor and can shoot at ISO’s of up to 25,600 and knock off 15 frames per second while maintaining continuous autofocus. These two specs alone are actually better on the NX1 than they are on the more cherished (among professionals) Panasonic LX100 and Sony’s RX100.

Other also impressive features that are at least as good as or even superior to more favored competitor brands include an autofocus that uses 209 phase detect points and 205 contrast detect points when working through the image sensor. These specs are definitely nothing to laugh at.

Now, in terms of its ability to create 4K video and photos, the Samsung NX1 actually stands out quite nicely. It can capture both “true” 4K video at 4096 x 2169 pixels and the more conventionally defined 4K resolution of 3,840 x 2160 pixels. Furthermore, it can shoot the “true” 4K at 24 frames per second and the conventional 4K at a respectable 30fps.

Finally, the NX1’s 4K video (both formats) is shot in the industry standard HEVC (H.265) compression format so it’s ready right off the bat for playing in pretty much any sort of 4K display device that’s been updated any time recently.

Along with the great video and photo specs already listed, the Samsung NX1 also comes with a nice wireless connectivity package, connectivity via HDMI 2.0 and offers a very usable 1024 x 768 OLED viewfinder and a 3 inch touchscreen display. Both of these are very useful features for professional photographers.

The Samsung NX1 is currently retailing at roughly $1500 USD, which is quaite a bit cheaper than the $1700 cost of the comparable Panasonic GH4 4K camera.

Samsung NX1's 1024 x 768 OLED viewinfinder

Samsung NX1 4k camera’s 1024 x 768 OLED viewinfinder

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