September 15, 2014

Meet the New Samsung NX1, a 4K Mirrorless Camera that Encodes to H.265

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KPuiRYHZSOU

The past week has been replete with major camera announcements. However, Samsung, a relative newcomer in professional camera manufacturing, just announced the NX1, a mirrorless camera that delivers many of the specs that we were hoping for from today's announcement of the Canon 7D MKII. Not only does the NX1 offer 4K recording at 24fps, UHD at 30fps, and 1080p at 60fps, but in the higher resolutions, it encodes using the new, highly-efficient h.265 codec, a first for a camera of this type.

Here is some footage shot with the camera:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q_LzX6S0Pac

And here's a more in-depth video look at some of the features and specs of the NX1:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uA1RHC8_VnQ

The specs:

  • 28.2MP BSI APS-C CMOS sensor
  • 4096 x 2160: 24 fps
  • 3840 x 2160: 30 fps
  • 1920 x 1080: 60 fps, 30 fps, 24 fps, 50 fps, 25 fps
  • 1280 x 720: 60 fps, 30 fps, 24 fps, 50 fps, 25 fps
  • 640 x 480: 60 fps, 30 fps, 24 fps, 50 fps, 25 fps
  • Clean HDMI 4:2:2 (8-bit)
  • H.265 Codec applied to 4K and UHD video files
  • Tiltable 3.0″ HD 1036k-dot touchscreen
  • 205 phase-detection AF points
  • 15 fps burst mode
  • 1/8000 Max Shutter Speed
  • ISO range from 100 to 51,200
  • Camera can utilize UHS-I or UHS-II-SD-type memory cards
  • 1/8" Headphone, 1/8" Microphone, HDMI D (Micro), USB 3.0
  • 802.11b/g/n/ac Wi-Fi capability coupled with Bluetooth 3.0 technology
  • Samsung NX Lens Mount
  • Price: $1,500 Body Only, $2,800 with 16-50mm f/2-2.8 S ED OIS Lens
Samsung NX1 Front
Samsung NX1 Back
Samsung NX1 Side

This camera is a really exciting proposition for DSLR filmmakers, largely because of the internal 4K and h.265 encoding, which not only promises smaller file sizes for the larger resolution formats, but also a noticeable jump in image quality from its codec predecessor, the ubiquitous h.264. Of course, adapting lenses might be an issue for early adopters of the NX1 due to the fact that the NX mount is relatively new mount, and third party adapter manufacturers might not have released NX adapters yet. Still, it wouldn't surprise me to see a few different adapter options on the market within a few months.

The Samsung NX1 is currently available for preorder from B&H.

The company also announced a new 50-150mm f/2.8 NX mount lens, which is going to retail for $1,600:

Samsung 50-150mm f2.8 NX Mount Lens

Your Comment

45 Comments

Which one would you rather have??? this one or the new Canon??? I think I like this because of the 4k!!!

September 15, 2014 at 6:19PM, Edited September 15, 6:19PM

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Hafid Davila
Director of Photography and video editor / Producer assistan
182

Take NOTE, there's a new player in the GALAXY, GEARed up to be a real competitor. And other puns.

September 15, 2014 at 6:23PM

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Cassidy Hilton
Freelancer
194

Eh, its a nice try, but NX mount and a price near the GH4, That pixel density is not going to capture low light very well and the GH4 is FAR better. If they had released it at $999, it would be compelling.

September 15, 2014 at 6:37PM

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It is not a GH4, so no, it is not a GH4, thanks for clearing that up.

September 15, 2014 at 7:22PM

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Stephen Herron
Writer/Director
1139

But it has a larger sensor size then the GH4 which will help in low light and a greater ISO range.

September 15, 2014 at 9:05PM, Edited September 15, 9:05PM

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Braden Storrs
Post Production Manager, Photographer
368

indeed, but megapixel count is more (more pixel number ∝ smaller pixel size)
smaller pixels are not very efficient for capturing low light.
not sure about GH4 but A7s might show better low light results.

September 16, 2014 at 2:56PM

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Arjun Kukreti
Cinematographer/Editor
140

You need to read up on IsoCell......

September 17, 2014 at 12:17AM

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Torben Greve
Cinematographer
522

But it has a backlit LARGER sensor so it might be even better in low light.

September 15, 2014 at 11:51PM

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OMG! I'm so excited about this! I was looking for the GH4 but now I'm not so sure! I have to wait for reviews...

September 15, 2014 at 6:42PM

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Uow...
Many and many people waiting THE TEST: GH4 vs NX1!
It will be very nice to see the "real world" results about new h265.

September 15, 2014 at 6:52PM

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theuerweirich@me.com
Director of Fotography
329

Can't say I was blown away by the footage, but it's good to see Samsung out there. They've got the tech capability to become serious players in this field if they wanted to.

September 15, 2014 at 6:55PM, Edited September 15, 6:55PM

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Ben Howling
Writer / Director
663

Micro 4/3rds ?

September 15, 2014 at 6:56PM, Edited September 15, 6:56PM

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Joe Gonzalez
Filmmaker/Editor/Sound Designer
154

Nope. APS-C!

September 15, 2014 at 6:58PM

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Robert Hardy
Founder of Filmmaker's Process
4198

The footage from Madagascar has a lot of stills and timelapses. Could have only the video mode footage, the use of stills can be misleading.

September 15, 2014 at 7:17PM, Edited September 15, 7:17PM

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I believe there were no still in the video, all was shot in 4K so everything were super detailed...they actually look like stills moving. A testament to the great processing and codec Samsung is using. Pretty good DR too.

September 15, 2014 at 9:35PM

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geraldbaria
Event Filmmaker
74

Well, there is time lapses at the end of the video. If I'm not crazy, time lapses should make use of stills. That's why a movie like "Time Lapse" could be made with a Canon 5D, inter cutting with Red Epic.

I'm not trying to be ironic here and I'm not worried about the image detail, but with dynamic range. Look the clouds at the 1m50s. The 15fps burst could be used too for the same effect. And we have to agree in one thing: a picture has more dynamic range than the image from the video from the same camera. If this camera has that amount of DR, then we are talking about a beast of a machine here.

September 15, 2014 at 10:39PM, Edited September 15, 10:39PM

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Yes, but the video i did see that wasn't timelapses (birds flying over ocean, aerial shots etc) had NO banding in the skies... Big plus. And i saw great dynamic range in a few shots that were obviously video.

September 15, 2014 at 11:53PM

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Well, there is time lapses at the end of the video. [2] Actually, there is a lot of TL in all of it. Of course, it's an ad from the manufacturer, and it is good as any ad.

I'm not saying the video section wasn't good. The animals, the colors, that kind of stuff, the detail, all great! You need to think it's all gorgeous. But it's a VIDEO promotion and we see that functionality for very little time (6 seconds in the first half minute). I was expecting to see 2 minutes, at least. Really disappointing. I think they missed the chance to show the sun rising in Madagascar in video to show how the camera DR can handle the light situation, from dark to brightness. Can you tell from this? I don't, so I'm not excited yet.

The main problem, and that's what I'm saying, is that you can find people really awed about the 4K footage and writing comments like "oh s**t! 4k with h.265, this make me wanna leave my gh4" (find it at the Youtube page of the video). So this comment alone makes my point: even for an ad, it is misleading.

September 16, 2014 at 8:11AM

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Is H265 trying to compete on the delivery or the capture? Or both? Could it ever take the place of ProRes or Xvac? I would definitely prefer it over avchd. Wonder how close it is to lossless? Thanks

September 15, 2014 at 8:00PM, Edited September 15, 8:00PM

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Anthony F. Marino III
produce shoot edit
232

H.265 seems more TV oriented. It will have better compression, lesser artifact than its predecessor.
checkout the following link, comparing ProRes with H.265
http://www.eoshd.com/2013/11/new-h-265-codec-test-prores-4444-quality-1-...

September 16, 2014 at 3:04PM

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Arjun Kukreti
Cinematographer/Editor
140

This hits all my wish list but the problem is in the lens ecosystem. Samsung just doesn't have very many lenses. Nothing for stills wildlife/sports photographers. The 50-150 isn't enough. In addition, their 16-50 is overpriced and due to the lack of third party lens support, it doesn't seem worthwhile to invest in their lens system.

Why can't a company like Canon or Nikon make a camera like this? Or even Sony by an extent.

September 15, 2014 at 8:16PM, Edited September 15, 8:16PM

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sidb
92

I think that's more important to think "how good is Samsung glass" over "how much they have". As Samsung is relatively new making lenses, i would not trust them as much as a Nikkor, Canon, Zeiss, Sigma, Tokina or any other known brand that's making lenses for years.

September 15, 2014 at 9:48PM

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Rafa Ga
Digital Film-Video Editor / Colorist / Motion Graphics
79

Are you guys finding these camera ads lacking?

Whenever a new camera gets announced I want to know what it would feel to work with. Namely I want all of the following covered:

- how long a battery lasts?
- is there a battery grip?
- how much will I spend on batteries to last me 12 hours?
- what does the screen look like in the sunlight?
- lens??? show me recommended lenses, and I happen to love fast primes (mental case here, I know)
- rolling shutter? how bad???
- flat picture profile?
- dynamic range?
- night-shoot, noise at ISO 400?
- what crop factor is their APS-C?
- focus zebra?
- histogram / highlight spot?
- manual gain for audio?
- mount? what if I have EF glass, what adapters will I need?

I mean most of us have camera systems and I submit to you most of us are non-Samsung. So, to switch I need to know what the cost of the entire system would be, or at least how I can switch just a part of the system -- the camera by using adapters, etc.

Amirite?

September 15, 2014 at 8:24PM, Edited September 15, 8:23PM

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Alex Zakrividoroga
Director
3726

Is it 4:2:2 in camera? and not 4:2:0

September 15, 2014 at 10:24PM

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It's 4:2:0

September 15, 2014 at 11:18PM

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Braden Storrs
Post Production Manager, Photographer
368

But it CAN be 4:4:4 10 bit in camera if they wanted... the codec supports it. Samsung aren't competing with themselves if they add it in a firmware update.

September 15, 2014 at 11:55PM

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The 4k footage looks amazing!

September 15, 2014 at 8:49PM, Edited September 15, 8:49PM

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Kyle Lamar
Director Producer DP
1000

Resolution is great, but dynamic range seems isnt the best (highlights are clipped in some shots) and the image looks too videoish like GH4 (but maybe this is the future).

September 17, 2014 at 9:24AM

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But the first video looks great. Whas it shot with NX1 too?

September 17, 2014 at 11:34AM

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7d isn't going to sell will :)

September 15, 2014 at 9:44PM

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Ramy Daniel
Cinematographer
314

The Samsung is a mirrorless camera while the 7D has a mirror. It's hard to know how this will affect operation and AF. And for those who want a mirror, they want a mirror.

September 16, 2014 at 12:24PM

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Casey Preston
Videographer
90

A hard one to judge, there is not a lot of h.265 encoding out there as a reference point for compression. To me it looked average overall. low light was nasty, DR looks like it might be okay (considering price range) and lots of nice details in the hair and eyes from the 4k res. Still much more to be proven with this camera, no true DR tests, no fast movement for rolling shutter, yet another lens format. However definitely more than I would expect from a newcomer in camera engineering. Good stuff Samsung

September 15, 2014 at 10:23PM

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Shayne Archer
Freelance Camera Operator / Editor
68

Interested to see if the h.265 is all i-frames or interframe. Or better yet, give us the option like canon.

September 15, 2014 at 10:57PM

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Aaron Tan
Editor & Motion Graphics Artist
74

I know the article mentions potential speedbooster variations for the nx mount, but i got this from the metabones website faq section : "Will Samsung NX cameras be supported?
No. Unfortunately, it is not possible to fit the optics inside the Samsung NX mount owing to flange distance and physical interference issues."

September 15, 2014 at 11:34PM

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Benjamin Chan
Filmmaker / Video Productions
208

Yikes, thanks for pointing that out.

September 16, 2014 at 12:46AM

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Robert Hardy
Founder of Filmmaker's Process
4198

The Samsung is tremendously exciting - The Canon 7D was my first DSLR, and I wish the new one had these specs...these days it seems Canon is behind everyone else, when once it led the pack...

September 16, 2014 at 1:48AM, Edited September 16, 1:48AM

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Ed Wright
Director, DP, Writer
364

great to see the competition. Samsung puts out nice products and it is all subjective to your requirements

September 16, 2014 at 1:59AM

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Randall Paul
Lead instructor at PFAS ( USA) and AFSA (Italy)
211

It's a sad day for Canon's DSLR video front when Samsung is able to generate more buzz for their camera's video features. Samsung.

September 16, 2014 at 12:34PM, Edited September 16, 12:34PM

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David S.
3033

Nice Going Samsung! I am a certified Canon Fanboy but Canon is behind, i have to just come out and say it. Its Sad but Canon better regain some focus or they gonna lose.

September 16, 2014 at 12:58PM, Edited September 16, 12:58PM

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Wentworth Kelly
Director/DP/Colorist/Drone Op
2251

Will be interesting to see low-light footage.
A pity about that NX mount, wonder if they could have gone with m43

September 16, 2014 at 3:36PM, Edited September 16, 3:36PM

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Anna Lorentzon
Producer, Director
234

Looks nice but damn another mount to deal with.

September 17, 2014 at 2:18PM

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Luna Videography
Videographer
583

Nice camera, tough market to be in for Samsung.

September 17, 2014 at 4:31PM

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J. Fandino
Drone sales at www.providentialsystems.com
114

There's so much to like about this camera--actually so much to love about this camera on paper at least. It does so many basic things on one camera that our beloved big guys spread out over five different cameras. But the damn lens situation. Can't believe Samsung didn't allow enough wiggle room for metabones or someone else to at least provide adapters. And I'm curious-bordering-on-dubious of a camera that requires so much line skipping to get 4k. My a99 is always soft in wide shots because of that. Still though, if enough prosumers buy this camera and that puts heat on the other guys then all hail Samsung. PS I gotta admit that under optimal lighting conditions (and only under optimal lighting conditions like an overcast day with snow cover for bounce cards) the 4k video on my Samsung Note 4 is shockingly good--to the point of blowing my 5000 dollar camera rig (dslt + Ninja 2 + 2000 dollar lens) out of the water.

September 17, 2014 at 5:04PM, Edited September 17, 5:04PM

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J Robbins
317

i think that it all depends on how much you want to blame the gear before you recognize how much you lack on skills, i own a canon 60d, a 40mm f2.8 pancake and a canon 70-200mm f4 and i do make corporate videos, documentaries, tv commercials, hell, even weddings, and i have to overcome the gear limitations but still deliver a good material, i was so hesitant to look over the gh4 since it require more investment on other glasses and everything, but then seeing the prices and f stops of the glasses for the nx1, is really a great option for what i specifically do and the market I'm in, also the amount of hdd required for 4k workflows is quite a lot, lets say for prores or raw, i do have a good machine and good space but, the h265 codecs take that need of heavy investment out of the way. i hope that everyone actually buy their gear, use it to the maximum of the operator capacity and not what others are saying and naying online, if Samsung is new so what others are also and we learn to use them and benefit form them, so please the camera was just announced not a single small indie or huge budget crew has shoot with it to say anything more that what the never real and yet pristine marketing videos show, lets just shoot and tell stories.

September 18, 2014 at 12:24PM

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Only time will tell how Samsung does in this realm they are stepping into. One thing is certain though, more competition is always better for us as filmmakers! Doesn't make my next camera purchase any easier though...

September 19, 2014 at 4:37PM

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Philip Bradley
DP | Editor
136

Just one question about the Samsung NX1. Will a future firmware update enable smooth, cinematic focus changes while shooting video?

Here's why I absolutely love the NX1 but won't be keeping it... YET

I recently purchased a Samsung NX1 and the 16-50mm f/2-2.8 lens to test. I believe the NX1 is a better camera than anything available from Canon. I am testing it with an eye to buying 3 bodies and several lenses. There is currently only one small problem preventing me from moving forward. I shoot TV commercials and stills for ad agencies. While shooting video with the NX1 camera in auto focus mode I touch the screen on the face of the person speaking. When that person is done and another person starts to speak I touch their face. Everything works great except that the focus changes so quickly that it is jarring to watch. Unusable unfortunately.

My suggestion is to have Samsung's digital imaging software engineers test the Canon 70d along side the NX1. I know the Samsung NX1 has the processing power to do anything the Canon 70D can do. The 70D easily creates usable video by slowly (relative to the NX1) and smoothly changing the focus position without any hunting as it achieves final focus. The effect is similar in experience to watching a feature film.

As far as the image quality, resolution, size, weight, wireless connectivity, feature set and handling of the NX1, it seems just about perfect to me. My numerous tests show the Samsung NX1 using h.265 codec captures noticeably better quality video than the 70D All-I codec with less than 1/9 the file size! I can convert the Samsung h.265 1080p to ProRes 422 almost as quickly as the conversion from Canon's All-I to ProRes 422 (maybe 5% to 10% slower). The still photos are sharper and in my opinion superior to the Canon 1D, 5D Mk III, and 70D cameras. At least up to iso 800 which is all I've tested so far. When I say sharper I mean NX1 photos seem twice as sharp as the 70D. In pursuit of sharpness I have very carefully calibrated back focus for four L series lenses on my 70D.

After using follow-focus rigs for years I will never go back to that. Touch screen combined with auto following facial recognition for video focus allows a very high percentage of good takes. Lens change - no problem!

I love the Samsung NX1camera. It works well with variable ND filers - no problem with the evf and polarized filters. I really, really want it to work for my use. It breaks my heart to think of returning it to B&H Photo. Unfortunately I can't use it for delivering pro video with the way it focusses. Please tell me that some future firmware update will enable smooth, cinematic focus changes while shooting video!

btw- Continuous autofocus is pretty darn good. I only falls apart if there is significant distance between the focus points selected by touch during video shooting.

December 4, 2014 at 4:46PM, Edited December 4, 4:46PM

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