Samsung NX1 Review - The Samsung NX1’s headline feature is undoubtedly its world-first 28.2MP BSI APS-C CMOS sensor, although its accompanying specification also looks set to impress.
Having not announced a true enthusiast camera since the NX20 in 2012, while the rest of the market has continued to grow with exciting models in the shape of the Panasonic Lumix GH4, Sony Alpha 5100 and Fujifilm X-T1, you could say that the pressure was growing on the electronics giant to produce a new contender in the CSC market.
As such, it’s perhaps not surprising that the NX1 dispenses with the formula of trying to combine camera and smartphone and is instead crammed with some of the very best in imaging capabilities.
These include a high-res BSI CMOS sensor, some truly impressive shooting speeds and Ultra HD 4K video capture.
Is it enough to put Samsung back on the enthusiast camera map?
Samsung NX1 Review – Features
There’s no denying that the Samsung NX1 is one seriously feature-packed camera. In fact, there are so many class leading specs on hand that it’s almost difficult to list them all here.
One of the first of these headline-grabbing features is Samsungs new DRIMe V multi-core processer – a chip with debuts with the NX1.
This new chip delivers some truly impressive processing speeds owing to the fact that, according to Samsung’s claims, it’s some 3x faster than its DRIMe IV predecessor.
All this processing power means that the NX1 is capable of shooting 15fps at full 28MP resolution and with continuous AF enabled – figures which leave comparable cameras from Canon and Nikon trailing in its wake.
This fast continuous shooting speed is complemented by an equally speedy hybrid AF arrangement. This set-up utilises 205 phase detection, 209 contrast detection and 153 cross-type AF points, with the trio covering nearly 90% of the frame.
This sheer number of AF points should allow for not only a comprehensive coverage in terms of accuracy, but also some really strong performance when it comes to focus tracking.
4K video capture
The DRIMe V processor also helps with the accommodation of the model’s 4K video capture, allowing for DCI True 4K video to be captured at 24p and at a resolution of 4096 x 2160. The powerful processor also facilitates the export the 4K video straight to the memory card rather than an external recorder as is sometime the case in competing models.
As mentioned previously, the sensor found in the Samsung NX1 boasts a resolution of around 28MP. However, what’s really noteworthy is the fact that it’s the world’s first ever APS-C-sized sensor to feature back side illumination technology. This technology, which should help to deliver better image quality and less noise at higher ISO settings, has only previously been found on sensors up to 1in size such as the Sony RX100 series.
The sensor is also the highest resolution APS-C on the market, and owing to the absence in an anti-alias filter it should be capable of resolving an impressive amount of detail. The ISO range, meanwhile, runs from ISO 100 – 25,600, and is extendable to ISO 51,200.
LCD and viewfinder
In terms of the camera’s image framing and review options, the NX1 features a pair of attractive features. The model clearly benefits from Samsung’s consumer electronics experience as the LCD screen found on the rear of the camera is of a very high specification. It measures in at 3in with a 1,036k-dot resolution, features Super AMOLED technology and benefits from both tilting and touchscreen functionality.
The LCD screen is paired with a seriously impressive 2.36m-dot XGA OLED EVF which, thanks in no small part to the practically absent lag of just 0.005-seconds, is arguably better specified than most optical viewfinders found in competing cameras.
Another part of the camera’s specification which benefits hugely from Samsung’s consumer electronics department is the camera’s connectivity. Not only does the camera have Wi-fi connectivity, but it’s also the first camera of its type to incorporate Bluetooth technology.
The Wi-fi technology is particularly notable, operating with the super fast IEEE 802.11ac protocol and as such is capable of streaming 4K video footage directly from the camera itself.