September 15th, 2014

Photokina 2014: Samsung Reveals 4K-Recording NX1 (Hands-on Preview)

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Samsung is making a concerted push at hybrid still and video shooters with its new flagship, the NX1, introduced at Photokina 2014. It’s one of the first cameras capable of recording 4K in the new HEVC codec, which promises more efficient compression than its H.264 predecessor.

We had a little hands-on time with the unit ahead of its Photokina debut and we think it will definitely pique the interest of video and still photographers alike.

New Sensor

The NX1 is built around a 28-megapixel backside illuminated, APS-C-sized CMOS image sensor (23.5 x 15.7mm). It’s a sensor of Samsung’s own design and is the first of its size to feature backside illumination. While it offers roughly 8 million more pixels than the NX30, the photo diodes are the same size (a space-saving consequence of the BSI sensor). This endows the NX1 with better low light performance, up to ISO 51200 (from a native 100). The sensor construction was also changed from polysilicate to copper, which Samsung says makes it faster and more energy efficient.

Video
One of the highlights of the NX1 is its 4K and Ultra HD video capture. The NX1 will record compressed 4K (4096 x 2160) direct to an SD memory card at 24 frames per second (fps) and compressed Ultra HD (3840 x 2160) footage at 24 or 30fps. It employs the new, more efficient H.265 or HEVC codec, which is what enables the NX1 to store 4K video to a Class 10 SD card rather than rely on an external recorder. The HEVC codec is used on many new 2014 4K televisions as well, so the NX1′s video can be played directly from a memory card on a compatible TV without prior transcoding.

You can also record uncompressed footage to an external recorder via the NX1′s HDMI 1.4 output. The NX1 can also record 4K to a memory card and output 1080p footage to an external recorder. What it can’t do is simultaneously record 4K to a memory card and an external recorder. There are mic and headphone jacks as well for audio recording and monitoring.

If 4K isn’t your thing, the NX1 also supports 1920 x 1080 HD recording at 60, 50, 30, 25 and 24fps.

Autofocus IMGP3443
Another highlight of the NX1 is its new autofocus system. It employs 205 phase detection points, of which 153 are cross type sensors, for 90 percent frame coverage. This phase system is combined with 209 contrast AF sensors enabling the NX1 to track focus on moving objects even while bursting at the NX1’s rapid 15fps.

The phase detection AF will also come as a boon to videographers since the NX1 will be able to lock focus faster and smoother than a purely contrast AF system could.

From our brief dalliance with the NX1, it was immediately obvious that the camera is fast. We aimed it outdoors at cars streaming down a busy New York Street and it locked focus quickly and burst rapidly. Reviewing the results in camera and we were impressed with how crisp (and reckless) the cabs appeared.

Rounding out the new AF features is its patterned AF assist beam which stretches out up to an 15m to help establish focus in very low light.

The DRiM processor has also been supped up from the NX30’s 64-bit chip to the NX1’s 128-bit engine. In terms of performance, the processing power delivers in-camera RAW image processing that’s three times faster than the NX30, in addition to a host of ultra-specific new scene modes such as Auto Shot. In this mode, designed for shooting baseball games, you highlight the batter and the path you suspect the pitcher’s ball will travel. The camera scans the scene at 240fps for the ball and Samsung promises the NXi will be able to reliably capture the moment the bat makes contact with the ball and snap a photo.

The new processor also powers a new multi-shot HDR mode that snaps two images in rapid succession so that even if objects are in motion in the frame, it wouldn’t scuttle your HDR composition. There’s a standard three image HDR mode in the camera too.

The NX1 offers a new, dust and weather-resistant magnesium alloy build. It feels sturdy in the hand, something professional shooters will feel right at home with. Samsung added a top LCD display for camera settings, another feature pros should appreciate. The pronounced hand grip gives you a firm hold on the NX1′s body. There will also be a battery grip for the NX1 that provides an extra 500 shots worth of life.

New EVF
The NX1 is outfitted with a new electronic viewfinder that Samsung says has a 5-10ms recycle time that is “imperceptible” to the human eye. In our time with the camera, the scene flashing by on the viewfinder’s OLED panel appeared extremely crisp. The main LCD display on the camera flips out between 45 and 90 degrees and has a resolution of 1,036k dots.

Connectivity
For connectivity with mobile devices, or for wireless 4K streaming, the NX1 uses the fastest possible Wi-Fi (802.11ac). It also uses Bluetooth for Wi-Fi authentication with a mobile device and for pulling metadata, like GPS coordinates, into image files.

The NX1 will ship in the middle of October for $1,499 (body only). There will also be a “pro kit” bundle that includes a 16-50mm S lens, the battery grip and an extra battery and charger for $2,799.

New Lens

Joining the new camera is another S series lens: the 50-150mm f.2.8 lens (77-231mm equivalent). It will offer four axis image stabilization good for four stops of correction and a nine bladed circular diaphragm. New for the S series is a custom focusing range button that, once pressed, will let you set focusing parameters on the NX1. According to Samsung, the custom focus button will only work on other NX series cameras with a firmware update and no upgrade is scheduled as of this writing.

The lens will be dust and splash resistant and will set you back $1,599. Availability hasn’t been finalized.

 

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January 2nd, 2014

CES 2014: Samsung Announces 20.3MP NX30 Mirrorless Camera, Lenses and Galaxy Camera 2

Samsung-NX30-18-55mm_003_Right-Angle1_blackSamsung was first out of the gate this morning with new photo announcements ahead of next week’s Consumer Electronic Show (CES) in Las Vegas. The company just unveiled four new photo products: the 20.3-megapixel NX30 mirrorless compact system camera; two new lenses for the NX camera system; and a new wirelessly connected Galaxy Camera 2.

The NX30, which uses an APS-C-size CMOS sensor similar to what you’d find in entry-level digital SLRs, is the follow-up to the NX20 we reviewed in 2012. Like its predecessor, the NX30 offers a variety of WiFi-connectivity features including new Dropbox and Flickr integration.

The NX30 also has a fully swiveling 3.0-inch AMOLED display on back to help you compose images from a variety of angles. Samsung says the new rear screen is 30% brighter than the previous model.

The NX30 also, for the first time, features a pull-out electronic viewfinder, which you can lift away from the camera body and tilt at up to an 80-degree angle. The pull-out EVF and a new 3.5-inch microphone port are designed to help you shoot richer movie clips with the camera’s full HD video function. There’s also an in-camera Audio Level Meter and Input Level Adjustments for better sound. The NX30 lets you live stream your video via the HDMI port to share your footage on an external monitor.

(more…)

June 20th, 2013

Samsung Announces Android-Powered Wi-fi 3G/4G LTE Connected Galaxy NX

samsung-galaxy-nx-frontSamsung today made an announcement that is sure to turn a lot of heads. The 20MP APS-C sensor Galaxy NX is the world’s first Android powered mirrorless interchangeable lens camera. Running Android 4.2 “Jelly Bean,” the Galaxy NX also follows Android’s mobile design, being 3G and 4G LTE connected. While the cellular capabilities may make it seem quaint, the Galaxy NX also has wi-fi.  Add it all together and Samsung has attempted to create an advanced camera that allows users to instantly share images with anyone they choose, from wherever they might be, at a quality level that should far exceed the cellphone cameras typically being used for that task.

“The GALAXY NX reflects the unique needs of a user who needs to take professional photos and share them immediately in any situation. For those who want to express themselves and the exciting moments that make up their lives quickly, easily and on the go, the GALAXY NX is an ideal choice” said Myoung Sup Han, Senior Vice President and Head of the Digital Imaging Business, Samsung Electronics.

Spesamsung-galaxy-nx-backcs:

·20.3 MP sensor and Hybrid Autofocus (AF)
·4.8-inch HD LCD touchscreen and SVGA Electronic Viewfinder (EVF)
·Android 4.2 (Jelly Bean) operating system
·3G/4G LTE and Wi-Fi connectivity for seamless sharing of images and video
·1/6000 sec shutter speed and 8.6fps continuous shooting
·1.6 GHz Quad-core processor

Pricing and availability were not announced. More info at http://www.samsung.com/global/microsite/galaxycamera/nx/

June 11th, 2013

Samsung Announces 10mm Fisheye Lens For NX System

samsung-10mm-fisheyeSamsung has announced a new 10/3.5 fisheye lens for its NX mirrorless system. They claim that it is “the smallest AF fisheye lens on the market” that it is “half the size and weight of its competitors”. At 2.5 ounces and barely over an inch deep (including its mount), the 10/3.5 looks to be tiny indeed. With a 180 degree diagnosed angle of view, it is a true fisheye lens that should give the same look as the 15/16mm DSLR fisheyes from Nikon and Canon. The 10/3.5 fisheye will be available in July in white or black. Pricing was not announced.

http://www.samsung.com/global/nx/

May 1st, 2013

Samsung Announces NX2000 Mirrorless Body

Samsung NX2000Samsung today announced a new body in its NX mirrorless system, the NX 2000. With five bodies and 12 lenses, the Samsung NX has quietly become one of the larger mirrorless systems on the market today. The NX2000, like many cameras recently, adds  Wi-Fi and NFC (Near Field Communications) with the goal of making camera-smartphone connections a standard part of your photography workflow.  NFC allows users to connect the camera with another properly enabled device simply by touching them together. This means no more entering wifi details on a tiny screen or searching for bluetooth pairings.

Along with a 20MP APS-C sensor, the NX 2000 has a generously sized 3.7-inch 1152k-dot touchscreen LCD, 8fps continuous shooting and Full HD video recording. Continuing the industry-wide trend, the NX2000 will be available in pink and white along with the more traditional black. Perhaps of more interest to serious photographers is the fact that the NX2000 comes bundled with a copy of Adobe Lightroom 4. Not a crippled freebie as with the terrible “limited” Photoshop versions that came bundled with cameras in the past, this is a full version of Lightroom 4. In what some may see as a drawback, the NX2000 does use MicroSD memory rather than the more common SD cards.

Specifications can be found in Samsung’s NX2000 press release. Priced at $649 for a body and 20-50mm lens kit, the NX2000 will be available later this month from Samsung dealers and at http://www.samsung.com.

 

Priced around $649.99, the camera will be available as a kit with the 20-50mm lens and a copy of Adobe Photoshop Lightroom in white, black and pink. There is currently no information about its European price and availability.