Samsung NX1 announced with 4K, 24p and **H.265 HVEC codec**

Samsung NX1

Review part 1 is now online here

This is a bombshell announcement, a massive upset and a surprise that the NX1 has a 4K H.265 codec. With this model, Samsung have taken technological step-change to the market, adding the first ever High Efficiency Video Codec (HVEC H.265) along with 4K 24p and Ultra HD at 30p to a $1499 mirrorless camera with Super 35mm sensor (APS-C). The codec is a successor to H.264 and is capable of providing ProRes quality at less than half the file size.

If full realised for image quality, H.265 in this camera has the potential to output 4K ProRes quality images – but with the same file sizes as 1080p H.264 at a low bitrate. What’s so surprising about this release is that the codec on Samsung’s mirrorless cameras until now was one of their weakest aspects. Now they have just put out the most cutting edge codec in the world for $1500. Extraordinary!

I’ll bring you a hands-on with the camera on Tuesday at the Photokina show.

Key features

  • 6.5K Super 35mm sensor with 4K (4096 x 2160 at 24p) and Ultra HD (3840 x 2160) video mode
  • 14bit raw stills at 28MP (6480 x 4320) from effective 28.2MP, total 30.7MP Samsung ISOCELL sensor
  • HVEC codec (H.265)
  • 3″ AMOLED screen and OLED viewfinder
  • 15fps continuous shooting rate
  • Extended ISO range 100-512000
  •  UHS II speed SDXC card compatible
  • Backside illuminated sensor (common with compacts, but very unusual to see this in a large sensor)

Samsung NX1 top LCD

The official press release

The native 4K Samsung NX1 Mirrorless Digital Camera features a 28.2MP BSI APS-C CMOS sensor that not only produces high-resolution images, but also 4K video at 24 fps, UHD at 30 fps, and full 1080p HD video at up to 60 fps. High Efficiency Video Coding (H.265) is applied so that even 4K and UHD video files remain easy to edit and share. A sharp, 3.0″ HD 1036k-dot touchscreen monitor and 205 phase-detection AF points benefit both cinematographers and still photographers, and in instances where it is preferable to use the camera’s viewfinder instead, a sharp, built-in XGA OLED electronic viewfinder is also built-in.

Built for fast shooting conditions, the NX1 provides a 15 fps burst with autofocus plus a 1/8000th second maximum shutter speed. For use in low-light, the ISO range can be expanded from 100 to 51,200. A full complement of shooting modes are available, including Aperture Priority, Auto, Manual, Program, and Shutter Priority, plus “smart” modes such as Action Freeze, Beauty Face, Fireworks, Landscape, Multi-Exposure, Night, Panorama, Rich Tone (HDR), Sunset, and Waterfall. Images can be saved as RAW files or JPEGs of various file sizes that correspond to user-selectable image ratios of 3:2, 16:9, or 1:1 and according to the user’s desired color editing space of Adobe RGB or sRGB.

Saving and outputting large video and image files are accommodated by the camera’s ability to utilize UHS-I or UHS-II SD-type memory cards, and a USB 3.0 port. Additionally, a micro HDMI connector allows video to be recoded directly to an external recording device with a 4:2:2 (8-bit) output signal. The NX1 also takes advantage of wireless technology as well. Built-in Near Field Communication (NFC) capability allows individual images to be wirelessly transferred from the camera to a smartphone or tablet. Additionally, 802.11b/g/n/ac Wi-Fi capability coupled with Bluetooth 3.0 technology allows for fast and cordless transfer of files while providing constant and accurate GPS data when the NX1 is paired with smartphone.

Samsung NX1 lens mount

Designed to fit securely in hand, the NX1 is also water and dust resistant with a magnesium-alloy internal frame for added durability.

  • 28.2MP BSI APS-C CMOS Sensor. A large 28.2MP BSI APS-C CMOS Sensor works to produce high-resolution digital imagery while maintaining good shadow details and enhancing low-light performance throughout the camera’s 100 to 51,200 ISO range.
  • 4K Recording at 24 fps, UHD Recording at 30 fps and 1080p Full HD Recording at up to 60 fps. As a 4K-capable camera, the NX1 is among the most compact cameras in its class. Aside from 4K, video may be recorded in Ultra-HD as well as in full HD. To help ensure that even the highest resolution video files are easy work with, the NX1 accommodates UHS-I or UHS-II memory cards and employs HEVC (H.265) compression. Additionally, video may be recorded directly to an external device with a 4:2:2 (8-bit) output signal.
  • Hybrid Autofocus System. The Advanced Hybrid Autofocus system utilizes 205 phase and 209 contrast-detection autofocus points to acquire focus quickly and precisely. The phase-detection method is ideal for gaining focus in an expedited manner while contrast-detection is employed to fine-tune the focus for critical applications. When combined, focusing is sharp and leads to making photos in a natural and intuitive manner.
  • High-Speed Performance. A 15 fps burst rate with continuous autofocus and a 1/8000 sec top shutter speed keeps even the fastest action sharp. If needed, high shutter speeds are also possible in low light with an ISO range of 100 to 51,200.
  • Smart Shooting Modes. A full menu of “smart” modes is available to accommodate most imaging scenarios. They include: Action Freeze, Beauty Face, Fireworks, Landscape, Light Trace, Multi-Exposure, Night, Panorama (Live), Rich Tone (HDR), Samsung Auto Shutter, Silhouette, Sunset, and Waterfall. For more direct control over the output, Aperture Priority, Auto, Manual, Program, and Shutter Priority modes can also be selected.
  • Clear Viewing Options. Whether filming video or taking still photos, a tiltable 3.0″ HD 1036k-dot touchscreen monitor is provided for subject framing, menu selection, and image review. When use of a viewfinder is preferred, an XGA OLED electronic viewfinder is available that turns on when brought up to one’s eye.
  • Easy Connectivity. Files saved on a memory card within the NX1 can be downloaded off the camera via its speedy USB 3.0 connection. When wirelessly accessing images stored to the camera is preferred, NFC capability allows individual files to be transferred to a smartphone or tablet with one tap. Large groups of images may be transferred using 802.11b/g/n/ac Wi-Fi, and Bluetooth 3.0 technology can be used to easily activate the Wi-Fi while allowing a connected phone to constantly feed accurate GPS data to the camera for tagging to photos and videos in real-time.
  • Samsung NX Lens Mount. A broad array NX-mount of lenses is available for use, ranging from wide-angle primes to long-reaching zooms. The ability to change and utilize different lenses depending on the situation at hand aids in producing captivating and more dynamic imagery. Additionally, the NX1 is compatible with the unique 45mm f/1.8 2D/3D lens that enables one-lens creation of true 3D photos and movies.