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Andrew Reid

The Samsung NX1 Review (evolving) - the legend of the un-editable codec and one giant leap for specs-kind!

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I'm curious to see how this camera would perform in the hands of a talented filmmaker. The very little stuff online including the demo reel is rather awful and brittle - yet the same can be said of most new camera releases at the early stages, in the awful aspects. ;)

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The big question is, except for the obvious smaller filesizes, is there a big advantage for this camera to record in h.265?

 

As there is an 100% need to transcode for all purposes at the moment, why record in h.265 in the 1st place? And why don't they update the software so it can record in h.264 as well? Shouldn't be that hard to do with that powerful hardware...

 

Because then probably much more people, including me, would be all over this camera...

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The big question is, except for the obvious smaller filesizes, is there a big advantage for this camera to record in h.265?

 

The reason is simple, as you said, obvious, with the same SD card, you would record at least twice (and i mean at the very least) as much, with better quality... In 4K, being 4x bigger than HD, recording space is very valuable ! 

H265 is the future, indeed it may be a bit ahead of its time on this particular camera, but somebody had to do it first !

 

 

 

As there is an 100% need to transcode for all purposes at the moment, why record in h.265 in the 1st place? And why don't they update the software so it can record in h.264 as well? Shouldn't be that hard to do with that powerful hardware...

 

Because then probably much more people, including me, would be all over this camera...

 

I guess this is a step like when apple decided not to support floppy disk anymore. At the time it bothered many, but in the end, you know it's how was supposed to go...

It's a technology transition, first steps are never easy.

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I do think it would be good if it had h.264 as an option ast well.   However, this way, at least storing footage on a shoot will never be a problem.  The reletavely low bitrate will mean you can use more regular sd cards, and you wont need as many.   Far cheaper than CF cards or ssds shooting raw.

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I'm glad I found this forum.  Thanks for the review.  

 

The NX1 is a very promising camera and I think it's success depends as much on its video capabilities as its still image capabilities.  I'm not sure Samsung sees it that way based on this review.  The Panasonic GH4 was launched months ago and is selling above expectations (Pany recently doubled production to 5000 units/month) without any price reductions (still $1,699US).  The GH4's is a good still camera, but not exceptional compared to other M43 cameras from Olympus and Fuji.  It's success is tied to its video capabilities. 

 

The NX1 has a larger sensor and lower price than the GH4, so just matching the GH4's video capabilities would make it a huge hit for Samsung.

 

Here is I think what the NX1 needs via firmware update:

  • Ability to record 4K in H.264 at a high bit rate so users have another option until H.265 is ready for prime time.
  • More high frame rate options (e.g., 96fps and 120 fps) for 1080p and 60fps for 4K (if the hardware is capable)
  • Better control over things like peaking, exposure warnings, audio, and more color modes that produce a flatter tonal response to aid post-production. 

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Using Handbrake as a replacement for the Samsung transcoding app. Works great. Giving me 200Mbit/s H.264.

 

Can you output 4K from the Samsung to your Ninja Star as 1080 (a la gh4)? That would bypass the codec issue and might give some indication of potential 'raw' image quality ...

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Encoders at this point are probably realized in hardware, there's no way they can integrate a general purpose processor that is able to encode h264 or h265 video in real time. So perhaps it may lack a h264 encoder that is strong enough for 4K (though h265 builds upon h264... I'm only speculating here).

 

Just transcode... Intel processors have a pretty reasonable and extremely fast h264 encoder built in, though I'd rather use something like ProRes if possible.

 

You can always delete the transcoded files after the project is finished, and keep the small original files. When you do need to revisit the project you can transcode again.

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H.264 is likely not supported (not just because it's inferior but also) due the additional license fee it would require. You guys really need to start pointing the finger at the companies that make your editors that still don't support HVEC. It's a well know standard everyone knew was coming and has been ready to implement for over a year and a half. Supporting it in this camera is a great feature and not a fault on Samsung's side.

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Interesting Camera....I read somewhere...some reviewer said the video motion was not that good, a bit worrying, but early days, we will see I guess.

Good on Sony, Panasonic and Samsung for pushing the boundaries tho, nothing would ever happen under $4000 plus if it was up to Canon.

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Great review as usual, Andrew.

I'm very curious about this camera, but not being able to use EF lenses would be a no deal for me.

Besides that, i would like to know:

- If it has a crop mode (i have a lot of c-mount lenses)
- A "S-Log like" picture profile 
- For some kind of miracle has different aspect ratios? (Anamorphic adapters)
- How reliable is the AF with native lenses

Take your time, Andrew!
Thanks.

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Here is a video comparison with some NX1 footage

 

 

 

The Canon 1DC looks a lot better in my opinion - although it would of been better to see the footage at 1/50 shutter, and no mention on lens used either.

 

The latest footage of the new Sony FS7 online is on the majority - terrible, like the NX1. I'll never make camera judgements from footage online, it's only worth finding out for yourself and your style. ;)

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Haven't had time to test yet but will do soon, image has a nice feel to it so far though.

 

Using Handbrake as a replacement for the Samsung transcoding app. Works great. Giving me 200Mbit/s H.264.

 

I have no 'demands' about reviewing the camera, but since the camera is using H265 and it'll obviously take some time before the world has caught up with it, I for one would be more interested in how the camera works right now and today, as in good ol' 1080p HD mode. Does that use H265, too? How about the HDMI out? Any chance to record regular 422 ProRes out of that thing?

 

Meanwhile, I for one don't find it impossible to transcode the H265 4K if necessary. Therefore I'd also be more interested in the look and quality of the 4K footage acquired the obvious way, with the Samsung transcode app, rather than read about some nerdy tinkering with VLC's and Handbrakes. No doubt the blogosphere will be filled with that soon, anyway.

 

Unless the Handbrake route does actually work nicely, which would be a slight surprise, but anyway, surely you get the point. Rather than workarounds for the software, what's more interesting at this point is how the camera does out of the box, and in HD mode, too.

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Not sure if these are legit, but appears to be low light sample from NX1:

>

 

And the same scene on LX100:

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