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Samsung NX1 Review - The glory of technology


Andrew Reid
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The menu options in the manual seem to only show 1080p up to 60fps.  How did you get 120fps?  Is that the 1/4 speed in the slow motion menu options?  This is great news if this really is 1080p @ 120fps and not some interpolated frame garbage some early slow mo cameras had.  I too would love to see more samples of slow motion 1080p if you have a chance.  

 

Also, I think the NX1 video footage posted so far looks outstanding and I don't think we've even seen the best this camera has to offer.  By re-encoding from H.265 to H.264 for editing and playback online, it undoubtedly resulted in some loss of detail and quality.  Once we have native H.265 editing and playback, there won't be anything that can touch the NX1 video quality under $10K. 

 

Select 1080/24p and 0.25x slow-mo in the menus.

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As Andrew pointed out, the NX1 uses a new CODEC, which is a pain even for people who work in this stuff all the time.  If you want low light, the A7S is your camera.  If you ergonomics and features for movies, and haven't used a Panasonic before, then the GH4 will NOT let you down.  I'd only get the NX1 if you had money to burn and you just wanted to have fun on the bleeding edge.  As nice as the footage is, RAW delivers better organic dynamic range, IMHO.  If any camera keeps looking like a steal it's the LX100!  At least on the web, it looks as good as anything out there.

Do you have any links to some of the LX100 footage/videos you mention ?

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From the Imaging Resource interview:
 

DE: I wanted to come back to the data-readout speed. Is the camera actually capable of recording video at 240 frames?

JK: No.

DE: Oh, because the codec isn't fast enough to compress and format it?

JK: Actually, we just didn't implement that functionality, but the DRIMe V and the sensor could do it. When the guys in R&D were working on the Samsung Auto Shot feature, they recorded live 28 megapixel, 240 fps "video" to help with the debugging. We didn't see there being an application for that, at least for very, very few people.


Samsung noooooooo!!! Someone please send the Magic Lantern guys a camera!
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Thanks a lot for the review Andrew. It really helped me with my choice for my next cam.
The only question I have, are you really sure the internal recording is 4:2:0 ?
I asked Samsung Germany and they told me that recording is 8 bit 4:2:2 both internal and via hdmi. I don't mind because I use an external recorder anyway if I want to get good quality, but that would mean Samsung support is wrong (once again).

Concerning h265 I guess we will see wide software support in 2015 when the bda announces the specifications for 4k bluray.

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Hello,

 

I have my doubts about the codec because of the way it handles low contrast areas and high ISOs. It smudges away fine grain and introduces macro blocking in some cases, whilst H.264 in the GH4 doesn’t.

 

How as this observed; before or after the conversion and on what monitor at what resolution? I'm just trying to get an understanding of the problem, if it's really stemming from the H.265 codec or other factors are clouding the facts.

 

My UHDTV can play raw H.265 files so thank you for the download link, I'll load those to a drive and view them on my set.

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Thanks a lot for the review Andrew. It really helped me with my choice for my next cam.
The only question I have, are you really sure the internal recording is 4:2:0 ?
I asked Samsung Germany and they told me that recording is 8 bit 4:2:2 both internal and via hdmi. I don't mind because I use an external recorder anyway if I want to get good quality, but that would mean Samsung support is wrong (once again).

Concerning h265 I guess we will see wide software support in 2015 when the bda announces the specifications for 4k bluray.

 

Yes definitely the end codec is 4:2:0 internal, though the imaging pipeline before that is probably all 4:2:2.

 

Pleasing colour... close to Canon-style I'd say.

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What are the chances Abobe adds HEVC support to Premiere Pro or will it always need to be transcoded?

 

Maybe it's better to transcode until there's a hardware acceleration for h.265. You can drop HEVC directly to Premiere throuth a frameserver like Avisynth Virtual File System, but decoding HEVC 4k takes too much of CPU power, i'd personally keep it for the NLE tasks. Transcoding is the simplest part and for now, it saves time.

BTW, in Windows a free tool called MeGUI can be used for transcoding, just made the 100mbps files (+40% in bitrate) out of Andrew's samples.

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Guest Ebrahim Saadawi

Watching the uncompressed file, am I the only who's seeing something special about this image? It's so clean and the high resolution scaled down to HD gives a pop to everything, which is way more pleasing than the GH4 kind of "pop". I think it's down to low digital sharpening level and that the NX1 is giving natural detail in a 1Dc-like way.

I also definitely see someting special about the colours, something like Nikon and even a little better than Canons, it's a beautiful look and not exactly truly natural but that's what makes it special. The Reds and blues and magentas are rendered very pleasingly. I also see something special in the way the highlights clip, it's not a video clip, more filmic and pleasing too. The image generally looks remarkabely close to my favourite image which is the 1DC. Glad I can get that image for a reasonable price now!

Using this camera for epic scenery of places and detailed close ups of people will look incredible on a large projection, the image is very filmic and it looks very suitable for high quality narrative pieces and stock videography. I am very optimistic, just need to watch more.

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I didn't like the footage at first, however viewed on a Retina Mac it looks much better. Bit annoying that it looks like a moire and aliasing mess on the majority of screens - can't everyone just be forced to have high spec monitors? ;) ;)

I'm curious how the image would look on some low contrast glass to get rid of that clinical harsh edge - the more organic the better.

Looking forward to some "proper" footage with a skilled eye - or when Andrew has more time to do something else ;)

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Yes, thanks for the blog post, it was interesting reading.

However, it would have been interesting to read more than one sentence about the 1080p HD side of things, too. After all, many potential buyers would/might be shooting a lot of regular HD for a good file first, not just transcoding and then re-scaling the HEVC 4K footage into HD.

 

How does the HD off the HDMI line looks like? I thought recording straight onto a Ninja would be one way to bypass the H265 codec, for the time being.

 

Speaking of which, too bad Samsung didn't offer H264 as a second option, pretty much like Panasonic and Sony are offering XAVC, AVCHD and mpeg4/H264 .mov as standard options. A bit dumb from Samsung not to do so.

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Watching the uncompressed file, am I the only who's seeing something special about this image? It's so clean and the high resolution scaled down to HD gives a pop to everything, which is way more pleasing than the GH4 kind of "pop". I think it's down to low digital sharpening level and that the NX1 is giving natural detail in a 1Dc-like way.

I also definitely see someting special about the colours, something like Nikon and even a little better than Canons, it's a beautiful look and not exactly truly natural but that's what makes it special.

 

Yeah, you're right.

 

Impressive colours.

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I'm curious how the image would look on some low contrast glass to get rid of that clinical harsh edge - the more organic the better.

 

You can lower contrast sure, but you can also just upload it at 1080p instead of 4K. Then Vimeo / YouTube don't need to scale it so harshly.

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