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Let's see what the Samsung NX1 is REALLY capable of - shooting 4K in sunny Lisbon


Andrew Reid
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As an addendum, and slightly off topic (apologies) the debate about the quality increase when increasing sample rate never ends. When mixing many tracks together 96khz allows frequency interactions above hearing range to be blended in a non-truncated manner, resulting in a final mixdown that's less congested, though it's quite subtle really. It is worth doing though.

interactions between high-frequency elements can create peaks of frequencies beyond the capability of the original capture rate, and slicing these off by working a mix at 48khz can create a bit of a tight feeling -- a lack of air -- so basically record at 48 and mix 96 will do you good.

quad rates like 192khz are pretty excessive unless you're altering audio speed. Some argue this point. Dan Lavry wrote a pretty deep paper on it. If I'm honest, the DSP maths in that paper is lost on me. but a 96khz environment is beneficial even with 48khz sources, audibly so with good monitoring.

Bitdepth wise, 16 bit dynamic range is fine for delivery. For recording, do 24bit. Your software will probably mix in 32 or 64 float by default. If not, set it to 32bit yourself.

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Just got mine today with the 16-50mm (edit: f2.0-2.8).

Coming from the GH series (2,3,4) I must say it is very different.

A few frustrating points about the ergonomics, like the fact that the grids or levels disappear when pressing record (video).

I love the colors overall. The picture can seem a bit unnatural when sharpness isn't dialed a bit down. And big thanks to Andrew for the Wondershare tutorial ! Saved me a lot of time and trouble ! Also I have to say that for me rolling the contrast to -12 in wondershare wasn't enough, I had to go to - 18. I'll make a few tests to see what the trade off is.

Also just read that samsung made the NX1 open source (I don't know if it's all of it, or just parts / softwares). But this camera is really exciting ! Big thanks to Andrew, I just got mine , it is definitely not perfect (which he never said otherwise), and I definitely don't regret it ! I probably won't be using my gh4 for some time now !

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The NX1 and some other Samsung cameras use open source Tizen OS, which is a version of Linux.  However, as Neosushi and Andrew Reid suggested, it is likely that parts of the software on top of Tizen are not open source.

 

However, the biggest bummer is that Tizen uses systemd -- the NX1 runs systemd -- oy veh!

 

 

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Dan Lavry wrote a pretty deep paper on it. If I'm honest, the DSP maths in that paper is lost on me. but a 96khz environment is beneficial even with 48khz sources, audibly so with good monitoring.

Bitdepth wise, 16 bit dynamic range is fine for delivery. For recording, do 24bit. Your software will probably mix in 32 or 64 float by default. If not, set it to 32bit yourself.

​If Dan Lavry's paper implies that bit depth and dynamic range are the same thing, then his paper is flawed.

 

Sorry to harp, but there is no such thing as "16 bit dynamic range" -- not in video and not in audio.  Bit depth and dynamic range are two independent properties.

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Hi Neosushi. Where did you read about Samsung making the NX1 open source? Got a link?

I think the OS it is based on is open source maybe, but the NX1 firmware is probably proprietary.

​Hi Andrew,

I read about it on personal-view: http://www.personal-view.com/talks/discussion/12008/samsung-nx1-open-source-development

Apparently it is only a part of it that is "open". It seems there is no access to fps, resolution, etc. :/ 

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Apparently it is only a part of it that is "open". It seems there is no access to fps, resolution, etc. :/ 

​Here's a direct link to the source code download http://opensource.samsung.com/reception/receptionSub.do?method=sub&sub=F&searchValue=nx1

Here are the parts of the NX1 which are open source...

Linux kernel, exfat, di/apps/ise-engine-hangul, di/apps/ise-engine-tables, di/network/bluez, di/network/connman, di/network/obexd, di/system/oprofile, external/alsa-utils, external/bash, external/cpio, external/e2fsprogs, external/ed, external/elfutils, external/findutils, external/fsync, external/gawk, external/grep, external/iproute2, external/iptables, external/kmod, external/libgpg-error, external/lsb, external/lzo2, external/mkdevnodes, external/pam, external/pkg-config, external/shadow-utils, external/shared-mime-info, external/sharutils, external/squashfs, external/tar, external/tizen-coreutils, framework/base/acl, framework/base/attr, framework/connectivity/bluez-hcidump, framework/connectivity/dnsmasq, framework/graphics/freetype, magnolia/framework/base/util-linux, magnolia/framework/connectivity/connman, toolchains/tizen-release, 

NX1 runs on a Linux based OS,Tizen, which is a branch of Linux that Samsung is coding under the open source license. Could ask Magic Lantern about the possibilities. They're likely to be quite narrow. The NX1 firmware itself is closed source. It's just the OS the camera runs which is open. To gain direct access to the camera hardware and firmware, you'd need to modify a lot of proprietary closed Samsung code. It does have the ability to run apps though, but again it depends on how much control the OS gives these apps of the camera hardware. Probably very little.

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Any developer can modify, adapt and build on the Linux OS or Tizen and install this on their hardware, i.e. a camera or a computer though... for example the KineRAW cameras run on Linux.

Installing it on an NX1 would be a different matter :)

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Just a couple of days ago, somebody added file encryption to a Samsung NX300 thanks to its Open Source Linux-based firmware:

http://petapixel.com/2014/12/19/hacker-creates-custom-firmware-samsung-nx300-can-auto-encrypt-photos/

Arguably, this was rather easy to achieve because it only involved hacking the storage routines of the core operating system - and nothing related to the camera sensor and image processing pipeline. Still, it remains to be seen what will be possible on the NX1. It is certainly an attractive camera to hack, and thanks to the Tizen firmware, this should be much easier than with the GH2 and Canon EOS cameras in the past.

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I have seen some people on Vimeo shooting with their NX1 using this Rocky Mountain Movie Converter http://www.mydiyworld.net/?p=1805 that someone programmed when they first got their NX1 and hated the Samsung converter. Has anyone tried this out yet to see how well it transcodes the H.265 files? 

I've tried a few converters for my NX1 footage and here is what I found:

  • The Samsung converter is fine for a high bit rate H.264 conversion, but it's a little slow.
  • Wondershare may be good for Mac users who want ProRes, but it's not good for PC because ProRes conversion is disabled and it only does a poor, low bit rate H.264 conversion.
  • DVD Fab Converter also only does a low bit rate H.264 conversion, which is not that bad, but it crushes blacks and blows out highs.
  • Handbrake was terrible.
  • Rocky Mountain Converter provides a good quality ProRes conversion (even on PC) and a high bit rate H.264 conversion that is also quite good... and it's a little faster than the Samsung converter.  It just has a very 1995-ish user interface.

These impressions were based on just a few clips in each converter, but I already ruled out Wondershare, DVDFab and Handbrake as options.  It's between Samsung and Rocky Mountain Converter from here on, but I need to do more testing in each. 

For playing back H.265 files, MPC-HC Player and PotPlayer are the only players I could find that play the files smoothly.  I can't get smooth playback with Windows Media Player, Cyberlink Power Media Player 12 (included with I-Launcher), or Cyberlink PowerDVD.

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I am using the Rocky Mountain Converter on my fast PC it is almost the same time as watching the clip to convert it. I am about at toss 45s gig at it i shot today.

Will need to order more HDs soon.

 

​Do you choose prores or h264? If prores then what quality? LT, Standard, HQ? I've been using Rocky Mountain Converter also and works a treat. I'm just wondering if prores HQ might be overkill......

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