By site editor Dan Chung:
We haven’t been paying much attention to the Samsung NX1 on Newsshooter in recent months. That might be about to change. The 4K capable compact system camera from the Korean electronics giant has just received a significant firmware upgrade that gives it some of the pro video features that it had been previously missing.
23.98 and 24 frame rates have been added in both 4K and 1080P video modes and new gamma curves have been added that are designed specifically for video. Master black level adjustment has been added along with the ability to select luminance levels that are full-range 0-255, 16-235 or 16-255. Time code can now be output over HDMI for use with external recorders like the Atomos Shogun.
Audio levels and ISO can now be adjusted on the fly while shooting video and autofocus can now be toggled on or off in movie mode – these features being potentially useful to documentary shooters. The 1080 HD mode on the camera is said to be improved too.
With all these new features the NX1 now looks much more attractive on paper and makes it the cheapest APS-C sensor camera to offer 4K internal recording. The sensor in the NX1 gives it a very similar sensor size to 35mm movie cameras – half way between its two main competitors, the full frame Sony a7S and the micro four thirds Panasonic GH4. The downside is that to get 4K recording internally you have to shoot in the newer H.265 HEVC codec which is not widely supported and in most cases needs to be converted before editing.
Lenses are also a potential issue thanks to the camera’s use of NX mount. Samsung’s own lens range of AF glass is nice but very limited. There are adapters to get many lenses from the likes of Nikon or Zeiss working on the NX1 – you can even fit PL cine glass. But unlike the M4/3 and Sony E-mounts there is currently no option for a Metabones type electronic EF adapter so Canon EOS lens owners would be a bit stuck.
Another potential issue is the strong rolling shutter effect. Our friends at Cinema5D did some testing and they were less than impressed.
Stills performance from the camera is said to be very good and multimedia shooters might be wise to pay closer attention to the NX1, especially if they want 4K and need to keep the costs down.
I’m going to try and get more hands on experience with the NX1 in the near future to see just how good it really is.
You can download the new firmware from the Samsung website.