The Dark Horse Rises: Samsung Announces NX1 with 4K and NX 50-150mm f/2.8

NX1 with 16-50MM_3

It may not be the camera system we need, but is it the one we deserve? Samsung has been slowly trying to gain traction, but it always seems that despite being second to the market with a mirrorless system, and having some really sweet lenses, its acceptance has been less than ideal. I do partly blame Samsung themselves, because for a company that can go toe-to-toe with the mind-share juggernaut that is Apple, it has taken a very low-key approach in the camera industry. The NX1 better change that, for it packs some serious specs.

To start off with, the APS-sized sensor is the first of its size to offer back-side illumination via Samsung’s own ISOCELL technology. While it may not offer as much benefit for larger pixel pitch sensors, as the circuitry that would otherwise detract from light capturing takes up a lesser proportion, it is still interesting to see what Samsung can bring to the table.

The other thing the NX1 has that is a first is 4K video recording at 24 FPS with H.265 encoding. Yes, H.265, not H.264, which promises improved compression and allowing lower bitrates while maintaining video quality that is just as good. I am looking forward to it: Will the quality rival that of the Panasonic GH4 and Sony A7S?

The rest of the camera packs equally impressive specs, from the on-sensor phase-detect autofocus which has some 200 points, 15 FPS continuous shooting with focus tracking (!),  the current top-of-the-line XGA EVF, 3″ VGA toucscreen, Wifi, and weather sealing. Just to flex their technical prowess, Samsung even used 802.11ac with the NX1, the first I have seen advertised in a camera. Given Samsung’s previous implementations of Wifi in their cameras, I am certain the user experience will be a cut above other manufacturers.

The camera will cost US$1,500 for the body itself, or US$2,800 with the 16-500mm f/2-2.8 lens. There is currently no mention of availability.

50-150MM_3The other annoumcement is the NX 50-150mm f/2.8 S OIS, which is basically the 70-200/2.8 to go with the 16-50/2-2.8. It will be weather-resistant, with image stabilisation, and probably good image quality. Weight is 915g, with a filter thread of 72mm. The price of the lens will be US$1,600.


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