One of the serious competitors of GH4 and A7s this year, when it comes down to compact mirrorless digital cameras shooting 4K, is the Samsung NX1. Besides the fact that the camera records DCI True 4K internally at 4096 x 2160 at 24fps and 1080p up to 120fps (with the Samsung’s Multi Motion feature), has a Super 35 mm sized 6.5K sensor and uses the new super efficient H.265 codec it also delivers superb video with a great detail and accurate colour. This is one of the first videos shot on NX1 by Andrew Reid from EOSHD.com, who had the rare chance to be among the first filmmakers to test the camera in the wild.
Samsung NX1 – first 4K footage plus comparison with GH4, LX100, FZ1000 and the ancient 5D Mark Old! from Andrew Reid on Vimeo.
Recently, he released another quick video that reveals more of the real low-light 4K capabilities of the NX1.
Samsung NX1 with Sigma 35mm F1.4 from Andrew Reid on Vimeo.
The latter was shot entirely handheld stabilised with Warp Stabilizer in post. The NX1 was set to record 4096 x 2160 using the Landscape Picture profile. The DCI 4K H.265 file was converted to ProRes 4444 and graded with Film Convert Pro 2.1. Finally, it was exported from Adobe Premiere at 2560 x 1350 resolution. You can also download the rendered file from Vimeo for more detailed viewing and further consideration.
This time Andrew had used a lens adapter and a Sigma 35mm 1.4 attached to the camera. According to him, the NX1 has much richer and saturated colours in tricky lighting conditions and it’s less noisy compared to GH4. Again, in terms of slow motion it turns out that the NX1 120fps video has more details compared to the other serious competitor on the market the A7s.
This is what else Andrew shares on the topic:
The 120fps 1080p mode seems impressive too. It’s more detailed than 120fps on the Sony A7S. In fact 1080/120p on the NX1 looks identical to the detail it delivers in 1080/24p mode. As you’d expect from a pixel binned or line-skipped output from such a high-resolution 28MP sensor though, 120fps isn’t free of moire or aliasing. However it’s likely this could be the best 120fps on the market for the price. It compares very favourably so far in my tests compared to the Panasonic GH4’s 96fps mode.
We can’t really evaluate and be 100% objective and precise about how the NX1 performs in low-light conditions in terms of dynamic range as in the second video we can see that the blacks are too crushed. Some pixel peepers could even spot some blown highlights here and there. However, we should admit that the footage looks clean and sharp, and the colors are great, indeed, albeit a little bit over saturated to my personal taste.
I’m quite sure with the 4K DCI internal recording, the efficient codec and with a bunch of other highly demanding features, the NX1 already has been at the top of the list for many videographers which is another solid reason to believe that Samsung already made a significant step towards the 4K acquisition, heading in the right direction in this highly competitive market segment.