The Samsung NX1 is the latest flagship NX-mount interchangeable lens camera from the Korean electronics manufacturer. It promises to be high-level piece of kit with 15fps of continuous shooting and more AF points than any other camera, the NX1 is looking to dominate the mirrorless market and make some converts out of the tied and true DSLR pros and high-end enthusiasts; but can it deliver?
Disclosure notice: I am a participant in Samsung’s Imagelogger program and will periodically get gear sent to me. No monetary compensation has been provided for this post or any other post on this site. The following hands-on impressions are my own.
- 28.2MP BSI APS-C CMOS Sensor
- DRIMe V Image Signal Processor
- 4K Video Recording at 24 fps
- UHD Video Recording at 30 fps
- 3.0″ 1036k-Dot Tilt-Touchscreen Monitor
- 2360k-Dot XGA OLED Electronic Viewfinder
- Advanced Hybrid Autofocus System
- 205 Phase-Detection AF Points
- 15 fps Burst with AF
- Includes Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 5
Hitting the streets
On a rainy and cold November afternoon I took the NX1 to the Union Square area in New York City. One of the features that caught my eye on the NX1 was the weather-sealed magnesium body. Make no mistake this feels like a metal bodied camera and I love it. This isn’t like one of those cameras that’s weather-sealed but feels a bit too plasticky in your hands. There’s a heft to the camera – significantly heavier than my NX30 but still nowhere near as bulky as a traditional DSLR.
Having been familiarized with the NX system of cameras the menu system is familiar and settings can be accessed through a variety of ways from physical dials on the camera and i-Function button on the lens to a few screen taps on the gorgeously large Super AMOLED display. Seriously it’s an amazingly bright and sharp display. Probably one of the best I’ve seen on a camera.
As mentioned above the NX1 has a plethora of physical controls to help you get the shot you’re looking for without taking your eyes off your subject. The addition of a mode lock button on the top right and a separate dial for drive selection on the top left are new and welcomed additions to the camera body. The rear buttons are in familiar places with a few notable exceptions – having been shooting with the NX30 I’ve grown accustomed to being able to toggle between video and stills with a dedicated button where my right thumb would rest and adjust certain settings like AF and ISO with a tap on the jog dial found to the right of the display. These have been moved out of the box but can be designated through the settings menu. I’ll be exploring this in more detail at a later date.
During my first outing I found that the NX1 delivers the goods – quick autofocusing (though admittedly Continuous AF seemed a step quicker than Single AF) and even after a day of shooting out in the rain (no protection) the NX1 never missed a step. I was only able to spend a couple of hours and managed to get around 125-150 images and still have around 90% of the battery. The flip up screen was helpful in getting low shots and shooting from the hip (zone focusing folks. Zone focusing) though I admit that I prefer the swivel screen from the NX30; after seeing both side by side though I’ll take the sharper display over the swivel screen.
The Wrap Up
Keeping in mind that this is an APS-C “crop sensor,” in all honesty the NX1 can deliver some seriously sharp images in low light that have only been seen in full-frame cameras. The weight savings, even with the heavier combo of NX1 body and NX 16-50mm S Lens, makes this a serious consideration for the pros in the audience that may be a bit skittish about carrying around a “crop sensor” body instead of a full-frame. From my first few shots I’m hooked on this beast of a camera; definitely looking forward to bringing you a more thorough once over.
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