Samsung NX1 Performance

Note: Re-tested with firmware version 1.32.

Timing and Performance

Good to outstanding performance.

Startup/Play to Record

Power on
to first shot

~0.7 second

Time it takes to turn on and capture a shot.

Play to Record,
first shot

~0.7 second

Time until first shot is captured.

Startup to taking a the first shot was fast for a mirrorless camera, at about 0.7 second. Switching from Play to Record mode and taking a shot also took about 0.7 second.


Shutter Response (Lag Time)

Full Autofocus,
Single-area AF mode

0.203 second

Time from fully pressing shutter button to image capture, with the lens already at the proper focal distance setting. (All timing performed with Samsung 60mm f/2.8 Macro OIS SSA lens.)

Full Autofocus,
Single-area AF mode
EFC shutter enabled

0.202 second

Time from fully pressing shutter button to image capture, with the lens already at the proper focal distance setting. (Electronic first curtain shutter enabled.)

Full Autofocus,
Single-area AF mode
Auto flash enabled

0.288 second

Time from fully pressing shutter button to image capture, with the lens already at the proper focal distance setting. Built-in flash enabled.

Manual Focus

0.079 second

For most cameras, shutter lag is less in manual focus than autofocus, but usually not as fast as when the camera is "prefocused".

Prefocused

0.055 second

Time to capture, after half-pressing and holding shutter button.

The Samsung NX1 produced full-autofocus shutter lag (with the subject at a fixed distance) of 0.203 second with a 60mm f/2.8 prime lens. This is very good performance for a mirrorless camera, though we have seen faster from prosumer models. Enabling the electronic first curtain shutter (it's disabled by default) yielded almost no improvement, producing a full AF shutter lag of 0.202 second. Enabling the flash increased shutter lag to 0.288 second to account for the preflash metering, though that's still quite fast.

We did however discover that autofocus speeds tested noticeably slower with the optional 16-50mm f/2-2.8 S OIS "kit" lens. With it, we measured full AF lag of 0.346 second for Single-area AF mode and 0.321 second with EFCS enabled, about 60-70% slower than with the prime lens.

When manually focused, the Samsung NX1's lag time dropped to 0.079 second, which is quite fast. The NX1's prefocused shutter lag time was 0.055 second, also quite fast.

To minimize the effect of different lens' focusing speed, we test AF-active shutter lag with the lens already set to the correct focal distance.


Single-shot, Burst Mode and Flash Recycling

Single Shot mode
Large Super Fine JPEG

0.41 second

Average time per shot.

Single Shot mode
RAW + LSF JPEG

0.42 second

Average time per shot.

Early shutter
penalty?

No

Some cameras don't snap another shot if you release and press the shutter too quickly in Single Shot mode, making "No" the preferred answer.

Continuous Hi Mode
Large SuperFine JPEG

0.07 second
(15.15 fps);
53 frames total;
14 seconds to clear*

Time per shot, averaged over buffer length of 53 shots, then slows to an average of 0.23s or 4.37 fps when buffer is full.

Continuous Hi Mode
RAW

0.07 second
(15.11 fps);
22 frames total;
13 seconds to clear*

Time per shot, averaged over buffer length of 23 frames, then slows to an average of 0.53s or 1.88 fps when buffer is full.

Continuous Hi Mode
RAW + LSF JPEG

0.07 second
(15.20 fps);
20 frames total;
19 seconds to clear*

Time per shot, averaged over buffer length of 20 frames, then slows to an average of 0.98s or 1.02 fps when buffer is full.

Flash Recycling

3.7 seconds

Flash at maximum output.

*Note: Buffer clearing times measured with a SanDisk Extreme Pro 280MB/sec UHS-II SDHC card. Slower cards will produce correspondingly slower clearing times. Slow cards may also limit length of bursts in continuous mode. ISO sensitivity and noise reduction settings can also affect cycle times and burst mode performance.

Single-shot cycle times were very good, at just over 0.4 second for best quality JPEGs or RAW+ LSF JPEG files. (Note that we no longer test single-shot RAW mode only, as cycle time is usually somewhere between JPEG and RAW+JPEG cycle times.)

Continuous Hi mode set at 15 fps yielded class-leading performance, at just over 15 frames-per-second no matter the file type, slightly exceeding Samsung's specification.

Buffer depths were excellent at 53 Large Superfine JPEGs before the camera slowed, and good when RAW files were captured, at 22 RAW or 20 RAW + LSF JPEG frames. Note that our target for this test is designed to be difficult to compress, so burst lengths may be longer with typical subjects.

Buffer clearing times were decent considering the resolution and buffer depth, ranging from 14 seconds after a max-length burst of best quality JPEGs to 19 seconds after a burst of RAW+JPEG files. That's with a very fast 280MB/s UHS-II card.

We also tested the NX1 with a 95MB/s UHS-I card and buffer depths were only reduced by 2 or 3 frames. Buffer clearing times were also similar with the UHS-I card, so it appears the NX1 doesn't take full advantage of very fast USH-II cards, something to be aware of if you're considering spending the extra money for one. Either way, this is a big improvement over prior Samsung NX models which tended to be quite slow at buffer clearing.

Flash recycle was fair, taking an average of 3.7 seconds after a full power discharge.


Bottom line, the Samsung NX1's performance is excellent overall with reasonably fast startup and autofocus, incredibly fast burst speeds, good to excellent buffer depths and decent buffer clearing times.

Battery

Battery Life
Very good battery life for a mirrorless camera.

Operating Mode Battery Life
Still Capture,
(CIPA standard)
500 shots

The Samsung NX1 uses a custom rechargeable lithium-ion battery pack for power, and comes with a single battery and an AC adapter for in-camera charging via USB (when purchased body-only). When purchased with the 16-50mm f/2-2.8 S lens, a dedicated battery charger is included, as is a second battery and a battery grip.

Samsung rates the NX1's battery life at 500 shots per charge using CIPA standards, but doesn't state whether that's with the OLED monitor or EVF. While that's very good battery life for a mirrorless camera, it's much lower than most prosumer DSLRs, and we recommend having at least two batteries on-hand and fully charged during extended outings.

The table above shows the number of shots the camera is capable of (on a fully-charged rechargeable battery), based on CIPA battery-life and/or manufacturer standard test conditions.

(Interested readers can find an English translation of the CIPA DC-002 standards document here. (180K PDF document))

 



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