Samsung NX1: 4K video samples and new full-res frame grabs available for download (UPDATED)
posted Wednesday, November 19, 2014 at 5:42 PM EST
UPDATE, Dec. 1: For those who've been concerned about viewing or editing the Samsung NX1's 4K videos on your computer, especially given our troublesome experience playing these HEVC H.265 videos first-hand, conversion applications are starting to become available, including one from Samsung themselves, that will transcode NX1 videos from H.265 into H.264 videos. If you're fortunate enough to already have your NX1 on-hand, plug the camera into the computer via USB and install the free "Samsung Movie Converter." The Samsung Mac or PC app can conver both single files or batches of the NX1's highly compressed H.265 videos into various quality levels of H.264 video files. At maximum quality settings, an initial test with a few converted 4K videos look very good with crisp, high-resolution detail and smooth playback on our iMac with Retina Display.
Thanks to a reader email and a tip from Andrew Reid over at EOSHD, there's also a third-party application called Wondershare Video Converter Ultimate that, according to EOSHD, transcodes much faster than Samsung's offering. It also offers higher quality Apple ProRes formats and various image quality adjustments if you wish to tweak the footage prior to transcoding. Available for Windows and Mac, the software runs about $40 for a 1-year license (or a bit more for an unlimited one), and there's also a limited-time trial to see if it works for you.
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One of the most heavily discussed and debated features of the powerful new Samsung NX1 is its advanced 4K video recording capabiities. The Samsung NX1 can shoot and internally record 4K movies at Cinema 4K resolution (4,096 x 2,160) at 24p, and Ultra HD (3,840 x 2,160) at 30p. Full HD (1080p), HD (720p) and VGA (480p) resolutions are also available, all at 60p, 30p or 24p (including 50p and 25p for PAL).
We've now had an opportunity to shoot new sample videos in Cinema 4K and Ultra HD resolutions using production-level firmware on our review unit, now available for download! While we normally also provide a streaming version of sample videos on our YouTube channel, we've actually run into some issues with the H.265/HEVC videos out of the NX1. The new HEVC/H.265 (High Efficiency Video Coding) codec, according to Samsung, offers better image quality than H.264, yet requires only about half the storage space. Given the advanced compression scheme used by these HEVC videos, they are not (yet) compatible with YouTube (you can upload them, but YouTube will fail to process them).
They are also troublesome to play back on the computer. Even on our new iMac with Retina Display with a 4GHz quad-core Core i7 processor and AMD Radeon R9 M295X graphics chip, it doesn't have the CPU/GPU horsepower to decode the videos for smooth, glitch-free real-time playback. QuickTime can't even open the files and even a special 4K HEVC version fork of VLC can't play the files for more than a few seconds without glitching and artifacting. That being said, we still want to provide our readers with sample 4K videos. So download away, just know that for now, as they say, your viewing mileage may vary.
We've also provided more framegrabs from these and other 4K sample videos posted over in the Samsung NX1 Gallery page.