Samsung NX1 First Shots: First production tests from Samsung’s new super-camera


posted Tuesday, November 11, 2014 at 6:52 PM EST


The Samsung NX1 "uber camera," the company's first truly pro-level NX body, has arrived at IR HQ and was immediately escorted to the lab for a run through its paces. We've just now published our First Shots set of lab sample image for all your pixel-peeping pleasure. With a brand new backside-illuminated 28.2-megapixel APS-C CMOS sensor coupled to the powerful new multi-core DRIMe V processor, the beefy, weather-sealed NX1 is capable of pumping out some very sharp, high-resolution images.

The Samsung NX1 offers a default sensitivity range of ISO 100 to 25,600, but is extendable to ISO 51,200 -- an improvement over the company's previous flagship, the NX30, which did not offer an extended ISO and topped out at 25,600. The NX1 also features new adaptive noise reduction technology that analyzes the scene first before applying noise reduction to help balance noise removal with detail retention. The system apparently does not apply area-specific noise reduction like some competitors do, however does employ subject-specific anti-moiré processing, needed due to the sensor's lack of optical AA filtering. As is our normal procedure, we've provided straight-out-of-camera JPEGs with both the default level of noise reduction processing as well as with NR processing disabled -- and RAW files for each image are available to download as well.

ISO 100

In an initial assessment of the image quality, the low to mid-range ISO shots look very good with lots of crisp, fine detail and resolution, plus very minimal noise at ISO 1600-3200. We saw a slight decrease in brightness at ISO 6400 and above, but it's possible that the apparent drop is the result of the flicker frequency of our HMI studio lights interacting with the extremely short exposure time needed to keep the aperture constant throughout this test. We'll explore that possibility tomorrow and post an update (and new images if necessary), but wanted to get these initial results out to our readers as quickly as possible.

As noted, the images themselves look pretty darn good. As always, manufacturers make different tradeoffs between noise and detail levels, and while we haven't yet done a detailed analysis against the competition, our initial impressions are very positive, particularly at higher ISOs. This is especially impressive given the 28 megapixels the NX1 has packed onto its sensor.

But let your own eyes be the judge, head over to our Samsung NX1 First Shots thumbnails page and have a look. Not only can you view full resolution test images, but you can also pit the NX1 against competing high-resolution APS-C cameras such as the Canon 7D Mark II, Nikon D7100, Sony A77 II, and Pentax K-3, using our famous Comparometer. The Comparometer displays from-camera JPEGs shot with each camera's default noise reduction settings. You can generally find shots taken with the minimum noise reduction applied on the cameras' thumbnails pages; look for filenames ending in "NR0". And of course, all the RAW files are there, so you can make your own choices about noise vs detail in your favorite RAW converter. (If you're aware of a RAW converter supporting the NX1, please leave a URL for it in the comments below!)

ISO 3200
ISO 6400

Stay tuned as we tackle more testing and review coverage for Samsung's new flagship NX camera and lenses as well!

[Quick Links: Samsung NX1Lab SamplesGallery Photos]

(Updated 11/11/14, 7:30pm US EST, to note that the slight drop in brightness at ISO 6,400 and above could be caused by flicker in our HMI studio lights interacting with the short shutter speeds required to hold the aperture constant.)