Samsung NX1

28.2MP APS-C BSI CMOS sensor | 2.36M dot OLED EVF | H.265 4K/UHD video capture

What we like:

  • Class-leading burst rate of 15 fps
  • Super advanced AF system with 90% coverage
  • Excellent 4K video quality and helpful video tool/features
  • Great image quality
  • Tilting, touch LCD

What we don't:

  • Limited lens selection
  • AF performance limited to select lenses
  • Some minor operational quirks

The NX1 is Samsung's flagship mirrorless camera. It offers a 28MP backside illuminated APS-C-sized sensor, which when it was released, was the biggest BSI sensor in any camera on the market. It also has the most substantial body yet for a NX-series camera and a features list (4K video, 15 fps shooting, broad-area on-sensor phase detection) that matches or exceeds its contemporary peers in just about every respect.

The NX1 has one of the most advanced hybrid AF systems in this class, with on-sensor phase detection covering 90% of the frame and cross-type sensitivity over a large central portion. Single AF acquisition is generally very fast, as is accuracy when shooting in continuous AF, even at the fastest shooting rate. Tracking AF can follow faces and most subjects very well so, although it can sometimes get confused, it can give some of the best hit rates in its class. Tracking AF does, however, fumble during continuous bursts, reverting to a more basic, yet still effective, subject tracking mode.

It's worth noting that autofocus performance is distinctly lens-dependent. Samsung's newest (and most expensive) S-series lenses offer fast and impressive performance but older lenses, particularly primes, vary from nearly-as-good to disappointingly slow.

"The NX1 offers an incredibly strong set of features, not to mention industry firsts, in a compact, well-thought-out unit."

Image quality from the Samsung NX1 is very impressive, and ranks up there with some of the best APS-C cameras available. Color rendition and dynamic range are both excellent. The Raw files offer plenty of exposure latitude and high ISO image quality is nearly best-in-class. High ISO JPEGs tend to suffer from very aggressive noise reduction, though.

Videographers will find a lot to like in the NX1, including outstanding internal 4K video quality. Add to that a well designed user interface, an effective touch screen with tap-to-focus, and useful video settings such a wide dynamic range gamma profile and the whole thing becomes a rather compelling package. Not to mention a built-in mic and headphone jacks. It uses the efficient and increasingly widely supported H.265 codec, but some users may still require a lengthy conversion step using the supplied software.

The NX1 offers an incredibly strong set of features, not to mention industry firsts, in a compact, well-thought-out unit. This is definitely worth putting on your list if an APS-C-sized sensor camera is what your after. Almost irrespective of what you like to shoot, the NX1 can deliver.

Studio Test Scene | Specifications Compared

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