Cameras are often either marginal upgrades, or bursting through headlines with one new, highlighting feature. But with the Samsung NX1's release, it's hard to choose just one feature that makes this high-end mirrorless camera worth a look. Is it the 4K video recording without extra equipment? The 15 fps burst speed? Or the big APS-C sensor that's actually backlit? Whichever interests you the most, the NX1, announced at Photokina 2014, certainly appears well-rounded.
BSI, or back-side illuminated sensors aren't uncommon--but they are rather unheard of in sensors over an inch in size. The design of a BSI sensor moves some of the equipment to the back of the sensor, instead of the front, and results in better light sensitivity. Along with that backlit design, the optical low pass filter has also been removed--and having one less thing for the light to pass through enhances the detail and resolution. Taking all of these things in mind, the Samsung NX1 should have excellent image quality.
Samsung updated their processor in the NX1, using the DRIMe V, which the manufacturer says is 2.8x faster than the previous version. This faster process is behind the excellent 15 fps burst speed. That speed isn't short-lived, either, it can continue snapping away at that pace for 77 JPEGS or 40 RAW files. Speed is often a benefit of shooting mirrorless, since DSLRs have more equipment to move every time a shot is taken, but the 15 fps speed is excellent even for this category.
Cameras with 4K video, up until now, have needed to record through their HDMI port using extra equipment. The processor and technology behind the NX1 compresses the video's file size while still keeping the 4K resolution, so the footage can be recorded to an SD card. At that full resolution, the frame rate is only 24 fps, but 1080p video is available when faster frame rates matter.
The Samsung NX1 is constructed with a magnesium body, so it's durable and doesn't feel like a cheap camera. It includes a lot of the features of high-end DSLRs, like dual control wheels and a second screen at the top of the camera for displaying shooting information. The LCD screen also tilts, up to 90 degrees up and 45 degrees down.
The Samsung NX1, so far looks to be a well-rounded camera, with features that will attract many different types of photography enthusiasts and even semi-pros. All of these features don't come cheap, however, at $1,500 for the body only, though other cameras with similar features also have price tags in that range. It's also available with a f2.0-2.8 16-50mm kit lens for $2,800.
For More: Check out our list of the best mirrorless cameras.