Samsung NX1 – My First Impressions

A rock formation at the Valley of Fire, Nevada.

Samsung NX1, 12-24mm Lens @12mm, ISO 100, f8, 0.8sec

The Samsung NX1 is the new 28 megapixel APS-C camera by Samsung. It features one of the most advanced APS-C sensors in a camera to date and seems to outperform the competition in almost everyway. So I rented one for a week.

There are a lot of interesting things to talk about with this camera. Some good some bad. Mostly good. 


Samsung NX1 – My First Impressions

When I first picked up the camera I wasn’t impressed. It’s got that old school Canon DSLR feel that I think was a design mistake for an APS-C camera. Cameras design like this make me feel like a tourist more than a photographer and it’s this reason why I mostly shoot with Sony and Fuji now. 

To make it even worse, the menus are super bubble gum, making cute little selection and popping noises as you cycle through options. Come on Samsung, I want a camera, not Candy Crush!

But getting past that initial shock, the thing is amazing! It really is. The rear LCD screen is so clear, the camera is very responsive, the options you’re given are fantastic and the image quality is amazing. 

I want one, but I’m not going to get one and here is why.

1. Because the lens mount is so far from the sensor plane, your ability to adapt other lenses to this camera becomes more difficult and your options are limited. A metabones speed booster will be out of the question and Leica M lenses can’t mount without power tools. Canon EF and Nikon options are still very limited, and current Samsung lenses feel like cheap pieces of plastic with only decent optics.

2. While the camera is great, it’s only about six months ahead of the competition at this point. Soon Sony and Fujifilm will update their APS-C line and they’ll all be just as good with 4k video and a back-illuminated sensors but with vastly superior lens selections.

So while the Samsung NX1 is an amazing camera, I think it’s worth waiting for the competition to catch up, for now. But I really hope Samsung continues to develop and expand its mirrorless systems, the market needs more competition to shake things up and Samsung has proven they can make an absolutely amazing camera with the NX1.

A rock formation at the Valley of Fire, Nevada.

Samsung NX1, 12-24mm lens @12mm, ISO 500, f8, 1/30sec

A rock formation at the Valley of Fire, Nevada.

Samsung NX1, 12-24mm lens @12mm, ISO 100, f8, 1sec