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Author Topic: The NX1. It's more amazing than we thought. Stunned.  (Read 7940 times)

LKaven

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The NX1. It's more amazing than we thought. Stunned.
« on: September 28, 2014, 11:51:02 am »

This is an interview with Samsung on the technical innovations in the NX1.  We thought this was an amazing camera, but the more you read about it, the more amazing it is.  It might be the most advanced camera being sold today in every respect.

http://www.imaging-resource.com/news/2014/09/27/photokina-interview-samsung-nx1-redefine-pro-performance-quantum-leap-tech

* 240 fps image tracking and recognition right off the sensor, every pixel. Between the sensor and the DSP, it /could/ do 240 fps at 28MP, and has done that on a test bench.

* "Our fill efficiency is much higher than most of the industry, thanks in large part to moving to 65nm design rules for our latest sensor"

* "when we switch to copper [replacing polysilicon for the wiring on the chip], we've moved to a much more conductive material, which helps us in heat dissipation, it helps us in reducing resistance"

* "even though we're BSI, we're cutting the pixel depth even more that way, which gives us more sensitivity and efficiency. So you'll find when you actually get these to test that the high ISO noise on these is much lower than it should be, if you follow the curve down in terms of pixel pitch, because of BSI, because of copper, because of the more efficient microlenses we've put on. The microlenses on these appear to cover almost 100%."

* "it's my understanding that we have the tightest design rules of any sensor manufacturing process used for cameras by a factor of two, and by general average probably close to a factor of four or five."

* "The biggest change is the structure of the Image Signal Processor. The DRIMe V ISP is very different. Most ISPs have key parts of the processing hardwired to get the needed speed. What's really new with the DRIMe V is that the "hardwiring" can be reconfigured."

* Tracking: "speed can be anywhere from around 80km/h to around 160km/h [50 mph to 100 mph]." It's able to use the entire sensor frame for tracking at 240 fps.

* "The DRIMe V actually has a lot of IPs [small hardware circuit blocks] dedicated to noise reduction. It's pretty cool; there are a lot of them, and each one does a different type of noise reduction processing, all at the same time. " The executive can decide a posteriori how much of this processing to utilize.

* "five general purpose cores"

* "the display refreshes at about 54 fps, but the key thing is that the EVF and the sensor are sychronized. The two are genlocked, so there's always just a 5 ms lag between what's hitting the sensor and what's being displayed on the EVF's current scan line. I think we're the only ones who can do this."

* "It's 4:2:2 out the HDMI 1.4 port; it's 4:2:0 as it goes to the SD. And it's H.265 to the card for both HD and 4K, so whatever video mode you're saving to SD card, it's using H.265, so you're going to get much more efficient and better-quality HD out of it."

BJL

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The NX1: negligible 5ms EVF lag excites me most
« Reply #1 on: September 28, 2014, 12:18:10 pm »

* "the display refreshes at about 54 fps, but the key thing is that the EVF and the sensor are sychronized. The two are genlocked, so there's always just a 5 ms lag between what's hitting the sensor and what's being displayed on the EVF's current scan line. I think we're the only ones who can do this."
From that, the biggest weakness of EVFs will soon disappear; lag will soon be negligible. EVF resolution can already match and exceed that of the secondary image of the frosted glass/plastic focusing screen of an SLR, zoomed preview makes that advantage even greater, DOF preview is more accurate, etc., so the main issue I see remaining is how best to display scenes of high subject brightness range on an EVF.  This I think is mostly an issue of improving software and processing speed; dynamic adjustment of display contrast and brightness to fit scene SBR into the display's gamut.

Maybe the biggest and most profitable "camera makers", Samsung and Apple, will soon give the best quality image preview while composing!
« Last Edit: September 28, 2014, 02:28:31 pm by BJL »
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ErikKaffehr

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Re: The NX1. It's more amazing than we thought. Stunned.
« Reply #2 on: September 28, 2014, 12:23:34 pm »

Thanks for the link! Interesting!

Best regards
Erik


This is an interview with Samsung on the technical innovations in the NX1.  We thought this was an amazing camera, but the more you read about it, the more amazing it is.  It might be the most advanced camera being sold today in every respect.

http://www.imaging-resource.com/news/2014/09/27/photokina-interview-samsung-nx1-redefine-pro-performance-quantum-leap-tech

* 240 fps image tracking and recognition right off the sensor, every pixel. Between the sensor and the DSP, it /could/ do 240 fps at 28MP, and has done that on a test bench.

* "Our fill efficiency is much higher than most of the industry, thanks in large part to moving to 65nm design rules for our latest sensor"

* "when we switch to copper [replacing polysilicon for the wiring on the chip], we've moved to a much more conductive material, which helps us in heat dissipation, it helps us in reducing resistance"

* "even though we're BSI, we're cutting the pixel depth even more that way, which gives us more sensitivity and efficiency. So you'll find when you actually get these to test that the high ISO noise on these is much lower than it should be, if you follow the curve down in terms of pixel pitch, because of BSI, because of copper, because of the more efficient microlenses we've put on. The microlenses on these appear to cover almost 100%."

* "it's my understanding that we have the tightest design rules of any sensor manufacturing process used for cameras by a factor of two, and by general average probably close to a factor of four or five."

* "The biggest change is the structure of the Image Signal Processor. The DRIMe V ISP is very different. Most ISPs have key parts of the processing hardwired to get the needed speed. What's really new with the DRIMe V is that the "hardwiring" can be reconfigured."

* Tracking: "speed can be anywhere from around 80km/h to around 160km/h [50 mph to 100 mph]." It's able to use the entire sensor frame for tracking at 240 fps.

* "The DRIMe V actually has a lot of IPs [small hardware circuit blocks] dedicated to noise reduction. It's pretty cool; there are a lot of them, and each one does a different type of noise reduction processing, all at the same time. " The executive can decide a posteriori how much of this processing to utilize.

* "five general purpose cores"

* "the display refreshes at about 54 fps, but the key thing is that the EVF and the sensor are sychronized. The two are genlocked, so there's always just a 5 ms lag between what's hitting the sensor and what's being displayed on the EVF's current scan line. I think we're the only ones who can do this."

* "It's 4:2:2 out the HDMI 1.4 port; it's 4:2:0 as it goes to the SD. And it's H.265 to the card for both HD and 4K, so whatever video mode you're saving to SD card, it's using H.265, so you're going to get much more efficient and better-quality HD out of it."
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Erik Kaffehr
 

Torbjörn Tapani

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Re:
« Reply #3 on: September 28, 2014, 12:27:05 pm »

Wow. Very interesting thanks for the info.

I think people have underestimated Samsung and what is possible with modern fabrication tech.
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allegretto

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Re: The NX1. It's more amazing than we thought. Stunned.
« Reply #4 on: September 28, 2014, 04:50:59 pm »

No one would underestimate the EE prowess of any of those big Asian Houses. They are all quite capable. Heck, go to the Engineering Department of any US or European company and you will see that the Engineers there are the same. Asia owns hi-tech production. I'm not at all surprised that the processing side of this camera is crazy good.

But a camera system is much more than a sensor and processor. Plus there is a need to build a reputation. That is a long way off. Spec sheet drooling aside...
« Last Edit: September 28, 2014, 05:45:07 pm by allegretto »
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Telecaster

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Re: The NX1. It's more amazing than we thought. Stunned.
« Reply #5 on: September 28, 2014, 05:28:05 pm »

An acquaintance of mine owns one of the Samsung NX cameras with 16, 30 & 60mm lenses. Image quality, judging by the electronic & print examples I've seen, looks very good. As good as any APS-C or 35mm system I'm familiar with. The NX1 will surely be no worse and could well be better. General handling and menu layout are what I'm interested in. Do the designers truly get Auto ISO? (Sony, for one, doesn't.) If Samsung can deliver a camera that works like it was made with photographers rather than engineers in mind, I'll give it a close look. The specs are mighty impressive for sure.

-Dave-
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BernardLanguillier

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Re: The NX1. It's more amazing than we thought. Stunned.
« Reply #6 on: September 28, 2014, 05:51:14 pm »

What's pretty clear is that Samsung is progressing a lot faster than Canon and Nikon.

Actual usage will tell us whether the NX1 is at the right level from a usability standpoint and as a system relative to realistic usage needs, but it already seems ahead in core technologies... by a big margin.

The general market, especially in fast developing countries, has less photographers with a strong emotional relationship with established brands and the NX1 will, IMHO, make significant inroads.

That will be more than enough to generate a healthy profit and ensure that Samsung can continue to invest big time on the NX1 II.

By that time it will probably be too late unless Canon and Nikon move quickly.

The only thing that would IMHO really make sense would be for Canon and Nikon to adopt the Sony E mount for APS mirrorless bodies. Or at least to come up with a new common lens mount. That would pretty much kill Samsung.

Cheers,
Bernard
« Last Edit: September 28, 2014, 06:42:27 pm by BernardLanguillier »
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John Koerner

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Re: The NX1. It's more amazing than we thought. Stunned.
« Reply #7 on: September 28, 2014, 06:21:44 pm »

Fascinating.

The biggest issues are going to be 1) durability, 2) flexibility, and 3) lens compatibility while retaining full functionality.

It is one thing to develop a sensor, which shouldn't be too hard for a major electrical company to do.

It is quite another to develop an entire system of lenses to place overtop of that sensor, which is an area they have zero real experience in: lens production.

It is also one thing to develop "standard" lenses, and quite another to develop highly-specialized lenses.

Nobody really serious seems to like to use adapters for highly-specialized lenses; while some do, most photoprahers  go with the system that actually has their needed lenses (so they don't have to fiddle with an adapter and lose lens functionality by doing so).

It might be a wiser choice for Samsung to sell their electronics breakthru to the highest bidding camera company ... who already has lenses.

Jack
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John Koerner

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Re: The NX1. It's more amazing than we thought. Stunned.
« Reply #8 on: September 28, 2014, 06:37:18 pm »

I also don't think it is a matter of either Canon or Nikon "sitting on their asses."

I think it is a matter of TALENT and ODDS.

No one company can hire all the talent. The world is full of talented people, and the odds are the biggest companies are going to hire the best talent.

Giant companies, like Sony and Samsung, specialize in electronics and are going to have some supremely talented people ... who make their own electronic innovations. The law of large numbers is going to show its head here. As phones become more and more "photography-capable," the electronics engineers are going to be developing similar technologies along side "established" camera engineers, and in so doing come out with their own breakthroughs.

But, here again, coming out with an awesome electronics engineering breakthrough still doesn't complete the system. They may have pioneered a breakthrough, but there is still a lot more to be done before they have anything close to a complete arsenal of camera solutions for folks. It's a reason to be excited, for sure, but no reason to switch at this point.

Another reason to be excited is that these breakthroughs might be just what is needed to steer the existing companies in the right direction to jumpstart their own innovations.

I view this as good for everyone, bad for no one.

Jack
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LKaven

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Re: The NX1. It's more amazing than we thought. Stunned.
« Reply #9 on: September 28, 2014, 07:02:47 pm »

[...] It might be a wiser choice for Samsung to sell their electronics breakthru to the highest bidding camera company ... who already has lenses.

Samsung is surely big enough to license all of the manufacturing they want from a major optical house.  If Sony can go to Zeiss, Samsung can go to Schneider, or who knows, maybe even Samyang.

But in the meantime, remember that they introduced two pro-spec zooms along with this camera.  The 16-50 f/2-2.8 (yes, f/2 to f/2.8) and a 50-150 constant f/2.8, both extensively weather-sealed.  It will be interesting to see how these perform.

eronald

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Re: The NX1. It's more amazing than we thought. Stunned.
« Reply #10 on: September 28, 2014, 07:40:37 pm »


It might be a wiser choice for Samsung to sell their electronics breakthru to the highest bidding camera company ... who already has lenses.

Jack

Or just to buy or team up with one. Sigma anybody?

Edmund
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John Koerner

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Re: The NX1. It's more amazing than we thought. Stunned.
« Reply #11 on: September 28, 2014, 08:06:48 pm »

Interesting both, but Sigma especially.

I think one of the things that hurt Sony camera sales, actually, was teaming up an uber-expensive, high-priced, exclusive lens manufacturer in Zeiss. Sony's advantage of competing at a good price was hindered, not helped, by the Zeiss union IMO. The union created a bitter-sweet fact of lower-price-for-body / high-price-for-lens scenario.

Samsung would essentially be doing the same thing by teaming up with Schneider, plus the fact its entire advantage of rapid-fire AF capabilities would be rendered nil by teaming with a lens company specializing in manual focus optics.

However, by teaming up with Sigma, Samsung would create a far more appealing general lens availability scenario for itself, lenses replete with autofocus capability (which Zeiss lacks), and would be in a far better position for mass-marketability to consumers, at a low price, and therefore greater overall consumer appeal.

Very interesting idea indeed.

Jack
« Last Edit: September 28, 2014, 08:13:57 pm by John Koerner »
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BernardLanguillier

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Re: The NX1. It's more amazing than we thought. Stunned.
« Reply #12 on: September 28, 2014, 08:24:32 pm »

Or just to buy or team up with one. Sigma anybody?

Hum... how many recent examples do we have of Korean and Japanese companies working together?

Cheers,
Bernard

LKaven

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Re: The NX1. It's more amazing than we thought. Stunned.
« Reply #13 on: September 28, 2014, 08:25:15 pm »

They wouldn't do badly with Sigma at all.  I also think that Samyang is one small step from being at that level, a step that they could take easily if they partnered with Samsung.  

Actually, I wonder who /is/ making their existing lenses, especially these two new ones.  

Telecaster

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Re: The NX1. It's more amazing than we thought. Stunned.
« Reply #14 on: September 28, 2014, 10:16:58 pm »

Don't forget that Samsung was mashed up with Pentax for awhile. Maybe some lens know-how (and designer talent too) migrated from the latter to the former. Even if not, Samsung is a huge company that can afford to hire top quality people and equip 'em with the best tools of the trade.

I don't see 'em hooking up with another established player, except maybe for marketing reasons. I think they'll mostly cut their own trail.

-Dave-
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Alan Klein

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Re: The NX1. It's more amazing than we thought. Stunned.
« Reply #15 on: September 28, 2014, 11:01:13 pm »

No one knows of Sigma, let's face it, except us nerds.  Sony made a smart move teaming with the well-known Germans.  Sony  and Samsung need cache, and YimYang Optics or Mongolian Lens or Gulag Glass isn't going to do it.

LKaven

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Re: The NX1. It's more amazing than we thought. Stunned.
« Reply #16 on: September 29, 2014, 12:09:08 am »

YimYang Optics or Mongolian Lens or Gulag Glass isn't going to do it.

Where did these names come from?  I'm sure they could make top-quality lenses in Korea.  This is only the fastest growing high-tech economy in the world.  Then they could call them whatever they want.  But it's worth remembering that Samyang sells lenses by the shipload to enthusiastic buyers, and mostly lenses released in the last 2-3 years.

Slobodan Blagojevic

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Re: The NX1. It's more amazing than we thought. Stunned.
« Reply #17 on: September 29, 2014, 12:09:59 am »

... But in the meantime, remember that they introduced two pro-spec zooms along with this camera.  The 16-50 f/2-2.8 (yes, f/2 to f/2.8) and a 50-150 constant f/2.8, both extensively weather-sealed.  It will be interesting to see how these perform.

Has anyone else noticed (or cares) how beautifully designed those lenses are? And I mean on the outside, not optical design. Simplicity and elegance approached only by the Sigma's Art series. I know it is highly personal, but still.

BernardLanguillier

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Re: The NX1. It's more amazing than we thought. Stunned.
« Reply #18 on: September 29, 2014, 12:17:37 am »

Has anyone else noticed (or cares) how beautifully designed those lenses are? And I mean on the outside, not optical design. Simplicity and elegance approached only by the Sigma's Art series. I know it is highly personal, but still.

Agreed, they look great!

Overall I find that many recent lenses to look good in fact, with the notable exception of my Zeiss Otus 55mm that I frankly find pretty ugly! ;)

Cheers,
Bernard

John Koerner

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Re: The NX1. It's more amazing than we thought. Stunned.
« Reply #19 on: September 29, 2014, 12:22:53 am »

Has anyone else noticed (or cares) how beautifully designed those lenses are? And I mean on the outside, not optical design. Simplicity and elegance approached only by the Sigma's Art series. I know it is highly personal, but still.

They do look nice, wow.

Wonder who makes them? They are big enough I suppose to make their own.
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