04 Sep 2014

Big surprise from Samsung: 4K 28MP APS-C camera?

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Samsung 4K APS C camera Samsung 4K APS C camera Samsung/RedShark


In the run-up to IBC and Photokina, the rumor mill has gone into overdrive with the shocking news of a Samsung 4K mirrorless camera with a whopping 28 megapixel ISOCELL sensor!

[Editor's Note: Again, the following is a RUMOR and should, for the moment, be regarded as such. We're including this in our coverage because it is significant that Samsung may bemoving into 4K in their cameras (as opposed to smartphones) and, speaking of which, it's fascinating that they may be using actual smartphone technology in their bigger, non-phone, cameras]

As we approach IBC and Photokina, the speculation on new camera announcements is reaching a fever pitch, especially Canon's long-awaited successor to the 7D. But, if a recent rumor proves true, another company may steal the thunder of Canon and all the rest of the camera makers and their new 4K entrants.

It's no rumor that Samsung is planning an event at this year's Photokina for the next iteration of its NX line of mirrorless cameras...


...but rumored specs for what has been dubbed the 'NX1' have been gathering for months now, and, according to camera speculation site Photo Rumors, the (possibly) upcoming camera will boast 4K (3840 x 2160) video recording at 24 and 30 frames from its huge 28 megapixel sensor.

This is huge. And here's a run-down of all the possible specs from Photo Rumors and similar site The Next Camera:

  • 28 MP APS-C CMOS ISOCELL sensor
  • DRIMe Image Signal Processor
  • 154 cross-type sensors
  • Advanced Hybrid Autofocus System / 2nd generation of Phase Detection Auto Focus System
  • ISO 100-51200
  • UHD 4K 3840×2160 at 30p/24p
  • Full HD up to 60p
  • 3″ Tilt-able AMOLED Touch Display
  • Water and dust proof
  • Wi-Fi and NFC Connectivity
  • Magnesium Alloy, Weather-Sealed Body
  • €1499 

Of course, as is the case with any advance specs, the possible Samsung NX1 spec list raises just as many questions as it answers. Will it run on Tizen, Samsung's homegrown operating system, or some fork of Android? What's the native ISO? For video recording, will it line skip or fully read the huge 28 megapixel sensor and down-convert on the fly (unlikely)? Will it record 4K internally, or will it need an external recorder like the Sony A7S does? What's the dynamic range and low light sensitivity? Oh, and what's it like to actually hold and use it? (we almost forgot that one.)

One thing we do know is that ISOCELL, purported as the NX1's sensor tech, is actually already in use in the Samsung Galaxy S5 (which features 4K recording) and Lenovo Vibe Z2 Pro smartphones, and will likely find its way into Samsung's soon-to-be released Note 4. ISOCELL sensor technology was first developed by Samsung back in 2013 and differentiates itself from existing sensors by isolating each pixel with its own barrier. This design aims to reduce cross-talk between pixels, leading to increased light sensitivity and color absorption, and reduced noise.

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Patrick Jong Taylor

Patrick Jong Taylor is former North American Editor of RedShark Media. He is currently the Director of Strategy at bigSTORY, a consultancy specializing in story-based analysis, strategy and production for corporate clients.

Website: bigstorybiz.com/

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