Thursday 25 June 2015

World's Slimmest, Lightest, Cheapest 4K Camera On The Way?

The Samsung NX Mini 2 has had a product page on a Dutch shopping website. Not announced by Samsung as of yet. No idea if it's slated for worldwide of local release. Product page has been taken down from originating website.
  • 4K 24p.
  • Auto and manual controls are available.
  • Records 4K using h.264
  • 20.5 megapixel sensor.
  • 3 inch Super AMOLED display
  • 400 shot battery.
  • Built in flash.
  • Shoots raw.
  • D-Pad has been replaced with scroll wheel.
  • Built in Wi-Fi and NFC.
  • Essentially the same size as the original NX Mini, which makes it probably smaller and lighter than your wallet.
  • Live power via micro USB port.

The price was listed at approx 549 Euros with the 9-27mm kit (£390).

This would make it quite probably the smallest, lightest and lowest priced 4K camera you can buy! You can also buy the optional NX adapter to use the lenses from the APS-C NX range, with a 2.7x crop. Anyone fancy shooting 470mm at 4K? Sweet! Now to just add a crop mode in 4K to the Samsung NX1....

Keep in mind that these are rumours at the moment (even if it was posted on a camera website). Would like at least 25fps in 4K mode though, but I would say that wouldn't I...

How good will it be? Well, someone tested the first Samsung NX Mini against the Nikon D5100, which the NX Mini proceeded to... well... just watch for yourself. (If it doesn't start at the right place, the comparison begins at 5:45).

One would hope that with the new processor there should be an increase in image / video quality, even if they are utilising the same sensor from the original.

Samsung NX500 Firmware Update Available!

As it says on the tin! Samsung continues to set the pace for quality, free functional updates / upgrades for its NX line in the consumer camera market.

If you're in the UK you can download the firmware onto your SD card HERE. It will update your Samsung NX500 to firmware v1.10

And seeing as most of my audience is from the United States, here is your direct link.

You can, like the Samsung NX1 download it OTA (over the air) using Wi-Fi or plug your camera into a computer and use i-Launcher.

What's been improved you ask? Large improvements with autofocus in still mode, video quality enhancements, manual focus control enhancements. EXIF from JPEG 4K capture, extended video recording time, in other words, bringing it closer with its big bro, the NX1 :-)

1. Still Photo Enhancements:

Improvements to the overall Auto Focus:

  • Enhanced AF performance in low light condition
  • Enhanced AF performance in backlit and spot light
  • Enhanced AF performance in the corners when utilizing 16-50mm PZ lens
  • Enhanced Face Detection AF performance
  • Enhanced AF performance in movie mode
  • Added Zone AF mode
  • Increased the size of AF to 5 steps in AF  Area Size
  • Increased the Face Detection Area of the sensor
  • Includes 4 most popular Pro Suggest presets (Cinematic, Memories, Gorgeous night, and High Speed)
  • Added Selfie as Flipped  mode
  • The image is flipped to capture as in the preview.
  • Improved Selfie AF function in Timer mode.
  • Continuous AF is default in Selfie Timer.
  • Simplified EXIF data preview

2. Video Recording Enhancements:

  • Added Pro mode in movie quality and increased the bit rates for movie size and quality (up to 70Mbps)
  • Movie Recording Time changed to 25 minutes at FHD 60P/50P
  • Larger sensor read out data size with improved FHD quality up to 60P
  • Remains in Stand By mode after recording
  • 1280x720 (120P) setting in the Movie Size Menu for easy access
  • Sound recording is available
  • Capture individual 4K frame forward & backward with precision
  • Embedded EXIF data in jpeg
  • Added NEW MF Responsiveness mode
  • (Capable of setting to Low, Medium, High focus angle in manual focus mode)

3. Overall fixed minor bugs

Tuesday 23 June 2015

Three Blind Mice - Samsung NX1 vs Nikon D750 vs Sony Alpha 77 II

Some of you may have missed this, I found it quite interesting so I'm posting it.

You take three cameras, run some tests with them, post the images but don't tell the audience which images come from which camera. You then ask said audience to vote on what they think the best images are.

This was done by - it involved a Nikon D750, a Sony Alpha 77 II and the Samsung NX1 (using a pre-release firmware, so quality and performance are higher now than they were during this test).

There were approximately 1000 participants for the blind test, the test covers things like ISO performance, colour rendition, detail etc the usual suspects.

When people only had the image to go on (not brand prejudice, ego and other inefficient human traits) the results put the Samsung NX1 at the top. Link to original article is in the quote.
Last Tuesday, we asked you to give us your opinion about the picture quality on a pre-production model of the Samsung NX1 (firmware 0.36...), compared to a Sony Alpha 77 II and a Nikon D750. Let's break the suspense right now: against all expectations, you by far preferred the Samsung NX1, which came in first, well ahead of the D750. The Alpha 77 II finished last with three times fewer votes than the NX1. Let's go into detail...

Thursday 18 June 2015

Update! - Samsung NX1 Remote Studio to v1.0.1.0


Turned on my PC this morning, and Remote Studio was open from last night (I didn't shut it down properly). Was just about to close it and saw this.

What was that, about nine days since its release? And there I was wondering when the next update would be. To access this update simply run the Remote Studio App and it'll check automatically.

Monday 15 June 2015

Grabbing Stills From 4K Video - Samsung NX1

There seems to be a bit of a 'debate' going around regarding the use of individual frames taken from a video stream as a valid form of photography, or if using certain settings is 'valid'. I'm going to keep this short.

It doesn't matter what anybody says about anything (including me). If you got the shot you wanted who cares? If you're sharing your work, of all of the people who will view it, how many do you think will have 'was this pulled from video, I won't like it if so' going through their head? None, that's how many.

Frame grabbing isn't new of course, but with the advent of affordable 4K video capable cameras, it's become even more useful simply because of the increased resolution. This is the first part of a series where I'll post 4K grabs from video I've shot with the Samsung NX1. None of these were filmed with the express intention of getting screen grabs. With the latest firmware (v1.34 as of writing) you also have the option of grabbing frames from the camera internally, this also writes the EXIF data to the JPEG. These were all shot from v1 to v1.2 so there is none of that here.

These were all shot at 25 or 30fps using a 180 shutter. I have also endeavoured to provide shots in different lighting and of different subjects.

Thursday 11 June 2015

Sony! α7R II + RX10 II + RX100 IV = 14bit Raw?

Yes, I'm going there. Why? Because it says as much in the specifications for the cameras on the Sony website. Screenshots from the respective pages are included below (click the images to enlarge) along with direct links to the originating page. This is for the Sony a7r mark 2, the RX10 mark 2 and the RX100 mark 4.

What you are looking for is 'Sony ARW 2.3'

Wednesday 10 June 2015

A Samsung NX1 Short Film - Yvonne

A woman frustrated by her circumstances in life takes up residence inside her refrigerator in an effort to make a change. Yvonne was shot in 4K entirely on the Samsung NX1 mirrorless camera. See the short film with award-winning actress Marissa Jaret Winokur and filmmaker Andrew Putschogel.


Tuesday 9 June 2015

Samsung NX1 Remote Studio Now Available + NX1 SDK

Only just got around to posting about the NX1 v1.31 firmware update and along comes Samsung with a another release. Barely had time to finish my lunch (which was delicious by the way), fry up some mushrooms gently, sprinkle some onion powder, smoked paprika and black pepper, smash some eggs into it near the end, take it out, use the hot pan to fry up some tomatoes (with the smallest drip of oil). Heat up some pitta bread, stuff them, eat them, roll your eyes at the tastiness.

Anyway, after updating the NX1 I went back into i-Launcher which prompted me to update, so I did. It now looks like this.

Samsung NX1 Firmware v1.31 Now Available!

Along with a firmware update for the Samsung NX 16-50mm f3.5 Power Zoom Lens.

I must admit, I'm loving Samsung's firm (get it) commitment to their flagship. As usual, you can install the new software using the i-Launcher app by connecting your NX1 to your computer via USB or you can also use NX1's built in Wi-Fi update feature. If you would rather download the file directly and do it offline, the link (for the UK firmware) is HERE.

For the record, the web-based i-Launcher looks like this:

Monday 8 June 2015

OnePlus One 64GB UK - Cyanogen Logo

I had been looking up news about the breakup between OnePlus One and the Cyanogen team, and have been seeing reviews posting shots of the phone with the 'Cyanogen' logo emblazoned on the back. Decided to actually look at the back of my 64GB version that I received recently only to find there is no spoon. I mean logo.

Only just realised, (I've only had the phone for a few days). Nice phone by the way. I'm not going to do a review on it, there are a million of those on the net already. Looking forward to using it with the Samsung NX1 via the Smart Camera Manager App soon.

Saturday 6 June 2015

Samsung NX1 Resolution [Is The Nuts] - Part One

The very first day I walked out of my house with the 50-150mm S lens attached to my NX1 I had the intention of trying on some street photography, it being a perfect lens for picking scenes near and far from the camera without having to dart around the high street like The Flash.

Naturally I couldn't find anything that caught my attention worth capturing, so I decided to randomly walk about (always seems to work best for me). Moving through Oxford Street, in central London I wandered into Regent's Park, daydreaming like usual. It was cold but bright. Could be worse conditions for capturing random moments I suppose.

Thursday 4 June 2015

Another Track Release - Do You Like Ambient, Chilled Out Music?

Another track from my EP 'Hypervirtua'.

This is part of a series of tracks I'm releasing to celebrating crossing the 1 million views milestone on YouTube! So thank you to all of the humans around the world for passing by my channel and spending a little time with me :-)

Samsung NX1 S Lens Firmware Updates!

If you have an NX1 I presume you have updated it to its latest and greatest firmware, v1.3. You can do this via the iLauncher system, or through Wi-Fi. Quick recap, go into Menu > Device Information > Software Update > Download via Wi-Fi.

Once that's done you need to turn off the camera and if you haven't already, attach whatever S lens you have (16-50 f2 S or the 50-150 f2.8 S). Plug the NX1 into your computer and open iLauncher, select Software Update. Follow the instructions. The update should improve AF speed, hard for me to tell seeing as AF has been pretty spot on already with my available v1.3 body firmware and S lenses.

For the record, the lens firmware is v01.02.

Enjoy :-)

HEVC h.265 Hardware Decoding by AMD and Samsung NX1

Didn't take long.

AMD have announced the Carrizo APU family, focused on low energy computing, with hardware support for HEVC h.265 decoding on-chip.

Although these are designed for use in mobile devices (laptops and the like) this just goes to show that the HEVC snowball is picking up speed. As more and more devices begin to support HEVC in hardware it is inevitable that more content with be delivered in the more efficient format, and this goes for 1080p video as well as 4k/UHD content.