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01-10-2015, 11:19 AM   #1
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Pentax should take a page from its old partner Samsung

Samsung is really opening up the NX1 - new firmware for video improvements and a near future release of an sdk for custom firmware development.

Enormous Samsung NX1 firmware update, including LOG gamma! - EOSHD

The future is upon us and devices are now being made so the end user can get the most out of their investment to serve their needs.

Catchup Pentax.

01-10-2015, 11:21 AM   #2
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Didn't I read a rumor that there is an iOS and Android app coming for the Wi-Fi, and an SDK for developers?
01-10-2015, 12:04 PM   #3
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Wow - that is a mess of updates. Even trap-shot and AF refocus options! I won't be seeking an NX1 this year, but seeing what it can do gives me hope for Pentax to have more great feature updates when I'm ready
01-10-2015, 12:24 PM - 1 Like   #4
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...and on the same page there's a news item about Canon blocking Magic Lantern on newer MkIII bodies...
Innovation and its polar opposite...

01-10-2015, 03:04 PM   #5
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That's Canon for ya!

I realize the sdk won't allow full control of the firmware on the nx1 but still a step on the open source direction!
01-10-2015, 03:33 PM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by virgilr Quote
That's Canon for ya!

I realize the sdk won't allow full control of the firmware on the nx1 but still a step on the open source direction!
There really should be a "Magic Lantern for Pentax"... this could be an opportunity for Ricoh to bring those developers to their cause...
01-10-2015, 04:13 PM   #7
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You think Samsung hired some of those engineers Pentax had to fire under Hoya?
Samsung certainly is fairly good recently. Pentax might want to look into that partnership again, maybe get some good prices on sensors.
01-10-2015, 10:23 PM   #8
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The NX1's pretty great, but don't believe the 4K hype. The use of the HEVC codec is a huge mistake, and it really hampers use of footage shot with the NX1. LOG gamma is nice, but a GH4 still wins hands-down for its flexibility. Samsung has pushed the envelope too far for no good reason IMHO. Pentax isn't a video-oriented company and I think, like Fujifilm, they rightfully treat video as a secondary function, with all its technology going towards the best stills quality possible.

If you want a great hybrid camera, get what's out there right now and stop waiting for Pentax to suddenly take pro video seriously. It's simply not in the company's DNA.

I don't think that Pentax has a whole lot to learn from Samsung. Ricoh has two photographic legacies to draw from and knows its buyers. Samsung is still just starting out and its offerings, while more mature than ever, suffer from a weak ecosystem. The NX mount has promise, but an NX1 is about the same size as the K-3—isn't mirrorless supposed to be more compact? Furthermore, the best lenses are HUMONGOUS and there aren't even that many lenses in the system, now 5 years since the introduction of the NX10. I think Pentax has released/re-released about twice as many lenses in this time frame than Samsung has.

Samsung had the resources to throw buckets of money onto its camera system to get it to take off. We'll see how it all shakes out but I have a feeling that every department of Samsung is going to undergo a right-sizing this year in reaction to the company's financial stumble, and I don't see cameras being as big a priority in 2015 for Sammy. I feel like Samsung's Ditch the DSLR campaign was a humongous cost sink with a very questionable ROI that probably cost a crazy sum. I don't see more promotions like this in the short term. Feel free to mark my words here

Also, we don't want Pentax using Samsung sensors again. Sony's done the best work out of anyone in the field of CMOS technology—even Samsung uses a Sony-sourced imaging stack in the Galaxy Note 4 smartphone. Stuff like the D810's sensor is probably just beyond what Samsung could produce for other companies.

01-10-2015, 11:37 PM   #9
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Samsung took Pentax' page first with 16-20-30mm pancakes - though at bargain not Limited prices. As to Samsung sensors, their nx30/300 models' 20.3Mpx sensor is nearly an even match to Sony's in the K-S1, esp since Pentax tends to score a bit higher on most sensors than the suppliers' own models. DxO rates the Samsung 2 points lower, maybe 1/2 stop on high ISO at most? That's a lot better than in the past, though I'm sure the support chips would all need adjusting if sensors are juggled.

I have a foot in both PK and NX worlds right now, so I cannot lose in this particular game
01-11-2015, 06:47 PM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by astron Quote
The NX1's pretty great, but don't believe the 4K hype. The use of the HEVC codec is a huge mistake, and it really hampers use of footage shot with the NX1. LOG gamma is nice, but a GH4 still wins hands-down for its flexibility. Samsung has pushed the envelope too far for no good reason IMHO. Pentax isn't a video-oriented company and I think, like Fujifilm, they rightfully treat video as a secondary function, with all its technology going towards the best stills quality possible.

If you want a great hybrid camera, get what's out there right now and stop waiting for Pentax to suddenly take pro video seriously. It's simply not in the company's DNA.

I don't think that Pentax has a whole lot to learn from Samsung. Ricoh has two photographic legacies to draw from and knows its buyers. Samsung is still just starting out and its offerings, while more mature than ever, suffer from a weak ecosystem. The NX mount has promise, but an NX1 is about the same size as the K-3—isn't mirrorless supposed to be more compact? Furthermore, the best lenses are HUMONGOUS and there aren't even that many lenses in the system, now 5 years since the introduction of the NX10. I think Pentax has released/re-released about twice as many lenses in this time frame than Samsung has.

Samsung had the resources to throw buckets of money onto its camera system to get it to take off. We'll see how it all shakes out but I have a feeling that every department of Samsung is going to undergo a right-sizing this year in reaction to the company's financial stumble, and I don't see cameras being as big a priority in 2015 for Sammy. I feel like Samsung's Ditch the DSLR campaign was a humongous cost sink with a very questionable ROI that probably cost a crazy sum. I don't see more promotions like this in the short term. Feel free to mark my words here

Also, we don't want Pentax using Samsung sensors again. Sony's done the best work out of anyone in the field of CMOS technology—even Samsung uses a Sony-sourced imaging stack in the Galaxy Note 4 smartphone. Stuff like the D810's sensor is probably just beyond what Samsung could produce for other companies.
4K also means better Full HD footage... just downscale it. It's not like what we get from most cameras is really Full HD... it's more like 720p. The 4K footage looks very sharp on my Full HD TV, much sharper than what I am used to from FHD cameras.


Also it means you can zoom in, crop, recompose.


Is HEVC a mistake? I don't think so. I think they should have h264/AVC in there too, in some form, but HEVC is clearly the future, and hardware support will be built into most devices. Just not yet. But it's coming. You can always transcode, though that at the moment is a bit of a problem, but it's going to get better. At least the source material is better.


Samsung is now stepping up, IMHO, they are investing into cameras. Seems like they are finally serious of getting into the market. I mean, developing an entire new processor that is ahead of all the competitors (though they could use their mobile processors as a basis), a new sensor that's ahead of competitors too, ... there's no way Pentax could have done this.


The K-3 is a nice size. Mirrorless doesn't have to be smaller, this thing is supposed to be ergonomic and a professional tool, making it too small makes it useless. I'm glad that they put a focus on ergonomics, over size and numbers.


Erm, the Samsung sensor has bigger pixels than say the Sony in the K-3, or even the last gen 20 MP Samsung sensor (NX300?), despite having higher resolution. It is able to take in light from odder angles (old lenses rejoice), and is able to read the full sensor 240 times a second. All 28 MP of it. Less heat issues either. Will Sony eventually catch up? I suppose, yes, but when?
01-12-2015, 01:15 AM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by kadajawi Quote
4K also means better Full HD footage... just downscale it. It's not like what we get from most cameras is really Full HD... it's more like 720p. The 4K footage looks very sharp on my Full HD TV, much sharper than what I am used to from FHD cameras.


Also it means you can zoom in, crop, recompose.


Is HEVC a mistake? I don't think so. I think they should have h264/AVC in there too, in some form, but HEVC is clearly the future, and hardware support will be built into most devices. Just not yet. But it's coming. You can always transcode, though that at the moment is a bit of a problem, but it's going to get better. At least the source material is better.


Samsung is now stepping up, IMHO, they are investing into cameras. Seems like they are finally serious of getting into the market. I mean, developing an entire new processor that is ahead of all the competitors (though they could use their mobile processors as a basis), a new sensor that's ahead of competitors too, ... there's no way Pentax could have done this.


The K-3 is a nice size. Mirrorless doesn't have to be smaller, this thing is supposed to be ergonomic and a professional tool, making it too small makes it useless. I'm glad that they put a focus on ergonomics, over size and numbers.


Erm, the Samsung sensor has bigger pixels than say the Sony in the K-3, or even the last gen 20 MP Samsung sensor (NX300?), despite having higher resolution. It is able to take in light from odder angles (old lenses rejoice), and is able to read the full sensor 240 times a second. All 28 MP of it. Less heat issues either. Will Sony eventually catch up? I suppose, yes, but when?

4K is amazing, don't misinterpret what I wrote. I'm an advocate for UHD and think it definitely has a place today, for the reasons you've listed. I've seen some amazing detail from downsampled 4K footage compared to poorly binned HD footage. HEVC is the mistake here, since Samsung decided that it was the right way to go and it's clearly not. You can't natively encode/decode or even edit without transferring to another codec first (which takes an eternity. I don't think there's even a GPU that can process HEVC in an accelerated capacity yet.

I've seen high performance gaming-orientated hardware utterly choke on HEVC playing back through DivX. So, you could go with a GH4 which works everywhere, right now in UHD, or get the NX1, which can't integrate into your workflow without intensive conversion. Why would anyone chose to add hours onto their workflow? HEVC will be the future, but it's still at least 3 years off—but, when the video professionals of today can't do diddly with it, what's the point?

I kind-of disagree with your sensor analysis. While Samsung's APS-C sensor in the NX1 seems like it's among the best, it's still not as solid as what Sony can produce. Again, the D810 is a prime example. Thank you for pointing out the insanely fast sensor readout ability of the NX1, that was a nice development on Samsung's part. But, Sony's impetus is its customers and seemingly not so much its own roadmap. While they save some new innovations for themselves first, the best stuff always finds its way into competing cameras from Nikon, Ricoh, Olympus...even now Canon with the PowerShot G7X. Samsung has no such force driving it, and, as such, I don't think they'll feel compelled to up the ante past the sensor in the NX1 any time soon. Compound that with a tightening wallet for 2015 and I think we'll see Samsung refocusing on key areas of the business and letting the wheels spin on stuff like cameras where it isn't a huge player yet.
01-12-2015, 10:57 AM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by astron Quote
4K is amazing, don't misinterpret what I wrote. I'm an advocate for UHD and think it definitely has a place today, for the reasons you've listed. I've seen some amazing detail from downsampled 4K footage compared to poorly binned HD footage. HEVC is the mistake here, since Samsung decided that it was the right way to go and it's clearly not. You can't natively encode/decode or even edit without transferring to another codec first (which takes an eternity. I don't think there's even a GPU that can process HEVC in an accelerated capacity yet.

I've seen high performance gaming-orientated hardware utterly choke on HEVC playing back through DivX. So, you could go with a GH4 which works everywhere, right now in UHD, or get the NX1, which can't integrate into your workflow without intensive conversion. Why would anyone chose to add hours onto their workflow? HEVC will be the future, but it's still at least 3 years off—but, when the video professionals of today can't do diddly with it, what's the point?

I kind-of disagree with your sensor analysis. While Samsung's APS-C sensor in the NX1 seems like it's among the best, it's still not as solid as what Sony can produce. Again, the D810 is a prime example. Thank you for pointing out the insanely fast sensor readout ability of the NX1, that was a nice development on Samsung's part. But, Sony's impetus is its customers and seemingly not so much its own roadmap. While they save some new innovations for themselves first, the best stuff always finds its way into competing cameras from Nikon, Ricoh, Olympus...even now Canon with the PowerShot G7X. Samsung has no such force driving it, and, as such, I don't think they'll feel compelled to up the ante past the sensor in the NX1 any time soon. Compound that with a tightening wallet for 2015 and I think we'll see Samsung refocusing on key areas of the business and letting the wheels spin on stuff like cameras where it isn't a huge player yet.
I really don't think it will take that long to get 4K HEVC decoding support. The nVidia GTX980, albeit expensive, is supposed to support both decoding and encoding 4K HEVC. There are several decoder units for mobile phones that are supposed to do 4K HEVC decoding. Clearly Samsung must have something like that in the NX1. I could imagine there'll be an add-on card/USB stick that adds a HEVC decoder at a reasonable price point. UHD Blu Ray will be using HEVC, and for all the 4K TVs to make sense they need HEVC support soon. The market is moving in that direction, quickly, and it is technically possible to do it.


HEVC just gives you better quality, and proper 10 and 12 bit support... including hardware actually capable of doing that! Yes, h264/AVC have had 10 bit support for something like 5 years, but no hardware manufacturer is supporting it, or will ever do so. So gradations will always be a big issue with AVC, especially if you want to color grade things. It doesn't have to for HEVC... already there is hardware supporting 12 bit HEVC files.


Are you using DivX to decode/play videos? Don't... use MPC-HC, which has lavfilters built in, or use any other DirectShow compatible player and install lavfilters yourself. lavfilters does do hardware HEVC decoding already if you have a supported graphics card... not sure which ones are though, but I think it was fairly mainstream ones. Not sure if they are powerful enough though... I'm only using the integrated graphics of my Ivy Bridge.


Transcoding to a more editing friendly format is AFAIK quite common, and tools that make it easier are coming... It's a bit of a pain in the ass, but superior quality and being able to keep the original files without having to buy plenty of hard drives is worth it, IMHO.


The smartphone market is a problematic market for Samsung, there are plenty of Chinese competitors that make just as good if not better phones and sell them for much lower prices. It's very much plug and play to make a phone. But mirrorless cameras require more expertise, it's a market that has fewer competitors and fewer possible competitors, IMHO. I don't think they are giving up the camera market, they are doubling down on it.


The D810 is a FF sensor, and I don't think it can compete with the NX1 sensor... it's just a much bigger sensor, that's why in the end it's better.
01-13-2015, 06:33 PM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by astron Quote
4K is amazing, don't misinterpret what I wrote. I'm an advocate for UHD and think it definitely has a place today, for the reasons you've listed. I've seen some amazing detail from downsampled 4K footage compared to poorly binned HD footage. HEVC is the mistake here, since Samsung decided that it was the right way to go and it's clearly not. You can't natively encode/decode or even edit without transferring to another codec first (which takes an eternity. I don't think there's even a GPU that can process HEVC in an accelerated capacity yet.

I've seen high performance gaming-orientated hardware utterly choke on HEVC playing back through DivX. So, you could go with a GH4 which works everywhere, right now in UHD, or get the NX1, which can't integrate into your workflow without intensive conversion. Why would anyone chose to add hours onto their workflow? HEVC will be the future, but it's still at least 3 years off—but, when the video professionals of today can't do diddly with it, what's the point?

I kind-of disagree with your sensor analysis. While Samsung's APS-C sensor in the NX1 seems like it's among the best, it's still not as solid as what Sony can produce. Again, the D810 is a prime example. Thank you for pointing out the insanely fast sensor readout ability of the NX1, that was a nice development on Samsung's part. But, Sony's impetus is its customers and seemingly not so much its own roadmap. While they save some new innovations for themselves first, the best stuff always finds its way into competing cameras from Nikon, Ricoh, Olympus...even now Canon with the PowerShot G7X. Samsung has no such force driving it, and, as such, I don't think they'll feel compelled to up the ante past the sensor in the NX1 any time soon. Compound that with a tightening wallet for 2015 and I think we'll see Samsung refocusing on key areas of the business and letting the wheels spin on stuff like cameras where it isn't a huge player yet.

you'd be surprised how closely the NX1's image quality is compared to the FULL FRAME D810's Sony sensor. the difference between the two are at most is separated by 1/3 of a stop and sometimes by 1/2 of a stop, that's it. no major advantage from the FF D810 and I would not even touch the D810 because it is a terrible moire monster. among the APS-C sensors, the NX1's image quality takes the top spot easily and unrivaled as of the moment, considering it has maintained or better'ed the quality of lower MP cameras. even the latest Sony sensor in the A77 MKII bites the dust.

I would not take away where credit is due here. for the first time, Samsung really did great with the NX1 and it's sensor. no disrespect to Sony, but Samsung won this round without any doubt.
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