Published: February 6, 2015
When Samsung announced the NX1, it took many by surprise. It has specifications that Nikon and Canon enthusiasts envy: 15fps continuous shooting, 28 megapixel sensor and hundreds of contrast and phase detect AF sensors covering 90% of the frame. Its DRIMe V image processor provides fast continuous burst shooting and 4K Ultra HD video. The NX1 also supports the latest UHS-II SD cards.
The UHS-II interface provides a bus speed up to 312 MB/s, compared with a 104 MB/s maximum bus speed with UHS-I. To take advantage of UHS-II speed, compatible devices have a second row of pins. UHS-II cards are backwards compatible in existing devices without the extra pins, but operate at standard UHS-I speed.
To compare memory card performance in the Samsung NX1, 32 SD cards were tested in the camera. The cards include some of the fastest UHS-II currently available as well as several high performance UHS-I cards. The results are presented as write speed for each card when shooting RAW images. Continuous shooting results show how many shots are taken in 30 seconds using three different image modes (RAW+JPEG, RAW and JPEG). Following this is an analysis and recommended SD cards for the NX1 including the fastest SD card and best value memory cards.
Note: After these tests were performed Samsung released updated firmware that improves shooting performance.
The test target is detailed static scene under controlled lighting. The Samsung NX1 is mounted to a tripod. Focus is set using MF assist at 8X magnification. A remote release shutter timer is used to provide intervals of 30 seconds. The card access light is used to determine write time for write speed tests. The total bytes written to the card are divided by the write time gives average write speed in MB/s (1 MB = 1,048,576 bytes). Write speed results are presented for RAW image format (JPEG have slightly lower speed).
|Average Write Speed (MB/s)||Price|
|Toshiba Exceria Pro UHS-II 32GB||32||59.3||$149.99|
|SanDisk Extreme Pro 95MB/s 64GB||64||58.2||$107.02|
|SanDisk Extreme Pro 280MB/s UHS-II 32GB||32||58.0||$60.93|
|SanDisk Extreme Pro 95MB/s 32GB||32||55.9||$31.39|
|Transcend 95/85 MB/s U3 32GB||32||55.5||$24.99|
|Samsung PRO 64GB||64||55.2||$59.97|
|Kingston U3 90/80 MB/s 64GB||64||54.9||$34.95|
|Samsung PRO 32GB||32||54.4||$31.72|
|Kingston Class 10 UHS-I 64GB||64||53.1||$28.95|
|Kingston U3 90/80 MB/s 32GB||32||53.1||$20.99|
|Sony 95MB/s U3 64GB||64||52.2||$41.95|
|Toshiba Exceria Type 1 32GB||32||52.2||$137.68|
|Sony 95MB/s U3 32GB||32||51.9||$24.99|
|SanDisk Extreme Plus 80MB/s microSD 32GB||32||51.6||$44.00|
|Lexar Professional 600x 64GB||64||48.5||$41.94|
|Toshiba Exceria Type 2 32GB||32||47.9||$173.88|
|SanDisk Extreme Plus 80MB/s 64GB||64||47.5||$181.35|
|PNY Elite Performance U1 64GB||64||46.8||$97.97|
|Sony 94MB/s 32GB||32||46.8||$26.29|
|SanDisk Extreme Plus 80MB/s 32GB||32||45.6||$42.00|
|SanDisk Extreme 60MB/s 32GB||32||44.5||$19.95|
|SanDisk Extreme 60MB/s 64GB||64||44.3||$45.52|
|Transcend 95/60 MB/s U3 64GB||64||43.2||$15.49|
|SanDisk Extreme 45MB/s 32GB||32||40.4||$20.69|
|Lexar Professional 600x 32GB||32||39.6||$37.79|
|Kingston Ultimate 32GB||32||38.1||$15.95|
|Lexar Professional 400x 32GB||32||37.4||$209.99|
|Patriot EP Pro 90MB/s 32GB||32||36.5||$20.67|
|Panasonic MicroP2 UHS-II 32GB||32||35.9||$149.00|
|Transcend 600x 32GB||32||32.8||$16.99|
|PNY Elite Performance U1 32GB||32||32.0||$53.74|
|Samsung EVO 32GB||32||18.1||$24.95|
The continuous shooting test compares the number of images taken in 30 seconds with three different image modes: RAW+JPEG, RAW, and JPEG. The JPEG setting is large, super fine. The NX1 is set to continuous high 15fps mode. The detailed subject in this test produces 31.0 MB RAW files and 12.2MB JPEG files.
|Continuous Shooting – Images in 30 Seconds||Lowest|
|SanDisk Extreme Pro 95MB/s 64GB||64||53||74||159||$107.02|
|Toshiba Exceria Pro UHS-II 32GB||32||52||73||162||$149.99|
|SanDisk Extreme Pro 280MB/s UHS-II 32GB||32||51||73||157||$60.93|
|SanDisk Extreme Pro 95MB/s 32GB||32||51||70||161||$31.39|
|SanDisk Extreme Plus 80MB/s microSD 32GB||32||50||67||159||$44.00|
|Samsung PRO 32GB||32||49||70||153||$31.72|
|Transcend 95/85 MB/s U3 32GB||32||49||70||145||$24.99|
|Samsung PRO 64GB||64||49||69||160||$59.97|
|Kingston U3 90/80 MB/s 32GB||32||49||67||159||$20.99|
|Kingston U3 90/80 MB/s 64GB||64||48||71||150||$34.95|
|Sony 95MB/s U3 64GB||64||48||67||155||$41.95|
|Sony 95MB/s U3 32GB||32||48||67||155||$24.99|
|Toshiba Exceria Type 1 32GB||32||47||68||161||$137.68|
|Toshiba Exceria Type 2 32GB||32||47||63||156||$173.88|
|Sony 94MB/s 32GB||32||46||64||150||$26.29|
|SanDisk Extreme Plus 80MB/s 32GB||32||46||63||156||$42.00|
|SanDisk Extreme 60MB/s 32GB||32||46||62||160||$19.95|
|SanDisk Extreme Plus 80MB/s 64GB||64||46||62||158||$181.35|
|Kingston Class 10 UHS-I 64GB||64||43||66||131||$28.95|
|PNY Elite Performance U1 64GB||64||43||62||146||$97.97|
|Lexar Professional 600x 64GB||64||42||64||154||$41.94|
|SanDisk Extreme 60MB/s 64GB||64||41||60||157||$45.52|
|Lexar Professional 600x 32GB||32||40||55||139||$37.79|
|SanDisk Extreme 45MB/s 32GB||32||40||54||142||$20.69|
|Lexar Professional 400x 32GB||32||40||53||140||$209.99|
|Transcend 95/60 MB/s U3 64GB||64||39||60||156||$15.49|
|Kingston Ultimate 32GB||32||38||54||134||$15.95|
|Panasonic MicroP2 UHS-II 32GB||32||38||50||126||$149.00|
|Patriot EP Pro 90MB/s 32GB||32||37||51||138||$20.67|
|Transcend 600x 32GB||32||36||48||134||$16.99|
|PNY Elite Performance U1 32GB||32||35||47||134||$53.74|
|Samsung EVO 32GB||32||30||33||113||$24.95|
Although the NX1 supports the UHS-II interface, using UHS-II cards did not result in significantly faster write speed. In these tests the camera averaged up to 60 MB/s write speed with the fastest cards during continuous shooting. This is somewhat of a disappointment given the potential of UHS-II speed. The NX1 is otherwise a very fast and capable camera.
In the continuous shooting test, its buffer reached 20-21 RAW+JPEG files, 21-23 RAW files and 72-81 JPEG files before the camera slowed. With the buffer filled, there was a marked difference between cards. Slow cards such as the Samsung EVO 32GB only sustained 0.35 fps with the buffer full in RAW+JPEG, 0.42 fps RAW, and 1.7 fps JPEG (super fine). Compare with faster cards that provide up to 1 fps RAW+JPEG, 1.8 fps RAW and 3.5 fps JPEG (super fine) with the buffer full.
The fastest SD card in the Samsung NX1 was the Toshiba Exceria Pro UHS-II. Very close behind it was the SanDisk Extreme Pro 95MB/s UHS-I 64GB SDXC Card. Although the NX1 supports UHS-II, the camera does not take advantage of the additional write speed provided by these cards, and fast UHS-I cards provide nearly the same performance in the camera.
From a value perspective, Samsung PRO SD cards provides excellent performance at a relatively low cost. Both the 32 and 64GB PRO cards performed well.
The NX1 has a built-in USB 3.0 port to transfer images from the camera. The transfer speed was measured by downloading 4GB of RAW files from the camera using its built-in USB 3.0 port. The files were written to a fast SSD drive. Transfers reached up to 60MB/s using UHS-I cards, and up to 65MB/s using UHS-II cards. A separate USB 3.0 card reader can provide faster transfer speeds. For example, UHS-II cards provide above 200MB/s read speeds when used in a UHS-II SD card reader. See theCard Reader Reviews for additional tests and information.