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Matthew Hartman

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Posts posted by Matthew Hartman


  1. On 12/6/2017 at 10:50 PM, Kevin Kwok said:

    Dropped by to say thanks to Andrew Reid and everyone on this sub-forum for generously sharing their knowledge ... and add that I think the NX1 is still very relevant in today's market. 

    Here's my story, I was looking for a small and light B Cam for a Red Dragon and decided to spend the last month really getting to know the NX1 because I like how close the out-of-camera images look to the Red.  I advocate for not heavily grading DSLR images and trying to get as close to what I can in-camera ... playing to the DSLR's strengths and avoiding its weaknesses, like codec and bit rates.  I shot this with the NX1 and a DJI Mavic as a test, all images are ungraded, straight out of camera and through Premiere's and Youtube's compression ...

    EQUIPMENT USED

    . Samsung NX1 with Canon EF 35mm and Samsung NX 16-50mm PZ.
    . Beholder DS1
    . DJI Mavic

    NX1 SETTINGS
    . Vasile hack 180Mbps
    . Master Black Level +10
    . Gamma DR
    . Custom Profile R0.90/G0.92/B1.10, Sharpness-10, Contrast-5
    . Smartrange on
    . DIS on

    PS. I had trouble with focusing but have figured out how to assign peaking to the speed dial now, haha, should help.
    PPS. the DIS does work well but occasionally does some funky things so I learned that it's important to review the footage carefully.

     

    Haha, I stumbled on your video on my own and posted a link in a new separate thread. I'm very impressed AND I like the style and flow of the narrative in this trailer. It is very shall we say, "French"? 

    Some of the footage is a little soft, I'm not sure the technical reason behind that on your end. I watched it on my 55" 4K TV and it doesnt hold up well. It's almost as if there's condensation or vasoline on your lens. 

    I know for myself I have the opposite challenge, meaning I always have to add slight Gaussian blur to my footage to warm it up, and match other cams. The NX1's 6.5k sensor resolves an incrediable (and unnatural) amount of detail. Some critics think the footage is oversharpened, but that's incorrect. It's actually highly highly, detailed, downscaling a 6.5k image to 4k, there's a difference. Even recent cams in the mid range don't resolve this much detail. This can be both the strength and "weakness" of NX1 footage.

    You want a crisp image, true, but you dont want that crispness where you don't want it. If you compare RED footage to NX1 footage, you'll see RED footage is soft in areas you want softness, giving it a creamy, silky property, highly sought after, yet you still get high detail in areas you want detail/sharpness. Of course, since you get more DR and more color depth, you also get smoother gradients. 

    You CAN work the NX1 footage to emulate the RED look and feel. Where the NX1 falls apart is it's 4.2.0 8bit color depth. You can aviod the common banding issues by avoiding gradients in certain colors/hues.

    Also, the NX1 grades quite well for not being 10bit as long as you don't push your black levels too far. Personally, I think subtlety in grade is key. High contrast footage is usually the dead giveaway that something was shot on a DSLR/DSLM and find a lot of grading advice given online actually not good advice at all. A bit of monkey see, monkey do, that the inexperienced don't know to question. 

    However, if I put my general audience glasses on it doesn't matter. Your trailer still looks visually stunning and the storyline looks very intriguing. You have a good sense for using natural light to your advantage and your trailer was cut beautifully, which is not as easy as it looks. 

    Also, when we love (a spouse, lover, child, etc) we also inherently suffer it's enivitable demise, the two are interlocked by the law of impermanence. I feel like you captured the essence of this.  

    To escape this cycle of suffering we must let go of the constant wanting and move into a realm of acceptance, or letting go of the control we fool ourselves into believing we have. Simple in theory, almost impossible in practice. 


  2. Super impressed. One thing I want to mention is that the level of professionalism shown above has more to do with a good story, believable characters, good locations, composition and lighting than the camera. In fact, you don't want your audience to even think about the camera, or any other technical aspect, you want them engaged in your story.   


  3. 2 hours ago, noone said:

    Thing is I get to choose.

    If I want to control light and I can and my camera(s) are still good for that but my primary interest IS available light that is often at ISOs that most cameras can not do.

    For video, that is simply recording songs that the bands I am photographing do live for the most part and that often includes the lighting as part of the "show".    

    Right on man. Sounds like fun.


  4. 7 hours ago, SMGJohn said:

    However, I cannot find an official statement by Samsung that they closed their camera division. No one from Samsung ever came out and told they were officially abandoning cameras, I do not get why people keep saying this, its only tabloid news sites whom keeps spreading the same old over and over again, I keep seeing stupid rumours from newspages even today saying Samsung may be closing the camera division for good.

    I was in the same camp but I recently saw someone here post a link to an official statement announcing they are closing their entire digital camera division. It was a S.Korean publication. That being said, Samsung has a tendency to word things vaguely, and sometimes open-ended. This could be a factor of poor translation but as an American I have a hard time putting their statements into proper perspective.

    The way the article was worded seemed like Samsung felt that they could no longer compete in this space because in their view, consumers were dropping DSLR, mirrorless, and point-and-shoot cameras in favor of smartphone camera technology. They even sighted Canon losing business in this metric too. While I agree these findings could be very possible among your average consumer, it sure leaves hobbyists and professionals out of the equation, and I feel that's very, very unfortunate, and way too reactive to the natural peaks and valleys of supply and demand.

    The above being said, I personally suspect that if the market shifted Samsung will shift with it. I've seen this happen time and time again with most of their product offerings. Right now, they are hyper focused on their smartphone, VR, smart home and smart appliance technology. But there's nothing to say that this will always be the case in the foreseeable future. Look at Olympus and Fuji. Almost went into damn near obscurity and then low and behold we now have new offerings from them in the pro space.

    What I find interesting is that Samsung still officially advertises their NX products AND continues to update their Camera Manager app. However camera and lens firmware updates have frozen for over a year now. I suppose these are low level efforts on Samsung's part. But is it a strategy to keep the door open with consumers should they decide to re enter the market?

    This is why I put together the Keep Samsung NX Alive petition. It was in effort to demonstrate to Samsung that there IS still a demand for their NX cameras. Is 1,500 signatures in a span of almost 2 years enough of a demand for Samsung? I don't know. What I do know is that I tried like hell to reach the proper people in charge of that division and have not received and ounce of correspondence back. This could mean so many things, and with all the legal controversy at Samsung headquarters in recent years, it's very hard to read into it. I also know that if you read the almost 800 comments attached to the petition you quickly see a central theme. People love the shat out of the NX1/500 and Samsung's glass.

    As Enna Park, a huge Samsung NX1 pro and all around great guy from South Korea once told me, "Samsung boss is a chicken heart".


  5. 7 hours ago, noone said:

    None taken.

     

    So what do YOU do if you want to shoot a gig in the back of a pub beer garden with paying customers around? Tell them to put up with the bright lights so it can be "properly lit"?

    Absolutely. It's my vision, I'm in control of how well (or not) I craft my image/scene. This is my rate, and my techincal requirements. This philosophy is hardly anything new. 

    I don't typically place myself in artistically-circumstantial situations out of my control, largely speaking. There's always the tendency for small fails here and there, but those are usually logistical unknowns.  

    Again, I'm the artist. If I have no control in what I place in my viewfinder, who does?

    If I have a shoot scheduled outdoors and it suddenly rains and clouds block all my golden hour light, I wait, or adapt the setting to the narrative. I don't shrug my shoulders and capture subpar images because I feel like I should be shooting something or because my camera has near militaristic capabilities. 

    Now, I'm not ignorant to the fact that not all shooters are cinematographers shooting narratives in a mostly controlled and planned environment. Some have to document the moment as it is because it doesn't typically repeat itself or reoccur often.

    Sports, weddings, nature, I get it. But these subject matters have been captured long before digital ISO was a seed in anyone's mind. Ask yourself how this was done in those times. And I bet you will conclude it was done with really good logistical scouting, planning and set up. 

    What high ISO has done is it allowed the removal of darkness as counterpoint to lightness as a narrative. It's traded a technological advatange in for an artistic disadvantage. Our we merely documentators?  

    Is a good image about technically "seeing in the dark", or using darkness as a tool to envoke an emotional response and give light more meaning and context? You as the artist and curator of your vision must decide.

    Each to their own indeed.


  6. On 5/14/2017 at 6:26 PM, Parker said:

    Oh, the 12mm can't be speedboosted, it's a native NX mount and can't be adapted to anything else. The only difference between the the cine and stills versions of those lenses are the gearing and clickless aperture, the f/2 lens is also a t/2.2 lens, the cine lens just uses the traditional transmission measurement over f-stop. 

    That's the main difference, but another distance is the rib style of where you turn the lens to pull focus. Cine lens's have more of a geared ribbing for follow focus systems. AND cine lens are prime focal lengths. And on a minor note Cine lens's look freaking cooler. :)


  7. On 6/14/2017 at 6:41 PM, SMGJohn said:

    Its silly how expensive cameras have gotten and not much better than the NX1 have they gotten either, sad.

    Without companies like Samsung who have extensive research and development labs and endless funds to experiment, don't expect huge technological leaps in the product cycles of current top manufactures. In my opinion, Samsung not only did themselves a disservice by "closing" their digital camera business, they did a disservice to their existing and potential customers and the entire industry as a whole. Look how much Samsung has influenced Apple over recent years?


  8. On 6/7/2017 at 10:02 PM, noone said:

    For me, I click on the "low light" tab and all is right in the world with my "precious" (A7s) still number 1 for that and still a respectable #29 overall.

    Interesting that #1 low light is still the first version A7s while the A7sii is rated higher overall but not for low light.

    No personal offense to you friend, but low light cinematography is largely a gimmick in my mind. If one learns to properly light a scene there's no need for insane ISO values. With lighting moving into the realm of LED and portable there's just no excuse anymore. Who would have thought that light gathering sensors respond to...light.


  9. Let me propose this thought in the meantime. Was there ever a time in which 120fps @ 1080 was suitable or widely accepted by an average audience?

    I think it's important to remember in the face of ever evolving technology that "good enough" doesn't simply go away just because "better" comes along. I'm as guilty as the rest of you for wanting, possibly even lusting over the latest and greatest camera tech. And certainly when you hit the professional circuit many operators and even some clients will judge you solely based off the equipment you associate yourself with. But I have to remind myself that a great many times my 2014 camera (NX1) has helped me achieve great success and continues to do so in 2017, and this will only stop when the camera becomes physically nonoperational. 

    The point is, creativity isn't beholden to the current state of technology. Creativity exists on it's own. The technology can help express that as a tool but technology is not creativity itself and can achieve nothing on it's own.

    Like many of you, I want all the power and features of Arri and RED products, but under $2,000. No one WANTS to pay $50k for just a camera body. They pay that price because there is no alternative. We are incrementally getting close to this ultimate goal, and I would argue had Samsung stayed in the digital camera market that would have raised the bar for competitors. 4k/60fps would have already been the current standard by every manufacturer. But we're not quite there yet and without companies like Samsung raising the bar, ("like" meaning huge R&D departments) we will continue to see incremental movement in this area from the likes of Panasonic, Sony, Olympus, Fuji, Canon, Nikon, etc., etc. Consequently it also happens to be a marketing tactic. But should that prohibit any of us from expressing our creativity and ingenuity in the meantime? Hell no! We already have exceptional quality today. Think back just 10 years ago with tape based camcorders?

    Let the haters hate. You and I have pretty images to create. :glasses:


  10. On 6/22/2017 at 8:17 AM, Juxx989 said:

    Didnt want to start a new thread came across this.,.. Looks beautiful...  4k....dat DETAIL... I got to remember to Pick up a NX 60 2.8 Macro when they drop to $50  :glasses:

     

    I'm not sure how well the dedicated 60mm macro is but if you want macro capabilities in the meantime on any NX mounted lens you can purchase an adapter, even with electronic comm to the camera:

    https://www.amazon.com/Fotga-Macro-Focus-Extension-Samsung/dp/B00FQBWXW6/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1500504759&sr=8-1&keywords=nx+macro+extension+tube

    https://www.amazon.com/Unpre-Focus-Macro-Extension-Samsung/dp/B01IQZWRWO/ref=sr_1_4?ie=UTF8&qid=1500504759&sr=8-4&keywords=nx+macro+extension+tube

    I've purchased the first one and it works perfectly fine.

     


  11. These images prove a few things about the NX1 and many cameras in general and I'm super happy you shared these to help me prove something I tell colleagues all the time.

    1.) The secret to getting NX1 footage to look warm and or filmic to is first turn the sharpness down in-camera to -10. Samsung purposely uses sharpening algorithms in many of their products because their user research tells them that most people are attracted to it. It's the same for their tendency for bold contrast and saturation. While this is good for large screen 4k TV screens, it will make your footage look like video or broadcast quality. Even with sharpness essentially turned off, the NX1/500 image still is one of the sharpest images known to the entire industry. I implore anyone to test this assertion out against any Arri or RED.

    There are times I will even put a fast blur on my on my footage in Premiere at .25/.5 just to give it that "emulsive" look. Some people may find the sharpening in the NX1/500 a turn off, but personally I like having the latitude. You can always reduce sharpness but it's very difficult to add sharpness to blurred pixels.

    2.) The art of lighting separates amateurs from professionals. The sets of images above demonstrate this beautifully. This aspect has very little to do with the camera, if at all. Lighting your scene should be part of the narrative. It should tell it's own story while being a part of the bigger picture. In the whole high ISO craze Sony introduced to the industry, I feel many cinematographers or videographers have gotten lazy or simply forgotten the art of lighting a scene. It's more than just about proper exposure. Darkness is as much a narrative as light.

    3.) Composition and setting the scene. This not only includes principles like the rule of thirds, but also wardrobe and even actor's micro expressions. Even in these stills you still get a sense of the character's motivation and persona. Trust me, even the crappiest digital cameras today can technically produce a better IQ than film cameras of even the 80/90s, but that means nothing if there's no story and art direction. It's not really all about the camera. It's about the narrative and everything in concert that supports that, which the camera is only part of.

    I also wanted to add that no general audience would view this film (or stills) and think it didn't come from a camera the size and cost of a two-story house. If the movie is successful, the only thing they'll being thinking about is the emotional impact the story had on them. Good film quality is exactly what you DON'T think about.


  12. On 7/15/2017 at 7:54 AM, SMGJohn said:

    Sometimes you just do not know how good hardware you have until you gotten rid of it. 
    I have yet to see any camera with the same price tag of the NX1 that has hardware to match, none. Sony A7sII and the A7rII are twice the price tag the NX1 was, these cameras still lack in consistency whereas the NX1 got it right and even Samsung willing to update the camera. There still third party manufacturers out there still making batteries, adapters and whatnot. Amazing really, you can still find brand new lenses for half the price on the internet, I just bought the 12-24mm, its brilliant! Sure its not F2.8 but it gets the job done and quality is there, I have a hard time finding Nikkor or Cannon glass equally good for the same price.

    Yep, I was afraid of this very occurrence myself. So many NX1 pros I respect, and in some cases were responsible for turning me on to the NX1 jumped ship not long after Samsung sort of vanished. I still can't find an official statement from Samsung on closing the market in North America, if anyone has that please share it with me. I'm talking official statements from Samsung, not speculative articles. Their US based website STILL advertises most of their NX cameras, and lens lineup.

    First it was the Sony A6300/6500 hype which honestly didn't last very long due to Sony's notorious overheating issues, which quickly reared it's ugly head. In a manner of weeks I saw very excited users reduced to pulling out their hair at the end of it. Now the new wave is all about the GH5 and Fuji. And although some features of the GH5 sounds absolutely tempting, at the end of the day it's m4/3 and that's a hard sell for me and my purposes. I need to do some more research on Fuji.

    I've held on to my NX1 since I purchased the system in late 2014 and I'm happy I haven't fallen for the hype because I've witnessed a lot of people jumping ship, yet holding onto and still quietly using their NX1s to this day. I know it's serving my and my client's needs, and seem perfectly satisfied with it's output. I feel "if it's not broken, why fix it"?

    I think generally, many of us are easily dazzled by the latest shiny gadgets, and these manufactures understand this. I believe the NX1 was an experiment on Samsung's part, a "one off" if you will, backed by their insane R&D powerhouse. I think generally Samsung has been a bit underestimated everywhere around the world besides South Korea, and definitely within the photo/video industry at the time of the NX500/1's debut. However, to my eyes they are one of the top companies leading the charge in innovation with the capitol to back it up 10-fold.

    As big as Canon and Nikon are as household names in the photo/video industry, Samsung as a brand, and as a whole company towers over them and most others. It's not hard for me to understand how capable they are that they could release a camera in 2014 that stills holds up almost 4 years later. Nor is it a surprise to me how some have regretted selling their NX gear because of the fear of becoming obsolete and irrelevant, and the impulse to posses the latest badge of honor. Yet, even in the face of buying back into a seemingly dead system, they still want their NX gear back. That's a pretty strong testament. I hope when the next "NX1" comes along the industry takes it more seriously.  

    I think in a couple years we're going to see something revolutionary and ahead of it's time, like the NX1, which I feel will actually justify buying into that new system. I just don't feel there's been that huge of a leap in features to price point in the current offerings. It's as if the technology curve has crept incrementally. That's not a stab at the GH5 or Fuji, or Sony and the rest. It's just a peek into value vs. cost. The NX1 has spoiled many of us in this regard. 

    I don't know what you guys are talking about when you say you can find cheap deals on Samsung NX1 products. The prices I see online are almost doubled what they were when the camera was first released. I saw an S lens for roughly $3,000 USD on Amazon tonight. That certainly wasn't the retail price 3 years ago, it was much less if memory serves me right.

    This is a recent article on the front page of this site: "Nikon struggling to match Samsung NX500 stills quality with 2 year head start".

    For a reminder, this petition is still receiving signatures to this day, almost 2 years later:
    https://www.ipetitions.com/petition/samsung-keep-nx-alive

     

     


  13. Guys, let's keep this topic focused on getting signatures, even if it proves to be too late. At least we collectively spoke out instead of simply letting Samsung's market researchers be the only voice at the table. We need as much signatures as we can get. Please feel free to share the link as you see fit.

    Thanks guys

    And could the moderators please pin this topic so it doesn't get buried?

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