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NX 500 as a cinema camera


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Hello everybody,

I had before a bmpcc (with speedbooster) and I was really happy with it but few weeks ago, I was robbed  and I lost everything. So now I am looking to buy a very cheap camera for shooting narrative short movies. The samsung NX500 is cheap and has really incredible specs. I was thinking of using it with a Sigma 18-35 (via nikon mount adapter). But one thing that scares me is the color grading possibilities. The flat profile and raw footage from the bmpcc was really easy to grade and very cinematic. Is it possible to acheave this type of cinematic videos with the NX500? I am asking the question cause I haven't seen on the web for now a cinematic and beautifull video, well grade, from the NX500 , only few from the NX1, can the NX500 do the same or the absence of a flat profile make it impossible ? 



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EOSHD Pro Color 5 for Sony cameras EOSHD Z LOG for Nikon CamerasEOSHD C-LOG and Film Profiles for All Canon DSLRs

In the ideal nx1 settings thread in this forum there are a lot of results with other picture profiles that the nx500 can do. Maybe browse there to see if anything pops out. It's pretty identical to the nx1 when everything is the same as far as I've seen and still able to do the high bit rate hack. D5500 could be an interesting choice in that price range? If you're looking for other suggestions. Flat profile, decent DR, less artifacts and better detail than the canon equivalent. Sorry you got robbed /:

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Thank you, so it's possible to have the exact same flat profile picture from a hacked nx500 than from a nx1 with the same color grading possibilities. I've allready seen some videos from the nx1 that I liked but never from the nx500.

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1 hour ago, cyril said:

Thank you, so it's possible to have the exact same flat profile picture from a hacked nx500 than from a nx1 with the same color grading possibilities. I've allready seen some videos from the nx1 that I liked but never from the nx500.

no color grading possibilities with HEVC - RAW is better

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51 minutes ago, cyril said:

Ok , that means that I will never acheive the same cinematic quality of picture with the nx500 than with the bmpcc.

No, that's not what it means. I'm not sure where Sten is getting his in formation but there are certainly color grading possibilities with HEVC. Of course there are much more color grading possibilities with raw but that doesn't mean there are none for HEVC.

Also I'm not sure that there is a flat profile on the hacked NX500. Higher bit rate, yes. You can certainly get "cinematic" (whatever that means to you) quality with the NX500. You can achieve it with a lot of cameras. I don't think the camera is the limiting factor when it comes to this, however. 

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 H265 from nx1/nx500 can take a pretty substantial color grade. Not as much as raw from my bmcc, but a good deal more than most codecs, I grade straight with h265 in both resolve and premeire, although you can transcode to h264 or whatever before if you choose.

It can be a very cinematic look if you know what you're doing. Never hurts to light a scene in a cinematic way or to use good lens either. But it is a more robust codec than people seem to assume.

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NX500 can work as a cinema camera just fine.

I have had to work with old DV cameras from the 90s, its not the best equipment but you know what? It is what I had on me and I just had to make do with it.
It is terrible that you got robbed, I hope you contacted the police and the fu(censor)ckers are caught, hanged publicly as a warning.

So let us look at what the NX500 cannot do, well it cannot record audio from external microphone no 3.5mm jack in fact no jack at all and the USB audio wont work until someone hacks it. Neither will you be able to get Gamma profiles which lets you have very flat image, however you do get all the regular colour profiles.
The NX500 neither does 120fps at 1080p nor does it do 2160p at full sensor readout but it can do 1440p at full sensor readout with hack although I do not recommend using it for professional work.

What can the NX500 do then? Well it can record in UHD, it can do super slow motion albeit at 720p, it has very beautiful in-camera colours, the Samsung pro camera colour profiles are among the best in the industry for in-camera colours, each are like their own film stock.
So use the NX500 like you would use a film camera really, you get what you shoot essentially that is not to say the NX500 does not possess a flat profile of its own that you can grade but honestly? This grading footage is getting overrated, its a lot of work and a lot of pain in the bum, use the in-camera colour profiles and you can adjust them in post.
Trust me, the results will blow you away for what the camera can do.

The NX500 is in a lot of ways a 35mm film camera, it shares some of the same drawbacks. It possess a huge variation of film stocks, it shoots high resolution (but with a crop) not a big issue really because wide lenses were hilariously expensive in the film days so they often used standard range like 30mm and 50mm. 
NX500 has the NX1's famous autofocus system you basically get a TV camera autofocus with a film camera, what is not to like?
NX500 is also extremely light and small, it is VERY portable with a good OLED screen although no rangefinder which is a bummer.

Can it reach cinema quality video? The short answer is yes, it can. 
The NX500 like any camera system can shoot a cinema movie it is just up to the skills of the end user, thankfully the NX500 is VERY easy to use it is just not the AK47 of camera systems like a NX1 for example although the BMPCC is INFERIOR except in grading to the NX500 but with the bitrate hack there is almost no contest anymore, you gain the details in the shadows, you gain a bit detail in the highlights (protect those highlights at the cost of your own life soldier!) 

Do I recomment you get a NX500? Yes, it is very cheap these days and while the lenses certainly are costly you can always get an adapter, the NX500's UHD crop almost reaches the same size of the MFT sensors. Is that a good or bad thing? Well I dunno, if you really need that UHD then I suppose it is but if you can work around it then really, the NX500 is the camera for you, I say its better than the Sony A6300 except in low light.


I really recommend you read this forum section if you do not believe me that the NX500 and NX1 is capable of the industry's best in-camera colours.

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On August 2, 2016 at 0:40 PM, Marco Tecno said:

Yes, nx1 - IS - fantastic, even if you'll find ppl, mostly that never even tested it, who will tell you different things.

Well, as a long-time NX1 shooter, I'll say it's pretty fantastic. You can get a really beautiful, cinematic image with it. It can really, really sing with old lenses - like 60's/70's glass, Canon FL or the various screw-mount stuff, aperture-ring Nikkors (I'd get adapters while they're still around). The native glass seems awfully "clinical" to me. The H265 is a real space-saver - even if you convert to ProRes to edit, you can shoot all day without a ton of cards or SSDs. If you use an external audio recorder and good mics, you can run the camera-out into the NX1 and if you're careful, you can get fine audio without having to synch in post (though I would 100% advise you still record externally too). 

4K is absolutely the shit for reframing or post-stabilizing... but the jello at 4K is abysmal. At 1080, the jello is in the best-in-class range (but it ain't global-shutter class, it's still there). So - handheld or real action stuff, shoot 1080. I only shoot 4K if I know I'll reframe. AF can be useful, but you might test low-level (1/4) diffusion, pro mist or black pro mist, with NX glass. "Iron Man" was shot with 1/4 and 1/2 pro mist (black I think?), and we don't think of it as a "diffused" movie at all.  

Where it fails is where the BMC stuff really kicks in - DR. Doing outdoor work or indoors where you want to hold a sky through windows, you'll need lighting - indoors a 575 HMI par is the bare, bare minimum and a 1200 would do much better. Outdoors, HMI or a very well-executed reflector and scrim setup. That's if it's bright and sunny and you want to hold sky color and detail. And overall, shooting flat with lighting, not camera profiles really helps. Some big, soft fill sources to bring up shadows so you can tamp them back down in post. I've played with the Andrew Reid conversion and luts, but you run the risk of big, chunky, moving noise if you go too far. Get close in-camera. But those issues are the same with most any 8-bit, non-raw camera. You really have to plan for highlights and deep shadows, and I'm a believer in printing out plenty of color reference (send images to a photo print place - have good prints) and attaching to your storyboards, and setting yourself up on set for a successful grade. It's no Alexa.

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2 hours ago, vaga said:

I thought @vasile was able to get the nx500 to record uncropped 4k with the latest hack?

I do not think so. I do not own an NX500 so take this with a grain a salt tho I am pretty sure this was never unlocked.


What ever happend to @vasile? I guess he got his hack to the level he was happy with then moved onto another project?


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If higher resolutions than 4k is obtained, 10 bit colours internally and 422 even RAW video would make this camera useful for another 20 years.

Remember that in the pro industry we use old cameras too even for big movies, I seen digital cameras from the 90s being used and those give you raw video.
The first 4k camera is still being used actively in the industry and that one is almost 2 decades old, imagine that for a second, almost two decade old camera still being used.

This proves that the latest and greatest is not always economically viable and even two decade old cameras can get the job done, not as good as the newest equipment but in the right hands can still do miracles, movies are never about the super image quality anyway, they are about the story they tell but the images needs to be clear enough this is why you cannot shoot movies on smartphone cameras and expect cinema quality video because they are too limited in what they can do.
Otherwise we all be using smartphones for video work

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On 2.8.2016 at 5:43 PM, cyril said:

I was thinking of something like this: 



There is many, many videos with great colors from the bmpcc and the bmcc on internet but I can't find even one from the samsung nx500.

The latest 12.5.1 version of DaVinci Resolve is being more friendly towards 8-bit HEVC, transcoded with Samsung Movie Converter - try it yourself.

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