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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.

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On 7/8/2017 at 3:21 AM, bmusikaudio said:

I've had the NX1 for about 6 mos or so. The images it produces has become one of my favorite. 

Mostly shot on Nikkors  Ais and Rokinons. 

Gamma: Normal, -3 Contrast, -2 Sat, -10 Sharpness, 

16-235 for some and 0-255 for others. 

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What lens did you use in particular for the shot with lady crying? Also what top 3 lenses would you recommend for NX1 for cinematic look and feel? Do you have any recommendations on tips to prevent the sky from blowing out or clipping while keeping all other elements in scene properly exposed?

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On 2/3/2018 at 7:21 PM, Allen Smith said:

I would love to see the final film for the photos posted. Is it available yet?

Me too. These have to be some of the best images coming from the NX1 I've seen to date. I think many ppl would have a difficult time distinguishing this from a more expensive cinema camera. Of course, we can't really see any highlight rolloff and motion in these particular frame grabs. 

Also, the lighting is superb, and you definitely know how to expose for dark scenes. A less experienced person would have tried to bring up shadows, most likely clipping highs and introducing terrible noise, instead of allowing them to roll into darkness, which is a clear rookie mistake in my view. 

A lot of ppl would say these shots are "under exposed" not realizing when you shoot for dark scenes you only need an "impression" of what's happening in the scene, the brain automatically fills in the gaps.

I'm saying all this because I see your methodology and wanted to give it props, and I feel like since the whole Sony ISO craze, ppl are losing this skill, which has been evolving since cinema began.  

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On 2/3/2018 at 7:18 PM, Allen Smith said:

Do you have any recommendations on tips to prevent the sky from blowing out or clipping while keeping all other elements in scene properly exposed?

"Properly exposed" is a bit of a subjective thing. There's properly exposed in terms of what the Histogram, Waveform, False Color, etc., says, and then there's properly exposed in terms of what the mood and/or message you're trying to portray.

In some cases, it's okay to have crushed shadows or blownout highlights because that information is not essential to the scene, mood, message, story, etc.

Your style could be more techincal and buttoned-down or more artistic and impressionistic. There is no right or wrong way. It's whatever you intend. 

If I had to guess from these stills I would say this person shoots left, protecting the highlights, and crushing shadows and noise in low light, which for the NX1 and it's limited DR is probably wise. Samsung says the camera produces 13-stops of DR, which if were true would be outstanding. However, in realworld use, I personally would say it's effectively more like 10-11. The sensor is extremely sensitive to light, even dimmed practicals can clip on a technically "properly exposed" scene. I have no doubt however if the camera gave a RAW signal in video those could be recovered. The codec (distribution) is the camera's biggest weakness. 

Honestly, the best meter is your eyes. If it looks good to you and your audience and tells the story, who cares what the Waveform monitor says? It's just a tool, not a governor. 

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On 2/26/2018 at 7:58 PM, bmusikaudio said:

I also use rolling shutter repair on most clips. It helps with motion cadence in my eyes. 

The fight scene was shoot last year. Again, another rough cut.

Test Scene Maya Conner.mp4

Fight Scene Test.mp4

Lighting and color harmony is on point. There's a lot of skill and messaging being displayed here. The acting is also convincing. Were these trained actors? 

However, I'm not entirely sure what your motion is communicating? It doesn't seem to be tied to the narrative? Maybe I'm missing it. Although, I do like how you shoot the male actor "through" the workbench. It gave that scene some dimension.  

Can you please share your rolling shutter repair settings? When I apply the plug-in' s default settings, I don't see the difference? Is there settings that are specific to the NX1? I've not been able to crack this one.

The rolling shutter is my least favorite thing about the NX1's sensor readout in 4k. 

Great work. I'm looking forward to the finished product!

 

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On 2/5/2018 at 11:56 AM, Matthew Hartman said:

"Properly exposed" is a bit of a subjective thing. There's properly exposed in terms of what the Histogram, Waveform, False Color, etc., says, and then there's properly exposed in terms of what the mood and/or message you're trying to portray.

In some cases, it's okay to have crushed shadows or blownout highlights because that information is not essential to the scene, mood, message, story, etc.

Your style could be more techincal and buttoned-down or more artistic and impressionistic. There is no right or wrong way. It's whatever you intend. 

If I had to guess from these stills I would say this person shoots left, protecting the highlights, and crushing shadows and noise in low light, which for the NX1 and it's limited DR is probably wise. Samsung says the camera produces 13-stops of DR, which if were true would be outstanding. However, in realworld use, I personally would say it's effectively more like 10-11. The sensor is extremely sensitive to light, even dimmed practicals can clip on a technically "properly exposed" scene. I have no doubt however if the camera gave a RAW signal in video those could be recovered. The codec (distribution) is the camera's biggest weakness. 

Honestly, the best meter is your eyes. If it looks good to you and your audience and tells the story, who cares what the Waveform monitor says? It's just a tool, not a governor. 

Do you think with the release of the A7iii that will be of better value than the NX1? It is the closest thing I have seen that is close in price to NX1 with generally good features. Only thing I dislike is no slow mo in 4k mode other than that everything seems great on paper. Actually the time limit is only 30mins per recording but that will likely be hacked. 

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1 minute ago, Allen Smith said:

Do you think with the release of the A7iii that will be of better value than the NX1? It is the closest thing I have seen that is close in price to NX1 with generally good features. Only thing I dislike is no slow mo in 4k mode other than that everything seems great on paper. Actually the time limit is only 30mins per recording but that will likely be hacked. 

I honestly don't know. I'm not sure what the reported dynamic range is on the A7III. Hopefully, someone with more knowledge of this model can jump on and help you out there. Also, I'd watch out for reports of battery life and heat dissipation. Hopefully, Sony has worked that out for all it's latest models going forward. 

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On 3/7/2018 at 7:41 PM, vaga said:

I also very much want to know your settings for rolling shutter repair. It bugs me to no end with this cam, especially with things like cars.

 


You could switch to 1080 just for a few shots if you know beforehand you'll have major rolling shutter issues in a particular scene 

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