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Andrew Reid

Fuji X-T3 may feature Samsung sensor, as South Korean giant gears up to supply 8K FULL FRAME sensors to Japanese

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Okay, here is a true story. Back in 2015 Samsung spent enormous resources on pushing their new NX camera. They for example offered workshops with star photographers in important markets, here in Germany it was Jim Rakete ( in the US I think Alex Webb among others)  who shot a series about the music scene in Hamburg on the camera and did a little exhibition along with a workshop for I think something along the line of 20 young photographers who needless to say got a free a camera and some lenses in exchange for posting a bunch of pictures in a visual diary created as a marketing tool by the agency doing the promotional work for the camera. I am not a photographer but a filmmaker and found the video specs of the camera to be quiet exciting. So I asked the agency wether I could have one as well. To my surprise they agreed and loaned me a free camera, plus a whole set of lenses six month for free, with the option for another additional three month if required. Surprised about the generous offer, the agency explained to me, that Samsung had such a high degree of vertical integration, meaning they were able to build the whole camera in-house, that for them cameras were much cheaper to produce than for most competitors. So they did not really thinks twice, when it came to giving away free cameras or loaning them for longer periods of time. Plus they aggressively were pursuing marketshare and had deep pockets.

I got the camera and the lenses, shot some stuff on it and got an invitation to lunch from the agency, around late August 2015. The meeting was among other things about a new Samsung full frame camera that was supposed to come out in early 2016. Originally the plan was to release the camera for x-mas 2015 and according to the agency people it was completely ready and in existence, they just had it delayed to devise a better way to market it. The camera, in the words of agency reps, was targeted at the A7 / A7S market and having had a good response from filmmakers for the NX1, they planned on focusing much more on its filmshooting abilities for marketing. So I was asked wether I`d be interested to be among the people to shoot something on the  camera before its scheduled release in early 2016. I said sure and we agreed to meet again later that year. Anyway about a month or so after our last meeting, Samsung decided to cut its loses and I had to return the NX1 and the lenses and never heard again from the agency.

Since Samsung already had working prototypes for FF cameras with a strong focus on video featuresin 2015, I would not be surprised if those would now see the light of day under a different brand. 

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This is exciting!

 

On the other hand, there have been concerns about Fuji's previous compression engine givng false, waxy colors, so I hope this latest iteration has overcome some of those issues.  If camera manufacturers would just implement a small raw video tap on these cameras, it would allow us to deal with most such issues ourselves (as the linked article demonstrates a raw still fix using a Darktable demosaicking algorithm and chroma filters).

 

It should also be noted that, by its nature, the X-Trans color array yields less color information than a Bayer array, and X-Trans is not immune to moire.

 

 

1 hour ago, amanieux said:

this 3:2 is coming from film era and no longer makes any sense as people are no longer printing photos on paper, new sensors should be 16:9

As I recall, the only standard 2x3 print aspect ratio was 4x6 (in the USA).  The rest were 5x7, 8x10, 11x14, 16x20 and 20x24.

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1 hour ago, amanieux said:

why do you say the sensor has to be a 3:2 ratio, most displays are 16:9, this 3:2 is coming from film era and no longer makes any sense as people are no longer printing photos on paper, new sensors should be 16:9

3:2 was never a good option for print; you either had to crop or lose paper real estate. 4:3 is much more efficient and is the same ratio as with 645 medium format cameras. 

The most versatile option for a sensor would perhaps be 4:3 multiaspect (if stills+video is the goal)

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5 minutes ago, eyesuncloudedphoto said:

3:2 was never a good option for print; you either had to crop or lose paper real estate. 4:3 is much more efficient and is the same ratio as with 645 medium format cameras. 

 

I would have killed for a 3:2 ratio when I was shooting with a Hasselblad. Other than shooting CD covers 6x6 film was sort of a pretty crazy idea in the long run.

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36 minutes ago, jonpais said:

I continue to see this waxiness even at low ISOs in footage I’ve shot with the X-T2, just one more reason I stopped shooting Fuji a long time ago.

X-T2 does not offer a setting to turn off noise reduction in video (default at 0, greyed out), X-H1 and X-T3 allow you to turn it off completely using "-4",

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4 hours ago, VistaVision20XX said:

Okay, here is a true story. Back in 2015 Samsung spent enormous resources on pushing their new NX camera. They for example offered workshops with star photographers in important markets, here in Germany it was Jim Rakete ( in the US I think Alex Webb among others)  who shot a series about the music scene in Hamburg on the camera and did a little exhibition along with a workshop for I think something along the line of 20 young photographers who needless to say got a free a camera and some lenses in exchange for posting a bunch of pictures in a visual diary created as a marketing tool by the agency doing the promotional work for the camera. I am not a photographer but a filmmaker and found the video specs of the camera to be quiet exciting. So I asked the agency wether I could have one as well. To my surprise they agreed and loaned me a free camera, plus a whole set of lenses six month for free, with the option for another additional three month if required. Surprised about the generous offer, the agency explained to me, that Samsung had such a high degree of vertical integration, meaning they were able to build the whole camera in-house, that for them cameras were much cheaper to produce than for most competitors. So they did not really thinks twice, when it came to giving away free cameras or loaning them for longer periods of time. Plus they aggressively were pursuing marketshare and had deep pockets.

I got the camera and the lenses, shot some stuff on it and got an invitation to lunch from the agency, around late August 2015. The meeting was among other things about a new Samsung full frame camera that was supposed to come out in early 2016. Originally the plan was to release the camera for x-mas 2015 and according to the agency people it was completely ready and in existence, they just had it delayed to devise a better way to market it. The camera, in the words of agency reps, was targeted at the A7 / A7S market and having had a good response from filmmakers for the NX1, they planned on focusing much more on its filmshooting abilities for marketing. So I was asked wether I`d be interested to be among the people to shoot something on the  camera before its scheduled release in early 2016. I said sure and we agreed to meet again later that year. Anyway about a month or so after our last meeting, Samsung decided to cut its loses and I had to return the NX1 and the lenses and never heard again from the agency.

Since Samsung already had working prototypes for FF cameras with a strong focus on video featuresin 2015, I would not be surprised if those would now see the light of day under a different brand. 

That's interesting.

Back when I first heard of the rumours Samsung were exiting the market, I wrote one of the first articles about it, and shortly afterwards I got an email completely out of the blue from Samsung's marketing person (quite high up in Germany and Europe), saying it "didn't reflect Samsung's position" and they wanted to rebut the article. Come a few days later, he just dropped off the radar and I never heard from him again.

I think Samsung's marketing and PR agencies were amongst the last to know.

I'd be fascinated to know if Samsung canned a full frame NX2.

Stranger things have happened. I bet they regret it now, having had the chance to be first to the full frame mirrorless market after Sony and seeing the sales hike in the past 3 years.

2 hours ago, tupp said:

On the other hand, there have been concerns about Fuji's previous compression engine givng false, waxy colors, so I hope this latest iteration has overcome some of those issues

Smoothed out, 8bit look? Well I think 10bit at 400Mbit helps a lot for skin tones! If film grain can finally be enabled in video mode, that can help as well. We'll see some amazing results. 100% sure of it.

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8 hours ago, Luke Mason said:

X-T2 does not offer a setting to turn off noise reduction in video (default at 0, greyed out), X-H1 and X-T3 allow you to turn it off completely using "-4",

What’s up with all your uninformed guessing you’re passing off as knowledge here? The X-T2 does allow a -4 setting on noise reduction in photo mode and this by no means turns it off completely. Only the luma nr is affected, as previously reported. The aggressive chroma NR is still present when set to -4, resulting in that waxiness due to color bleeding when shooting at high iso. Why would the chroma noise reduction turn off in video but not stills mode? We all know this is a problem with the X-trans and jpeg and we all know the x-t2, x-h1 and x-t3 don’t shoot raw in video. 

 

But hopefully this problem is a lot less severe with the new codec and bitrate, as Andrew suggests, even though the problem is inherent with the sensor array in combination with noise reduction, not 8 bit vs. 10 bit.

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Fujisung NX2?
Today it is possible to assume that, Samsung has closed the camera department because of the few sales related to its brand not fully associated with the professional camera industry.
Today it is paradoxical to think that the sales success of the Fuji or Panasonic cameras may be due to the Samsung sensor brand preferred by professionals in the sector to that of Sony.
At this point I ask someone to tell Fuji to add the Samsung DR picture profile to the X-T3 camera of which I and many Samsung users are very satisfied.

 

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On 9/17/2018 at 6:12 AM, Andrew Reid said:

Now you may look at the X-T3 and wonder where the new 26MP sensor comes from.


Could their sensor be very closely related to the 28MP NX1 sensor? (aside from the X Trans CFA)

2MP less than 28MP is next to nothing in terms of size reduction, a cropped out 26MP portion would still be terms "APS-C".

And maybe they had some reasons to use a very slightly smaller size (perhaps meant they fit more onto a silicon wafer, or got a little bit better yields)

On 9/17/2018 at 7:11 PM, Nukunukoo said:

then why did they lower the resolution from it’s almost 5 year old 28MP BSI sensor?


Because even 5yrs later, the NX1 sensor is still very very good! Especially if they've further refined it. 

And heck, there are still lots and lots of other cameras out there still using older than 5yr sensor tech. 

 

 

On 9/18/2018 at 12:06 AM, Cliff Totten said:

Two people I know on the sensor industry who have delt with Sony SemiConductor as customers have told me that companies HATE buying from Sony. They dont like signing Sony's contracts of sale. Sony demands from customers ALL the major specs of your camera BEFORE they price and agree to sell you their sensors. In other words, they just dont sell their chips "blindly" to anybody. They want to know "what" its going into and lock all of that into the contract so you cant change it at a later date without Sony approval. Many companies dony like giving Sony their specs upfront and having that locked into a contract. But hey.....if you want access to huge Sony pattents, you gotta play ball with them. Maybe Samsung and TowerJazz can attract customers away from Sony because they have no camera manufacturing interests to compete with their customers products.


Damn! And if the sensor business and the camera business side of Sony talk to each other (I dunno how much they've got "Chinese Walls" up or not) then that gives a massive advantage to Sony! As they'll know very precisely what specs/features are coming out in their competition cameras, long before it happens. 

 

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Again from the senior semicon enginner on Weibo:

1300080272_Screenshot_2018-09-23_(1).thumb.png.09942f312c78c6e34fbc1751260f0534.png

X-T3 uses a Sony sensor, same 3.76um photosite architecture seen on medium format sensor IMX411/IMX461, with BSI, copper interconnect and 16bit ADC. Think of it as a crop from the medium format sensors.

According to this engineer, Samsung does have a APS-C sensor but it's only recently taped out, 50MP ISOCELL+HD which is equivalent to Sony's Exmor RS, but without the DRAM. 

 

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3 minutes ago, androidlad said:

Again from the senior semicon enginner on Weibo:

1300080272_Screenshot_2018-09-23_(1).thumb.png.09942f312c78c6e34fbc1751260f0534.png

X-T3 uses a Sony sensor, same 3.76um photosite architecture seen on medium format sensor IMX411/IMX461, with BSI, copper interconnect and 16bit ADC. Think of it as a crop from the medium format sensors.

According to this engineer, Samsung does have a APS-C sensor but it's only recently taped out, 50MP ISOCELL+HD which is equivalent to Sony's Exmor RS, but without the DRAM. 

 

That explains why the image quality is so awesome.

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