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Samsung NX1 - which is 4K video and which is the 28MP raw still? Can you tell?

Andrew Reid

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A is video.   Some people got it perfectly. A bit more compression in the blacks on A and a bit more sharpening in-camera. The raw file had more C/A because Adobe Camera Raw didn't remove it by defa

Allow me to fill you in on that second one at C5D. It's a seriously biased piece of writing and testing. Johnnie and Seb at that site fell out with me a year ago after they made a deal at NAB with a B

Look at colours 37 and 31 in image A (reds, 2nd line down). They look like almost the same colour, yes?   Now compare them in image B. I think that is what you call bit depth, yes?

This seems fun, so I finally registered on the forum (been lurking till now).


A - RAW, because it looks like there's more detail (which I would expect after scaling down a 28 MP image), and CA is corrected

B - video, because I doubt the camera can both record at 4K and still apply lens corrections to every frame


If that were shot with a lens such as Otus, it would be harder to tell, probably impossible, without pixel peeping.


First post fail.  Sorry about that. lol

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A is RAW, B is Video Still.


My reasoning: text in the focus point region has red fringing on image B:



whereas image A is clean:



This is also evident elsewhere in the image.


Since there was a 4:2:2 codec in the video pipeline (Prores LT), I would suggest the chroma sub-sampling could be one of the main culprits for those artefacts.


Sorry if I cheated by zooming in and pixel-peeping the images... I only have an iPhone and an SXGA laptop.


Cool challenge - enjoyed it.



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Well here's my 2 cents. A is RAW, B is video. The cooler white balance of B is a red herring. A has way more depth and resolution. B is thinner and sharper. If I am wrong I'll eat my hat which is made of fine dark chocolate.


This shows the power of the unconcious mind and also the power of fine dark chocolate that the mind will willingly delude itself to have an exuse to eat the chocolate. :)

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But colour distinctness is how I identified the raw image.


I wasn't making a technical analysis - I can just see that there is more colour information in B. Regardless of white balance or tonality. It's just there, plain as day. Not just in the red swatches, but everywhere. It doesn't really matter if the WB was off a bit. The hues will still be more varied and distinct.


I spent years in art school and grew up in a house full of painters so perhaps I'm more tuned in to colour than the average filmmaker, but I see it all the time in 8-bit video. The Canon C-line is the only 8-bit camera that I can't distinguish from 10 bit (they must do something very clever with compression). Put most 8-bit video next to Prores, RAW, etc, and you can see it straight away. It's not just about what can be done with the image in post, or dynamic range. You can see it as soon as you lift saturation. The colours look alive.




As jcs notes, both images are now 8-bit jpegs, so this talk of 8-bit versus 10-bit isn't entirely convincing.


Second, you'll notice that the blue color patches 6 and 8 appear more similar in the B image than in the A image, unlike the reds in 31 and 37 which, as you pointed out earlier, are more similar in A than B. It makes sense that the reds will be less distinct and the blues more distinct in an image biased towards a warmer white balance.

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My conclusion: 1) both are jpegs, it's not certain that either of them is from a raw workflow, 2) white balance and colors are better / more correct on B, 3) there are more compression artefacts on A.


That points to A being more likely to be the video frame, unless it's gone through some nasty compression for the heck of it  :lol:

B is a jpeg with less compression artefacts (hence an image going through a higher quality compression). The color fringing that someone mentioned on B isn't 4:2:0 color compression, it's either the lack of lens correction - or ironically enough perhaps the result of higher color resolution showing the fringing of the lens.

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A is video.


Some people got it perfectly. A bit more compression in the blacks on A and a bit more sharpening in-camera. The raw file had more C/A because Adobe Camera Raw didn't remove it by default and sharpness was left on default as well which is why it looked a little softer.


But the very fact that they look so similar to the general 'audience' with almost a 50-50 split between you on this forum over which was which, shows how good the video is on this camera.

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Someone has to be first with H.265. I'm happy that Samsung is pushing it already. Would love to see some more adoption for that format. Imagine being able to have 10-bit 422, 1080p and 4k in still managable bitrates!


This already looks very promising compression-wise from the NX1. What was the bitrate for this clip, Andrew?

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You mean A is video or A is RAW? :blink:  

Yeah that was confusing, but I think he's saying that A is the video frame, because B is the one with the color fringing that wasn't removed from the RAW file.


Which, thank god. No denying that the video output of the NX1 is absolutely fantastic, but I am deeply thankful that my years of work in imaging are actually able to stand up to a test  :o But I DID have to think about it for a few minutes before answering. The lack of fine color gradation in the video frame, plus the smudgy shadows, are the only things I would've maybe caught at a casual glance.


The more subtle stuff - the macro blocking, edge artifacts, sharpening halos, etc are all in there but they're hard to see without severe zoom and a good eye for these things. (And a multiple EV push of the image to find them is just not fair.) 


Please, everybody. Forget about detail, artefacts, etc, and just look at the colors. Narrow your eyes and let the image fall out of focus. 

I'm not such a big fan of this approach. Having a trained eye is different from feeling your way through differences, and it's good to know exactly what you're looking for and where you're going to find it. That's why I tried to be quite specific about what I was seeing when I wrote my guess.

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But the very fact that they look so similar to the general 'audience' with almost a 50-50 split between you on this forum over which was which, shows how good the video is on this camera.


I see the difference because I've spent so much time optimizing images for web output, trying to squeeze the most quality out of the tiniest filesizes. This has developed an extreme sensitivity to detecting compression artefacts :)


Yet, these images I have to look carefully at to see artefacts, it's nothing I see in an instant. And even more importantly - it's nothing I'd spot at 24 fps.

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Guest Ebrahim Saadawi

Okay B is raw and it is a bit better but that's still pretty impressive. No one but video geeks we are here would be able to tell the difference! And the raw images are good enough for billboard-sized prints. I feel like with the advent if 4K the quality of motion is really finally catching up with stills.

Well done samsung. This is the first camera I can see no obvious image issues in. No weird colours, blue and colour blotchs, highlight aliasing, horrible rolling shutter, digital sharpening, this looks closest to the 1DC than anything I've seen and I really like the Samsung colour science.

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