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Samsung NX1 dynamic range comparison

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I heard it has decent DR, somewhere around 11-12 stops, and other times I heard it's not so good (10 or less).  I would expect different answers depending on the firmware version and knowledge of using the camera.

Does anyone know what the DR is like in optimal settings with Gamma DR?

How does it compare to the C100 Or BMPC DR? I've realized that 12 stops is plenty, but being close to that is fine.

I see people lowering contrast in Wondershare - does that actually help with highlights or shadows? https://vimeo.com/115004338 

Thanks!

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Guest Ebrahim Saadawi

From what i've seen ( hundreds of samples by now so you ''know'' the image''), DR is not as high a the C100, and BM pocket + cinema cameras, which are both rated to having 12 stops (and they do have nearly identical DR in my real world work so I believe the number). The nx1 seems like a stop or at maximum two stops less, which with relativity makes it 10-11 stops of DR. 

The thing about the nx1 is the blacks, the blacks are very very unique and now defines the samsung ''look'' for me, and while I do love these inky blacks, it's an effective reduction in dynamic range. There's always ink black in nx1 images and when someone tries lifting them they're loaded with macro blocks and strange noise. This is why the nx1 has a stop or two less DR to my eyes, it's the shadows.

It's just visible by the naked eye that the nx1 has less DR, 

Despite that, I actually personally admire that look, that samsung ink shadow look and nicely rolled off highlights and tons of detail in between, it's perhaps my most favourite overall image in all consumer cameras (even c100/300) despite that slightly less DR window. It's like a unique film stock, this stock has beautiful contrast, not ugly contrast, and it has a marked reddish lively skin rendition and starking resolution. Yes it has 10-11 stops of DR but the image in between is stunning and the roll off to these 10-11 ends are nice, the image in between them is stunning, unlike "stocks" that have more DR, but their image in between these stops aren't nice (A7s, hshh). And for the end viewer I think 99% of audience will love the nx1 images vs images that have slightly more DR but less pleasing images. 

I predict clients will love nx1 images always, but some filmmakers will always note the decreased DR. 
 

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Guest Ebrahim Saadawi

I would love to see an actual comparison with a known camera to confirm my findings. Andrew? even two TIFF grabs would be sufficient...

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I've been using the camera for a bit and as a B-roll on a C100 shoot. Seems like there is about a stop less on the NX1. Perfectly usable. 

Name of the game really is protect the highlights on the camera, but thankfully it does have very clean highlight rolloff even if you do blow them out.

Great thread on DVXuser:

http://www.dvxuser.com/V6/showthread.php?334819-Samsung-NX1-Log-Gamma-Dynamic-Range

I don't use wondershare, I use Rocky Mountain or Photon. Hopefully we will see what the camera is truly capable of when an editor like Premiere supports it natively.

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To be fair (and you're probably well aware of this), dynamic range tests are in a lot of ways subjective. It depends on how many stops is considered usable to that particular tester (noise levels, exposure clarity, etc). Add to that, people conduct the test in different ways (using different charts, profiles, differences in transcoder, firmware version and knowledge like you said), and it becomes even more confusing.

I personally don't own the NX1, so I can't give you a definitive answer, but from all of the footage I've seen, it feels like the NX1 stops a little sooner in the highlights compared to other cameras, but that the highlight roll off is a fair bit more attractive. It seems like the NX1 benefits from underexposing a little bit instead of the other way around (though again, I may totally be wrong about that). According to Andrew's findings against the C300, "If the C300 can do 12 stops the NX1 can do 11.5." Cinema 5d pegs it much more harshly at 10.1 stops.

To my unscientific eye though, I've seen footage that squeezed a lot of detail from contrasty situations in a great way, and some that fail dramatically. It really depends on the context and how much you really need for that shot imo.

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I currently have the NX1 and A7s and think there is at least 1.5 stops difference and you have to really protect the highlights on the NX1, the clipping is very ugly.

I will do a shootout if I get time.

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I've used both a c100 and an nx1. I'll just say that to me personally the dynamic rand is definitely close! I honestly didn't see that much of a difference at all in Dr on the nx1. I'll also add that the nx1 is a great camera that'd I'd personally choose to shoot on over a c100 or c300 at this point.

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Its extremely difficult to compare DR.

Espescially with all those options (black levels, curve). For me the GH4 has actually very little usable DR because I always have to expose highly to the right to avoid the noise in all the slightly dark areas. 

All the tests I have seen in terms of DR haven't really convinced me. If you really want a CLEAN image with the GH4, you don't have that much dynamic range. 

And I don't think the highlights look nice on the GH4... :/ 

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But it's also because I find it much easier to have a right exposure (considering noise) with the NX1, so I have less highlights issues with the NX1 in general. 

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Why are people even asking dynamic range on these cameras, GH4 and NX1 have poor dynamic range + iso performance. If you want Dynamic Range and colors look no further than any Blackmagic Camera, if you want stills capability + Dynamic Range buy a Sony A7s.

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I'd put it somewhere just less than the GH4 in DR.  looks closer to my GH2.  Actually I'd say the NX1 is like a 4k GH2 with slightly better colors.  

Here's a test I saw online recently showing a DR comparison. 

Screen Shot 2015-04-03 at 9.41.40 AM.png

​Pardon me, but if you look at the details of that test it was complete GARBAGE. The reviewer used the stock settings on each camera to get his result, no tweaks to contrast or black level. Also he used a different lens on each camera.

I agree with Jimmy, if your shooting in this scenario just light him properly and the issue goes away. What is more important in this shot to take note of is the skin tone, which is miles better in the NX1. 

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then you'll definitely not like the highlights on the NX1, which are worse.  

​I agree, i have both cameras and the NX1 highlights are really worse. I get better result with GH4/CineV profile (CineD is awful).
However, like j.f.r. said, both cameras have poor DR and the NX1 has better resolution and colors.

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