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Shootout of the 4K flagships - Canon 1D C versus Samsung NX1


Andrew Reid
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Not if you are shooting natural history, lol. You want it to look realistic, as though the viewer is really there. And unless you have cataracts or something, human vision is NOT soft (in fact, it exceeds HD resolution in center view by a big margin).

I got a 65" 4K panel over the weekend, and the old HD footage looks really sad on it. Especially BluRays of movies shot at regular resolution, they have far too much grain and noise, so they look like crap. Stuff shot at 4K and delivered as HD upscaled reasonably well, although no where near as nice as native 4K footage.

How close are you sitting? Unless you're relatively close, the benefit over 1080p is minimal. That's why 4K monitors and 4K projectors make sense to me, but not TVs; people will continue sitting about 10-12 feet back from their sets, rendering that increased resolution pretty damn pointless at sizes under 80 inches.

And 4K will in no way eliminate grain. It's likely your set is just eliminating it in software. 

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The problem with film is that it can see ultraviolet light eyes can't see, and that is what give that blue cast that you are trying to mimic with the 1DC. It is an artifact of the film days, it isn't realistic. The 1DC tries to mimic the colors of film, while the NX1 tries to mimic the colors of the human eye.

I wasn't talking about film.  

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Not if you are shooting natural history, lol. You want it to look realistic, as though the viewer is really there. And unless you have cataracts or something, human vision is NOT soft (in fact, it exceeds HD resolution in center view by a big margin).

I got a 65" 4K panel over the weekend, and the old HD footage looks really sad on it. Especially BluRays of movies shot at regular resolution, they have far too much grain and noise, so they look like crap. Stuff shot at 4K and delivered as HD upscaled reasonably well, although no where near as nice as native 4K footage.

I agree. The quote that 4k should be soft is one of the stupidest things I've ever heard. 4K is four times the resolution of HD, what makes anyone think that should look soft? I think Reid's losing it, or more to the truth, he's trying to defend his 1DC, which is ridiculous.

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I agree. The quote that 4k should be soft is one of the stupidest things I've ever heard. 4K is four times the resolution of HD, what makes anyone think that should look soft? I think Reid's losing it, or more to the truth, he's trying to defend his 1DC, which is ridiculous.

By soft he means "leave the signal alone so I can apply as much sharpening as I feel like". When sharpness is applied in camera, it cannot be removed. 

Here some information:

"For digital cameras, resolution is limited by your digital sensor, whereas acutance depends on both the quality of your lens and the type of post-processing. Acutance is the only aspect of sharpness which is still under your control after the shot has been taken, so acutance is what is enhanced when you digitally sharpen an image (see Sharpening using an "Unsharp Mask")." 

http://www.cambridgeincolour.com/tutorials/sharpness.htm

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By soft he means "leave the signal alone so I can apply as much sharpening as I feel like". When sharpness is applied in camera, it cannot be removed. 

Here some information:

"For digital cameras, resolution is limited by your digital sensor, whereas acutance depends on both the quality of your lens and the type of post-processing. Acutance is the only aspect of sharpness which is still under your control after the shot has been taken, so acutance is what is enhanced when you digitally sharpen an image (see Sharpening using an "Unsharp Mask")." 

http://www.cambridgeincolour.com/tutorials/sharpness.htm

Refresh my memory: acutance is local contrast, yes? (I'd look at the link, but it isn't playing nice with my phone)

I think people are misreading the term "soft." The people in favor of "soft 4K" are saying they want 4K of resolution with no local contrast/detail enhancement processing applied, so that they get the extra detail without making it feel harsh. The people against "soft 4K" are saying that if you're paying for 3840x2160 resolution, you should get that and not the blurry mess of the rebels/5D. 

Both of you want the same thing: lots of detail. But just because the detail is more prominent/emphasized by the processing doesn't mean there's more of it.  In fact, adding sharpening can actually obscure smaller details. 

So if the manufacturers are giving us a beefy enough file, they should turn sharpening (detail enhancement) off. That way, the people who want "softer" footage with lots of detail can keep it that way, and the people who want "sharper" footage can sharpen to their heart's desire in their NLE of choice. 

Savvy? 

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Refresh my memory: acutance is local contrast, yes? (I'd look at the link, but it isn't playing nice with my phone)
I think people are misreading the term "soft." The people in favor of "soft 4K" are saying they want 4K of resolution with no local contrast/detail enhancement processing applied, so that they get the extra detail without making it feel harsh. The people against "soft 4K" are saying that if you're paying for 3840x2160 resolution, you should get that and not the blurry mess of the rebels/5D. 

Both of you want the same thing: lots of detail. But just because the detail is more prominent/emphasized by the processing doesn't mean there's more of it.  In fact, adding sharpening can actually obscure smaller details. 

So if the manufacturers are giving us a beefy enough file, they should turn sharpening (detail enhancement) off. That way, the people who want "softer" footage with lots of detail can keep it that way, and the people who want "sharper" footage can sharpen to their heart's desire in their NLE of choice. 

Savvy? 

Exactly. 

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Resolution: how much actual detail is in the image

Sharpness: how prominent or emphasized the details are in an image

Soft: can refer to a lack of either Resolution or Sharpness. 

What we need are separate words for resolution-soft and sharpness-soft. Actually...resolution-soft and sharpness-soft might do it.

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Resolution: how much actual detail is in the image

Sharpness: how prominent or emphasized the details are in an image

Soft: can refer to a lack of either Resolution or Sharpness. 

What we need are separate words for resolution-soft and sharpness-soft. Actually...resolution-soft and sharpness-soft might do it.

Unsharp ;) (hate these icons). 

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We should have a "terms to know" sticky at the top of the page, like the beginning of a new chapter in high school science. At least then we'd be speaking the same language.

Technical articles will help too. 

For example we should know that Bayer interpolation results in slightly blurred edges. So some digital sharpening is necessary. The problem is that 1DC and NX1 target a very different market. Professionals will most probably post-process their footage, while enthusiast most probably will not. So Canon made a gradable file, whereas Samsung made a "put me in a Samsung 4K TV" kind of file...

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Technical articles will help too. 

For understanding, sure, but the more immediate problem is that we're all using different words to talk about the same thing. 
 

Technical articles will help too. 

For example we should know that Bayer interpolation results in slightly blurred edges. So some digital sharpening is necessary. The problem is that 1DC and NX1 target a very different market. Professionals will most probably post-process their footage, while enthusiast most probably will not. So Canon made a gradable file, whereas Samsung made a "put me in a Samsung 4K TV" kind of file...

For sure, and I think they'll get over that in their next product iteration. As we speak, they're probably designing an unsharpened log-style profile for the NX1 II. I'd like to see a C-LOG style Samsung profile designed for 8-bit, or something more aggressive if their new cameras include 10-bit external (or internal!) recording.

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I'd like to see a C-LOG style Samsung profile designed for 8-bit, or something more aggressive if their new cameras include 10-bit external (or internal!) recording.

If they make an internal 10bit camera with less rolling shutter they will dominate the low budget film industry (if there is such a thing...) . 

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How close are you sitting? Unless you're relatively close, the benefit over 1080p is minimal. That's why 4K monitors and 4K projectors make sense to me, but not TVs; people will continue sitting about 10-12 feet back from their sets, rendering that increased resolution pretty damn pointless at sizes under 80 inches.
And 4K will in no way eliminate grain. It's likely your set is just eliminating it in software. 

That is the theory. However, it is not the practice. At that distance the difference is obvious. I'm not talking about theory, but from personal experience.

The problem with the theory is that it was made up by people who want to rationalize not having higher resolutions, not because there isn't a visible difference, but just because they don't want it.

Technical articles will help too. 

For example we should know that Bayer interpolation results in slightly blurred edges. So some digital sharpening is necessary. The problem is that 1DC and NX1 target a very different market. Professionals will most probably post-process their footage, while enthusiast most probably will not. So Canon made a gradable file, whereas Samsung made a "put me in a Samsung 4K TV" kind of file...

Sharpening isn't necessary with an oversampled sensor. It will deliver close to full 4K resolution without that.

 

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I purchased the 1DC when it first came out.   Been sitting on the fence, and reading various opinions about it.  Entertaining to say the least.  I maintained from the beginning that the image ranks high with the more expensive cinema cameras.  The 1DC can match film if properly shot and graded in my opinion.  Is it a perfect camera?  ...No, but does a truly perfect camera exist?  One can debate the merits and the pitfalls but to what end?   The camera isn't for everyone.  It does take a while to understand the 1DC.  I do agree with Sir Andrew Reid current opinion as to the strengths/views about the 1DC.  Just my 2 cents.  Cheers.  

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That is the theory. However, it is not the practice. At that distance the difference is obvious. I'm not talking about theory, but from personal experience.

The problem with the theory is that it was made up by people who want to rationalize not having higher resolutions, not because there isn't a visible difference, but just because they don't want it.

 

I've sold TVs at Best Buy for 2 years, including during the 4K boom. So I do speak from experience. And in that experience, the perfect contrast of OLED, superior motion handling of Plasma, and the sheer size of a projector screen are far more important than just a resolution bump, especially at normal viewing sizes/distances. The 4K sets in the store, at least in the early days, tended to have all the manufacturers' other bells and whistles too, like local dimming. Those sets looked great, but it was mainly due to panel quality rather than pixel quantity. As more and more come out at lower price points, however, they're including less of those extra picture-improving features and more software gimmickry like motion smoothing and "brilliant color" modes to try and differentiate between the 1080p and 4K sets. Put a 1080p and a 4K set of equal quality next to each other, calibrate them to the same settings, and feed them both a 1080p source. Guess what? From 12 feet away, guess how many employees at my store (who look at these things all day every day) could tell the difference? 4. Out of 80-some. Add to that the dearth of actual 4K content, and I don't know how you can justify that "investment" in a set that'll be completely outdone once OLED lands in earnest.

Most people are much, much better off buying a great 1080p set and investing the rest in a 5.1 system, a stack of Blurays, and some comfy chairs. 

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I purchased the 1DC when it first came out.   Been sitting on the fence, and reading various opinions about it.  Entertaining to say the least.  I maintained from the beginning that the image ranks high with the more expensive cinema cameras.  The 1DC can match film if properly shot and graded in my opinion.  Is it a perfect camera?  ...No, but does a truly perfect camera exist?  One can debate the merits and the pitfalls but to what end?   The camera isn't for everyone.  It does take a while to understand the 1DC.  I do agree with Sir Andrew Reid current opinion as to the strengths/views about the 1DC.  Just my 2 cents.  Cheers.  

I for one don't think the 1dc is soft at all.  I've heard as many as 1600 lines when downscaled to 1080p.  Sharper than the C300's 1080 according to this video:

 

But make no mistake - I can sharpen it up plenty in post if I want a super sharp image even at 4k.  I just need to figure out how to grade LOG better.

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The biggest problem with the 1DC is it's price. And I'm not talking it's used price. Used is like a box of chocolates... And since new is $8k, what exactly is the point in comparing the two as if anyone actually cross shops them. 

If I was seriously considering the 1DC, I would also be seriously considering the Ursa Mini, and the FS7, and the C300 Mkii. So how does the 1DC fair in that company? And I'm talking the total package, IQ, easy of use, media, workflow etc...

So given the current options, and the NEW price of the 1DC, how many here plan on picking up a 1DC for $8k new?

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