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NX500 as teleconverter


Sekhar
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You know NX500 as a great little video camera that shares many of NX1's awesome qualities. What may not be obvious is that it can work as a great teleconverter. Using its APS-C sensor and 4K crop and placing its 4K footage onto a 1080p timeline, you can turn a 200 mm zoom into a 1,000+ mm ultra zoom (200 x 1.54 x 1.58 x 2.13 = 1,037 mm). I got an NX500 yesterday and thought I'd post some footage of birds on our street that I shot today with my Canon 70-200 L lens. Try it out if you have the NX500.

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The video looks good. Did you use the same, default settings?

No, this time I had the sharpness at -10 and contrast at -5 like on my NX1. I'll use those for everything going forward, I still need to check how the NX500 video compares to NX1's with those settings, I want to be able to crosscut.

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No, this time I had the sharpness at -10 and contrast at -5 like on my NX1. I'll use those for everything going forward, I still need to check how the NX500 video compares to NX1's with those settings, I want to be able to crosscut.

Well, you succeeded in making a very soft-looking video. Why would you want that? It is interesting to view feather details on birds, and not interesting to see mush. Most people who shoot soft then sharpen in post, though for the NX500 and NX1 I do not see the merit in that either, given the minimal artifacts from the camera.

I like the idea of thinking of the 4K crop as providing telephoto opportunities, though I prefer to stay with 4K. Here is my shot of birds using effectively a 500mm lens, from the NX500:

https://vimeo.com/127099564

Perhaps this has too much detail for your taste...

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Well, you succeeded in making a very soft-looking video. Why would you want that? It is interesting to view feather details on birds, and not interesting to see mush. Most people who shoot soft then sharpen in post, though for the NX500 and NX1 I do not see the merit in that either, given the minimal artifacts from the camera.

I like the idea of thinking of the 4K crop as providing telephoto opportunities, though I prefer to stay with 4K. Here is my shot of birds using effectively a 500mm lens, from the NX500:

https://vimeo.com/127099564

Perhaps this has too much detail for your taste...

Whoa, why the hostility? This is a friendly community where we share ideas to improve each other's work, we aren't competing. If you have input that helps the rest of us, you're welcome to share.

Having said that, you're mistaken in many ways. First, mercer here also got the NX500, and we're comparing notes on the effect of sharpness/contrast settings at default and at -10/-5, you likely didn't know that. Next, my goal is to cross cut NX500 and NX1 footage, and I'm checking to see if setting sharpness/contrast the same would help on that. And you can always get it sharper either in camera or outside (see below for a sharpened version of the same video), the point is to evaluate NX500's capability as a teleconverter, this is not a production video. Finally, it's great that you are happy with your video, but none of your shots go as tight as I went, which is the point of this thread. If you do have anything that goes as close, please post so we can compare apples to apples.

 

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Whoa, why the hostility? This is a friendly community where we share ideas to improve each other's work, we aren't competing. If you have input that helps the rest of us, you're welcome to share.

Having said that, you're mistaken in many ways. First, mercer here also got the NX500, and we're comparing notes on the effect of sharpness/contrast settings at default and at -10/-5, you likely didn't know that. Next, my goal is to cross cut NX500 and NX1 footage, and I'm checking to see if setting sharpness/contrast the same would help on that. And you can always get it sharper either in camera or outside (see below for a sharpened version of the same video), the point is to evaluate NX500's capability as a teleconverter, this is not a production video. Finally, it's great that you are happy with your video, but none of your shots go as tight as I went, which is the point of this thread. If you do have anything that goes as close, please post so we can compare apples to apples.

 

I am sorry you missed the point, and mistake questioning for hostility and competition. You invited people to try out the crop. I had done that (please read your original post). I shot with an NX500 (same camera as the OP - you) but without reducing sharpness, and it's of birds at the long end of a telephoto. So one can compare  it to a purposefully softened shot of birds that was posted. Indeed, you can download my original 4K video and blow it up to a FullHD video if you are really interested to get the 1000m equivalent (I share my videos) that does not lose detail due to artificial softness. Why do you think posting a comparable clip is a competition?

I "shared" a comparable video that was not purposely dulled. What I expected was someone to say "See, look at how artificial your video is compared to the softened one." Or, "You are right, it is interesting to see feather detail, and I do not understand why one would want to lose that and the NX500 4K crop clearly does not lose detail."   I asked why one would want a soft video. Neither the NX1 nor the NX500 produce artifact-ridden falsely sharpened video at default settings; so I ask again, what is the point of softening to lose real detail? Calling a soft video soft is not hostility since it was clearly not done mistakenly, it is an observation. Feel free to call mine falsely detailed, if you think so.

I love the idea of exploiting the crop to get up close that is the topic of this thread, and the well-exposed parrot clip is a great example, if it were not deliberately mushed up. It thus confuses how well the NX500 cropping works, the point of this thread, because of the radical softening choice. And the issue of how well NX1 and NX500 video meld together is also an interesting question, but was not the OP. In any case I do not see how either calls for eliminating detail. Look at the OP and the thread title; it is about the advantage of the NX500 crop. And then the example given is some very soft video where the softening has nothing to do with the crop. I provided an example not softened artificially so no one thinks the crop is what caused the mush.

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I am sorry you missed the point, and mistake questioning for hostility and competition. I shot with an NX500 (same camera as the OP) but without reducing sharpness, and it's of birds at the long end of a telephoto. So one can compare  it to a purposefully softened shot of birds that was posted. Indeed, you can download my original 4K video and blow it up to a FullHD video if you are really interested to get the 1000m equivalent (I share my videos) that does not lose detail due to artificial softness. Why do you think posting a comparable clip is a competition?

I "shared' a comparable video that was not purposely dulled. What I expected was someone to say "See, look at how artificial your video is compared to the softened one." Or, "You are right, it is interesting to see feather detail, and I do not understand why one would want to lose that and the NX500 4K crop clearly does not lose detail."   I asked why one would want a soft video. Neither the NX1 nor the NX500 produce artifact-ridden falsely sharpened video at default settings; so I ask again, what is the point of softening to lose real detail? Calling a soft video soft is not hostility since it was clearly not done mistakenly, it is an observation. Feel free to call mine falsely detailed, if you think so.

I love the idea of exploiting the crop to get up close that the is the topic of this thread, and the well-exposed parrot clip is a great example, if it were not deliberately mushed up. It thus confuses how well the NX500 cropping works, the point of this thread, because of the radical softening choice. And the issue of how well NX1 and NX500 video meld together is also an interesting question, but was not the OP. In any case I do not see how either calls for eliminating detail. Look at the OP and the thread title; it is about the advantage of the NX500 crop. And then the example given is some very soft video having nothing to do with the crop. I provided an example not softened artificially so no one thinks the crop is what caused the mush.

Mark, placing 4K onto a 1080p to get a crop doesn't soften the image, the result will have the same 1080p resolution as that of 4K scaled down to 1080p. So in this case, you're going tight without losing detail. That's the point. And it's not just about zoom, you can fake two-camera shots, slider/jib moves, slow zoom, etc. without worries. Of course, all this is assuming you're delivering in 1080p. See my post Using 4K to simulate two-camera shoot (and other things) for more details, including a video I did of a fashion show that uses these techniques.

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Mark, placing 4K onto a 1080p to get a crop doesn't soften the image, the result will have the same 1080p resolution as that of 4K scaled down to 1080p. So in this case, you're going tight without losing detail. That's the point. And it's not just about zoom, you can fake two-camera shots, slider/jib moves, slow zoom, etc. without worries. Of course, all this is assuming you're delivering in 1080p. See my post Using 4K to simulate two-camera shoot (and other things) for more details, including a video I did of a fashion show that uses these techniques.

You still do not understand. Everyone is fully aware that placing a 4K video on a 1080 timeline does not soften the image, it just loses resolution, which is irrelevant if delivering in FullHD. Great. And 4K video allows lots of interesting options for HD delivered video; well known. However, this is not relevant to the fact that uniquely the NX500 has a big crop of the image in 4K, so it acts like a teleconverter without any resolution loss, which was your point and the topic of this thread (look again).

The point is the softness I was referring to and questioning was due to your shooting with sharpness at -10 (You said: "I had the sharpness at -10"), which does soften the image whatever the delivery resolution. And, indeed, your posted video is conspicuously soft. And you still refuse to explain why you softened the image so radically. You posted a video purporting to demonstrate the advantage of the 4K crop (good!), but you decided to shoot it with sharpness turned all the way down. I posted a 4K crop that did not reduce sharpness lest people think that the NX500 delivered soft video because of the crop (how would they be able to know that with your softened image?). My point was and is your soft image is not a useful, and is perhaps a misleading, example of the 4K crop, because you also radically softened it. You could very well have a good reason for this even though I cannot think of one.

So, now I hope you understand, and the question still remains why did you deliberately soften the image? What possible advantage is there? And what does it have to do with the technique of taking advantage of cropped 4K? Btw, when you shot your fashion show video (which I liked), did you shoot it with sharpness set at -10?

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So, now I hope you understand, and the question still remains why did you deliberately soften the image? What possible advantage is there? And what does it have to do with the technique of taking advantage of cropped 4K? Btw, when you shot your fashion show video (which I liked), did you shoot it with sharpness set at -10?

There are two reasons for reducing sharpness to -10 in the camera. The default sharpness of 0 actually has in-camera sharpening that results in artifacts that cannot be removed in post. If you zoom in closely, you'll see the issues at the edges, try getting rid of them. Next, the in-camera sharpening introduces extra (false) information that stresses the codec, further reducing quality. Take a video file, sharpen and re-save, you'll see that the sharpened version is larger.

Many filmmakers (me included) prefer the natural look of hi res un-sharpened images (which are more film like and less like video), so it's also an aesthetic choice. But for the two reasons above, even if you want well defined edges, you're better off sharpening in post. If you're interested, check out my thread NX1 Dynamic Range Settings, where I discuss my finding with NX1 experiments and conclusions (that sharpness -10 and contrast -5 with DR gamma give the best results).

Thanks for viewing my fashion show video and for your comment. Yes, I did have sharpness at -10 and contrast at -5, with DR gamma (applies only to NX1 though, it's not in NX500). Try out reducing the sharpness, you might end up liking it!

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You still do not understand. Everyone is fully aware that placing a 4K video on a 1080 timeline does not soften the image, it just loses resolution, which is irrelevant if delivering in FullHD. Great. And 4K video allows lots of interesting options for HD delivered video; well known. However, this is not relevant to the fact that uniquely the NX500 has a big crop of the image in 4K, so it acts like a teleconverter without any resolution loss, which was your point and the topic of this thread (look again).

The point is the softness I was referring to and questioning was due to your shooting with sharpness at -10 (You said: "I had the sharpness at -10"), which does soften the image whatever the delivery resolution. And, indeed, your posted video is conspicuously soft. And you still refuse to explain why you softened the image so radically. You posted a video purporting to demonstrate the advantage of the 4K crop (good!), but you decided to shoot it with sharpness turned all the way down. I posted a 4K crop that did not reduce sharpness lest people think that the NX500 delivered soft video because of the crop (how would they be able to know that with your softened image?). My point was and is your soft image is not a useful, and is perhaps a misleading, example of the 4K crop, because you also radically softened it. You could very well have a good reason for this even though I cannot think of one.

So, now I hope you understand, and the question still remains why did you deliberately soften the image? What possible advantage is there? And what does it have to do with the technique of taking advantage of cropped 4K? Btw, when you shot your fashion show video (which I liked), did you shoot it with sharpness set at -10?

I can't speak for anyone else. However, I reduce sharpness so that I can sharpen to my taste (if need be) in post. I would much rather have my powerful computer and NLE sharpen the image then having it baked on the image in-camera. 

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So, now I hope you understand, and the question still remains why did you deliberately soften the image? What possible advantage is there? And what does it have to do with the technique of taking advantage of cropped 4K? Btw, when you shot your fashion show video (which I liked), did you shoot it with sharpness set at -10?

Personally I do it so the image will more closely resemble what my eyes see.

If I look at a bird in real life it doesn't have harsh, black edges. Highlight have gradient and tonality and aren't sharp edged either.

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Guest Ebrahim Saadawi

Again, sharpness is something, resolution is another, I said it too much and will say it too much to come. Samsung nx1 at -10 still have a substantial amount of digital edge enhancement, sharpening. 

Detailed and soft is best (1DC), detailed and sharp is worse (NX1/GH4), non detailed and sharp is worst (Canon DSLRs + sharpening). 

That's an opinion many of us here on the forums share. You don't have to agree, this is aesthetics, personal preferences, if you like sharp and detailed images that leap of the screen and edges, it's not a crime. If I like seeing the detail but without any digital sharpening or edge enhancement, organic and soft, it's not a felony.

Whenever we get into an argument on a grading choice, an aesthetic choice, it's exactly as if I am reading us arguing about our favourite colours and trying to win the argument, that's not gonna happen, ever. 

I liked what you did there with the NX500 as a teleconverter, the footage is great and would have been impossible with many other cameras. 

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  • 4 weeks later...

Another telephoto capture, this time of the full moon today here in Pasadena, CA.

Looks great!!! I have been messing with black & white on the nx500 and have been getting some great results, even though I have a love/hate relationship with the camera. 

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Guest Ebrahim Saadawi

When you think of it the nx500 has the smallest 4K dense sensor with interchangeable lenses thus is the highest teleconverter-use sensor. A pain for using it as an all around but as a long camera the results are fantastic. A dense 2.8x 4K image that's sharp and high IQ, then you can with that 4K to 1080p with post cropping. The problem will be using a high quality lens to be able to resolve in such a small sensor area, so using high resolution lenses will be key, not normal kit 70-300 lenses at 300 for example. A Canon 50mm F1.8 at F/2.8 for example would make a substantial 150mm-ish telephoto lens with tack sharp 4K video and ability to go 300mm-ish with 2x 1080p cropping. 150mm f/1.8 tack sharp 4K footage with a 90$ lens and a 400$ body is pretty damn special. Nothing does 4K at that small dense area with a lens mount. Great find, 

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