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My first field test, didn’t start well. First – I forgot to take Casio with me, second – light operator from theater got flue and stayed at home, third, and most disappointing, my Samsung collapsed at the end of the session with a stuck shutter (err 01).
But, some results are here.
I used JPEG files first, as I am still waiting for Adobe NX200 Raw converter, to make conditions equal for all tested devices.
I tried to set the cameras as equal as possible. I used shutter priority mode, because working on this theatrical performance for almost 2 months, I experienced that shutter speeds bellow 1/100s leads to blurry images, due to actors movements.
The lighting conditions (without dedicated scene lights) were tough, and on my normal cameras, I use ISO between 1600 and 3200 to get good exposures. But I also use lenses at f1.2-2.0. In this case, this wasn’t possible, as the kit lenses are much slower. I was also afraid of going above ISO 1600, so I decided to underexpose images and shot in RAW/JPEG max quality. RAW should allow most of necessary correction.
On the other hand, many people interested in those cameras (myself included for as many assignments as possible) rather shot JPEG, than spending significant amount of time in post processing.
I also put the cameras in AWB mode and set up noise reduction at standard where possible.
Let’s see the results. I hope EXIF stays intact, but basically it is between f3.5 and f5.6, at 1/125s and ISO 1600. Everything else is in camera processing. To make a comparison a bit more fair, I allow for the lens correction in LR for Canon. In other two cameras, I allowed the same thing by setting them so.
There is no other post production, results are straight from cameras.
I selected 5 shots of each and made some 100% crops for better view of how cameras dealt with noise reduction, sharpening, white balance, etc.
Canon EOS 550D, 18-55
Samsung NX200, 18-55
Sony Nex-5n, 18-55
I will leave conclusion on you…
Just couple of remarks…
Samsung suffer from really weird AWB. I would strongly recommend to use custom white balance, every time you can. In such a complicated lighting situations, with unhealthy mix of warm and cold lights, no preset will help.
Most neutral colors comes from Canon. But, most punchy color look deliver Sony. That is however personnel taste.
Sony benefits of somewhat better scaled kit lens speed. At 32mm i.e. Sony stayed at f4.0, while Samsung and Canon where at f4.5. This half a stop can play a big role in difficult lighting conditions.
Looking carefully to 100% crops, I found that Samsung, despite its somehow muddy look, actually preserves most detail. Sony uses most aggressive noise reduction, but in a combination with good sharpening algorithm, result straight out of camera, looks very good.
Once Adobe comes with NX200 RAW converter, and I manage to keep original files, I will bring RAW conversion results. Those might be quite much different.
I also hope, to receive my new Samsung NX200 soon, to be able to continue with this small test.