Those terrible Samsung sensors (or are they?)

Started Nov 3, 2012 | Discussions thread
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viking79
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Those terrible Samsung sensors (or are they?)
Nov 3, 2012

Here is the Samsung NX20 20 MP sensor compared to the Fuji XP1 both @ ISO 3200, f/4, 1/60. I used my typical back light weak front light scene with the baby doll (Pizza delivery guy commented on it when he dropped off the food). These scene is typical of a low light restaurant and street shooting. A situation where you would be using ISO 3200.

Both manual exposure. I bracketed ISO settings just to make sure both cameras were exposing similarly (they are). I used the 30 mm f/2 on the Samsung and 35 mm f/1.4 on the fuji, which is why the Fuji has a bit more magnification (I left camera in same position for test). Since the Fuji is zoomed in more it has an advantage of appearing to have more detail (this is not a detail test so I wouldn't go by that, I didn't attempt to make the focus plane identical, but did focus on the same spot on subject).

Outputs were cropped to the same sensor area, not the same number of pixels. This prevents the higher MP on the Samsung from penalizing it (you don't view images at the pixel level). So they were cropped 870x580 for the Samsung and 778x519 for the Fuji, Lightroom does this automatically when you sync the crop.

My thoughts going into this test were that I would see a large advantage to the Fuji, and while this is partially true looking at the RAW data with default settings, the Samsung appears to respond better to noise reduction in Lightroom than the Fuji. I set the values where I liked, if I went much higher with the Fuji it got plasticky.

The bottom line is the Fuji is not significantly better in RAW at high ISO when some noise reduction is applied to both cameras. Out of camera JPEG is definitely going to favor the Fuji at ISO 3200. I am not trying to prove anything here (if anything was trying to justify the purchase of the XP1 I got for a good deal used), but what I found was, and as I have found before, the attacks on the "Terrible samsung sensors" are not founded.

Granted, Lightroom is not the ideal RAW converter for Fuji yet, but it might not be for Samsung either, and noise levels should be impacted much either way.  I picked the Fuji as there are several fervent Fuji fans that think it is the best APS-C sensor for high ISO (and in JPEG it might very well be the best, but I don't shoot enough JPEG to know or care).

Overall Shot

Samsung with some noise reduction original sized image: http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8047/8149760077_46ac0b0c08_o.jpg

Fuji with some noise reduction original sized image: http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8054/8149760629_25823d4d1e_o.jpg

Now some crops:

Samsung no noise reduction.

Fuji no noise reduction

Samsung Noise reduction 29, detail 47, color 31, detail 50 (I went with what I liked best)

Fuji with Luminance 8, detail 62 (I just went with what I liked best)

Samsung no noise reduction (noticeably grainier)

Fuji no noise reduction

Samsung with Luminance 35, detail 44 (again, just what I happened to like)

Fuji with Luminance 18, detail 50 (again, what I happened to like)

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