Wednesday 2 March 2016

Video Metadata - Samsung NX1 Hints and Tips

Good day,

One would presume that you all know what EXIF data is (but for those who don't); when you import digital photos you have taken into your computer for editing you may notice a window showing information like the shutter speed used, the aperture, exposure compensation, white balance and the like.

As you can imagine, this information can be extremely useful. Not only for seeing what settings you actually used but also for seeing what worked and what didn't, also for being able to sort images by ISO or shutter speed, if you need to for some reason.

In digital cameras, EXIF has been around since about 1998. You can get something similar for audio files which lets you view the copyright information, recording artist, producer, year of release and so on. As you can imagine this 'added information' extension is also available for video files.

I mention this because some have questioned the absence of said EXIF info in the video files captured by the Samsung NX1. Whacking it into Premiere, Vegas and others will yield none of that tasty data. Now, that isn't because the NX1 doesn't capture it, it's because the data is captured in a non-standard way. Why am I not surprised that Samsung implemented it this way...

Anyway the important thing is you can still get at it. How? Watch my latest 60 second video on the 'Samsung NX1 Hints and Tips' series below to find out! You would be surprised how challenging it is to fit this kind of thing into sixty seconds. Challenging, but fun, and informative.

Remember to like the video if useful and to subscribe to my YouTube channel for more info!

Friday 15 January 2016

BBC R&D Confirms H.265/HEVC Efficiency Gains Over H.264/AVC

The results and an extensive analysis of the formal subjective verification tests of the H.265/HEVC video compression standard are published in the IEEE Transactions on Circuits and Systems for Video Technology (TCSVT), January 2016. BBC R&D video coding research team focused on evaluations of UHD content and definition of analytics as part of standardisation process and presented in this paper.

The High Efficiency Video Coding (HEVC) standard has been developed jointly by the two standardisation bodies ITU and ISO (as has been the practice with all major video coding standards in the past 3 decades); in this instance as the Joint Collaborative Team on Video Coding (JCT-VC). The main goal of the process was to provide significantly improved video compression compared with its predecessors; H.264/AVC being the most recent. HEVC standard was ratified in 2013 as H.265 by the ITU-T and as MPEG-H Part 2 by ISO/IEC. The associated formal subjective verification tests leading to the results presented here were carried out on behalf of the JCT-VC in Feb/March 2014.


Thursday 3 December 2015

Samsung NX1 - AF Tracking in 60p

A re-upload of an earlier video. Only this time I've uploaded the entire clip in its original frame rate. 60p. It was using an earlier firmware (1.2) and I hadn't actually meant to shoot any video that day. I had literally told myself 'no video today, only photography' so I had set up the camera for that.

Adjusting the AF Sensitivity settings would have sorted out two of the times it lost the bird, the other one was because I was using Single AF Continuous and the bird strayed from the focus zone due to my arms getting tired.

It's slightly overexposed because that's how I was shooting at the time. When I first got it, I shot like I've been shooting Samsung NX since the NX1000: Expose for the highlights, lift shadows in post if necessary. I've already preferred how the cameras handle shadows. Anyway as part of the testing, I started shooting like this to test the highlights in post.

The other cool thing I just so happened to pick a bird that didn't land for about two minutes all the while giving me a perfect test for the camera. Near, far, high, low, with noisy backgrounds, against a clear sky, interactions with other subjects, reflective surfaces, changes in velocity. It was useful!

Thursday 26 November 2015

Samsung Cameras - Now out of the UK

To be honest, from what I witnessed as a Samsung NX rep for years (in London), I'm surprised this didn't happen sooner, and it wasn't because of the quality of the cameras or the marketing (mostly) it was because of something else no one else seems to know about. I'm trying to work out how to put it that doesn't end up in an essay, nobody wants to read something that long.

Samsung to axe digital cameras and camcorders in UK (update)
In a statement sent to Amateur Photographer following reports circulating online, a Samsung representative said: ‘We quickly adapt to market needs and demands. 
‘In the UK, we have seen a gradual and sustained decline in demand for standalone digital cameras and camcorders and related accessories. 
‘For this reason, we have taken the decision to phase out the sales and marketing of these products.’ 
The UK statement added: ‘This is a local decision, based on local market conditions.’
The news follows reports that Samsung planned to discontinue the NX1 in Europe.
It's a shame really. Lucky I just got the 60MM and the 12-24MM :-)

Wednesday 28 October 2015

Mirrorless eating into DSLR

Nom nom.

Reuters has an interesting article regarding Canon's drop in operating profit, which they say is a combination of camera phones decimating compact cameras and MILC eating into DSLR.
The consumer shift to smartphones for casual photo taking has pummelled demand for compact cameras, while the growing popularity of lighter mirrorless cameras has taken away market share from higher margin single-lens reflex cameras.
I immediately thought of that 2014 article in DPReview when Samsung's Byungdeok Nam quoted a market report:
...since 2008 when mirrorless systems were announced, mirrorless didn’t grow very rapidly. In the last year, however, market reports are predicting that in 2018/19 mirrorless cameras will outsell DSLRs.
That article got a lot of slack from readers, not because it was a quoted market report but because it was said by someone from Samsung and we all know that we can't have someone from a company that isn't Canon, Nikon, Sony or Panasonic commenting on cameras right?

If you want to look at why Samsung is pulling out of various markets, start with dinosaur detractors like that (and that includes staff in retailers). I reckon I have a pretty unique take on this because a. I worked for Samsung NX as a Rep for years and b. I worked in major (flagship stores) in London so I got to observe countless interactions / conversations. I'll be writing about this in another post, hopefully to be published tomorrow (if it doesn't turn into a 10,000 word essay).

Thursday 20 August 2015

Building Your Dream Ferrari Is A Beautiful Thing

A short documentary about a gorgeous car, the 1959 Ferrari 250 TR. Shot with the Samsung NX1. If you want more information visit the folks over at dvxuser at this thread...