Slashdot is powered by your submissions, so send in your scoop

 



Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
Check out the new SourceForge HTML5 internet speed test! No Flash necessary and runs on all devices. ×
Input Devices Hardware Technology

Samsung's Advanced Chips Give Its Cameras a Big Boost 192

GhostX9 writes: SLR Lounge just posted a first look at the Samsung NX1 28.1 MP interchangeable lens camera. They compare it to Canon and Sony full-frame sensors. Spoiler: The Samsung sensor seems to beat the Sony A7R sensor up to ISO 3200. They attribute this to Samsung's chip foundry. While Sony is using 180nm manufacturing (Intel Pentium III era) and Canon is still using 500nm process (AMD DX4 era), Samsung has gone with 65nm with copper interconnects (Intel Core 2 Duo — Conroe era). Furthermore, Samsung's premium lenses appear to be as sharp or sharper than Canon's L line and Sony's Zeiss line in the center, although the Canon 24-70/2.8L II is sharper at the edge of the frame.
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Samsung's Advanced Chips Give Its Cameras a Big Boost

Comments Filter:
  • by SuperKendall ( 25149 ) on Monday January 19, 2015 @09:17PM (#48853313)

    The whole reason to pay a premium price for a lens is that you get better sharpness across the frame.

    I'm sure Samsung's lenses are pretty good, but I'm dubious about them until I see more photographic testing over this spec fest which doesn't tell you a lot about a lens.

    I have to say Samsung has some serious balls pushing so hard to enter a shrinking market against giants like Nikon and Canon...

    • by jandrese ( 485 )
      This is about interchangeable lens cameras (DSLR), not the consumer POS market that has been all but killed by the rapidly improving cameras on smartphones.
      • by SuperKendall ( 25149 ) on Monday January 19, 2015 @09:56PM (#48853477)

        Consumer grade lenses are already blurry at the corners. I'm talking about higher-end DSLR lenses, in those lenses center sharpness is pretty much assumed, the bigger deal is sharpness across the whole frame. That's what you are paying money for in high end lenses, not the easily achieved center sharpness but really great sharpness everywhere.

        Also there was no mention of how the bokeh was... that's the element that brings people back to certain lens makers like Zeiss.

        • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

          by Anonymous Coward

          Sure, but the Samsung S lens is still a $1k lens, and they're pitching it as a L-type lens.

          The video here shows that think they can catch up using technology.
          https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bJ7XbVZTj-k&src_vid=p0jLIuurH64&feature=iv&annotation_id=annotation_882327

          I think their 300/2.8 will be the real arbiter. That has to compete against Canon's 300/2.8 if they want to really be a player. Tokina and Tamron have not been successful.

          • Why would a 300 mm lens be critical to Samsung's success? It's too long for portraits, especially on a APS-C sensor.

            • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

              by Anonymous Coward

              For portraits, "bokeh" at the strength of lenses like Canon's 85/1.2L on FF will give you a better picture than almost anything out there. Since portraiture has good lighting either natural/studio/strobes, all of the strengths of the NX1 are limited.

              The NX1 is boasting 15 fps which could actually be useful in sports. The ultra fast AF would be useful also. The 300/2.8 is the workhorse of most sporting events. If they can pull off a fast 300/2.8, theyll be able to compete against Canon and Nikon.

              T

              • Ah, ok. As for portraits-- the 200mm f/2 is said to be commonly used for head shots.

      • IIRC, samsung cameras don't have mirrors, and therefore are not DSLRs.

    • by tonywong ( 96839 )
      Looking pretty decent. Not crap on first look, but more investigation needed.

      http://www.lensrentals.com/blog/2014/12/one-single-samsung-nx-1-test
    • Ballsy to enter with such a good sensor? I don't think so.

      • It doesn't matter how good the sensor, camera, or lens are really - because the entire non-smartphone camera market is shrinking rapidly.

        How can Samsung hope to make back the R&D costs of making even a great sensor, camera, and series of lenses? Where will the customers come from? It will take YEARS to pry even marginally serious photographers away from the systems they are already invested in.

        It's like having an ocean shrink to a small pool, seeing a writhing mass of sharks within, then putting on a

        • Where do you think the smart phone sensor tech starts from?

          Doing neat new stuff in the big sensors is easier than trying to do it from scratch in tiny sensors.
          This applies to everything. Car companies do all their R&D on massive sports cars which don't make a profit. A few years later the regular cars get some of the benefits.

        • Re:Yes, here's why (Score:4, Insightful)

          by dgatwood ( 11270 ) on Tuesday January 20, 2015 @02:53AM (#48854383) Homepage Journal

          It doesn't matter how good the sensor, camera, or lens are really - because the entire non-smartphone camera market is shrinking rapidly.

          I think you're misinterpreting the numbers. The market at the low end is contracting because cell phones are cutting into it. The market at the high end is contracting because neither Canon nor Nikon is really innovating much. If each generation has only small, incremental improvements, people are going to upgrade their gear less and less frequently.

          Nobody is replacing their DSLRs with cell phones, within some small epsilon. At best, cell phones can replace DSLRs for outdoor portrait photography, when you're within a few feet from the subject. On the opposite extreme, if you try to use a cell phone to take photos of your kid's stage play, you'll annoy everyone by standing up in the front row, and you'll still only get shots with blown-out faces that are six pixels by six pixels in size and so severely smeared by motion blur that nobody would be recognizable even if you could fix those first three problems.... All the while, the parent with the real camera might be taking amazing close-ups with a 300mm (or longer) lens on a full-frame camera from the back of the auditorium.

          Of course, half the time, the parent with the real camera has a lens that's too short to be usable and hasn't learned enough about the camera to avoid getting blown-out shots. Unfortunately, some of those folks get discouraged and never upgrade their gear. Fortunately, there's a steady supply of people who can't be bothered to learn the basics, so them getting discouraged isn't a big problem market-wise. :-)

          • Nobody is replacing their DSLRs with cell phones, within some small epsilon.

            Quite a few people are, which is why the market is shrinking rapidly. Especially at the low end, which you just said...

            if you try to use a cell phone to take photos of your kid's stage play, you'll annoy everyone by standing up in the front row

            I've done just that - only from the back row. You can easily attach teleconverters if you want zoom, and frankly lots of people are willing to use digital zoom also. The result you get is m

            • by dgatwood ( 11270 )

              I've done just that - only from the back row. You can easily attach teleconverters if you want zoom ...

              Okay, six pixels was an exaggeration—in a small hall, by my math (based on photos I've taken with other cameras), an 8MP iPhone would yield faces ranging from 26 to 50 pixels tall. With a 6D, a full-pixel crop at 40mm isn't great, but it is usable for people near the front of the stage By the time you get down to a 10MP APS-C sensor, it is barely usable for people at the front of the stage, and is

              • by dgatwood ( 11270 )

                Oh, yeah. I forgot to mention that those pixel counts were for adult-size heads. Scale accordingly for younger kids. :-)

              • That's all true but for most people 28-50 pixels face is close enough, especially considering the burden carrying a real DSLR and lenses - even smaller mirrorless cameras mean a case and some weight. Some people will do it (I've done it) but fewer and fewer... the iPhone 6 plus IS also works pretty well for helping with lower light.

                The iPhone burst capture also really helps with low light, I've used the same technique on "real" cameras where in a burst one will be sharp as it was taken at just the moment y

    • by AK Marc ( 707885 )
      So, rather than buying a Sony lens for a Samsung camera, you'll buy the worse body because you want the name on the body and camera to match?

      I have to say Samsung has some serious balls pushing so hard to enter a shrinking market against giants like Nikon and Canon...

      From the fact that their "weak point" was the lenses, I'm guessing that they have body and chip manufacturing down for other things, and decided to try cameras on a lark, and managed to out-class the leaders on a first attempt. What's that say about the others?

      • by Cederic ( 9623 )

        Sony sell NX mount lenses?

        decided to try cameras on a lark, and managed to out-class the leaders on a first attempt

        Sigh. So the sixteen ILC cameras they've released in the last five years don't count?

  • Cue the judgemental and rabid fanatics who are fans or detractors of various brands. This should be as good as a discussion on audio quality... :P

    • by Anonymous Coward

      It doesn't much matter as the lens largely determines which brand of body one buys. I have several grand invested in Canon lenses, so in order to switch to Samsung, Sony or Nikon bodies, I would have to be convinced that their technology won't just be better for the next generation, but will be better for a very long time. Not likely to happen.

      What this might do is change where new photographers wind up, but if they don't have good glass to back this up with, it's not going to make much difference.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      You might find this article to be useful and informative.

      Trolling for Dummies [newcameranews.com]

      • by msobkow ( 48369 )

        So laughing at the expected arguments and flame wars that are about to ensue is "trolling"? I said nothing to actually start an argument.

        Methinks you need to look up the definition of the word...

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday January 19, 2015 @10:03PM (#48853509)

    They are comparing against the Canon EOS 5D Mark II... which was released in 2008. Sensor tech advances at a fast rate, basically being eclipsed every 18-24 months. So the review compares Samsung's latest sensor against a Canon sensor from 7 years ago that is essentially 3 sensor generations old.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    Will be talking out of their ass, just trying to raise a ruckus.
    The very first comment gets it wrong: photographers care about anything that gets them The Picture.
    Sometimes that means more megapixels.
    Other times it means FEWER megapixels but a lot of frames per second.
    And yet other times it is simply the camera you have NOW that matters, so a small, pocketable camera (even a cell phone) is the best choice.
    Even having the SHARPEST lens possible is not always a critical point, folks.
    Here is the big trick:
    came

  • by caseih ( 160668 ) on Monday January 19, 2015 @10:50PM (#48853685)

    Seems like Android phones can outspec the iPhone in every way, including megapixels, but none that I've seen have the image quality of the iPhone camera. It's quite embarrassing how good of pictures my friends with iPhones can actually get. Mine are always noisy and blurry. Even with the LED flash. What's crazy is that even Sony, who makes the camera and camera chipset for Apple cannot even get a camera as good on their Android phones. What am I missing?

    • by ArsonSmith ( 13997 ) on Monday January 19, 2015 @11:33PM (#48853857) Journal

      did you swap iPhone for Android in your text? I usually have iPhone people asking me to take pictures with my SIII because it takes so much better shots.

      • by AmiMoJo ( 196126 ) *

        Indeed, the OnePlus One costs 1/3rd the price of an iPhone 6 and has an equal or better camera: http://fortheloveoftech.com/20... [fortheloveoftech.com]

        Notice how the colours on the iPhone are over-saturated. The OnePlus One gives truer colours and has RAW support, so if you like over-saturated you can either set it up as a filter in the options or just apply it later.

        As usual there is nothing magical about Apple cameras. Same sensors as everyone else has access to, and the lenses are usually similar or slightly worse due to them

    • by Anonymous Coward

      Nexus 6 camera beats iPhone 6 hands down in a blind test. http://bgr.com/2015/01/07/nexus-6-vs-iphone-6-plus/

      • Blind testing cameras? Hmm...

      • And even that Nexus 6, the absolute current top-of-the-line flagship in the Android world, has a laggier camera app. And focuses more slowly.

        The gap is closing, sure, but what a phone camera needs to be is INSTANT. Keep it in memory at all times for all I care, as long as it's open within milliseconds of me tapping the button to open the camera app.

    • Seems like Android phones can outspec the iPhone in every way, including megapixels, but none that I've seen have the image quality of the iPhone camera. It's quite embarrassing how good of pictures my friends with iPhones can actually get. Mine are always noisy and blurry. Even with the LED flash. What's crazy is that even Sony, who makes the camera and camera chipset for Apple cannot even get a camera as good on their Android phones. What am I missing?

      I own a Samsung Galaxy S5 through T-Mobile. It was it's camera that sold me, 16.9 Mpix and it does indeed take great pictures.
      The rest I would post about the S5 wouldn't be praise for it's other abilities.

      What are you missing? HDR mayhaps?
      HDR https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/... [wikipedia.org], adds a lot to this quality, as without the setting pictures don't come out as well.
      Its only restriction I've found is if a light is in anywhere in the picture, it throws HDR off and ones better off turning HDR off.

      I've used HDR on a t

  • by ankhank ( 756164 ) * on Monday January 19, 2015 @11:31PM (#48853845) Journal

    Someone, some day, will make a digital camera the size of a 35mm film cassette, with a pullout sensor the size of a 35mm film strip that fits over the sprockets on the film plane of the good film cameras. Make it Bluetooth or wifi-controllable. For the viewfinder-impaired, put a display driver on the takeup reel side and a stick-on display on the back; reinterpret the film advance lever action. The utterly obvious stuff.

    Why not yet? We don't *ing* need disposable cameras, and there are plenty of good robust ones that will last another century.

    • It came and went; you missed it (sort of).

      http://cultureandcommunication... [cultureand...cation.org]

      The closest thing to your idea that actually existed was the Digital Modul R back for Leica R8 and R9 SLRs. Even this was a white elephant compared to Canon's full frame cameras at the time. Photographers would buy a Canon 1-series camera and take a Dremel to the mirror so they could fit Leica R lenses on it, rather than deal with the Modul R.

    • They tried that. Didn't work. There's a whole lot more electronics than a simple sensor that goes into a digital camera. The result was big and bulky and didn't work very well.

  • by nehumanuscrede ( 624750 ) on Monday January 19, 2015 @11:56PM (#48853941)
    It takes a good sensor, a good lens, some skill and even some luck to create a decent photo.

    I'll withhold judgement on the Samsung claims until the sensors have been properly tested in the field.
    That said, there is a reason pro lenses cost so damn much. Five years from now, my top end lenses will still be worth every penny I paid for them, while I probably wouldn't even be able to GIVE away the DSLR body. A whole lot of optical engineering goes into lens design. Especially the high end glass. If there is a cheaper way to do it without sacrificing quality, Canon and Nikon would really like to talk to you about it.

    Someone asked why the 300mm/2.8 lens was significant. The reason for it is the 300mm/2.8 and the 70-200mm/2.8 lenses are pretty much lenses that set the bar or standard for optical clarity, so to speak, for both the Nikon and Canon camps.

    Yes, tiny sensors can achieve better magnification with less glass than their full sized counterparts, however, this normally comes at the price of noise since you're packing all those mega-pixels into a much smaller footprint. Don't get me wrong, in perfect lighting ( say ISO 100 ) it'll probably make a really nice image. In the real world, however, perfect lighting rarely exists outside the studio. This is where low light capability and low noise sensors pull away from the camera wannabe's. It's more or less a balancing act between low light and noise.

    If they want to impress me, show me what the camera can do when the light goes crappy on you and you need to push the ISO above 3200. This is where the full frames really start to flex their muscle. Show me what the image looks like edge to edge when this sensor is paired with decent glass. How's the bokeh ? Chromatic Aberration ? If you can impress me with the first few, now you need to build an inventory of lenses I can choose from depending on what I'm shooting. Portrait, landscape, macro, sports, wildlife, etc. One size doth not fit all here. Don't forget all the other goodies that go into this very, very expensive hobby. Flashes, tele-converters, filters, etc. etc.

    Someone mentioned how silly it is to " get it right in the camera when we can do it all post ".

    The idea is sound, IF you shoot one or two photos. OTOH, the reason you get it right in the camera is so you don't have to spend so much damn time fixing things in post. So, if you just shot up 1000 images for a wedding or your vacation or whatever, trust me when I tell you that reviewing them all in Lightroom is bad enough. Having to apply various fixes to compensate for silly oversights you SHOULD have done in camera is just annoying as hell.

    In the end, it still takes a lot of skill and a bit of luck to pull of a shot to be proud of. The tech will only get you so far.
    • by Anonymous Coward

      Har har har you stupid old man with your quaint cameras. Our iPhones and whatever take better quality pictures than any high-end full-frame camera. Who cares about depth of field and white balance or RAW processing. We computer nerds know anything. Har har har. Now let's jerk off.

    • Someone asked why the 300mm/2.8 lens was significant. The reason for it is the 300mm/2.8 and the 70-200mm/2.8 lenses are pretty much lenses that set the bar or standard for optical clarity, so to speak, for both the Nikon and Canon camps.

      According to DXOMark, the top scoring lenses for both the Canon 1Dx and the Nikon 810E are both made by Carl Zeiss-- e.g Carl Zeiss Apo Planar T* Otus 85mm F14 ZF.2 [dxomark.com].

      The top scoring Canon is, indeed, the 2.8 300mm. But Nikon's best lens [dxomark.com] is the 2.0 200mm. Now, it has a 2.8 400mm and 2.8 300mm that are almost as good-- but it has a number of portrait lenses up there as well.

      (The 70-200mm zooms are almost second rate in comparison. Besides, people have accused the Nikkor of being slightly short.)

      If you're a spo

    • by Greyfox ( 87712 )
      Ooh! I was just reading about this! [cs.ubc.ca] Dunno if any of that work will actually result in a product that can get better results from simpler lenses, though.
  • by cpotoso ( 606303 ) on Tuesday January 20, 2015 @12:36AM (#48854053) Journal
    How long will Samsung will support the camera?

    Almost every device from Samsung I've owned lost support as soon as a newer device/os came along. I would not touch this company for anything I expect to use for longer than 2 years.

  • So a well funded player rolls out a new camera missing a feature its established and highly regarded competitors have, and a web site gives them a great review. Dang, why didn't I have that domain name! I should write bad reviews of the new Samsung and wait for the next model and ask for a reviewers copy. I ought to get some spending cash then!

  • Interesting that there's no mention of Nikon's top 36MP chip in their new D810.

    However, even that's wimpy. Take look at any of Phase One [phaseone.com]'s medium format digital backs in 50, 60, or 80 megapixels, with the world's highest resolution and widest dynamic range in any commercially available camera system. They're generally used with the world's best German lenses, like Schneider and Rodenstock This is what pro fashion, product, landscape, and repro shooters use when money is no object.

    • The medium-formats excel in a studio environment or where lighting is predictable. Not so much in low light levels nor for high speed photography. Two different systems really designed for different shooting environments. I wouldn't dream of trying to outperform a medium-format setup in a studio with a DSLR. I'd get laughed out of the room. lol

      Like you said, they have higher resolution and better dynamic range. That comes at a cost though . . . . . speed.

      Let's go outside and start shooting birds in fli

There is no royal road to geometry. -- Euclid

Working...