Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Testing the Samsung NX500 after firmware update v. 1.10

This video shows the effect of the firmware update v. 1.10 on the Samsung NX500's low light autofocus speed, backlight autofocus accuracy, and the raw buffer depth.

Hit the jump for details.


1. Raw buffer depth (normal/lossy compression; Sandisk Extreme Pro 95mbps).  The raw buffer depth depends on the ISO.  At ISO 100, I can get 17 or 18 raw shots.  At ISO 6400, I get about 10 raw shots.

2. Backlight autofocus accuracy.  I took several backlit shots, with Focus Priority set to Shooting Speed Priority.  I tried it with and without face detection.  When face detection was being used,  I waited for the square to appear on my face and turn green.  I also tried it without face detection, in which case I waited for some green AF points to light up on my face.

All but one of the 20 or so shots I took were in focus.  Here are the shots shown in the video.  The uncropped shots are SOOC to show the intensity of the backlight, while the cropped shots have had shadow adjustments to show that the face is in focus (usually the nose and sometimes the eyes).

3. Low light autofocus speed.  I focused on three black objects on a black background in dim light.  It appears that the autofocus speed in such conditions is dependent on the maximum aperture of the lens.

a. kit lens at 16mm f/3.5.  Can take a couple of seconds to focus slowly but eventually acquires focus, and focuses accurately.

b. kit lens at 50mm f/5.6.  Seems slightly slower than at f/3.5.

c. Samsung 20 2.8: reasonably quick.  Almost the same as the Sony a6000 with kit lens in similar conditions, with greater accuracy.

It appears that firmware v. 1.10 did improve the Samsung NX500's performance in many ways, addressing what had been its most significant weaknesses (in my opinion).  There is noticeable improvement in low light autofocus speed, backlight autofocus accuracy, and raw buffer depth.

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