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My journey to Samsung (LONG)

Discussion in 'Samsung NX Forum' started by Brian style, Jan 15, 2014.

  1. Brian style

    Brian style SC Regular

    127
    Jan 3, 2014
    I have shot Canon for years. I started with a bridge superzoom SX20 as a way to dip my toe into manual shooting and longer focal lengths without investing in a DSLR system. After about 5 months I decided I wanted to dive in.

    After some research and playing with cameras (T1i and D5000) I decided on the Canon. The menus and ergonomics just worked much better for me with the Canon. But the T2i came out as I was putting my money together, so I picked up a brand new T2i. I had it for about a year and then got a refurbished 60d. Of course I went through the usual FF lust and pixel peeping phase we all seem to go through after we start getting to another level learning and skill wise, and was very close to getting a 5d2 when the 6d was released. I decided to rent the 6d for a weekend, and shot it side by side with my 60d. What I found was that from ISO 800 and down, the difference in IQ wasn't $1000, but that is what the price difference was. Over 800 is where the 6d gains, exponentially. But I don't shoot over 800 90% of the time, and after I got over my pixel peeping phase (comes when the FF lust phase starts ;) ). I became more realistic about what I need and shoot. Now I shoot ISO 3200 without worrying much about noise if I'm properly or slightly over exposed. 6400 needs some noise reduction but I stopped sweating it so much when I accepted that I wasn't printing 20x30 prints of everything I shot! If the image will only see the internet, who cares if it has some noise. By the time you reduce the image, the noise won't show up as much. It might look noisy on a 27" 1440 monitor, but on Facebook? :rolleyes:

    Why didn't I get a 6d? It is basically the same size and weight as a 60d right? I rented one with a Tamron 70-200VC. IQ was excellent! High ISO was excellent! The size and weight...not so much!! I can say without a doubt that it was THAT day of carrying around the 6d+Tamron that soured me on size and weight. The 6d and Tamron are the lightest, most compact options for FF DSLR and stabilized 70-200 2.8, and still carrying them around for 6 1/2 hours was an NOT fun! I then decided that APSC was my preferred format simply because I preferred lighter and smaller.

    I started looking into mirrorless as I assessed my portfolio and saw that the overwhelming bulk of my shooting is still life, portrait stuff. I didn't need the AF tracking speed of a DSLR. So I could go even lighter and smaller than an APSC DSLR without sacrificing DOF ability or IQ. But there aren't really any places to go now to handle most mirrorless in person now-a-days. So I decided to rent since the only thing I have to go on are Youtube videos and reviewer impressions. I rented an EM5 thinking it would be too small and didn't expect much. I found the EM5 to be an absolute joy to shoot with and use. Built like a tank and incredibly responsive. I then rented the XE1 after really feeling pumped up from all of the reviews and felt the complete opposite after a weekend. IQ was great, lenses are great, but the build quality and slow responsiveness disappointed me entirely. It felt sluggish in nearly every way compared to the EM5. Considering both cameras where the same price at the time, it made the XE1 look even less impressive. I really want an EM5 with an APSC sensor, that's what I want :) Of course Fuji sounds like they may be doing just that with the X-T1.... ;)

    So I considered the EOS M, but Canon turns its nose up at mirrorless. Only 3 lenses and they don't even sell the 11-22 in the US. The laughable AF at release (as if you DIDN'T know how bad it was before putting it on shelves!) and high price tag was "WTF?!"
    EM5, m4/3 is mature but the images looked more P&S like than I liked. The size difference in 4/3 vs APSC is small, but the look of the APSC images had that little bit extra umf I preferred. Maybe it occurs around 1.7x ;)
    Sony cares more about bodies than lenses...and the menu systems frustrated me so much it wasn't funny. It wasn't until the NEX 6 that Sony started using standard hotshoes. I just want to facepalm when I think about Sony sometimes. The A7 IMMEDIATELY looked like the answer to my dreams, but a $1000 prime that is only 1.8?? A 2.8 prime with a weird 2 piece hood? If it is going to be a slower prime at least put IS on it! Sony is already showing that they just don't get it, as usual. Maybe, hopefully, having Olympus helps them out. The point of an interchangeable lens system, is the lenses! They'll flesh out their FE lens lineup over time, but I'm not going to wait. A year from now Sony will have 5 or 6 more bodies and only 4 or 5 more lenses (expensive, slow, or both).
    Fuji is back in the running with the XE2. Faster in every way, and now 56 1.2, 16-55 and 50-140 2.8 OS lenses?! Woohoo! And you know they'll be sharp. If only Fuji would put touchscreens on their cameras :)

    Then I found Samsung, by accident. Accident because I never looked into it or knew anything about them. I saw the Bolt commercials but didn't pay attention. Once I started researching their lineup, I noticed that Samsung seemed to 'get it' in ways the big names seemed to miss. They had touchscreens, simple menus, APSC sensors, and actually had pancakes, THREE of them. A wide angle, a superzoom, telephoto, macro, 85 1.4, basically all of the basics are covered. And they went with a standard hotshoe. I read concerns people had about Samsung's commitment (I didn't get that feeling when researching them) and Samsung is pushing out more lenses and bodies, including a flash now. They are showing FAR more commitment to mirrorless than Canon, that's for sure! Announcement of the 16-50 2-2.8 speaks volumes. I haven't put Samsung's sensors to any severe tests in low light, but I wouldn't hesitate to use a Samsung to shoot anything from decent to great/controlled lighting. And can I say, face detection AF makes getting shots SO much faster. I don't have to focus/recompose, I just frame the shot and shoot.

    So now after my research, renting, and ranting, I find myself looking at 2 systems, Samsung and Fuji. If Samsung is indeed looking at going FF, I would take a hard look and would not hesitate with them the way I hesitate with Sony. I believe Samsung would put out lenses faster than Sony does.

    No, Samsung isn't perfect, but they are impressive with what they have done, and are doing. Well, not the Galaxy NX. Whoever came up with that should be fired! :mad: Perhaps the fact that they are NOT a camera company first helps them not think like the rest. They do understand integration well, being in the smart phone business helps them there, and that is something people (especially the younger generations) want more and more.
     
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  2. snkenai

    snkenai SC All-Pro

    Oct 5, 2010
    kenai, AK
    Stephen Noel
    I too, have begun casting a casual eye toward Samsung. Not totally comfortable with the idea yet. But, looking doesn't hurt too bad. :smile:
     
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  3. bilzmale

    bilzmale Super Moderator Emeritus

    Jul 17, 2010
    Perth, Western Australia
    Bill Shinnick
    I have a bit of a soft spot for Samsung based on a good experience with a TL500.
     
  4. Nuskyn

    Nuskyn SC Veteran

    387
    Jul 8, 2011
    @Gelderland - the Netherlands
    Jeroen
    my idea : a camera is just a tool, and SAMSUNG is making great tools...
     
  5. Richard

    Richard SC Top Veteran

    558
    Feb 1, 2013
    Marlow, UK
    An interesting read, thank you.

    -R
     
  6. Ray Sachs

    Ray Sachs SC Legend

    Sep 21, 2010
    Not too far from Philly
    you should be able to figure it out...
    I started getting interested in Samsung with the NX300, but the NX20 didn't really look up to snuff for a viewfinder model. Now with the NX30 and the lenses they already have out, I think it would likely be my choice if I ever decided to go back to an APS mirrorless system. I recently got out of Fuji and doubled down on m43 and I'm not looking to change anything anytime soon. I may eventually move to full frame as the A7 and any future entries expand into that area, but I'm more than happy with the m43 stuff for my system needs and the RX1 and Nikon A for most of my day to day shooting. But of the current APS mirrorless options, I think Samsung is the most impressive of the bunch unless the Fuji controls or the look of the X-Trans sensor really appeals to you.

    -Ray
     
  7. Luckypenguin

    Luckypenguin SC Hall of Famer

    Dec 24, 2010
    Brisbane, Australia
    Nic
    Lots of great choices available whichever way you decide to go. Perhaps even too many choices...
     
  8. Brian style

    Brian style SC Regular

    127
    Jan 3, 2014
    My initial look at Samsung was casual as well.. Lensrentals doesn't offer Samsung so I couldn't rent one, but I went to a Best Buy and played with one for about 45 minutes. Not exaggerating either. I took a speedlight and RF transmitter with me to use as well! LOL! I then jumped in figuring if I don't like the NX300+30f2 after a few months, I'll just sell them. It would be like renting in the end.

    My only experience with Samsung is an LCD tv. So I only had the typical biases you hear regarding Samsung when it comes to ILC systems. But Samsung has been doing nothing but showing that they are trying to become major players in mirrorless.

    Absolutely spot on! This is why I stopped measurebating and giving so much credibility/weight to sites that go on and on about numbers and measurements. Ever read forums where people actually argue, exhaustively, about DXO marks, downrezing/uprezing photos to be accurate when comparing sensors, DR numbers, blah blah blah. Good grief! NONE of that matters if you don't like using the camera because they don't make the lenses you want (have to adapt other maker's lenses and loose AF), or if you hate using the camera because it doesn't feel good in your hand, or you don't like the menus system. I'm only brand loyal in so far as that brand gives me what I want at the time. :wink: Basically all cameras are good now. Get what you like :cool:
     
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  9. Woody112704

    Woody112704 SC Top Veteran

    579
    Nov 7, 2013
    Iowa
    Jared
    Seeing the pictures from Flickr and on here, it makes me want to get a NX300 and 30mm pancake and maybe the 85mm. No only because of the great looking images but because it seems that there aren't very many people shooting with a Samsung.
     
  10. kyteflyer

    kyteflyer ~@¿@~

    Jan 31, 2011
    Newcastle, Australia
    Sue
    You've hit it right on the head, Nic. I am nearly always at sixes and sevens about what I want next... and then wonder if "next" should even be an option, given that the cameras I have now are perfectly good and do the job well. A GR? The Stylus 1? A small sensor superzoom? More lenses for the Nikon 1? Sell the Nikon and Pentax gear and go MFT? I'm frozen... but now Samsung is appealing. Its insane. I'm going to save up for a split system air conditioner instead.
     
  11. Luckypenguin

    Luckypenguin SC Hall of Famer

    Dec 24, 2010
    Brisbane, Australia
    Nic
    It's a funny thing that there IS actually a certain guilty pleasure about doing so :smile:


    Not a bad idea at all given the recent temperatures
     
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  12. Woody112704

    Woody112704 SC Top Veteran

    579
    Nov 7, 2013
    Iowa
    Jared
    Nic, do you have or have you tried the 16mm or the 12-24mm lenses? Love to hear your thoughts on those if you have.
     
  13. Luckypenguin

    Luckypenguin SC Hall of Famer

    Dec 24, 2010
    Brisbane, Australia
    Nic
    No, unfortunately not. I believe that elandel on this forum just bought the 12-24mm am I'm hoping to hear how it goes. It's a lens that I am tempted by but currently I am shooting my NX300 with pancakes only (20mm and 30mm) of which I have been very impressed by. In fact I just sold my Panasonic 14mm f2.5 Micro 4/3 lens because I found it's across-the-frame performance disappointing compared to the Samsung 20mm.

    I have read with the 16mm pancake that it can suffer from field curvature which is more noticable on the higher resolution 20mp bodies, less noticeable on the early 14mp bodies. It would round out the pancake "collection" but is not a lens that I am currently looking at.
     
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  14. Woody112704

    Woody112704 SC Top Veteran

    579
    Nov 7, 2013
    Iowa
    Jared
    Do you find the 20mm to be wide enough for you?
     
  15. Amin Sabet

    Amin Sabet Administrator

    Jul 3, 2010
    I am a Samsung fan: multiple TVs, Chromebook, Galaxy S3, Galaxy Note 2, Galaxy S3, Galaxy Nexus, baby monitor, you name it.

    I also think they make great cameras. The EX1 is excellent, and my brief time with the Samsung 30mm f/2 convinced me that it is the only other mirrorless pancake that I can put on the same level as the Panasonic 20mm f/1.7.

    Why more people aren't using Samsung NX, I don't know. I guess it takes a while to get everyone to realize you are really, really a camera company.
     
  16. Luckypenguin

    Luckypenguin SC Hall of Famer

    Dec 24, 2010
    Brisbane, Australia
    Nic
    For me, yes. It feels like a wide-angle lens, although I've never done a direct comparison to see exactly how much it might differ the "classic" 28mm focal length (can't do that with the Panny 14mm now since I sold it :blush:). I think that as long as it is in a similar zone I tend to shoot to the field-of-view that a lens gives me rather than requiring an exact number. Another example is that the 30mm Samsung lens has a slightly wider field-of-view than the 25mm Panasonic (m4/3), but for me they are both just "normal" focal length lenses.
     
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