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Samsung NX500 - RAW/JPEG/UHD/4K (1 Viewer)

scotview

Well-known member
I have been keeping a look out for a small camera with 4K video capability to replace my RX100 M1. The RX100M4 is outwith my budget and the lens on the Pana LX100 isn't suitable for digiscoping. I have recently purchased a Samsung NX500 (£400) which comes with a powered 16/50 kit lens; first impressions are encouraging. I am using the camera with a Celestron Ultima 80HD scope with a Baader Hyperion zoom eyepiece. The digiscope adaptor is a Seben DKa1, the following are some pros and cons:

Pros
1 The camera lens moves to maximum extension when the camera is switched on and thus the lens to eyepiece gap can be set.
2 When zooming the camera lens, the lens retracts slightly and on further zooming in, the lens moves back out but does not go beyond the initial physical extension position, so there is no risk of lens and eyepiece colliding.
3 Vignetting disappears at around 30mm and there is no vignetting throughout the Hyperion eyepiece zoom range.
4 The NX500 takes UHD video footage at 25FPS or true 4K footage at 24FPS.
5 There are very good controls for time delay RAW/JPEG stills shots, whereby one can set the initial time delay (eg 4 seconds) AND number of shots (eg 4 photos) AND the time between shots (eg 0.5 seconds). This makes timed stills capture extremely flexible.
6 High quality 4K or UHD jpeg images can be grabbed from the video frames.
7 The camera has Bluetooth and Wifi control by mobile phone but I haven't tested this out yet.
8 The kit lens seems to be reasonably bright for digiscoping and the lens has OIS. 20 & 30mm pancake lenses also available.

Cons
1 The NX500 uses the next generation HEVC H.265 codec and requires significant computing power to play and edit the video footage. I am using PowerDirector 13 and this supports HEVC editing. I am not sure that this is necessarily a negative, especially if HEVC becomes a future standard, also, the HEVC format uses less memory card space.
2 When recording 4K/UHD video, the camera crops the sensor and this effectively gives increased magnification. 1080P video and JPEG/RAW stills do not apply sensor cropping.
3 There is no EVF but the camera has a very clear/bright, superAMOLED touch screen which is articulated.

These are my initial PERSONAL observations, for the price point, the NX500 seems to offer extremely good value for money. I need more play time with the camera/scope. I feel that the camera's capabilities deserve a scope with even better glass and to see it perform with a Kowa or Swaro would be interesting.

Hope you find this useful but with the usual caveat "try for yourself"

Scotview
 
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scotview

Well-known member
Test JPEG image grabbed from video footage.

Hi,

I have been testing the NX500 on my Celestron scope. Attached is a jpeg image grabbed from video footage, the wagtail didn't stay still for long; some observations:

1 It is quite difficult to get sharp focus with the NX500. The images are quite soft and i'm not sure if it is the scope, camera with the kit lens or my technical ability with this new camera. This is a full frame, uncropped jpeg, taken in auto mode. I will do more testing with shutter priority mode to see if this delivers a sharper image.

2 I have ordered a Samsung NX30mm lens, it will be interesting to see how this performs with respect to focus and sharpness.

3 I feel the camera has potential for recording good 4K video footage and for grabbing jpeg images from video.

4 Long lenses can be attached to the camera with appropriate adaptors. The additional micro four thirds magnification and further 4k video crop factor could make for an interesting and complimentary use for this camera.

Will keep you posted.
 

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