Samsung GX20 update

Regular visitors here may recollect the travails I had with my newest camera, the Samsung GX20 (latest dSLR addition to their line, and their “flagship” camera so to speak).

Said regular visitors may also have noted how strangely quiet I’ve been on this topic of late.

Couple of reasons for this.

Firstly, the file sizes (in RAW format) produced by the camera are quite… er… “substantial” and the computer I use for processing pics found itself being taxed to the limit in handling them. RAM upgrade called for, and until such time as I organise that I’ve been a bit reluctant to use the camera, preferring to revert to its less highly spec’d brother the GX10.

And secondly, in my exploring those “travails” to the fullest I’d begun to develop certain suspicions regarding the primary cause of the perceived colour balance problem.
Suspicions that I was a bit wary about articulating until I’d done some rather more exhaustive testing, particularly given that my experience in these matters is somewhat… um… “limited” shall we say.

Well, I’ve now done some more testing of the sort I had in mind. Not exhaustive admittedly. I have still to try the “test setup” out under a more extensive range of lighting conditions for absolute confirmation, but initial results seem to be confirming what I’d begun to suspect.

Tuesday last I attached the brand new Sigma 17-70mm f/2.8-4.5 DC Macro lens (this post refers) to the GX20 and had a session under rather dismal lighting conditions.
Importing the resulting RAW files into Adobe Lightroom (Lightoom be it noted, not the RAW converter app that came with the camera) and using the bog-standard ACR 4.4 option that comes with version 1.4.1 of Lightroom (rather than the “embed” in the RAW file itself) I processed them into JPEGs… in some instances I tweaked the exposure, saturation, sharpness etc but in no single case did I have to significantly manipulate the colour or white balance.
Yet, looking at the resulting pics on three different machines, and in both Lightroom and after uploaded to Flickr, I can find little evidence of the huge colour imbalance (with a strong bias toward the magenta) that seemed to afflict earlier shots taken with the camera. That’s not to say there isn’t still a colour cast… there is, but nowhere near to the same degree.

And such a result does indeed point to my slowly dawning suspicion having some merit. Which was that whilst the app-dependent rendering of the RAW file may have been somewhat a culprit, as too may the newly-developed joint Samsung/Pentax sensor have been in part responsible, the principal culprit is the kit lens that came with the camera.

Bizarre maybe, but all the indications are pointing in that direction!

So watch this space!


About fotdmike

Occasional photographer; occasional writer/blogger; occasional activist; occasional computer-geek. Bit of a fool really.
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5 Responses to Samsung GX20 update

  1. forkboy says:

    I’m watching….I’m watching!

  2. tam says:

    That photo is absolutely beautiful.

  3. fotdmike says:

    Thanks Tam. I have to say I’m rather pleased with it myself.

    Though it niggles me that there’s still a slight colour bias in the camera’s default mode. However, it seems to me that the effect isn’t anywhere near as pronounced as it was with the kit lens, and it does seem to be very much scene-dependent.

    In fact, the more I look at examples such as the above pic it strikes me the effect’s quite “pretty”, and just about liveable with.
    In that sense there are similarities to the GX10 which has a tendency to impart a rather pleasing (imo) blueish cast.

  4. forkboy says:

    Of course you are not comparing apples to apples at the moment, but your new lens to the results you previously obtained with the kit lens.

    I think it’s time you perform a more proper test between the lenses: five photos of the exact same thing, at the same time, with the same settings on the camera, but shooting with both lenses alternately.

    We anxiously await your results.

  5. tam says:

    Gracious, what a test!

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