Samsung NX10 High ISO Noise Reduction

As mentioned in other sections of the review, the Samsung NX10 applies noise reduction at all ISOs to its JPEGs, and it doesn't offer control over the amount except at ISO 3,200. We've noticed the noise reduction impacts fine detail in areas of low contrast even at the base ISO, so we've included crops starting from ISO 100. We've also included crops from dcraw converted DNG files, to show how much NR is going on even with the cameras's "Off" setting.

See for yourself how the noise reduction works under both daylight and tungsten-balanced lighting. Click on any of the crops below to see the corresponding full-sized image.

Noise Reduction Comparison
Daylight-balanced illumination
On (Default)
Off
RAW (no NR)
I
S
O

1
0
0
On (Default)
Off
RAW (no NR)
I
S
O

2
0
0
On (Default)
Off
RAW (no NR)
I
S
O

4
0
0
On (Default)
Off
RAW (no NR)
I
S
O

8
0
0
On (Default)
Off
RAW (no NR)
I
S
O

1
6
0
0
On (default)
Off
RAW (no NR)
I
S
O

3
2
0
0

The above crops show the effects of the two levels of high ISO noise reduction, under our studio HMI lighting we use to simulate daylight. As you can, the NR settings have no effect until ISO 3,200, just as Samsung's documents say. Looking at the red fabric, you can clearly see that the "Off" setting is still performing quite a bit of noise reduction which reduces detail in areas of low contrast, even at ISO 100. At ISO 3,200, we can see a slight reduction in luminance noise, and a larger reduction in chrominance noise with the "On" setting versus "Off".

How does the Samsung NX10 compare with competing models? See the following table which compares at the default Noise Reduction setting.

High ISO Comparison with
Nikon D5000, Olympus E-PL1 and Panasonic GF1
(All default NR)
Daylight-balanced illumination
Samsung NX10
Nikon D5000
Olympus E-PL1
Panasonic GF1
I
S
O

1
0
0
Samsung NX10
Nikon D5000
Olympus E-PL1
Panasonic GF1
I
S
O

2
0
0
Samsung NX10
Nikon D5000
Olympus E-PL1
Panasonic GF1
I
S
O

4
0
0
Samsung NX10
Nikon D5000
Olympus E-PL1
Panasonic GF1
I
S
O

8
0
0
Samsung NX10
Nikon D5000
Olympus E-PL1
Panasonic GF1
I
S
O

1
6
0
0
Samsung NX10
Nikon D5000
Olympus E-PL1
Panasonic GF1
I
S
O

3
2
0
0
Samsung NX10
Nikon D5000
Olympus E-PL1
Panasonic GF1
I
S
O

6
4
0
0
N/A
ISO 6400
not supported
N/A
ISO 6400
not supported
N/A
ISO 6400
not supported
N/A
ISO 6400
not supported
N/A
ISO 6400
not supported
N/A
ISO 6400
not supported
N/A
ISO 6400
not supported
N/A
ISO 6400
not supported
N/A
ISO 6400
not supported

Here, we can see the NX10's image quality is competitive with the others in the group up to ISO 400. However, the amount of detail being lost in the red fabric is really apparent. The Olympus E-PL1 also struggles a bit with this at low ISOs, but not to the extend the NX10 does. The Panasonic GF1 delivers the most detail in the red fabric, up to ISO 800. At ISO 1,600, the NX10's performance is similar to the GF1, both of which are behind the other two. The Nikon D5000 is the clear winner here at higher ISOs, which is no surprise given its larger photosites.

 

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