Samsung NX1 High ISO Noise Reduction

The Samsung NX1's four noise-reduction settings ("High, "Normal", "Low" and "Off") imply good flexibility in choosing how you want to make the trade-off between subject detail and noise levels. The Samsung NX1 user manual doesn't state at which sensitivities high ISO noise reduction is applied, so we've included crops all the way from the base ISO on up.

See for yourself how the Samsung NX1's "Normal"and "Off" High ISO NR settings compare to RAW without noise reduction under daylight-balanced lighting. (Note that these RAW images also have no sharpening applied, so they're a little softer than camera JPEGs at low ISOs.) Click on any of the crops below to see the corresponding full-sized image.

High ISO Noise Reduction Comparison
Daylight-balanced illumination
"Normal"
"Off"
RAW (no NR)
I
S
O

1
0
0
"Normal"
"Off"
RAW (no NR)
I
S
O

2
0
0
"Normal"
"Off"
RAW (no NR)
I
S
O

4
0
0
"Normal"
"Off"
RAW (no NR)
I
S
O

8
0
0
"Normal"
"Off"
RAW (no NR)
I
S
O

1
6
0
0
"Normal"
"Off"
RAW (no NR)
I
S
O

3
2
0
0
"Normal"
"Off"
RAW (no NR)
I
S
O

6
4
0
0
"Normal"
"Off"
RAW (no NR)
I
S
O

1
2
8
0
0
"Normal"
"Off"
RAW (no NR)
I
S
O

2
5
6
0
0
"Normal"
"Off"
RAW (no NR)
I
S
O

5
1
2
0
0

As you can see, both the default "Normal" and "Off" high ISO noise reduction settings apply noise suppression at all ISOs, so the "Off" setting isn't truly off (which is the case for most cameras). Also note that there's practically no difference between "Normal" and "Off" settings until sensitivity is increased past ISO 3200, and even then the "Off "setting remains too aggressive. The "Off" setting does apply lower amounts of luminance noise suppression at high ISOs, but it still works fairly hard to suppress much of the chrominance noise, though it doesn't desaturate images as much as the "Normal" setting at the highest ISOs. Also notice how the noise grain changes dramatically between the two settings at the highest ISO, an indication vastly different noise reduction schemes are being used.

We'd personally like to see more of a difference between the settings, with lower amounts of noise reduction applied, especially with the "Off" setting. For those shooting high ISOs, RAW is definitely the way to go with the Samsung NX1.

 



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