One of the things that I found very interesting during the Samsung presentation about video at low light. And indeed their video looked awesome but lets be honest that was professionally lit 😉
For me it’s important that in real life situations i end up with usable video for behind the scenes videos. Those videos don’t have to be the best quality ever but it must be possible to see what’s going on.
Now one could say “why not use a Sony a7riv or a7s and a fast lens?” And you are absolutely right. Those cameras will blow the Samsung away in every situation but when we film material for the vlog we love to work with something really small and lightweight and preferably with a good microphone so I can quickly turn it on, press record and done…
For me the vlog should be a bit more raw and “real life” than tutorials (for which we do use the Sony cameras)
At the moment we’ve been using an osmo pocket which is…ok. Image quality is acceptable during the studio (low light) scenes and great outside, also the audio is ok. But I dont like the fact it’s fragile so we always have to carry it around in a case and take it out when using. Or leave it around your neck. And also the monitor on the back is ok for aiming but it’s not really accurate.
If it would be possible to replace the osmo pocket with a phone that would be great. So I decided to test the Samsung ultra out during the workshop smoke and gels with our model Felisa.
I have to be honest this was a worst case scenario. Using smoke mostly messes up the focus and using saturated gels are always killing video quality. Plus we didn’t use any extra lighting so all the lights you see are the modelling lights and because we mixed strobes with leds they were on the lower settings. This is also why the red leds are totally blowing out the video 😉
If you look at the video inside the studio it isn’t pretty but I have to say that on the HDR setting there was a lot more detail in both shadows and highlights outside and a slight advantage inside. For YT I changed the output to REC709 4k which did limit the dynamic range slightly (only visible outside)
What surprised me about the Samsung was the image stabilisation. On the screen it already looked good but in the video it really became clear that we are getting to a point that this becomes a real alternative to a gimble.
The slight vertical movement can easily be removed in your video editing software. But what you see in the video is all without any adjustments. What I did correct was the awful red color which looked more magenta than red. Luckily this only happened in the darker scenes and outside the reds were a lot better as you can see in the video. Although the overall look is not 100% accurate and oversaturated but it’s all correctable.
Also the audio is interesting. In pro mode you can select omni, front, back for the phone itself. But also external mics and even a mix option. Now that’s impressive.
The audio quality itself is ok. Good enough for a quick vlog type video but I think it’s too thin for anything longer or music. I’ll be testing using the Galaxy buds pro with the next vlog to see how that works but in essence audio should be absolutely no problem with all these options. (and you can always use an external recorder)
I see video in two categories for us. The tutorials we film in the studio under proper lighting and with different angles etc.
But also the vlog style videos where it would be best to work with as little gear as possible. You have to drag it around all day. Take chargers with you etc. This quickly takes away the fun and spontaneous effect.
With the ultra 22 samsung delivers a phone with a great camera system for social media but also with the video I think they hit a home run. Yes the video is far from perfect in low light BUT you can see what’s going on and the image stabilisation is awesome making videos easier to watch 😉
I think we are going to sell the osmo pocket soon 😉
You can watch the vlog here : https://youtu.be/ONVRELH3qbU