Samsung’s Products at CES Give a Glimpse Into the Future of Photography and Cinematography
A couple of weeks ago, we visited CES 2020 at the invitation of Samsung, for the purpose of checking out their newest TV display technology and sharing that experience with you. Watch our full video below, or hop on over to our Instagram to see a Highlight of our live reactions!
Thank you to Samsung for bringing us to CES to attend their first look event, and for sponsoring this content. We’re looking forward to seeing how TV technology evolves and advances as it relates to the presentation of our artwork!
8K QLED Technology
One star of the show at Samsung’s enormous CES booth was definitely “The Wall”, which is not just an 8K display, but a MicroLED panel display that has ever-expanding resolution and size. It was an impressive (and beautiful to behold) concept, but it wasn’t the real reason why we attended.
Our invitation was to check out their new, available-to-consumers 4K and 8K TV displays, and see how they might actually be relevant to photographers and videographers who are displaying their own work either at home or in a professional studio gallery.
To be honest, I had no idea what to expect. Conventional wisdom assumes that a TV display, unlike a calibrated computer display, is not the right way to go. What I discovered was that the technology is a lot closer than I thought, and I’m very interested in using a product like “The Frame” (see below) alongside the physical prints in a photography studio gallery setting.
33 Megapixels (42+ MP cameras) Worth Of Detail
(4K resolution detail sample)
(8K resolution detail sample)
The megapixel race has been one of the most hotly debated issues ever since digital cameras were first invented. 15-20 years ago, going from 3 megapixels to 6, or from 6 to 12, was a huge deal.
Now, it seems like many people have “called it good” somewhere around 20-30 megapixels, with 24 MP being one of the most popular numbers around, for both full-frame and APS-C camera sensors.
(For the record, to create 4K content, all you need is about a 12-megapixel camera, and also most cameras these days have 4K video too.)
So, the question today is, if 8K TVs are coming, does that mean we need to start shooting with 42+ megapixel cameras so that our still photographs can be viewed on these displays? Will viewers, and even photographers’ customers, begin to expect such high-resolution digital content to be available?
One thing is for sure, this is definitely going to help fuel the megapixel debate for years to come.
Quantum AI Upscaling
If you don’t have an 8K-capable stills camera, let alone an 8K video camera, should you still be interested in an 8K display? Most people don’t have an 8K video camera, and probably won’t for a while!
With the use of AI, up-scaling is improving significantly now, so 4K or even 1080p content will look much better on an 8K QLED display. In other words, you’ll see a significant difference in an 8K display, no matter what resolution the content you’re viewing is.
Besides sheer resolution, one of the biggest ways that a physical print can still be far more enjoyable to view than a digital display is with its overall range of tone and depth of color. On most TVs, shadows would never come close to looking as rich as they could in a physical print.
However, Samsung’s Quantum HDR technology is doing an impressive job of managing tone, contrast, and colors for highlights and shadows. From the demonstrations we saw, the overall results are looking more and more like, well, a back-illuminated physical print.
So, the question is, would you use an 8K TV to present your work to potential portrait/wedding clients? Would you use such a display as a part of a print gallery for other types of fine art? We find ourselves suspecting that it’s no longer a matter of “if”, but “when”…
Another interesting development in display technology that we saw at CES was a Samsung TV called “The Frame”. It’s an even more art-oriented display technology that is aimed at those who wish to fully utilize the space on their walls that is permanently occupied by their TV.
What if your TV could display your favorite artwork while it is “off”? Whether you’re a photographer who wants to display their own work or other portraits/landscapes, or you’re all about displaying world-renowned paintings and other artwork, The Frame is an interesting new concept: It acts as a 4K TV whenever you want it to, however, its overall depth of tone and color reproduction are significantly different from others thanks to Dual-LED technology. The end result is a static display that appears more like a back-illuminated print.
You can even do things like customizing the frame itself to suit your home’s aesthetic, and/or subscribe to their Art Store which gives access to over 1,200 different famous artworks from around the world.
Photographers and videographers are extremely particular about how their work is displayed, and things like fine detail, tone, and color are critical. While we do hope that physical prints never go out of style, it will be exciting to use a display such as The Frame alongside other types of wall art. It would be both unique and practical to display any image we want almost as if it were a physical print, whether for either personal or professional use.
So, what do you think about the progression of display technology? Do you think the status quo could change in 2020? Large prints are still very popular for many types of photographers, from portrait studios to landscapes, so we’re very curious to hear what the community at large has to say. Please leave a comment below!