I've also posted over in avforum but it's a bit slow moving and I was after some objectivity and hopefully a good variety of replies :-)
I bought a 55ES7000 two weeks ago from a local store; it's my first big screen tv having previously had a 32" crt.
I did some background research and was well aware of the pitfalls with banding, clouding, flash lighting etc on the previous D series but decided to take my chances with the new ES series.
When I fired up the set I had no banding but I did have light-bleed from all four corners and all edges. I also had some faint clouding, but it was only slightly apparent on dark pictures. After a few days I also noticed a small "V" of light above the samsung sign which I hadn't noticed previously.
I persisted and after a week or so I noticed that most, if not all, of the edge-bleed had dissipated, the "V" of light had disappeared and the clouding was barely noticeable with a black background and not noticeable at all with a dark picture on the screen.
In the last few days the clouding has become slowly more apparent. First getting more noticeable on the temporary black screen you get in between changing channels, and now plainly visible in the dark sections of the X-Files movie when I put it on tonight as a test to see how bad the clouding had become.
I've tried lowering the contrast and turning the backlight down. Lowering the backlight to 4 or turning the backlight completely off still shows faint clouding in both Movie and Standard modes. The clouding is always noticeable on films with black bars and it comes and goes in the visible area depending on the brightness and contrast of the scene from the movie or tv program...
Anything with a bright picture looks fantastic and blemish free.
Are those of you with the ES8000 seeing similar issues?
It's down to personal opinion but in general how bad do you think clouding etc should be before it's generally deemed to be unacceptable? it's a reasonably expensive tv so to be fit for purpose, surely you should be able to view content without blemishes interfering with your viewable picture?
Is there anyone that is genuinely seeing no clouding by default or is everyone having to use tweaks to eliminate their clouding issues?
Are people finding the general level of clouding on sets acceptable and easily tweaked out using the settings on the TV?
Does the clouding reduce with time and use? Although I've had the tv two weeks, I work long hours and there are days where it hasn't been used, or only watched for three hours...I doubt I've racked up more than 30 hours so far.
It would have been a keeper if the clouding hadn't got worse. I'm now undecided whether to stick it out some more to see if it gets better or set an exchange in motion, as I could get a set that's better, the same, or indeed worse. I also do not want to wait too long before initiating an exchange
I've attached two pics...Backlight was full, contrast on 87...My normal backlight setting is 13 with a contrast of 87. Even reducing the backlight to 13 I still see the same effect shown in the photos, just on a slightly lesser scale.
The clouding appears grey/white under normal viewing but in the pictures it has a blue tinge probably because I took the photos with my phone. Picture 1 is a black screen and picture 2 is a paused scene from a movie. Under real viewing, the clouding actually looks slightly worse than is shown in picture 2 when a movie is playing...