Merrill sensored cameras ARE 30MP luminance equivalents to 30MP cameras!

Started Jan 15, 2013 | Discussions thread
Tom Schum
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Re: DPR review data
In reply to xpatUSA, Jan 20, 2013

xpatUSA wrote:

Tom Schum wrote:

Back to the Fuji, I did a comparison shot between my SD1 and my X-E1 and found the image quality of the SD1 to be superior. So much for measurements! It must be the microcontrast and lack of interpolation that makes the SD1 sensor look so much better.

Must be. A pity about DPR's test image for SD1M, one wonders what lens they used. It was so poor I couldn't even be bothered to check the EXIF. Anyway I had to have look at Xpro1 test image (same sensor as X-E1) just out of curiosity:

Very cool graphs to be sure.  I am no good at looking at these but I do have some opinions.

The Fuji really seems to skew the CFA standards.  Still, interpolation is required in order to establish the color and luminance of every pixel, so detail would tend to get lower in contrast as the size of the details gets smaller and smaller.  The Foveon sensor does not have this problem since the pixels are not interpolated, and of course because color resolution is equal to luminance resolution.

It looks to me like the contrast drops more quickly in the Fuji graph, which might document the microcontrast advantage of the Foveon by comparison.  On the other hand maybe Fuji designed it this way to appeal to the widest market.  Rumor is that the development of the Fuji X-trans imaging algorithms took a couple years so I guess they could make adjustments in the way that graph looks.

Comparing subjectively between my Merrill and my X-trans it does appear that the fine details in the  Fuji have considerably less punch (contrast) than those in the Sigma.  Fuji would have to be minimizing interpolation to get this close to the true luminance resolution of their sensor in these tests.  They might have enough green sensor density to do a pretty good monochrome image by interpolation on the green only, which would only help in establishing the luminance values at the red and blue filters.  On the other hand this might be standard practice in the field...

Interesting stuff, and I'm enjoying my X-E1, even though the Merrill family has nominally better IQ.

I have high hopes that Sigma will bring out a sensor-autofocus body in the next few years so I can start using my SA-Mount collection again.

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Tom Schum

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