Let's Compare X10 Dynamic Range With X20

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Trevor G
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Let's Compare X10 Dynamic Range With X20
5 months ago

Certain people have asserted that the X20 has more dynamic range, much more, than the X20.

With some hours of work, both in shooting the test scene, analysing the results and preparing them for posting, it is quite plain to see that there is virtually no difference between the two as far as dynamic range goes.

Here is the methodolgy:

1) Shoot the X10 at ISO 100 and DR400 in M size to give the best potential dynamic range according to how we think the EXR system works at its best.

2) Shoot the X20 at ISO100 and DR100, since this gives the best dynamic range for the X-Trans sensor.

3) Check the RAW output and compare. Choose the best result from each camera, that is, the highest exposure without clipping white details.

4) Adjust unclipped highlights for both test images so that there is no clipping - that is, reduce exposure level in the RAW software.

Here is the X10, shot in M size for best EXR results (DR400 at ISO100):

And here is the X20 output, shot at L size, ISO100 and DR100:

Note how similar both images are, in highlights and lowlights - it is really hard to see a difference at this level.  View at 100% and you will see more detail in the X20.

I use Silkypix DSP5, but you will get the same results using Lightroom, ACR, Photoshop Elephants 11 or whatever, as long as you treat both images the same.

Here is a crop from both images at their best setting for highlights - the exposure adjustments necessary, both in-camera at the time of shooting and applied via post processing, are shown for each image.

Once we establish the base reference level for highlights in this way, we then adjust overall exposure to lift lowlights.  In this case, +3.0EV brightens things enough to see shadow detail and check noise levels.

There is virtually no difference in low level output.  The X10 is slightly brighter by about 0.2EV, which in my estimation is probably next to nothing.

However, by the same token, the X10 is noisier in the shadows and shows less detail - see the floor especially, and also the brickwork next to the cream trim at the edge of the door.

Next (and I'll do it another day) we need to see if we can find the absolute black clipping point.

What do you think?

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Trevor G
Silkypix tutorials at: http://photo.computerwyse.com

Fujifilm X10 Fujifilm X20
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