X10 Large 12MP vs medium 6MP (RAW) - Detail comparison Locked

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DMillier
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X10 Large 12MP vs medium 6MP (RAW) - Detail comparison
5 months ago

I have returned from my Scotland trip replete with 6MP vs 12MP comparison images.

I shot the X10 in Raw + jpg 12MP DR100 vs 6MP DR400 all base ISO.

- I've spent the morning processing the raw images and printing them out on my R2400 (10 x 8 inches).

- I exported the M images as 4000x3000 pixel jpgs for ease of comparison

- I've pixel peeped on screen at 100% using the X/Y comparator in Lightroom 5.4

Shots were all in bright sunny conditions, blue skies and subjects included landscapes, weathered wood, sheep, grass and foliage and leafless trees.

My conclusions.......

..... I agree with both the 6MP and 12MP camps!

1. When pixel peeping onscreen, the 12MP files have a trace more resolution and extra micro-contrast. Messing about with lightroom's sharpening, contrast and clarity settings does not change this: the 12MP shots definitely have a subtle edge.

2. Comparing the 10 x 8 prints close up under strong light through my reading glasses at about 10 inches viewing distance, there is no discernible difference at all. None. Print quality is identical.

3. So, the 12MP setting is subtly better but that difference is invisible in A4 prints.

4. One odd thing I did notice. When pixel peeping 12MP images onscreen, certain kinds of texture (such as the bare earth of a ploughed field) took on a peculiar distorted look. It's difficult to describe but the chunks of earth kind of looked "blobby" as if the sharp edges had been rounded off. It was a bit like the effect you get if you apply large amounts of noise reduction to an image and an odd pattern emerges. However, this "look" was completely absent in the prints.

Conclusion on detail differences:

It really makes very little detail difference whether you choose 6MP or 12MP. 12MP technically is fractionally more detailed but you won't see the difference unless you print very large and even then it will be subtle.

Notes:

- I have compared detail only in raw, haven't looked at the jpgs yet

- Have not compared DR at all yet

- This conclusion applies only to X10 processed in LR 5.4 and only for these particular images. Extrapolate at your own risk!

- I'll turn these comparisons into a blog post along with the images in due course.

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"...while I am tempted to bludgeon you, I would rather have you come away with an improved understanding of how these sensors work" ---- Eric Fossum
Galleries and website: http://www.whisperingcat.co.uk/
Flickr: http://www.flickr.com/photos/davidmillier/

Fujifilm X10
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