Fuji XE1 versus Nex 6 image quality

Started Mar 27, 2013 | Discussions
Astrophotographer 10
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Fuji XE1 versus Nex 6 image quality
Mar 27, 2013

I did a shotout at a beautiful scenic lookout the other day between these 2 cameras.

I took several panoramas with Sony Nex 6, 16-50 kit lens and Samyang 24mm F1.4 lens at about F7.1 (adapter was on so hard to tell exactly what F ratio it was).

The Fuji I used the 14mm F2.8 lens and also the acclaimed 35mm F1.4

The 14mm Fuji was better than the 16-50 Sony but the 16-50 isn't too bad at all and better than you might expect in a kit lens. I quite like it.

The sharper image is the Fuji with the 35mm lens. This is a very sharp lens as I have compared it against my pro level Nikon 24-70 lens which is quite sharp and the Samyang is a bit sharper and richer colour. The Samyang Nex 6 image is almost as sharp though and this is also a very sharp lens so its a good comparison. The Samyang is quite a warm lens and gives quite rich colours.

Overall the Nex image and the Fuji image are very similar. The differences in colour is more to do with the lens than the cameras. I have others where they are very similar.

I used sweep panorama for some other shots and surprisingly the Fuji ones worked out better. The Nex ones had too much tonal/exposure variation in them.

http://upload.pbase.com/image/149391206  Fuji XE1 35mm F1.4 lens F6.4

http://upload.pbase.com/image/149391334  Sony NEX 6 Samyang 24mm F1.4 lens at around F7.1

Conclusion: They are very similar and the lens is the more important factor between them for sharpness and resolution. The Fuji is a tad sharper (no AA filter no doubt) but not as much as you would think, its only a bit.

Greg.

Fujifilm X-E1
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Photozopia
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Re: Fuji XE1 versus Nex 6 image quality
In reply to Astrophotographer 10, Mar 27, 2013

Pretty much my conclusion too -the Nex and XTrans seem pretty equal in overall IQ.

Noticed Nex colours vary with legacy lens use - didn't keep my XPro long enough to use any - but assume the same is true of Fuji.

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Emacs23
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Re: Fuji XE1 versus Nex 6 image quality
In reply to Astrophotographer 10, Mar 27, 2013

Astrophotographer 10 wrote:

I did a shotout at a beautiful scenic lookout the other day between these 2 cameras.

I took several panoramas with Sony Nex 6, 16-50 kit lens and Samyang 24mm F1.4 lens at about F7.1 (adapter was on so hard to tell exactly what F ratio it was).

The Fuji I used the 14mm F2.8 lens and also the acclaimed 35mm F1.4

The 14mm Fuji was better than the 16-50 Sony but the 16-50 isn't too bad at all and better than you might expect in a kit lens. I quite like it.

The sharper image is the Fuji with the 35mm lens. This is a very sharp lens as I have compared it against my pro level Nikon 24-70 lens which is quite sharp and the Samyang is a bit sharper and richer colour. The Samyang Nex 6 image is almost as sharp though and this is also a very sharp lens so its a good comparison. The Samyang is quite a warm lens and gives quite rich colours.

Overall the Nex image and the Fuji image are very similar. The differences in colour is more to do with the lens than the cameras. I have others where they are very similar.

I used sweep panorama for some other shots and surprisingly the Fuji ones worked out better. The Nex ones had too much tonal/exposure variation in them.

http://upload.pbase.com/image/149391206  Fuji XE1 35mm F1.4 lens F6.4

http://upload.pbase.com/image/149391334  Sony NEX 6 Samyang 24mm F1.4 lens at around F7.1

Conclusion: They are very similar and the lens is the more important factor between them for sharpness and resolution. The Fuji is a tad sharper (no AA filter no doubt) but not as much as you would think, its only a bit.

Greg.

You did something wrong, because the NEX should be a tiny bit sharper like this (NEX-5n on the left, Fuji on the right):

And this (Fuji is the bottom right, others are cameras with bayer mosaic)

But Fuji is much better to use though, because these NEXes are all crippled as hell.

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Astrophotographer 10
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Re: Fuji XE1 versus Nex 6 image quality
In reply to Emacs23, Mar 27, 2013

You think so?  They were both shot under identical circumstances except the Fuji was autofocus and the Nex used manual focus with focus peaking with the Samyang but autofocus with the 16-50 (it was quite a bit less sharp and more like you may be expecting).

I have used my XE1 now since Christmas and it is relatively sharpish but not as much as I expected. But then my other camera is a Nikon D800E. Now that is sharp and leaves them both behind. But with a nice lens the gap is considerably narrower such as the Fuji 35mm F1.4 which is a super lens.

I think the focus should be more on what lens you use with your Nex and less on Nex is less sharp than Fuji. Fuji's strength is more the white balance and jpeg engine which is divine not so much sharpness although it is qutie sharp. My Sony RX100 outresolves the XE1 with 18-55 kit lens. I've tested them same way - same scene, shot the same time. RX100 was sharper but not sharper than Fuji 35mm which is in a very high league.

Greg.

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Emacs23
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Re: Fuji XE1 versus Nex 6 image quality
In reply to Astrophotographer 10, Mar 27, 2013

Astrophotographer 10 wrote:

You think so?  They were both shot under identical circumstances except the Fuji was autofocus and the Nex used manual focus with focus peaking with the Samyang but autofocus with the 16-50 (it was quite a bit less sharp and more like you may be expecting).

?
I said the NEX should be sharper, XTrans not designed to resolve more (its resolving power is slightly lower compared to bayer mosaic).

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Astrophotographer 10
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Re: Fuji XE1 versus Nex 6 image quality
In reply to Emacs23, Mar 27, 2013

Oh I see. I misunderstood. I would have thought the lack of an AA filter would mean sharper and I think it generally does. As far as Xtrans versus Bayer I would not have thought that would translate into sharper images for a Bayer. Maybe it does as its 4 x 4 versus 6x6.

Greg.

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C.Eaton
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Re: Fuji XE1 versus Nex 6 image quality
In reply to Astrophotographer 10, Mar 27, 2013

Surely if you're comparing prime lenses against zoom lenses, the primes will win out every time.

Good to hear that the NEX kit lens holds it's own though.

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dzajba
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Re: Fuji XE1 versus Nex 6 image quality
In reply to C.Eaton, Mar 27, 2013

Well I've seen a lot of HIGH ISO pictures from XE-1 and my NEx-5N is far behind in terms of noise performance. This X-Trans sensor is so good for an APS-C that it's almost ridiculous.

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ChuckTa
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Re: Fuji XE1 versus Nex 6 image quality
In reply to Emacs23, Mar 27, 2013

The strenght of Fuji is not sharpness. It's the color and rendering of images that has a more 3D look. If you want resolution/sharpness, I suggest you compare it with the Samsung NX200. If you look at the cloths texture, it even beats the Nex 7.

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blue_skies
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Re: Fuji XE1 versus Nex 6 image quality
In reply to dzajba, Mar 27, 2013

dzajba wrote:

Well I've seen a lot of HIGH ISO pictures from XE-1 and my NEx-5N is far behind in terms of noise performance. This X-Trans sensor is so good for an APS-C that it's almost ridiculous.

Sony applied a more advanced NR algorithm in the A99, which is finding its way to the 7N. It gives about half a stop improvement versus not using this method. I have a feeling that they are being pressured to follow the other mfgs here.

RAW is RAW and high ISO is high ISO. But only DxOMark tries to establish a comparison line between sesnors/cameras. Most reviewers, and users, use the data from the camera and compare before post-editing.

I find it easier to compare post-editing, using my own flow, or rely on the DxOMark analysis.

A camera that applied NR to RAW or JPG, leaves less headroom for post-editing, but OOC JPG images, and unprocessed RAW images will look startling better.

Also, a camera that overstates its ISO will make its user believe that the camera performs better in low light situations.

Put the results in post-editing, and you'd be surprised that the results are all the same - sensor size and sensor generation determine much of ISO noise. The sensor type, AA filter, and on, and specifically the lens used, determine sharpness and IQ, if circumstances are very well controlled, otherwise shot to shot variance can be misleading.

I agree with the original poster - the results, especially after post-editing, are so close that it doesn't make a noticeable difference.

Anyone who comments on major difference, is not compare the image IQ, but the OOC results.

You can set the Nex camera to very impressive OOC (JPG) results too, but I don't recommend it. I like to post-process JPG images as well, and the (neutral) camera settings let me do this. If I adjust contrast, sharpening, color, I can do far less in post-editing.

And in that sense, the Fuji images are not what I seek. I would have to use RAW, but RAW flows on the Fuji sensor are still a struggle, given the x-trans non-traditional layout. I understand that they had to do this, if removing the AA filter, but I see most Fuji users relying on their JPG engine as a result.

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blue_skies
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Re: Fuji XE1 versus Nex 6 image quality
In reply to ChuckTa, Mar 27, 2013

ChuckTa wrote:

The strenght of Fuji is not sharpness. It's the color and rendering of images that has a more 3D look. If you want resolution/sharpness, I suggest you compare it with the Samsung NX200. If you look at the cloths texture, it even beats the Nex 7.

Because there is no AA filter, the sensor had to have a non-standard pixel layout pattern - to avoid moire.

Assuming the Fuji layout works well, the removal of the AA filter will allow for more detail than a traditional, regular Bayer setup. This will however only be noticeable under certain conditions. Some pictures will benefit, other will not. And the result will be minor in difference, not major.

A higher resolution sensor (20Mp on the NX200, 24Mp on the Nex-7) will always capture more detail, given a proper lens. Then the image rendering is subject to the image processing software, it being in-camera, applied to RAW or JPG, or in post-editing.

I still see Fuji's approach as a clever marketing trick: find a way to differentiate, and then create the illusion that it is all about this differentiation. It seems to be working.

In fact, Sony appears to be the most 'exact' in terms of RAW Sensor Data,  and True Optical Performance (E24Z), but is (finally?) slowly waking up to: FW-based lens corrections (1650), intelligent NR reduction (N7, A99), pre-processing RAW data/re-stating ISO (N7), in-camera filters (CIZ, Pano), and more.

It is kind of sad, but all manufacturers seem to do this now: do whatever works in the P&S market, and apply this to the APS-C markets now. It dumbs down the photographer, but improves the scores by reviewers. And reviewers get re-quoted over and over again until the myth is formed.

I put up my favorite example of the OOC JPG and the post-edit JPG. Again, the OOC JPG is very accurate, given lighting conditions at the time, but I prefer the post-edit result. Any manufacturer can do this in camera, and some will do this to the RAW. And I see the reasons why, even I don't often process for color jazziness, and would prefer if the camera had algorithms that sort this out. But either way, there is more in a picture than is perceived, and one should keep this in mind.

However, a camera that produces the second image, without my doing, would not be my first choice... as I prefer the first (accurate) rendition, and do my own optimizations in post.

OOC JPG

Post-edit

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Henry

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aodi
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Re: Fuji XE1 versus Nex 6 image quality
In reply to blue_skies, Mar 27, 2013

I have Nex 6 and had a chance to use it side by side with X-E1. I have not done really comprehensive testing, but from my impression real life shots IQ not really different (IMHO).

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Anatoli

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S3ZAi
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Re: Fuji XE1 versus Nex 6 image quality
In reply to aodi, Mar 27, 2013

I would only buy an XE1 or a XPro for low light or even dark photography. All other stuff I'd still rather do with my nex7 and soon nex7n (if it's any good that is).

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Astrophotographer 10
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Re: Fuji XE1 versus Nex 6 image quality
In reply to C.Eaton, Mar 27, 2013

These are prime lens versus prime lens. Fuji 35mm F1.4 on the XE1 and Samyang 24mm F1.4 on the Nex. Both are very sharp lenses. Where did you get the idea that I was comparing zoom to prime? I did use the 16-50 zoom to see how it looked but not as a direct comparison.

Greg.

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cptrios
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Re: Fuji XE1 versus Nex 6 image quality
In reply to Astrophotographer 10, Mar 27, 2013

Did you use the Samyang 24 on both cameras? Really, that'd be the only way to tell which sensor was "sharper." It'd definitely be an interesting test to see!

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seachicken2000
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Re: Fuji XE1 versus Nex 6 image quality
In reply to blue_skies, Mar 27, 2013

blue_skies wrote:

Also, a camera that overstates its ISO will make its user believe that the camera performs better in low light situations.

Put the results in post-editing, and you'd be surprised that the results are all the same - sensor size and sensor generation determine much of ISO noise.......

I agree with the original poster - the results, especially after post-editing, are so close that it doesn't make a noticeable difference.

Anyone who comments on major difference, is not compare the image IQ, but the OOC results.

I agree with all this. The Fuji JPG engine is simply amazing, and the Fujis seem to overstate their ISOs a little. To show an X-Trans camera is better than another, you just need to compare out of camera JPG images shot at the same ISO. For those with no interest in RAW, IMO the Fuji cameras should be well up the shopping list.

To see the reality from RAW, you can download the RAWs from the DPR site and process them yourself. Here's one I did as best I could for the NEX-7 and X-Pro1 at the same shutter speed and f-stop (so presumably they are at about the same photometric exposure).

These are so close it hardly matters considering the amount of magnification required to get down to this level. I slightly prefer the NEX-7 image, as it holds more detail and has a finer grain pattern.

The 16M pixel NEX image also looks very similar to the X-Pro1 image. This is the highest ISO available on the site for the Fuji in RAW. I believe they go higher in JPG by extending the range in software.

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9000AF
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Re: Fuji XE1 versus Nex 6 image quality
In reply to Astrophotographer 10, Mar 28, 2013

The sensor is the same, the toppings are different (CFA, AA vs. no AA filter). The Fuji overstates ISO by about 2/3 stop in my experience compared to the Sony A77. I switched to the X-E1 from a NEX 5 and 5n mainly for the UI and the lenses. I have the 18-55mm and the 35mm which are leaps and bounds above anything comparable offered for E-mount with the possible exception of the 24mm f/1.8.

The Fujifilm's greatest strengths besides the terrific UI and lenses are the jpeg engine and very robust AWB. The option to reprocess RAW in-camera is also a welcome feature.

Reachable IQ in PP is about the same for all Sony 16MP sensor equipped cameras, they're all excellent in RAW output. IMHO the Fuji system makes the process of getting there more enjoyable.

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Vu Dang
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Re: Fuji XE1 versus Nex 6 image quality
In reply to 9000AF, Mar 28, 2013

RAW: lightroom still does not fully support Fuji so need to wait some more time.

JPEG: clearly Fuji X-E1 is better than Nex-6. Fuji also has quality lenses although not much.

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