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Studio scene comparison (Raw)

This is our standard studio scene comparison shot taken from exactly the same tripod position. Lighting: daylight simulation, >98% CRI. Crops are 100%. Ambient temperature was approximately 22°C (~72°F).

For a (more) level playing field for comparison we also shot our studio scene in Raw mode with each camera and converted it using Adobe Camera Raw. Because Adobe Camera Raw applies different levels of sharpening to different cameras (this confirmed) we use the following workflow for these conversions:

  • Load Raw file into Adobe Camera Raw (Auto mode disabled)
  • Set Sharpness to 0 (all other settings default)
  • Open file to Photoshop
  • Apply a Unsharp mask: 100%, Radius 0.6, Threshold 0
  • Save as a JPEG quality 11 for display and download.

Note: this page features our new interactive studio shot comparison widget. Click here to find out more.

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Discuss in the forums

Comments

Total comments: 27
Facstatim
By Facstatim (3 months ago)

Just got an X20 after much research. Could have waited for X30 but decided that I may then just as well wait for X40, etc. and miss more pictures. I have to say the X20 is excellent (moving from a Nikon D40 + set of lenses plus iPhone 5s). What did I want: small and light to take with me when cycling (and all other times too), a proper high quality viewfinder, a proper zoom ring and decent optical zoom range plus simple exposure control. The X20 delivers in spades. I don't see any rivals with those features - well done Fuji for designing cameras for photographers who enjoy the tactile feel of real camera controls.

1 upvote
GeekyGirl
By GeekyGirl (7 months ago)

The trend runs increasingly stronger toward compacts that pack lots of power, and it's a trend that seems to be continuing full steam ahead. The X20 is one of the important players in the field and has been holding a respectable place for a year now. Competition keeps springing up, with more features in ever smaller bodies, so is the X30 just around the corner?

Comment edited 13 seconds after posting
0 upvotes
saradindubose
By saradindubose (6 months ago)

I fully agree with you . All camera companies are taking out too many models too fast!!! We should have time to study and select -

0 upvotes
Luigi Ricca
By Luigi Ricca (7 months ago)

Alex More is right, we all run and hope and buy to find always a deception somewhere. I sometimes take a old Pentax , Nikkormat and veven a Minox, I shoot, develop and digitalise and : the result is sure there !

0 upvotes
Luigi Ricca
By Luigi Ricca (7 months ago)

I see around the inside of the lens shell a tread : does anyone know the size? It seems to me that a filter could be used : Than you

0 upvotes
inspiredan
By inspiredan (7 months ago)

@madmaxmedia - thanks for your feedback. Agreed that the smudging is not due to the lack of AA filter. The real issue as you also point out is most likely the aggressive use of NR even at base ISO. I think the lack of AA filter emphasizes this problem even more. Glad to read that at least the raw files are better in this respect.

0 upvotes
madmaxmedia
By madmaxmedia (7 months ago)

@inspireddan- I don't think the smudging is due to the lack of AA filter, it's due to increased noise reduction. The X20 RAW files are great. But the JPEG's are worse than the X10 in the opinion of many who have used both. It's too bad, I really like my X10 and would otherwise upgrade to the X20 (I mostly shoot JPEG).

0 upvotes
inspiredan
By inspiredan (7 months ago)

Dear Fuji,
Why would you remove the optical AA filter if there is "smudge [of] fine details (even at ISO 100)"? Not having a filter may be okay on a larger sensor which captures more light (such as in the X100), but on smaller sensor it may only emphasize this problem.
I don't have an X20 but on my F45FD (same as F40FD), I also notice smudging of fine details at base ISO, especially around the edges of objects. If I apply slight blurring in post, the picture looks much better. I can't help but think that have that camera not had an AA filter, the smudging problem would have been even more noticeable.
Thanks,
-Dan

0 upvotes
TheAlexMoore
By TheAlexMoore (8 months ago)

Oh, what a continuing disappointment...! Digital camera engineering deserves better.
Mirrorless rangefinder cameras with manual focus should be a done deal by now.
 I suppose I'm as easily seduced by novelty features and shiny new digital gizmos as most, and  to be fair to all the gadget-heads who are prepared to put up with costly digital gear that looks OK on the outside but still doesn't deliver then you have  to admit that Fuji's corporate profit-taking is not as mean as the rest.
  I mean,  it's nice  to see Fuji is keeping some form of stabilising eye-level viewfinder. These are time-tested. They  not only allow image composition in bright daylight but help steady a camera, something not possible using cut-rate contemporary mirroless, viewfinderless digital toy still and mobile/cell phone  cameras at absurd arms-length fashion.

Comment edited 4 minutes after posting
1 upvote
Pat Cullinan Jr
By Pat Cullinan Jr (5 months ago)

Right on target re the viewfinder!

0 upvotes
darngooddesign
By darngooddesign (5 months ago)

It bears mentioning that you can get a second hand X100 for the price of a new X20, and that X100 gives you what you are asking for.

0 upvotes
TheAlexMoore
By TheAlexMoore (8 months ago)

Look, as much as I'd really like a mirorless digital that doesn't come with a Leica price tag I'll continue to use a standard DSLR and wait until Fuji -or someone else uses better sensors, with proper size - or at the very least APS-H to produce a usable camera that can perform for photojournalsm at an artisan cost below the badge price of the Germans.
Otherwise there's no point moving away from a so-called 'full frame' (35mm equivalent) sensor DSLR, unless your personal wealth or your work or hobby can justify a good camera like a Leica.
I accept I'm being cynical to make a point against the plethora of gushing reviews for sub-standard compromise digital gear, but most of the mirrorless cameras are not much better than toys  that deliver passable back-lit and email images. These cameras are not ideal for photojournalism.

2 upvotes
Rivergull
By Rivergull (2 months ago)

Alex, I'm SO enjoying your comments. I was a film shooter (1960s-1980s, Nikkormat FTn). I've tried to be happy using a Leica D-Lux 5, but screen scrolling is so frustrating, as is the lack of a viewfinder. I'm a 70 yr old woman now and I want one more chance to 'meet' a camera that melds with me (manual, f-stops on the lens, external shutter speed knob, full-frame viewfinder. If I can't find this 'in digital' I just might buy an old Nikkormat !! Do you feel the Fuji X100S is a fairly good choice? It's on Alamy's list of acceptable cameras.

Comment edited 42 seconds after posting
0 upvotes
bishopsmead100
By bishopsmead100 (1 day ago)

I am in my late 60's and recently bought a Fuji X-A1 and a X-E1 as lightweight more compact alternatives to my SLR gear, with a view to switching systems. I am finding the transition a bit of a chore. The X-A1 is great indoors and in overcast conditions but difficult to use in full sun owing to the lack of hood or VF; the solution would be buy a hood or a loupe. The X-E1 is easier for me to use with the EVF even with spectacles, but I find both slow to focus compared to my SLRs, so I tend to use the AF lock or focus manually. Quality is acceptable but I find RAW images require more adjustment (especially at higher ISO) than RAW images from my SLRs. I guess as with everything there are compromises and I will become more competent with longer use. I absolutely love the build quality and ergonomics, much better than most of the competition. If you get the chance, try out the X-E1 or X-E2 or even X-T1 before making a decision, especially if you can get one to try for a day or two.

0 upvotes
TheAlexMoore
By TheAlexMoore (8 months ago)

Sure, we can have debates  about rare-earth scarcity and high cost sensor manufacturer profitability and difficulties finding cheap labour in fringe junge factories to make cheap cameras and optics, as well as  fitting it all in a look-alike traditional film camera platform. 
But aren't image and print  quality and the ability to crop more important?  As is the camera's purpose as a tool to serve a photographer's eye, the picture you perceive in  your mind the instant you decide to trip a shutter and use light to create an image with minimal patchwork PS 'processing'...?
A camera is an instrument. It should measure against an ideal. All else follows, including economics. But, in three simple words this camera has:

Comment edited 1 minute after posting
1 upvote
Spencer E Holtaway
By Spencer E Holtaway (7 months ago)

Everyone's 'ideal' is different. In your comments you are coming from a perspective of a professional that is meeting technical requirements from news agencies, etc.

I don't see anywhere in any reviews or Fuji documentation that this camera is intended for that purpose. If anything, it's an expensive yet high quality point and shoot for people (probably hobbyists) who appreciate good color reproduction in a small, light body. Maybe it's great for someone who doesn't want to carry their DLSR around all the time, and also doesn't have $2,500 for a full frame compact with no viewfinder.

3 upvotes
TheAlexMoore
By TheAlexMoore (8 months ago)

Inadequate sensor size.

3 upvotes
Flatwhite
By Flatwhite (6 months ago)

Is the sony nex 6 a better buy ?

0 upvotes
jantar
By jantar (9 months ago)

It is really a great camera and I use it (more and more) besides or instead my Nikon 300s. One really serious flaw is the original battery (1000 mA) - it starts to collapse after 20 photos (is new!). The newly bought second one manages 100 pics (with less than 10 flash photos) but that is still far below useful number. Bought now aftermarket one (1400 mA) and hope it will solve my problem. My advice is to have full backup battery ready anytime!

0 upvotes
rfstudio
By rfstudio (9 months ago)

With tht peanut size sensor and codt the same as sony nex 5 really?????????

1 upvote
Dougbm_2
By Dougbm_2 (9 months ago)

In all the reviews Fuji cameras seem to consistently put out superior images.
Shame the viewfinder wasn't made at least 95% coverage.

0 upvotes
Ivan Lietaert
By Ivan Lietaert (10 months ago)

This kind of background blur, even at 112mm, is never going to isolate a subject against the background. The background is still distracting.
Your picture is misleading, btw, because the background is very far away here.
Put this guy against a background that is 10m away, and you'll see (almost) as much detail there as in the subject's face.
Anybody looking for a decent background blur should buy a camera with a 1 inch or bigger sensor.

0 upvotes
alexvaughn
By alexvaughn (10 months ago)

This is a very detailed review, and plenty informative if you're looking to buy this camera. I actually got the camera based on this review and the opinions in the forum. What better place to go to for camera-related stuff than DPreview?

1 upvote
TheAlexMoore
By TheAlexMoore (8 months ago)

Alamy's a good place to begin. Most on-line reviews are subjective.
Agences like Alamy must maintain image quality standards to keep credibility with publshers who buy images and complete pro phojournalism stories.
Cameras they approve are a good starting point.

Comment edited 19 seconds after posting
1 upvote
Spatzl73
By Spatzl73 (7 months ago)

I disagree with the non pro use comment - I work for a large newspaper in Europe - I use this as a back up to my NikonD800 and Mamiya RZ67 when street photo style is needed for true look . Liecas are not so expensive as you think - try hiring one. That said I would only replace the X20 with either Sony R1, Sigma DP2 Merrell .

0 upvotes
Locks
By Locks (6 months ago)

I haven't owned a camera in 20 years; almost bought a compact point-and-shoot on sale, but started looking at larger compacts (Canon G16, Fuji x20, some of the smallest 4/3). Can't imagine not having a viewfinder, but the G16's and apparently this one's aren't very good, it seems. Any recommendations for something I can both use automatically and set manually if I get the urge to really learn?

0 upvotes
Rivergull
By Rivergull (2 months ago)

Have you considered the Fuji X100S ??

0 upvotes
Total comments: 27