X-F1 review

Started Nov 16, 2012 | Discussions thread
brianj Forum Pro • Posts: 14,657
Re: X-F1 review

Trevor G wrote:

brianj wrote:

At last someone says how EXR should have worked, it could have produced seemless high quality under all conditions without any thought from the user about what machinations are going on inside.

From the review:

"What Fuji should have done is made an auto mode that maintains best perceptual image quality: in good light, shoot at 12MP, say up to ISO 800; in high contrast situations, automatically use DR400; finally, when the required ISO goes to say 1600 or above, then start binning pixels down to 6MP."

Except that that information misses out on the most dramatic effect of EXR, which occurs in M size images:

  • the ability to hold at least 2EV of highlight information above 0EV when using DR400 (which is otherwise clipped away in JPEG or when using DR100)
  • the ability to recover that "hidden" highlight information using RAW software such as the bundled RFC/aka Silkypix.

In L size and M size when ISO is higher than DR, the unique sensor pixel pairing which occurs with the EXR sensor supposedly does not take place. What's the point of an EXR sensor if you don't use it under the conditions it is designed for?

In L size it uses sensor amplification to "save" the highlight information once DR is set higher than 100, and this results in noisier images because ISO is raised to accomplish this.

That may be correct, and the review was only talking about full AUTO mode, so the expert user can still achieve all that is possible, if the scene hasn't already moved on, but for the average fuji P&S buyer the described simplification would make the camera straight forward to use.  Since the introduction of EXR I would never recommend a fuji camera to anyone I know because of the difficulty in mastering its many modes.  There is not a day goes by where we cannot find an example image on the fuji forum of someone blowing out a highlight even though they are using the best P&S for DR control.  Its a brilliant technical solution spoiled by the lack of simplification to the user. IMO

Brian

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