What is advantage and disadvantage between X-trans vs Bayer array

Started Sep 7, 2013 | Questions thread
mjl699 Regular Member • Posts: 309
Re: What is advantage and disadvantage between X-trans vs Bayer array

Well written response Randy with lots of points to ponder.

What's the difference between 16 MP Bayer without OLPF and 16 MP X-Trans without OLPF ?

  • Bayer has 18/36 green pixels versus 20/36 for X-Trans.
  • Bayer has 9/36 red pixels versus 8/36 for X-Trans.
  • Bayer has 9/36 blue pixels versus 8/36 for X-Trans.
  • Bayer and X-Trans have different arrangements for their pixels.

So what? Actually, I don't think any of the above matters at all.

What's the difference between a 16 MP sensor with OLPF and a 16 MP sensor without OLPF ?

  • A slight improvement in resolution for the camera without the OLPF.
  • You get more Moire without an OLPF.
  • You MUST sharpen an image made with a sensor with an OLPF in front of it.

So what the difference between X-Trans and Bayer with OLPF? The OLPF. And what is the difference between X-Trans and Bayer without OLPF? Not a lot.

One thing which hinders comparisons between X-Trans and Bayer+OLPF is that you MUST sharpen Bayer+OLPF. The purpose of the OLPF is to smear the light incident on the sensor enough that Moire does not occur. This means smearing red and blue light enough that goes from pixel rows with only green pixels to the neighbouring pixel rows. So you MUST sharpen. The result is that all Bayer+OLPF images have the artefacts of sharpening. You can of course sharpen an non-OLPF image, but you need not do so. In fact, it is best not to do so - the image is a lot more "natural" (and softer) if you do not sharpen.

So to compare the best of OLPF and non-OLPF you are comparing a sharpened image to a natural one - which is not like-for-like. In particular, if you are used to sharpened images or you like them, you will favour the OLPF image. If you don't like sharpening, you'll prefer the non-OLPF image.

I always liked film and I never liked the effect of digital sharpening. Funnily enough I like X-Trans. Oh, and I like the output from digital Leicas. And no doubt I will like the output from the new Olympus OM-D EM-1 too.

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