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

Started Sep 7, 2013 | Questions thread
bowportes Veteran Member • Posts: 3,525
Re: What is advantage and disadvantage between X-trans vs Bayer array

mjl699 wrote:

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.

So I'm going to ask you (or anyone else here) a question: What in-camera JPEG settings on an XP1 or XE1 would achieve the most "film-like" (non-digitally sharpened) looking images?  Should the Sharp setting be at -2?  Should Noise be the same? I had tried these settings for a while, but found the JPEG noise to be excessive (for my tastes) at 1600 and 3200 ISO. So Noise is now set to 0. For awhile I had also set Sharp to +1, but found that completely smooth background areas were developing fine digital "grain" as a consequence. That setting has been returned to Sharp 0.

So I return to my question... Do you believe I would achieve the most natural (i.e. non-digital) sharpness with Sharp -2 and Noise -2, or is Sharp 0 / Noise 0 the most neutral setting?  Relatedly, does Sharp -2 simply turn off all sharpening, leaving me closest to the sharpness of the Optic in front of the sensor, or does it introduce a certain amount of blur/fuzziness, with Sharp 0 being more neutral? Finally, would the answer depend in part upon the "film" selection?  Does Astia, for example, sharpen more than Provia irrespective of the Sharp setting?

I got long-winded, but you get my drift.

 bowportes's gear list:bowportes's gear list
Panasonic Lumix DMC-G5 Fujifilm X-M1 Fujifilm X-T1 Fujifilm X-Pro2 Panasonic Lumix G 20mm F1.7 ASPH +13 more
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