Half-sized JPGs and image quality vs Sigma

Started Oct 2, 2013 | Discussions thread
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Tom Schum
Tom Schum Veteran Member • Posts: 6,229
Half-sized JPGs and image quality vs Sigma

The second image size setting in my X-E1 stores 8 megapixel JPGs, half as many pixels as the full-size 16 megapixel images. See below for a slightly processed 100% crop from a test 8-megapixel JPG. Crop is 745x596, and the entire image is 3456x2304=7,962,624 pixels.

As many of you know the Sigma Foveon sensor consists of three layers and uses the silicon itself as a color filter, so that each pixel location delivers full color information. This makes interpolation unnecessary, leading to images with seemingly unlimited detail. Since there is no interpolation, details cannot smear.

In that forum some say the best comparison with color filter array sensors (such as Bayer and X-trans) is to half-size the CFA image, then compare it with the Foveon image, or double-size the Foveon image and compare with the CFA image.

I own both an X-E1 and a few Sigma cameras. Comparing the half-sized Fuji image at the pixel level with Foveon seems to work quite well in my opinion.

This image seems to have very little smearing and very good pixel detail. Though not quite as sharp as the Sigma system, it is very close I think.

Sigmas have a well-earned reputation for being difficult to use, and here is where the Fuji pulls ahead. Similar or equal image quality when the half-size JPG is selected, combined with Fuji convenience, makes for a powerful combination.

Take a look at this X-E1 crop and I think you'll agree.  Opinions?:

100% crop of a half-sized out-of-camera JPG, processed only slightly (couldn't resist)

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Tom Schum

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