What Is Noise? X-T3 Class Leading High ISO Performance

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9VIII Forum Member • Posts: 91
What Is Noise? X-T3 Class Leading High ISO Performance
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https://www.dpreview.com/reviews/fujifilm-x-t3-first-impressions-review/6

So the X-T3 produces more noise at high ISO...

What Is, "Noise?"

The X-T3 is clearly very (very very) "Grainy", BUT critically it maintains excellent contrast.

I know DPReview mentions Adobe implementing new enhanced contrast features, but the samples processed in Capture One still give far more contrast on the X-T3 over the X-T2.
This is not just a processing feature of one engine, the X-T3 is recording higher contrast.

Oddly absent from discussion in the DPReview article is the change in shutter speed and possibly shutter mechanism. In the JPEG rendering the X-T3 is using 1/5000 shutter speed.

1/5000 example

https://www.dpreview.com/reviews/image-comparison/fullscreen?attr18=daylight&attr13_0=fujifilm_xt3&attr13_1=fujifilm_xt2&attr13_2=nikon_d500&attr13_3=sony_a6500&attr15_0=raw&attr15_1=raw&attr15_2=raw&attr15_3=raw&attr16_0=51200&attr16_1=51200&attr16_2=51200&attr16_3=51200&normalization=compare&widget=1&x=0.8545534417229951&y=0.1474051182574557

Here all the cameras are using 1/160, and the X-T3 looks far improved.

1/160 example

https://www.dpreview.com/reviews/image-comparison/fullscreen?attr18=lowlight&attr13_0=fujifilm_xt3&attr13_1=fujifilm_xt2&attr13_2=nikon_d500&attr13_3=sony_a6500&attr15_0=raw&attr15_1=raw&attr15_2=raw&attr15_3=raw&attr16_0=51200&attr16_1=51200&attr16_2=51200&attr16_3=51200&normalization=compare&widget=1&x=0.8639466481909974&y=0.14740511825745567

It's a night and day difference and arguably puts the X-T3 ahead of most of the competition in High ISO image quality, only bested by the Nikon D500, and not by much, but with the way each camera deals with "noise" differently it's hard to say any one is "better" (ok the A6500 is clearly worst, but the other three it's a toss up).

With the extremely limited samples we have for color rendition at ISO 52100, personally speaking I have to say I like the X-T3 the most.

Is the change in quality between the two shutter speeds simply a result of the increased shutter speed or is there more to it?
"Something" unexpected is going on here and to just look at it and say the new phenomenon is simply a fault of the new camera isn't doing anyone any favors. If this artifact is something that can be mitigated then everyone will want to know about it.

Fast readout is something all manufacturers are (or should be) working toward, eventually every camera will suffer similar issues.

Beyond that X-T3 still maintains excellent color and contrast at high ISO, even with the high shutter speed:

https://www.dpreview.com/reviews/image-comparison/fullscreen?attr18=daylight&attr13_0=fujifilm_xt3&attr13_1=fujifilm_xt2&attr13_2=nikon_d500&attr13_3=sony_a6500&attr15_0=jpeg&attr15_1=jpeg&attr15_2=jpeg&attr15_3=jpeg&attr16_0=51200&attr16_1=51200&attr16_2=51200&attr16_3=51200&normalization=compare&widget=1&x=0.27843662847600686&y=-0.700228371854392

It "Looks"... "Better".

Here's another example where you can see the X-T3 clearly captures the most color data.

https://www.dpreview.com/reviews/image-comparison/fullscreen?attr18=lowlight&attr13_0=fujifilm_xt3&attr13_1=fujifilm_xt2&attr13_2=nikon_d500&attr13_3=sony_a6500&attr15_0=jpeg&attr15_1=jpeg&attr15_2=jpeg&attr15_3=jpeg&attr16_0=51200&attr16_1=51200&attr16_2=51200&attr16_3=51200&normalization=compare&widget=1&x=-0.3293632614740317&y=0.19334896963688902

And here you can see the X-T3 can render "Words" better at High ISO than either the Nikon D500 or the Sony A6500:

https://www.dpreview.com/reviews/image-comparison/fullscreen?attr18=lowlight&attr13_0=fujifilm_xt3&attr13_1=fujifilm_xt2&attr13_2=nikon_d500&attr13_3=sony_a6500&attr15_0=jpeg&attr15_1=jpeg&attr15_2=jpeg&attr15_3=jpeg&attr16_0=25600&attr16_1=25600&attr16_2=25600&attr16_3=25600&normalization=compare&widget=1&x=-0.08358758551861149&y=0.31740839387748027

Maybe part of this is a simple matter of extra blur being added to JPEG rendering on the non-Fuji images, but regardless of that you can clearly make out more detail in the X-T3 JPEG, so even if us mere mortals cannot discern data within the image grain, a computer can.

The data is there.

SO... If the X-T3 at ISO 52100 captures the most color data, and the best contrast, it must be the best crop sensor camera for High ISO image quality on the market.

 9VIII's gear list:9VIII's gear list
Canon EOS 1100D Fujifilm X-E2S Canon EF 400mm f/5.6L USM Sigma 150mm F2.8 EX DG Macro HSM Canon EF-S 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 IS II +5 more
Fujifilm X-T2 Fujifilm X-T3 Nikon D500 Sony a6500
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