Fujifilm X-S10 vs Nikon Z5 print quality

Started 5 months ago | Discussions thread
FingerPainter Forum Pro • Posts: 11,434

Erik Baumgartner wrote:

With both cameras being pretty much the same resolution, given premium glass, you really shouldn’t see any significant difference in detail.

For this answer to be true, it presumes that the lens on the X-S10 produces linear sharpness on an optical bench that is 46% better than the lens on the Z5. Given the quality of Z glass, I don't think that is a safe presumption.

Or to put it another way, if you use the same lens on both cameras, the central image sharpness from the Z5's image will be 46% higher than the X-S10's image, takign into account the 2MP advantage of the X-S10.

Sensors of different size but similar pixel count only produce images of similar sharpness when their lenses project a similar number of line pairs across the same portion of the frame. On a FF sensor, a lens will project about 50% more line pairs per linear portion of the image on an APS-C sensor. So centre sharpness of an image from a FF sensor and a given lens will be 50% higher than central sharpness of an image from an APS-C sensor and the same lens.

Now typically, lenses designed for smaller sensors produce a higher linear resolution than lenses with the same field of view produced for FF sensors. However, typically they are not 50% sharper, so images tend to be sharper on FF cameras having similar pixel counts to APS-C sensors. How much sharper will depend on the particular lenses used.

Lets look at a sample case, comparing Fujifilm's best? current normal prime with Nikon's worst normal prime: the XF 35mm f/1.4 R vs the Nikkor Z 50mm f/1.8S. Lens Tip has tested both. They measured the maximum centre sharpness of the XF lens at 56 lp/mm and the max centre sharpness of the Z at 84 lp/mm. But do not despair, the XF was tested on a 16MP sensor while the Z was tested on a 46MP sensor. We need to modify those measurements to reflect use on 26MP and 24MP sensors, respectively. We cannot get a precise adjustment, but we do know that the difference in resolution will be a bit less than the difference in the square roots of the respective pixel counts, So on a 26MP sensor, the XF 35mm should be able to get a bit less than 71 lp/mm, while the Z 50mm should be able to get a bit more than 61 lp/mm.

BUT... The FF sensor is 24mm high while the APS-C sensors is a bit less than 16mm high. This means the max central sharpness of the FF Z5 image will be a bit better than 1,456 line pairs per picture height, while the max central sharpness of the APS-C X-S10 image will be a bit less than 1,135 line pairs per picture height.

If you print both to the same size, the Nikon Z5's image will be more than 28% sharper. At corridor wall viewing distances on 1m prints, that's a noticeable difference.

The Z5 (D750 sensor) will have a good stop of extra high ISO performance and dynamic range,

That sounds about right for DR. SNR should be closer to two stops difference for landscapes in good light, partly because of the difference in base ISOs.

but as most people will probably rarely need more of either that you get from the Fuji,

Perhaps large prints examined closely are one of those cases where one needs more.

the best looking print results will likely be from the camera with better glass

Yes specific lens choices will play a big role. I think Z-mount glass actually has a higher average optical quality than XF mount glass, and that's before you factor in the 50% sharpness advantage of using a larger sensor.

and/or post processing.

I think we can assume same shot-making and post-processing skills. It's the same OP using wither camera.

And that goes for pretty much any X-Trans III camera (X-T2) or newer as well.

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