Has the X20 met or failed your expectations?

Started Mar 27, 2013 | Discussions
Andre Yew Regular Member • Posts: 350
Re: Has the X20 met or failed your expectations?

I rented the X20 for a weekend, and I generally like it --- if I had to get a P&S today, it would at the top of my list.  I agree that its OOC JPEGs are not very good, with watercolor effects easily visible everywhere.  However, its RAW files are very good, and don't show watercolor effects unless you push noise-reduction in Lightroom 4.4RC really, really far.  I had the thing to set to RAW only after a while.

I find the camera itself to be pretty responsive, but it performs best in good light.  In low light, I found that it did not always lock focus, though when it did lock focus, it was accurate.  Low light also exacerbates its noise. It is a 2/3-inch sensor, so you can't expect miracles from it.

I include 3 photos below all of which were shot in RAW and processed in LR4.4RC.  Mostly it was altering the tonal mapping, some levels adjustment, and clarity and sharpness. I like how well its photos translate to B&W:

Here's one in low light, with some dodging and burning as well:

And here's a color picture shot in macro mode:

Joel Stern
Joel Stern Forum Pro • Posts: 10,925
People will make up their own minds
1

This constant bickering and pushing ones opinion on others is just silly. You will either like it or not, anyone that is familiar with a good camera will know shortly after getting it if they have what they want or if the camera will be too much work for them. Good luck.

Lauterwasser Regular Member • Posts: 239
Re: People will make up their own minds

Joel Stern wrote:

This constant bickering and pushing ones opinion on others is just silly. You will either like it or not, anyone that is familiar with a good camera will know shortly after getting it if they have what they want or if the camera will be too much work for them. Good luck.

The point here is to get as much info as possible before getting it.

If I can find out that the camera is more of a hassle than I prefer then I would like to know this before I plunk down $600 for one.

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2eyesee Senior Member • Posts: 2,085
Re: Has the X20 met or failed your expectations?
1

Nukunukoo wrote:

2eyesee wrote:

Nukunukoo wrote:

tron555 wrote:

And you think that noisy, colorless, worthless, no detailed image is worth bragging about?! Come on, surely you can do better than that, or maybe not.

I posted some other images AND pointed out WHY I am impressed with this particular one. But obviously with your trolling style you have very little to contribute and thus is a waste of all our time. You deliberately picked the worst of the bunch and gawked on it withoit having the intelligence to read its context.

The problem is though that you don't have to look far to find problem X20 images. I posted 100% crops of the 2 images uploaded by Mickey LeBeau which illustrated the much talked about 'watercolour' effect and lack of detail in low contrast areas. Not the photographers fault.

And here another posted by Lmendy above:

It really surprised me how bad this looks for ISO200, 1/900 sec shutter speed in bright sunlight.

I see. Thank you for pointing that out. Unfortunately, the X20's OOC JPEG is not something I am crazy about. Not only is the rendering bad but I believe the NR is way too aggressive by default (which can be reduced by -2 in the menu, I have not tried if that would help though.)

Still, that image is NOT representative of the camera's capabilities. To make reference to one of my posts

Mind you, this crop is based on an image that has already been saved TWICE using average JPEG quality, so the IQ will be lower than the original. No NR is applied.

At ISO320 and less light (more prone to noise), this picture that has NO NR applied to it exhibits good noise grain and the high contrast between the hair and highlight exhibits no watercoloring effects. Something that I find much better than on my LX7 and S110.

While my use of the X20 can't replicate the effect, I believe the NR is set too high + OOC JPEG quality (which is NOT impressive with the X20). Since my workflow ALWAYS must begin with RAW, I do not get into these issues.

suppose for people who only deal with JPEGs and nothing else will not be able to realize the full capacity of this camera. That would be such a waste of investment in their part and would have been better off with something cheaper and has better JPEG rendering such as the LX5/LX7 or the Nikon P7100 (Oh, wait, that's expensive too... but look at those JPEGs!). I didn't mention the S110 because, I also am not happy on how it renders its JPEGs.

Looking at these two 100% crops I would never believe that they were produced by the same camera - especially as the cat image is higher ISO. What an enigma the X20 is!

Clearly you can never risk shooting JPG only on an X20, but if you are a RAW shooter anyway and it fits comfortably into your normal workflow then it's obviously capable of generating very nice results.

Unfortunately though I'm sure a large percentage of potential X20 owners are just looking for a high quality compact camera to give them good JPG output and aren't necessarily interested in developing RAW.

I have to wonder if Fuji were trying to be too clever with this sensor. The mere fact of having a 2/3" sensor gives them an potential IQ advantage over all other premium compacts (1/1.7" sensors) other than the RX100 (1" sensor - but the RX100 comes with other compromises).

As for me, I was looking seriously at the X20 but with such mixed results I've gone ahead and purchased an Olympus E-PL5 instead, and am very happy with it. But I am still interested in also having a premium compact as a camera I can just put on a belt pouch and take out without the 'gear' that a systems cameras involves. The X20 certainly won't be that camera though - unless a firmware update can address these JPG issues.

2eyesee Senior Member • Posts: 2,085
Re: People will make up their own minds
1

Lauterwasser wrote:

Joel Stern wrote:

This constant bickering and pushing ones opinion on others is just silly. You will either like it or not, anyone that is familiar with a good camera will know shortly after getting it if they have what they want or if the camera will be too much work for them. Good luck.

The point here is to get as much info as possible before getting it.

If I can find out that the camera is more of a hassle than I prefer then I would like to know this before I plunk down $600 for one.

Agreed - from what I can see the OP doesn't own an X20 and could be looking to pick one up if others recommend it. Advice on camera selection is one of the main functions of these forums.

Not all of us live in regions with such generous return policies as the USA.

BingoCharlie Contributing Member • Posts: 849
Re: People will make up their own minds

The watercolor thing appears to be very real in JPEG.  A pity for those who wanted to get Fuji colors OOC.  Raws look beautiful.

The watercolor problem could be fixed through firmware, but will Fuji do it?

tinpusher
tinpusher Senior Member • Posts: 1,361
Re: People will make up their own minds

BingoCharlie wrote:.

The watercolor problem could be fixed through firmware, but will Fuji do it?

Well if enough of us return the camera or delay purchase then they may but the sales demographic means that most customers won't have a clue what we're on about and will stay happy.

"We've sold 20 and you're the only one to complain you must have a defective unit"..right

xchert Regular Member • Posts: 194
Re: People will make up their own minds
2

BingoCharlie wrote:

The watercolor thing appears to be very real in JPEG.  A pity for those who wanted to get Fuji colors OOC.  Raws look beautiful.

The watercolor problem could be fixed through firmware, but will Fuji do it?

Turn the NR down to -2 and the watercolor effect is gone.  Easy fix.  I'm sure Fuji will eventually address this in firmware as well.

BingoCharlie Contributing Member • Posts: 849
Re: People will make up their own minds

xchert wrote:

BingoCharlie wrote:

The watercolor thing appears to be very real in JPEG.  A pity for those who wanted to get Fuji colors OOC.  Raws look beautiful.

The watercolor problem could be fixed through firmware, but will Fuji do it?

Turn the NR down to -2 and the watercolor effect is gone.  Easy fix.  I'm sure Fuji will eventually address this in firmware as well.

That would be great.  Can you post a comparison? I'm sure a lot of people would be very interested.

Gaze Contributing Member • Posts: 721
Re: People will make up their own minds

NR-2 should be the X20's default with an additional two negative settings below that IMO.

Also, playing around with average metering and EC dial with ISO 200 and DR at 200 might help too.

Absolutic
Absolutic Veteran Member • Posts: 5,311
Re: People will make up their own minds

Gaze wrote:

NR-2 should be the X20's default with an additional two negative settings below that IMO.

Also, playing around with average metering and EC dial with ISO 200 and DR at 200 might help too.

correct, I shoot everything with NR-2 (JPEG) X20 is plenty sharp to begin with, I would not mind it allowing me to go even lower than -2.

Went out with family and friends with Fuji X20 and Nikon D7000 yesterday and shot a bunch of photographs by both.  Again amazed by skin colors on Fuji, colors, and room for shadow/highlight recovery in JPEGS!

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xchert Regular Member • Posts: 194
Re: People will make up their own minds

BingoCharlie wrote:

xchert wrote:

BingoCharlie wrote:

The watercolor thing appears to be very real in JPEG.  A pity for those who wanted to get Fuji colors OOC.  Raws look beautiful.

The watercolor problem could be fixed through firmware, but will Fuji do it?

Turn the NR down to -2 and the watercolor effect is gone.  Easy fix.  I'm sure Fuji will eventually address this in firmware as well.

That would be great.  Can you post a comparison? I'm sure a lot of people would be very interested.

Ok -- I'll try to do this in the next couple of days...

Gaze Contributing Member • Posts: 721
Re: People will make up their own minds

Hi Absolutic, Those are very nice photos and what a cute baby!

You know, it makes me wonder how many people have/going to return their X20s not knowing that there are better settings than the default ones. I guess they think that they better hurry up and return the camera while they can and get their money back.

My house cleaning is going slow but I will post some photos soon. BTW, your food photos are getting me hungry! I also have some food ideas to explore when I get the chance.

Questions: How come you're not putting these and your most recent photos in your gallery? I'd like to see the exif data. Also, do you ever use average metering on your photos? And, if the scene is not contrasty, do you normally leave the EC dial at 0?

Thanks Absolutic for sharing and cheers!

Nukunukoo
Nukunukoo Regular Member • Posts: 358
Re: People will make up their own minds

Great pictures!

I am also quite impressed with how the X20's JPEGs are well rendered, especially in contrasty shadows such as the leafy lettuce on the sandwich shot (yum).

It's the sharpness that really makes this camera distinct, even at the corners. Not perfect, mind you, but way above average for cameras of this class!

For such a small sensor, I am really impressed at the amount I can recover from shadows  even under harsh backlighting!

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2eyesee Senior Member • Posts: 2,085
Re: People will make up their own minds

xchert wrote:

BingoCharlie wrote:

The watercolor thing appears to be very real in JPEG.  A pity for those who wanted to get Fuji colors OOC.  Raws look beautiful.

The watercolor problem could be fixed through firmware, but will Fuji do it?

Turn the NR down to -2 and the watercolor effect is gone.  Easy fix.  I'm sure Fuji will eventually address this in firmware as well.

It would be nice if it were that simple, but if you read through the following thread it links to images that most agree show unpleasant noise at ISO 400, and the original photographer on the forum states that he used NR -2 on those shots:

http://www.dpreview.com/forums/thread/3389081

I'd be grateful if you could post some full resolution examples of the default NR showing the watercolour effect compared to NR -2.

2eyesee Senior Member • Posts: 2,085
Re: People will make up their own minds

Gaze wrote:

Hi Absolutic, Those are very nice photos and what a cute baby!

You know, it makes me wonder how many people have/going to return their X20s not knowing that there are better settings than the default ones. I guess they think that they better hurry up and return the camera while they can and get their money back.

My house cleaning is going slow but I will post some photos soon. BTW, your food photos are getting me hungry! I also have some food ideas to explore when I get the chance.

Questions: How come you're not putting these and your most recent photos in your gallery? I'd like to see the exif data. Also, do you ever use average metering on your photos? And, if the scene is not contrasty, do you normally leave the EC dial at 0?

Thanks Absolutic for sharing and cheers!

Yes, nice photos - but as they have been scaled down to 1.2 MP (1280x960) you can't really assess anything about the camera's capabilities from them.

2eyesee Senior Member • Posts: 2,085
Re: People will make up their own minds

Nukunukoo wrote:

Great pictures!

I am also quite impressed with how the X20's JPEGs are well rendered, especially in contrasty shadows such as the leafy lettuce on the sandwich shot (yum).

It's the sharpness that really makes this camera distinct, even at the corners. Not perfect, mind you, but way above average for cameras of this class!

For such a small sensor, I am really impressed at the amount I can recover from shadows  even under harsh backlighting!

Difficult to say really. This image is ISO 100 and even scaled down to 2 MP the trunk looks quite grainy. But as you say, difficult lighting conditions and without a comparison image it's difficult to say whether other premium compacts would perform any better.

Please X20 owners - if you want to show of your camera's capabilities please let us see full resolution images.

Nukunukoo
Nukunukoo Regular Member • Posts: 358
Re: People will make up their own minds

2eyesee wrote:

xchert wrote:

BingoCharlie wrote:

The watercolor thing appears to be very real in JPEG.  A pity for those who wanted to get Fuji colors OOC.  Raws look beautiful.

The watercolor problem could be fixed through firmware, but will Fuji do it?

Turn the NR down to -2 and the watercolor effect is gone.  Easy fix.  I'm sure Fuji will eventually address this in firmware as well.

It would be nice if it were that simple, but if you read through the following thread it links to images that most agree show unpleasant noise at ISO 400, and the original photographer on the forum states that he used NR -2 on those shots:

http://www.dpreview.com/forums/thread/3389081

I'd be grateful if you could post some full resolution examples of the default NR showing the watercolour effect compared to NR -2.

Took this through our host's window and I hope this could help. Good thing I brought a tripod with me and the scene was relatively static and varied for comparison. I set the JPEGs to Fine. Hope this helps.

NR +2

NR 0

NR -2

Sorry, I don't have the time to pixel-peep (I really don't do such thing unless I am evaluating or prepping an image for cropping). I believe all the settings were identical.

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Nukunukoo
Nukunukoo Regular Member • Posts: 358
Re: People will make up their own minds

2eyesee wrote:

Nukunukoo wrote:

Great pictures!

I am also quite impressed with how the X20's JPEGs are well rendered, especially in contrasty shadows such as the leafy lettuce on the sandwich shot (yum).

It's the sharpness that really makes this camera distinct, even at the corners. Not perfect, mind you, but way above average for cameras of this class!

For such a small sensor, I am really impressed at the amount I can recover from shadows  even under harsh backlighting!

Difficult to say really. This image is ISO 100 and even scaled down to 2 MP the trunk looks quite grainy. But as you say, difficult lighting conditions and without a comparison image it's difficult to say whether other premium compacts would perform any better.

Please X20 owners - if you want to show of your camera's capabilities please let us see full resolution images.

This is a post shot. The grain IS intentional. Not all grains are unintentional noise, this was applied from DxO filmpacks. While I do understand this is a Finepix forum, making artful compositions' not outside the realm of P&S. The slight flare is also intentional. I had to pull this from an email draft since it's original is on an external drive somewhere... (still looking for it).

Also, look around this forum, there are LOADS of great High Rez samples littered about!

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dasjx49 Forum Member • Posts: 52
Re: People will make up their own minds

Nukunukoo wrote:

2eyesee wrote:

xchert wrote:

BingoCharlie wrote:

The watercolor thing appears to be very real in JPEG.  A pity for those who wanted to get Fuji colors OOC.  Raws look beautiful.

The watercolor problem could be fixed through firmware, but will Fuji do it?

Turn the NR down to -2 and the watercolor effect is gone.  Easy fix.  I'm sure Fuji will eventually address this in firmware as well.

It would be nice if it were that simple, but if you read through the following thread it links to images that most agree show unpleasant noise at ISO 400, and the original photographer on the forum states that he used NR -2 on those shots:

http://www.dpreview.com/forums/thread/3389081

I'd be grateful if you could post some full resolution examples of the default NR showing the watercolour effect compared to NR -2.

Took this through our host's window and I hope this could help. Good thing I brought a tripod with me and the scene was relatively static and varied for comparison. I set the JPEGs to Fine. Hope this helps.

NR +2

NR 0

NR -2

Sorry, I don't have the time to pixel-peep (I really don't do such thing unless I am evaluating or prepping an image for cropping). I believe all the settings were identical.

Thanks for posting!  Do my eyes deceive me or does decreasing the noise reduction increase the apparent exposure?  In these examples, as you step down the NR, the image gradually lightens.  Is that a typical by-product of NR?

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