Who is at fault for the waxy skin tones? Locked

Started Feb 20, 2014 | Discussions
This thread is locked.
Daniel Lauring
Daniel Lauring Veteran Member • Posts: 9,261
Re: Who is at fault for the waxy skin tones?

This is a greatly exaggerated issue, IMHO, that only really becomes noticeable at ISO 6400. It can be mitigated by setting NR to -2, Sharpness -2. Yes, I wish there was a lower NR number. Honestly, most people prefer the "waxy" look to what their real skin looks like.

I have posted selfies to demonstrate how much settings make a difference and how it does not effect RAW's. Most professionals will shoot RAW at high ISO's so it is even less of an issue. I can remember when no one would consider trying to sell a picture shot at ISO 6400. Now we get pretty darn good results. Amazing, if you ask me.

Liviu Namolovan Contributing Member • Posts: 573
Re: waxy skin tones? What's that?

Could you please post an example?

Graham Hill Senior Member • Posts: 1,355
Re: Who is at fault for the waxy skin tones?

Daniel Lauring wrote:

This is a greatly exaggerated issue,

In fact, your posted examples show exactly how real this issue is.

IMHO, that only really becomes noticeable at ISO 6400.

uh...as everyone else has been saying.

It can be mitigated by setting NR to -2, Sharpness -2. Yes, I wish there was a lower NR number. Honestly, most people prefer the "waxy" look to what their real skin looks like.

Most people prefer waxy, fake looking skin?  Now THAT is some serious spin.

I have posted selfies to demonstrate how much settings make a difference and how it does not effect RAW's. Most professionals will shoot RAW at high ISO's so it is even less of an issue. I can remember when no one would consider trying to sell a picture shot at ISO 6400. Now we get pretty darn good results. Amazing, if you ask me.

Amazing if you like fake wax figures.

nixda Veteran Member • Posts: 5,103
Now it is clear as light

In the images processed from the raw data without excessive noise reduction, you look 20 years older. Since some of the Fuji X-Trans cameras are targeted primarily to young Japanese women, it is clear why they would render the images the way they do.

 nixda's gear list:nixda's gear list
Fujifilm X-E1 Fujifilm XF 14mm F2.8 R Fujifilm XF 18-55mm F2.8-4 R LM OIS Fujifilm XF 55-200mm F3.5-4.8 R LM OIS Fujifilm XF 27mm F2.8 +1 more
nixda Veteran Member • Posts: 5,103
Re: waxy skin tones? What's that?

Liviu Namolovan wrote:

Could you please post an example?

Just a bit higher up there is this example.

 nixda's gear list:nixda's gear list
Fujifilm X-E1 Fujifilm XF 14mm F2.8 R Fujifilm XF 18-55mm F2.8-4 R LM OIS Fujifilm XF 55-200mm F3.5-4.8 R LM OIS Fujifilm XF 27mm F2.8 +1 more
Lyle From Canada Senior Member • Posts: 1,512
Re: Who is at fault for the waxy skin tones?

This is not a raw vs jpeg issue, or a user error issue. The real issue is that this problem is only occurring in the second generation of fuji x cameras. The first gen cameras didn't experience this at all. It seems reasonable, at least to me, that jpeg quality would improve with each generation not get worse.
--
Fuji x-pro1 with 14, 18, 23, 35, 60, 55-200, fuji x100s and WA adapter, fuji x10

mistermejia OP Veteran Member • Posts: 3,340
Fuji should create different skin tone firmware versions then!

Les Lammers wrote:

This was answered in another thread. Fuji did it because the Asian market prefers it. They are aware that is an issue elsewhere. We all see things differently.

Oh!  I didn't know that.

Well, since fuji is so "adaptive" to customer's needs, then maybe they should create different firmware versions for different markets.  I need "the latino" firmware skin tone version  

 mistermejia's gear list:mistermejia's gear list
Fujifilm FinePix S5 Pro Fujifilm X-E1 Nikon AF-S DX Nikkor 35mm F1.8G Tamron SP AF 70-200mm F/2.8 Di LD (IF) MACRO Fujifilm XF 35mm F1.4 R +6 more
Daniel Lauring
Daniel Lauring Veteran Member • Posts: 9,261
Re: Who is at fault for the waxy skin tones?

Graham Hill wrote:

Daniel Lauring wrote:

This is a greatly exaggerated issue,

In fact, your posted examples show exactly how real this issue is.

It does and it isn't bad, IMHO.  Look at the first photo.  Does it look waxy and fake to you?

IMHO, that only really becomes noticeable at ISO 6400.

uh...as everyone else has been saying.

Yes.  But how often do people take pictures at ISO 6400.  It compromises image quality for ALL cameras.  I just saw a great interview with Joel Grimes where he said he tries to stay below ISO 400.

It can be mitigated by setting NR to -2, Sharpness -2. Yes, I wish there was a lower NR number. Honestly, most people prefer the "waxy" look to what their real skin looks like.

Most people prefer waxy, fake looking skin? Now THAT is some serious spin.

Not a "spin" at all and note how I put "" around waxy because I don't agree skin looks like wax unless you move away from NR -2.

I have posted selfies to demonstrate how much settings make a difference and how it does not effect RAW's. Most professionals will shoot RAW at high ISO's so it is even less of an issue. I can remember when no one would consider trying to sell a picture shot at ISO 6400. Now we get pretty darn good results. Amazing, if you ask me.

Amazing if you like fake wax figures.

It is real simple.  If you hate the look don't buy the camera.  Hundreds of professionals disagree and buy Fuji products and give them glowing reviews.  Some people hate the green tones in Nikon's.  Hundreds of other professionals disagree and buy them anyway.  To each his own.

mistermejia OP Veteran Member • Posts: 3,340
AMEN!!

Lyle From Canada wrote:

This is not a raw vs jpeg issue, or a user error issue. The real issue is that this problem is only occurring in the second generation of fuji x cameras. The first gen cameras didn't experience this at all. It seems reasonable, at least to me, that jpeg quality would improve with each generation not get worse.
--
Fuji x-pro1 with 14, 18, 23, 35, 60, 55-200, fuji x100s and WA adapter, fuji x10

+1  

 mistermejia's gear list:mistermejia's gear list
Fujifilm FinePix S5 Pro Fujifilm X-E1 Nikon AF-S DX Nikkor 35mm F1.8G Tamron SP AF 70-200mm F/2.8 Di LD (IF) MACRO Fujifilm XF 35mm F1.4 R +6 more
Graham Hill Senior Member • Posts: 1,355
Re: Who is at fault for the waxy skin tones?

Daniel Lauring wrote:

Graham Hill wrote:

Daniel Lauring wrote:

This is a greatly exaggerated issue,

In fact, your posted examples show exactly how real this issue is.

It does and it isn't bad, IMHO. Look at the first photo. Does it look waxy and fake to you?

IMHO, that only really becomes noticeable at ISO 6400.

uh...as everyone else has been saying.

Yes. But how often do people take pictures at ISO 6400. It compromises image quality for ALL cameras. I just saw a great interview with Joel Grimes where he said he tries to stay below ISO 400.

That's great for Joel.  It is meaningless advice for people who do shoot at ISO6400.  That ISO value was put on the camera to be used.  Further, OLDER X cameras COULD shoot at ISO6400 and not produce wax figures.  Your spin helps protect this exceedingly poor decision from Fujiilm.

It can be mitigated by setting NR to -2, Sharpness -2. Yes, I wish there was a lower NR number. Honestly, most people prefer the "waxy" look to what their real skin looks like.

Most people prefer waxy, fake looking skin? Now THAT is some serious spin.

Not a "spin" at all and note how I put "" around waxy because I don't agree skin looks like wax unless you move away from NR -2.

Others disagree and for them, this IS an issue.

I have posted selfies to demonstrate how much settings make a difference and how it does not effect RAW's. Most professionals will shoot RAW at high ISO's so it is even less of an issue. I can remember when no one would consider trying to sell a picture shot at ISO 6400. Now we get pretty darn good results. Amazing, if you ask me.

Amazing if you like fake wax figures.

It is real simple. If you hate the look don't buy the camera. Hundreds of professionals disagree and buy Fuji products and give them glowing reviews. Some people hate the green tones in Nikon's. Hundreds of other professionals disagree and buy them anyway. To each his own.

Daniel Lauring
Daniel Lauring Veteran Member • Posts: 9,261
Re: Who is at fault for the waxy skin tones?

Graham Hill wrote:

Yes. But how often do people take pictures at ISO 6400. It compromises image quality for ALL cameras. I just saw a great interview with Joel Grimes where he said he tries to stay below ISO 400.

That's great for Joel. It is meaningless advice for people who do shoot at ISO6400. That ISO value was put on the camera to be used. Further, OLDER X cameras COULD shoot at ISO6400 and not produce wax figures. Your spin helps protect this exceedingly poor decision from Fujiilm.

I'll say it again.  If you are bothered by it, and plan on shooting a lot of jpegs at ISO 6400 don't buy the camera.  However, for me it is something I can live with.  All cameras and life for that matter is a series of compromises.  I like the Fuji compromises better than I like most other brand compromises.  If I didn't I'd be carrying a different camera around.

Graham Hill Senior Member • Posts: 1,355
Re: Who is at fault for the waxy skin tones?

Daniel Lauring wrote:

Graham Hill wrote:

Yes. But how often do people take pictures at ISO 6400. It compromises image quality for ALL cameras. I just saw a great interview with Joel Grimes where he said he tries to stay below ISO 400.

That's great for Joel. It is meaningless advice for people who do shoot at ISO6400. That ISO value was put on the camera to be used. Further, OLDER X cameras COULD shoot at ISO6400 and not produce wax figures. Your spin helps protect this exceedingly poor decision from Fujiilm.

I'll say it again. If you are bothered by it, and plan on shooting a lot of jpegs at ISO 6400 don't buy the camera. However, for me it is something I can live with. All cameras and life for that matter is a series of compromises. I like the Fuji compromises better than I like most other brand compromises. If I didn't I'd be carrying a different camera around.

So what is gained by this compromise?  The X-E1 did not require sledgehammer amounts of noise reduction that reduced people's skin to a melted wax appearance.

What was gained by losing the X-E1's ability?

Dorkington Regular Member • Posts: 355
Re: Who is at fault for the waxy skin tones?

As others have said, it's clearly a decision by Fuji.

http://www.fujifilm.com/image_intelligence/photography/facial_skin_smoothing_function/

I find the effects aren't too terrible when shooting -2 NR, and +1 or 2 sharpness. But I rarely use a jpeg straight from camera.

 Dorkington's gear list:Dorkington's gear list
Fujifilm X-E2 Fujifilm XF 35mm F1.4 R Fujifilm XF 14mm F2.8 R Fujifilm XF 23mm F1.4 R Fujifilm XF 56mm F1.2 R +2 more
Daniel Lauring
Daniel Lauring Veteran Member • Posts: 9,261
Re: Who is at fault for the waxy skin tones?

Graham Hill wrote:

Daniel Lauring wrote:

Graham Hill wrote:

Yes. But how often do people take pictures at ISO 6400. It compromises image quality for ALL cameras. I just saw a great interview with Joel Grimes where he said he tries to stay below ISO 400.

That's great for Joel. It is meaningless advice for people who do shoot at ISO6400. That ISO value was put on the camera to be used. Further, OLDER X cameras COULD shoot at ISO6400 and not produce wax figures. Your spin helps protect this exceedingly poor decision from Fujiilm.

I'll say it again. If you are bothered by it, and plan on shooting a lot of jpegs at ISO 6400 don't buy the camera. However, for me it is something I can live with. All cameras and life for that matter is a series of compromises. I like the Fuji compromises better than I like most other brand compromises. If I didn't I'd be carrying a different camera around.

So what is gained by this compromise? The X-E1 did not require sledgehammer amounts of noise reduction that reduced people's skin to a melted wax appearance.

What was gained by losing the X-E1's ability?

The difference is hardly "sledgehammer." I have both cameras and did many tests. It is a noticeable difference when crossing over from ISO 3200 to ISO 6400 but hardly "sledgehammer."

Having said that, would I like it to be less? Yes. However, I'd also like my d__n Nikon D800 PDAF focus system to not require tweaking for every lens and every focal length. I'd like it's live view to actually focus as reliably as an $80 point and shoot. I wanted my D600's metering to not get so darn confused everytime a bright object entered the frame. I want my darn RX1 to focus at all sometimes. I want my RX1 to understand what slowsynch means and to not blowout photos with it's flash. I want my Olympus EM1 to not sharpen the cr_p out of every darn thing making shadow recovery that much more difficult.

P.S. What was gained was much faster and more reliable focus. Much faster response time in general. No, Fuji didn't have to change the jpeg engine the way they did and I wish they didn't. But, overall, I'd still rather shoot with the X-E2 because I get more keepers with it.

Jim Evidon
Jim Evidon Contributing Member • Posts: 883
Re: The waxy skin tones are just Fuji's interpretation

Every camera manufacturer has it's own idea as to what is acceptable with in-camera processing of jpeg images. Frankly, I find fault with all of them. but then again, I shoot RAW and I post process. With Nikon I was doing a lot of things in post precessing to get my acceptable image. Same comment goes for Panasonic, Sony, Leica M's and Olympus. I do not like any of their in-camera processed jpegs. JPEG was the industry's attempt to get an acceptable image out of a tiny 1 to 3 megapixel sensor camera and compressing the image. So much data is lost using jpeg, I am surprised that any serious photographer still uses that format.

With my Fuji XPro-1, the Raw images are near acceptable as is, and my post process workflow is now very simple and quick with minimal tweaking. I use Capture One Pro to convert my Fuji images to TIFF format and the IQ is amazing.

So my advise is to shoot Raw and tweak the images on your computer or keep looking for that perfect camera that produces just the final jpeg image you want. And good luck to you.
Jim

 Jim Evidon's gear list:Jim Evidon's gear list
Fujifilm XF1 Fujifilm X70 Leica M9-P Leica T Olympus PEN-F +2 more
Graham Hill Senior Member • Posts: 1,355
Re: Who is at fault for the waxy skin tones?

Daniel Lauring wrote:

Graham Hill wrote:

Daniel Lauring wrote:

Graham Hill wrote:

Yes. But how often do people take pictures at ISO 6400. It compromises image quality for ALL cameras. I just saw a great interview with Joel Grimes where he said he tries to stay below ISO 400.

That's great for Joel. It is meaningless advice for people who do shoot at ISO6400. That ISO value was put on the camera to be used. Further, OLDER X cameras COULD shoot at ISO6400 and not produce wax figures. Your spin helps protect this exceedingly poor decision from Fujiilm.

I'll say it again. If you are bothered by it, and plan on shooting a lot of jpegs at ISO 6400 don't buy the camera. However, for me it is something I can live with. All cameras and life for that matter is a series of compromises. I like the Fuji compromises better than I like most other brand compromises. If I didn't I'd be carrying a different camera around.

So what is gained by this compromise? The X-E1 did not require sledgehammer amounts of noise reduction that reduced people's skin to a melted wax appearance.

What was gained by losing the X-E1's ability?

The difference is hardly "sledgehammer." I have both cameras and did many tests. It is a noticeable difference when crossing over from ISO 3200 to ISO 6400 but hardly "sledgehammer."

Having said that, would I like it to be less? Yes. However, I'd also like my d__n Nikon D800 PDAF focus system to not require tweaking for every lens and every focal length. I'd like it's live view to actually focus as reliably as an $80 point and shoot. I wanted my D600's metering to not get so darn confused everytime a bright object entered the frame. I want my darn RX1 to focus at all sometimes. I want my RX1 to understand what slowsynch means and to not blowout photos with it's flash. I want my Olympus EM1 to not sharpen the cr_p out of every darn thing making shadow recovery that much more difficult.

Lots of straw men there that have nothing to do with Fujifilm's muffed JPEG engine.  Irrelevant.

P.S. What was gained was much faster and more reliable focus. Much faster response time in general. No, Fuji didn't have to change the jpeg engine the way they did

Which is it?  You just said the compromise was faster autofocus and now you are saying that it didnt need to be made.  This is nothing but pure spin to protect Fujifilm from the consequences of their decision to blast images with noise reduction.

and I wish they didn't. But, overall, I'd still rather shoot with the X-E2 because I get more keepers with it.

Graham Hill Senior Member • Posts: 1,355
Re: The waxy skin tones are just Fuji's interpretation

Jim Evidon wrote:

Every camera manufacturer has it's own idea as to what is acceptable with in-camera processing of jpeg images. Frankly, I find fault with all of them. but then again, I shoot RAW and I post process. With Nikon I was doing a lot of things in post precessing to get my acceptable image. Same comment goes for Panasonic, Sony, Leica M's and Olympus. I do not like any of their in-camera processed jpegs. JPEG was the industry's attempt to get an acceptable image out of a tiny 1 to 3 megapixel sensor camera and compressing the image. So much data is lost using jpeg, I am surprised that any serious photographer still uses that format.

With my Fuji XPro-1, the Raw images are near acceptable as is, and my post process workflow is now very simple and quick with minimal tweaking. I use Capture One Pro to convert my Fuji images to TIFF format and the IQ is amazing.

So my advise is to shoot Raw and tweak the images on your computer or keep looking for that perfect camera that produces just the final jpeg image you want. And good luck to you.
Jim

The mantra from this forum for years have been Fujifilm's JPEG engine is the best in the industry.

Now, it seems people are so quick to toss that over the side, forget about what was once taken for granted, and take a giant leap away from the former standard of performance.

LaFonte Senior Member • Posts: 2,760
Re: The waxy skin tones are just Fuji's interpretation

Jim Evidon wrote:

Every camera manufacturer has it's own idea as to what is acceptable with in-camera processing of jpeg images. Frankly, I find fault with all of them. but then again, I shoot RAW and I post process. With Nikon I was doing a lot of things in post precessing to get my acceptable image. Same comment goes for Panasonic, Sony, Leica M's and Olympus. I do not like any of their in-camera processed jpegs. JPEG was the industry's attempt to get an acceptable image out of a tiny 1 to 3 megapixel sensor camera and compressing the image. So much data is lost using jpeg, I am surprised that any serious photographer still uses that format.

With my Fuji XPro-1, the Raw images are near acceptable as is, and my post process workflow is now very simple and quick with minimal tweaking. I use Capture One Pro to convert my Fuji images to TIFF format and the IQ is amazing.

So my advise is to shoot Raw and tweak the images on your computer or keep looking for that perfect camera that produces just the final jpeg image you want. And good luck to you.
Jim

there is a big difference between a hobby photographer and professional regardless of how serious they are. i dont think any professional photographer uses jpg as it would hugely limit what he can do post. but for hobby, for most people the jpg is far enough. if the result is a facebook photo, instagram or any of the many social media with tiny images, raw is just an useless sidestep, it doesn't make the result any more better.

Unfortunately there are many hobby users who pretend play they are professionals and then this waxy thing and orbs and all that is a direct result.

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Fujifilm FinePix X100 Panasonic FZ1000 Fujifilm X-Pro1 +2 more
Daniel Lauring
Daniel Lauring Veteran Member • Posts: 9,261
Re: Who is at fault for the waxy skin tones?

Graham Hill wrote:

Daniel Lauring wrote:

The difference is hardly "sledgehammer." I have both cameras and did many tests. It is a noticeable difference when crossing over from ISO 3200 to ISO 6400 but hardly "sledgehammer."

Having said that, would I like it to be less? Yes. However, I'd also like my d__n Nikon D800 PDAF focus system to not require tweaking for every lens and every focal length. I'd like it's live view to actually focus as reliably as an $80 point and shoot. I wanted my D600's metering to not get so darn confused everytime a bright object entered the frame. I want my darn RX1 to focus at all sometimes. I want my RX1 to understand what slowsynch means and to not blowout photos with it's flash. I want my Olympus EM1 to not sharpen the cr_p out of every darn thing making shadow recovery that much more difficult.

Lots of straw men there that have nothing to do with Fujifilm's muffed JPEG engine. Irrelevant.

Very relevant because you can't buy your ideal camera unless you are really lucky so you buy the camera which works best for you.  Sometimes you need more than one for different situations.  The X-E2 works better for me than the X-E1.  Heck, at the conditions that I'd be shooting at ISO 6400 the X-E1 would frustrate me with missed focus much more often than would the X-E2.

P.S. What was gained was much faster and more reliable focus. Much faster response time in general. No, Fuji didn't have to change the jpeg engine the way they did

Which is it? You just said the compromise was faster autofocus and now you are saying that it didnt need to be made. This is nothing but pure spin to protect Fujifilm from the consequences of their decision to blast images with noise reduction.

The compromise between the two cameras is better auto focus and faster performance vs. more jpeg noise reduction at ISO 6400.  I'll take door number 1.

Yeah, I get it.  We all do.  Fuji didn't have to increase the noise reduction at ISO 6400.  Many wish they didn't.  But, for me it isn't a show stopper.  If it is for you fine.  Do not buy the camera.

Graham Hill Senior Member • Posts: 1,355
Re: Who is at fault for the waxy skin tones?

Daniel Lauring wrote:

Graham Hill wrote:

Daniel Lauring wrote:

The difference is hardly "sledgehammer." I have both cameras and did many tests. It is a noticeable difference when crossing over from ISO 3200 to ISO 6400 but hardly "sledgehammer."

Having said that, would I like it to be less? Yes. However, I'd also like my d__n Nikon D800 PDAF focus system to not require tweaking for every lens and every focal length. I'd like it's live view to actually focus as reliably as an $80 point and shoot. I wanted my D600's metering to not get so darn confused everytime a bright object entered the frame. I want my darn RX1 to focus at all sometimes. I want my RX1 to understand what slowsynch means and to not blowout photos with it's flash. I want my Olympus EM1 to not sharpen the cr_p out of every darn thing making shadow recovery that much more difficult.

Lots of straw men there that have nothing to do with Fujifilm's muffed JPEG engine. Irrelevant.

Very relevant because you can't buy your ideal camera unless you are really lucky so you buy the camera which works best for you. Sometimes you need more than one for different situations. The X-E2 works better for me than the X-E1. Heck, at the conditions that I'd be shooting at ISO 6400 the X-E1 would frustrate me with missed focus much more often than would the X-E2.

I understand your point but it is meaningless to our discussion as you noted earlier: Fujifilm did NOT have to add the increased noise reduction to the X-E2's jpegs.

P.S. What was gained was much faster and more reliable focus. Much faster response time in general. No, Fuji didn't have to change the jpeg engine the way they did

Which is it? You just said the compromise was faster autofocus and now you are saying that it didnt need to be made. This is nothing but pure spin to protect Fujifilm from the consequences of their decision to blast images with noise reduction.

The compromise between the two cameras is better auto focus and faster performance vs. more jpeg noise reduction at ISO 6400. I'll take door number 1.

But it's not a compromise that is needed as the RAW files clearly show.  The sensor CAN capture the right skin tones.  Fujifilm bludgeons away the detail with noise reduction.

Yeah, I get it. We all do. Fuji didn't have to increase the noise reduction at ISO 6400. Many wish they didn't. But, for me it isn't a show stopper. If it is for you fine. Do not buy the camera.

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