X-Trans advantages - fact or fiction ?

Started Feb 21, 2014 | Discussions
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nick_webster
nick_webster OP Veteran Member • Posts: 5,812
Thanks Sal,

I didn't realise the 5DMkII was so far behind the newer sensors, especially APS ones.

I've only had about 15 minuted with the X-T1 and apart from a niggle or two ergonomically - especially the hard to use 4-way controller - it is probably my 2nd favourite digital camera to use. My favourite is an Oly E-1 circa 2003

Nick

Westmill
Westmill Senior Member • Posts: 1,350
Re: X-Trans advantages - fact or fiction ?

nick_webster wrote:

I used a NEX 5n and X-E1 the other day back to back and I have to say I didn't find any real difference between the RAWs proceeded via Aperture. Lack of AA filter is supposed to provide more detail - but I don't see any. It it weren't for the EXIF data I doubt if I could tell one from the other.

I don't shoot much that would show moire so can't fairly compare that aspect.

To be clear I find both excellent - if not identical in output

Has anyone else seen any differences compared with other 16MP APS sensors - in RAW, I'm not talking about each manufacturer's jpg engines.

Not trying to stir up hard feelings, I'm genuinely curious. It might be that Aperture isn't best optimised for Fuji's RAWs, but then the same may also be said for it's renderings of Sony's cameras

Nick

There are certainly differences. Firstly it is possible the images were the same because the lens was not using the whole of what the sensor can actually resolve. Sticking a lens on the Fuji like the 60mm and it creates astounding detail. Exceedingly sharp ! The drawback is the watercolour effect which is often very evident in landscapes. This can be cured using better programs that do a better job than my lightroom 4 does. Although sharpness and detail are fine, as are most subjects. I have yet to see any moire, so that certainly works. Moire in my D7100 is a different story and I wish they had used an AA filter. The Fuji seems to have a quality all of its own. It seems to render lovely tones that appeals to me. So its hard to say which is best. Just down to personal taste at the end of the day. Fuji designed the Xtrans to reduce moire. That works without question.

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forpetessake
forpetessake Senior Member • Posts: 4,892
NEX 5n and X-E1 side by side ...

In my testing Sony NEX5N in most cases produced sharper images with better colors and contrast in good light than Fuji X-E1. In poor light Fuji has a heavy red-brown tint, while Sony has yellow-green tint. Both cameras need serious color correction. Fuji has also poor red reproduction, it's even visible on test charts, in real life reds lose detail and turn color of fresh blood. Fuji also produces discoloration of small details, but sometimes even relatively large image fragments get wrong color, I've had one image of yellow wooden chips on red pavement turned red on Fuji images. Fuji is typically 1 stop behind in sensitivity, requiring 2x ISO for the same exposure, so after adjusting pictures for brightness, contrast, and color the noise is pretty much equal on both cameras (after all they use the same sensor), though the structure of noise is different.

Here are some side by side images: http://www.dpreview.com/galleries/4489424077/albums/fujifilm-x-e1-vs-sony-nex5n

Charles2 Veteran Member • Posts: 3,605
Re: Waiting for Mac OS update as well

nick_webster wrote:

I refuse to use any other RAW converters because dealing with one set of software engineers' foibles is more than enough aggravation for me ( with the exception of SPP for my Sigma files as nothing else works, to my great regret )

Then best to think of Fuji Raw File Converter as something like SPP - except easier. Use RFC just to adjust exposure on the neutral image and set an approximate white balance if needed. Export a TIFF to your favorite post-processing program.

Dennis Forum Pro • Posts: 16,445
Re: X-Trans advantages - fact or fiction ?

mr moonlight wrote:

There's only a handful of RAW processors that do very well with Fuji's RAW files and Aperture isn't one of them. ... With Fuji's X-trans RAW files, unless you're using the likes of C1 or Irident, your not maxing out what you can achieve with the X-trans RAW files.

Sometimes I read hear that the raw issue is overblown (like in the memes and trolling thread), and yet this seems like confirmation of what I've read in the past that would give me pause over buying into it. Not an issue, because I'm not shopping. But hopefully it will all get straightened out at some point. It's amazing that Fuji can put such a competent jpeg engine in firmware, but not provide the algorithm to 3rd party raw processors.

boinkphoto
boinkphoto Contributing Member • Posts: 950
Honestly? It doesn't matter...

What matters is you like the images you get out of the camera. "better" or not, a lot of us are very happy with the results we get.

As pretty much all cameras produce excellent, if not slightly different, results, the constant need to say X is better than Y is just distracting cock-strutting from what really matters: the art and enjoyment of taking pictures.

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historianx Senior Member • Posts: 2,372
Re: Waiting for Mac OS update as well

nick_webster wrote:

I have a spanking new X-T1 sat in front of me, but no way to process the RAWs yet

I refuse to use any other RAW converters because dealing with one set of software engineers' foibles is more than enough aggravation for me ( with the exception of SPP for my Sigma files as nothing else works, to my great regret )

What is that you see in your X-E2 files that you don't get from your Canon ?

Nick

So you refuse to use the In-Cam RAW converter?  It is slow and tedious on the x-E1 but i like the results.

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Aethon Regular Member • Posts: 315
Re: X-Trans advantages - fact or fiction ?
1

mr moonlight wrote:

There's only a handful of RAW processors that do very well with Fuji's RAW files and Aperture isn't one of them.

I'm sorry, but this is simply wrong.

Every comparison I have seen puts Aperture up with the leaders in RAW processing, and my own experience backs that up. Almost every Mac user I know uses Aperture for X-Trans files because the gains from using PN or Iridient are trivial and you have the benefit of Aperture's simple workflow and asset management.

Do you actually use Aperture?

Aethon Regular Member • Posts: 315
Re: X-Trans advantages - fact or fiction ?

Dennis wrote:

mr moonlight wrote:

There's only a handful of RAW processors that do very well with Fuji's RAW files and Aperture isn't one of them. ... With Fuji's X-trans RAW files, unless you're using the likes of C1 or Irident, your not maxing out what you can achieve with the X-trans RAW files.

Sometimes I read hear that the raw issue is overblown (like in the memes and trolling thread), and yet this seems like confirmation of what I've read in the past that would give me pause over buying into it. Not an issue, because I'm not shopping. But hopefully it will all get straightened out at some point. It's amazing that Fuji can put such a competent jpeg engine in firmware, but not provide the algorithm to 3rd party raw processors.

Good grief. This is the Zombie Idea that WILL NOT DIE!

The RAW issue is overblown at this point. Lightroom's processing was poor but is now absolutely fine. Aperture is actually superb.

C1 and Iridient may offer a teensy-tiny improvement (a technical term, obviously) but at the expense of a more complicated workflow in exchange for minimal gains. This is exactly the same way that some people also use those same processors for Bayer files. It's a matter of taste.

Again: Fujifilm RAW processing is no longer an issue. And Aperture processing X-Trans files extremely well.

Die, zombie. DIE!

Sal Baker Veteran Member • Posts: 9,539
Re: X-Trans advantages - fact or fiction ?

Dennis wrote:

mr moonlight wrote:

There's only a handful of RAW processors that do very well with Fuji's RAW files and Aperture isn't one of them. ... With Fuji's X-trans RAW files, unless you're using the likes of C1 or Irident, your not maxing out what you can achieve with the X-trans RAW files.

Sometimes I read hear that the raw issue is overblown (like in the memes and trolling thread), and yet this seems like confirmation of what I've read in the past that would give me pause over buying into it. Not an issue, because I'm not shopping. But hopefully it will all get straightened out at some point. It's amazing that Fuji can put such a competent jpeg engine in firmware, but not provide the algorithm to 3rd party raw processors.

You don't need any of us to tell you what you like. Do what I did a couple of months ago. Download a decent RAW file for the X camera of your choice form the Internet, and download a free demo of any of the major converter programs. Look at the results and decide for yourself. Fuji RAWs convert just like any other RAW files so there's no learning curve.

LR5 would be fine for me if I didn't need to print at large sizes. For that Iridient or Capture One are even better, just as they were slightly better with my 5DII files.  Aperture will probably be excellent too but it doesn't yet support my X-E2.

Sal

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Graham Hill Senior Member • Posts: 1,355
Re: Moire problems ...
2

rovingtim wrote:

nick_webster wrote:

As I said I don't photograph much with clothing in it which is, I guess, the main source of moire.

If you check DPReviews test image in the moire traps, you will see that all the no AA cameras react rather dramatically. The main difference between the X-trans and the Bayer is the colour of the strongest response.

Bring up the Fuji XM1 or the Oly EM1 and examine the traps while comparing other cameras.

http://www.dpreview.com/reviews/fujifilm-x-m1/9

(moire traps are in the bottom central pane)

In non AA cameras, I see colour distortions all over the place. I recently took a shot of an increasing frequently fence with an older AA equipped camera and it took me a while to notice why it looked different from images from modern cameras. The answer was that there were no aliasing colour distortions.

Have you done any back to back testing against the X-Trans or are you just going on experience ?

I'm not seeing any more detail which makes me curious whether that is just down to the rendering from Aperture, or whether there really isn't a real life difference with or without one.

The X-Trans advantage reminds me of the telecentric advantage: real but marginal and easily overwhelmed by other factors.

Very well said.  The X-Trans sensor is a very real technology that does exactly what it was designed to do.  But it is of such minor, insignificant importance in real world shooting that virtually NO ONE would ever notice it.  That is why Fujifilm needs their hyped up marketing campaign and their super "sexy" X-Trans name.  Without the gimmicky marketing name, no one would even know about it.

That said, I really like how Fuji processes colour and tones.

Absolutely.  It's beautiful.  And it has NOTHING to do with the X Trans sensor.  Fujifilm colors are there, in spades, in their tiniest compact cameras up to their SLR's.

Graham Hill Senior Member • Posts: 1,355
Re: Waiting for Mac OS update as well

historianx wrote:

nick_webster wrote:

I have a spanking new X-T1 sat in front of me, but no way to process the RAWs yet

I refuse to use any other RAW converters because dealing with one set of software engineers' foibles is more than enough aggravation for me ( with the exception of SPP for my Sigma files as nothing else works, to my great regret )

What is that you see in your X-E2 files that you don't get from your Canon ?

Nick

So you refuse to use the In-Cam RAW converter? It is slow and tedious on the x-E1 but i like the results.

Yes, the results from the in camera converter are excellent!  But Fujifilm really muffed up the design and has yet to fix it for their earlier cameras.   It is staggering how poorly Fujifilm programmed the in-camera converter.  Clearly they never tested it!

mcshan Veteran Member • Posts: 3,723
Good sensor but not magic.
2

I think the initial hyperbole got a bit carried away. It is a good sensor but certainly not magic.

nick_webster
nick_webster OP Veteran Member • Posts: 5,812
Thanks everyone,

Thanks to everyone who replied and kept it a nice civil discussion.

It looks as if some people see some small differences and others, like me, don't perceive a big enough difference to notice. At least it makes me feel as if I'm not missing something obvious

Nick

JasperD
JasperD Senior Member • Posts: 2,662
Re: Do you have anything to say on topic ?
1

I used a NEX 5n and X-E1 the other day back to back and I have to say I didn't find any real difference between the RAWs proceeded via Aperture. Lack of AA filter is supposed to provide more detail - but I don't see any. It it weren't for the EXIF data I doubt if I could tell one from the other.

The first paragraph of your initial message. I´m not misreading anything IMO, I just reacted on that. If anything, you are misinterpreting my reaction. I did react on topic though, twice. I´ll leave it at that, you can continue writing all you like about it AFAIC, I will not respond to it anymore; it´s indeed not worth it.

dmaclau Senior Member • Posts: 2,121
both simultaneously

depends upon wether you see a difference or not

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nick_webster
nick_webster OP Veteran Member • Posts: 5,812
I don't ...

I was curious to see if others did

Nick

Trevor G Veteran Member • Posts: 6,541
Is there really little difference, or has it just not been noticed?

nick_webster wrote:

It looks as if some people see some small differences and others, like me, don't perceive a big enough difference to notice. At least it makes me feel as if I'm not missing something obvious

I wonder if it depends on subject matter, as it does with the X10 (EXR sensor) and the X20 (X-Trans)?

In general, when we only had the X10 we thought it resolved well.  However, as this shot shows, certain details, like a face, show little difference between the two cameras, whereas the weave in a pair of jeans is quite obviously better resolved with X-Trans.

These two cameras have the same optics but different sensors.  These are crops from the same two images:

Not a lot of difference on facial features

Better resolution by X-Trans is obvious on cloth weave, guitar front panel

Differences best seen at Original size.

I have shot extensive comparisons between these two cameras and the differences are not always clearly visible. At certain times on certain detail in certain scenes the differences are obvious.

When comparing published review images from the X-A1 and X-M1 with, say the X-Pro 1, it appears that different optics are being used. The two cameras are so obviously inferior in detail sharpness that I assume different lenses were used, possibly the kit lenses on the X-A1 and the X-M1, while the X-Pro 1 looks like it has a good prime attached.

It became obvious after a while with the Nikon D800, for instance, that good optics were needed to get the extra details out. Kit lenses showed no improvement over lesser cameras.

I understand that the same issue dogged first reports from the Pentax K3.  Unless you use appropriate quality optics, better sensors won't necessarily show their features.

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Cheers
Trevor G
Silkypix tutorials at: http://photo.computerwyse.com

nick_webster
nick_webster OP Veteran Member • Posts: 5,812
Scene dependance makes sense

It may well be that the scenes I've shot have not demonstrated much difference between the 2 CFAs.

Thanks for your thoughts,

Nick

Terry Breedlove
Terry Breedlove Contributing Member • Posts: 547
Fiction
2

Fiction. Fuji keeps talking about no AA filter bla bla bla. Like that is something unique and special just to them. However you can buy a 24 mega pixel Nikon D7100 with no AA filter and it is a Bayer sensor. I think even the new little D 5300 doesn't have an AA filter. So where is the advantage. Then you look at all the trouble they had with poor raw processers and output and it is clear that there is no advantage to Xtrans. I will buy the XT-1 but it is inspite of the Xtrans train wreck sensor. Now having said that the images from fuji cameras are gorgeous and equal to anything else.

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