X100S structurally underexposing and desaturating JPEG's

Started Jun 19, 2017 | Questions
AlexanderVanLoon New Member • Posts: 2
X100S structurally underexposing and desaturating JPEG's

Because I can't find a discussion of my issue anywhere else on the web, I decided to register an account here in the hope that someone might enlighten me on what is going on.

I've got a refurbished X100S and I really want to love this camera for the combination of it's compact size, fixed 35mm lens and quality. But it's playing hard to get! So hard, that I'm fantasizing about spending way too much money on buying a bulky Canon EOS 6D Mark II with a Sigma 35mm F1.4 DG HSM Art. The reason is, the X100S structurally gives me JPEG's which are underexposed and desaturated. I've addressed this with Fujifilm, but they are clueless and didn't even really investigate the issue, they just started replacing parts of the camera. When the first repair in March 2016 (replacement of "optical unit", whatever that may be, sensor?) didn't change anything in the behavior, they repaired it again in October 2016. They replaced the optical unit again, as well as the "PWB" and "upper hood". Now you know why their cameras are so expensive The sad thing is, it still didn't fix the issue.

To see what I mean, take a look at my Flickr photo stream here https://www.flickr.com/photos/avanloon/ for examples. Take a look at these examples from June 2017 in specifc:
https://www.flickr.com/photos/avanloon/35214607862/ (X100S JPEG)
https://www.flickr.com/photos/avanloon/34994414630/ (D5100 JPEG)
https://www.flickr.com/photos/avanloon/34994428300/ (X100S RAW)
In the first example you see a beach in broad daylight, taken without exposure compensation, which looks as if the sky was overcast. Film simulation is standard. Color, sharpness, highlight tone and shadow tone are all set to zero. EXIF data is included. In this example it's not so much the case, but colors tend to look desaturated too. In the second example a JPEG from the Nikon D5100 for comparison. I think the D5100 exaggerates the color saturation slightly, the sand wasn't so red, but at least the photo is bright enough. The last photo was developed from the RAW file of the first photo. All I did in Darktable was increase exposure by almost 1 EV and saturation slightly as well. I had to do this for all other photos taken on that beach by the X100S as well.

The day I shot those beach photos was the first time I decided to shoot RAW files next to JPEG's. As you can in my Flickr stream, the X100S doesn't deliver terrible JPEG files all the time, but it does happen very often. Take a look at https://www.flickr.com/photos/avanloon/28915124723/ and https://www.flickr.com/photos/avanloon/29247991940/ for another good example (taken between first and second repair of X100S).

As you can imagine, the poor JPEG files took the joy out of photography for me since I started using the X100S. And Fujifilm didn't help at all. Now that I know I can fix this in post-processing I have a workable solution, but RAW files are large and require extra time to process: I'd much prefer it if JPEG's are right from the start.

So my questions are:
* Has anyone else seen this with their X100-series camera?
* Is there a solution?

ANSWER:
This question has not been answered yet.
Fujifilm X100S
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nixda Veteran Member • Posts: 5,515
Re: X100S structurally underexposing and desaturating JPEG's
1

I think you're complaining about the brightness, and perhaps about the color saturation.

It is not uncommon for people to shoot with a constant +2/3EV EC, particularly in bright conditions. The Fuji tries to pack ~2/3EV more scene dynamic range into the same image compared to other cameras, so the images can well look a bit darker.

So, all you may have to do is increase the brightness a bit. Color saturation is a matter of taste, and you can dial that in as well beforehand.

Overall, I do not see anything wrong with your camera. If that is how it was before Fuji 'fixed' the camera for you, then I think there was nothing to fix to begin with.

You may be accustomed to a specific type of rendering from a specific camera (D5100) with specific processing settings. And you're not getting the same result from the Fuji. I am not surprised, because Pro Neg Std is the most neutral of all film simulations. One could even call it bland. But I think it's actually the one that comes closest to how the scene actually looks like. Most people are just used to over-saturated colors (and too much sharpness often as well) and expect it in their images.

I would suggest switching to a different film simulation, Velvia perhaps, and either increase the exposure or brighten the images.

Just my thoughts.

 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: 5,515
Re: X100S structurally underexposing and desaturating JPEG's

Also, for the beach scene shot with the Fuji and the D5100, you've the Nikon ~0.5EV more light.

 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
OP AlexanderVanLoon New Member • Posts: 2
Re: X100S structurally underexposing and desaturating JPEG's

Nixda, thank you for your thoughtful reply. Considering all this, I think I'll stay with JPEG and RAW for now, so I can always correct a photo with the RAW if the JPEG is bad.

peter konzuk Contributing Member • Posts: 790
Re: X100S structurally underexposing and desaturating JPEG's

I experienced the same thing and posted a similar observation a while back. Nixda is the expert on this but I'll try and summarize what I've learned on this board. Fujis automatic exposure programs, note not metering which I believe is quite accurate, tends to avoid overexposure / blown highlights at all costs. The x sensors retain lots of recoverable shadow detail if necessary in post. Bump up the exposure or shadows with your favourite software or keep an eye on the histogram in camera and spin the compensation dial as necessary. I tend to agree with this philosophy as it's virtually impossible to fix a blown highlight, shadows with this sensor not so much. Enjoy the X100. It's a brilliant little camera.

bs1946
bs1946 Senior Member • Posts: 5,805
Re: X100S structurally underexposing and desaturating JPEG's

AlexanderVanLoon wrote:

Nixda, thank you for your thoughtful reply. Considering all this, I think I'll stay with JPEG and RAW for now, so I can always correct a photo with the RAW if the JPEG is bad.

Another thing you can do is use the in-camera RAW converter to create ooc jpegs before anything is downloaded. You can't change the ISO, Shutter Speed, Aperture, or EC from what you had set, but you can change all of the other exposure related parameters you had set plus push/pull from -1ev to +3ev. It gives you the opportunity to develop custom settings to produce jpegs that meet your expectations.

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When all else fails, maybe it's time to read the manual.

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Apple iPhone 7 Plus Fujifilm X100F
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