Fujifilm X-Pro1 in-depth review
JPEG Tone Curves / Dynamic Range
Our Dynamic Range measurement system involves shooting a calibrated Stouffer Step Wedge (13 stops total range) which is backlit using a daylight balanced lamp (98 CRI). A single shot of this produces a gray scale wedge from the camera's clipped white point down to black (example below). Each step of the scale is equivalent to 1/3 EV (a third of a stop), we select one step as 'middle gray' (defined as 50% luminance) and measure outwards to define the dynamic range. Hence there are 'two sides' to our results, the amount of shadow range (below middle gray) and the amount of highlight range (above middle gray).
To most people highlight range is the first thing they think about when talking about dynamic range, that is the amount of highlight detail above middle gray the camera can capture before it clips to white. Shadow range is more complicated; in our test the line on the graph stops as soon as the luminance value drops below our defined 'black point' (about 2% luminance) or the signal-to-noise ratio drops below a predefined value (where shadow detail would be swamped by noise), whichever comes first.
The X-Pro1's default tone is identical to the X100's, and offers a decent highlight range of about 3.7 stops, with just enough of a roll-off into the highlights to prevent harsh-looking clipping. This places it only marginally behind the likes of the Nikon D7000 and Sony NEX-7, even before you take into account its extended dynamic range settings.
The X-Pro1's colour Film Simulation modes show subtly different tone curves, which translate into visible real-world differences. Velvia/Vivid is very contrasty indeed, clipping more abruptly to both white and black, while Astia/Soft echoes Provia/Standard across the highlight range but is more contrasty below middle grey, resulting in somewhat deeper shadows. The Pro Neg Hi mode lies somewhere between Velvia and Astia in terms of its shadow contrast, while Pro Neg Std closely matches Provia/Standard. Likewise, the various Monochrome modes all match Standard exactly.
Dynamic Range Expansion Modes
The X-Pro1 has two dynamic range expansion settings to bolster its highlight range: DR200 (200%) adds an extra stop of information in the highlights, and DR400 (400%) adds two stops. Technically, the camera achieves this by applying less amplification to the sensor's output than usual prior to AD conversion to avoid clipping highlight data, then pulling-up the midtones to the correct brightness in JPEG processing. This is essentially the same process as Canon and Pentax use for their highlight-expansion modes.
An alternative way of thinking about this is that DR200 is like underexposing a stop to retain highlights then adjusting the brightness afterwards, and DR400 is like underexposing by two stops and adjusting further. Because of this, the minimum ISO available in each mode is limited: ISO 400 at DR200, and ISO 800 at DR400. The flipside to this approach is shown by ISO 100, which is effectively the opposite; i.e. ISO200 overexposed by a stop then pulled-down in processing. This results in the loss of stop of highlight range - to all intents and purposes it counts as DR50, and should therefore normally be avoided. (Note ISO 100 is only available in JPEG anyway).
In this comparison we can see the impact the DR setting has on highlight range. DR200 offers a huge 4.7 stops of highlight range, and DR800 goes another stop beyond this, disappearing off the scale of our graph. Note that this advantage isn't just for JPEG shooters - it extends to RAW files too. On paper at least this is very impressive indeed; we'll see how it translates into real-world results later in the review.
Shadow and Highlight Tone controls
Unusually, rather than having a single 'Contrast' or 'Tone' control, the X-Pro1 allows you to tweak Highlight Tone and Shadow Tone completely independently around a fixed point of middle grey. Each control offers 5 settings, and here we're comparing Normal (as used in the comparisons above) to the two extremes, Soft and Hard. Naturally the Highlight Tone control interacts with the DR setting, so first we'll look at DR100. In the graphs 'N-N' means Shadow and Highlight Tone are both set to Normal; S denotes Soft and H denotes Hard.
Here we can see that the Highlight Tone control technically has no effect on the white point of the image, and just on the contrast, although the H setting attempts to compress the brightest 0.7 stop of dynamic range into such few levels that visually it will appear to clip earlier. Meanwhile the Shadow Tone setting gives a wide range of control over the openness of the darker regions of the image.
Switch the DR setting to 400% and it's much the same story, only more pronounced. Now setting the highlight tone to Hard results in earlier clipping according to our measurement tool, effectively throwing away much of the benefit of that expanded range. The results in the shadow range are, as expected, essentially identical to those at DR100.
The adjustments offered by these controls are large compared to the differences between the film modes, and in principle this allows you to tailor the camera's JPEGs very specifically to your taste. For example, if you like the colour of Velvia but find it too contrasty and prone to highlight clipping, then you can tame it by softening the Highlight Tone.
However there's a catch - the tone adjustments are universal, and any change is applied to all of the film modes. One way around this is to save your preferred options to one of the cameras 'Custom Settings', which can then be recalled through the Shooting menu. But then there's another catch; these also include ISO and DR settings.
- 15 Photographic features
- 16 Image Quality Tests
- 17 Noise & Noise Reduction
- 18 Resolution
- 19 RAW mode and RAW conversion
- 20 Dynamic Range
- 21 Lens corrections
- 22 Movie Mode
- 23 Image Quality Compared (JPEG)
- 24 Image Quality Compared (High ISO)
- 25 Image Quality Compared (Raw)
- 26 Conclusion
- 27 Image samples
|Morning Crossing In Yellowstone by poppyjk|
from Poor Light
|Oasis by kt|
from Wet - Dry
|On Fire by Frank van Eck|
|White River by rainrunner|
from Spring Snow
First teased back in February, Voigtländer has shared more technical specs for its 75mm F1.5 Vintage Line lens.
This isn't your average GoPro-style time-lapse camera. The TikeePRO 2+ can record 6K time-lapses from inside a ruggedized box with an integrated solar panel and GPS functionality.
We've re-scored the Nikon Z6 and Z7 to reflect the improved performance and usability offered by the latest firmware updates. We'll be doing more of this in the coming months.
New sizes allow for the use of ColorChecker targets in a wider range of photographic and video applications.
Leica's latest special edition camera is a Leica CL collaboration with French-Italian photographer Jean Pigozzi.
Nikon has made available a firmware update that brings significant improvements to autofocus. But it's continuous Eye AF that's the big headline. Science Editor Rishi Sanyal has given it a go, and finds its performance to be remarkably good... but with some snags.
This AI program can cutout a person or character and create an animated 3D model all from a single still image.
Same body and pixel-count, but the Hasselblad X1D II 50C moves quicker and offers the biggest rear screen in the medium format market – and it costs a lot less than the original.
It's two years late, but worth the wait, according to Hasselblad: the company says that its new XCD 35-75mm zoom is the best lens it has ever made.
Hasselblad will be reintroducing its medium format digital back for the V-system medium format film cameras, and has also announced a new slimline X-series body to go with it.
Olympus has released a major firmware update for its nearly three-year-old OM-D E-M1 Mark II. Many of the additions come straight from the company's flagship E-M1X, so now you can have a camera that shares many of the same features but in a much smaller package.
Olympus has announced a 2X teleconverter designed to be used with its 40-150 F2.8 and 300mm F4 Pro lenses, as well as the 150-400mm F4.5 TC1.25x IS Pro lens currently under development. This weather-sealed teleconverter will be available is available now for $429.
We've got our hands on a nearly final Fujifilm GFX 100 to begin using in earnest, and though it's not yet running final firmware, we couldn't help but put it in front of our studio scene to see what it can do – have a look for yourself.
Lensbaby is known for its interesting lens designs, but its new system is an add-on kit that can make interesting in-camera effects with what Lensbaby refers to as ‘effect wands.’
It shouldn't come as a surprise, but this marks the first time an official has been made regarding the existence of a flagship mirrorless camera designed to compete with Nikon's flagship D4/D5 DSLR series.
Datacolor's new SpyderX Capture Pro and SpyderX Studio tool suites are designed to be an all-in-one solution to getting the best color in your images and prints.
DJI introduced the Osmo Pocket, a portable, handheld device ideal for vloggers and recreational use, late last year. To slow shutter speed for more cinematic footage, and to reduce glare in photos, these polarizer and neutral density filters can be a great addition.
Dallas Morning News photojournalist Tom Fox was on-scene for a separate assignment when a gunman opened fire at a federal courthouse in Dallas, Texas. Fox captured an incredible image of the gunman
The backpack, which still has 39 days to go on Kickstarter, uses an internal organizer and features an exterior that's weather resistance and uses WANDRD's InfiniteZip system.
The four-and-a-half-minute video explains how Canon's new RF mount affords new possibilities in lens design that ultimately lead to better image quality.
Automation, a new feature within the Shortcuts app of iOS 13, allows for a clever workaround to open third-party camera apps as the default Camera app on the home screen
Users will soon be able to recover a hacked account via in-app functions, without getting in touch with the Instagram security team.
Whether you're headed to the beach or the ski slopes, a rugged, waterproof camera lets you focus on your adventure instead of worrying if the camera will survive. Find out which model is the best-in-class in our waterproof camera buying guide.
The FlexTILT Head 3D is the first product in Edelkrone's new ORTAK lineup, which is specifically designed to piggyback off the growing trend of 3D printing.
They may not offer latest generation technology, but the Canon T7 and Nikon D3500 boast a price point that's tough to argue with. We think that the D3500 has a slight edge in this head-to-head comparison.
State institutions can't be forced to pay for pictures they take from the internet, according to a Texas appeals court.
Chris and Jordan go back to basics in this week's episode, spelling out the meanings of some common photographic terms that newer photographers may not understand.
Japan's parliament passed a law this week outlawing the operation of a drone while under the influence of alcohol.
Watch out Facetune users—Researchers have created an AI program that will detect manipulations made to portraits and reverse the edits.
Investor Daniel Loeb wants the business unit to become a completely independent public company with its own stock listed in the Japanese stock exchange.