Upload & Sell: Off
One question to all those who use the X Trans sensor X Pro 1 and X E1:
I understand that there are all sorts of problems with RAW support (I've seen the IR RAWs developed through LR4, C1 Beta and whatnot in the X E1 thread, if I'm not mistaken, and they all look scarily far from good), but what about the JPEGs? Are these free from moire and other artefacts or it's just that they show less of these problems than the RAWs in the current state of support?
Reason I ask is that this X100s looks very good on paper (perfect take everywhere cam), with what were generally perceived as 1st generation kinks seemingly ironed out, plus a number of great additions such as peaking and improved AF, but I'm scarred that RAWs from this X Trans sensor will never be good enough for my purposes (I'm quite sensitive to colour and pattern moire) and that this would have to be a JPEG only cam.
I ask if the JPEGs are free from the strange artefacts I've seen in the RAWs, because I'm intrigued that if Fuji can produce clean JPEGs out-of-camera, RAWs should be able to match and even exceed that at some point, when support improves - given that all files, OOC JPEGs or 16bit tiffs from RAW rely on the same raw data from the sensor and therefore have a common starting point. If the JPEGs are generally free from artefacts, then I feel more confident that files developed from RAW will eventually catch up. If JPEGs are not 99% clean, then my gut feeling would be that this is a flawed sensor architecture and I will not buy it.
But if Fuji's so willing to put all its eggs in this one basket and JPEGs are clean, maybe it's because they already have the magic sauce and are just waiting for Adobe and the rest to make their own and jar it up to us, no?
Here's hoping, as I just feel this could be the perfect simple, old fashioned fixed lens take everywhere for me.
I'll preface this by saying i) I'd rather not let this thread dissolve into a religious debate on X-Trans (there are plenty of other places for that), and ii) we don't really know what THIS sensor is going to produce along with EXR II processor until it gets out into the wild.
That said, short answer: No, JPEGs from my X-E1 are not perfect. Nor are RAWs. Neither are the same from my 5D2 (for comparison), but for other reasons.
Longer answer: Expecting perfection is a losing game. And I love my X-E1 as I do my 5D2. The OOC JPEGS, and RAWs processed with some of the software out in the wild, are reliably good, artifact free (or near-impossible to find), and high resolution. But yeah, I can find that funky stuff going on in SOME cases at the boundaries of resolution at full or beyond full magnification in certain types of shots. Just like I can find the miraculous 5D2 banding-- though if you look in yesterday's major newspaper travel section you just might see some dark shots of northern lights and other images that I shot with my trusty 5D2 that nobody is complaining about. I expect you'll see a few shots from my X-E1 in that same general space in the coming months/year. You'll also find similar work of mine online and in high circulation, high quality, glossy, photo-heavy magazines...
So, YES, the stuff you've heard about the X-Trans funkiness, in the first-gen sensors at least, is absolutely real. You can find it. It appears to be impossible to totally eliminate no matter the output method/software-- but at the same time almost never a serious issue for screen, print, or other output at any normal size (and by normal I mean up to double-truck, glossy, high-res printing).
I don't consider it a major concern. Not anywhere as frustrating-- to me-- as the slowness/missing of AF in dark/backlit situations.
And, as usual with these things, I expect incremental improvements from software/processing alone. And significant improvements from each generation. I bet this X100s sensor/processor HW is a major improvement on my current X-E1 in that regard (AND in AF). I sure hope it is. And I hope that filters down to future X-E1 hardware releases over the next years.
Right now, I'm simply using JPEG output from the camera because it's damn good. And I haven't used an OOC JPEG from my 5D2 (or any other Canon)... ever. I've tried, just never been satisfied. So that surely counts for something.