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Archive 2014 · Fujifilm X-Trans Infinity Scene RAW Processing Comparison

  
 
galenapass
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p.2 #1 · p.2 #1 · Fujifilm X-Trans Infinity Scene RAW Processing Comparison


Never fails. When I rent a camera to use, work gets so busy I barley get my hands on it before having to send it back.
I was finally able to do a comparison of the X-A1 and an X-E2, looking specifically at how an X-trans sensor handles foliage compared to the standard Bayer sensor. There is not a lot a green in Colorado right now, except conifers and evergreens. The following scene was shot on both cameras, minutes apart using a Fujinon 23mm lens. The raw files were processed in either Lightroom, Capture 1 or Photo Ninja. I turned off sharpening in the raw converters and then sharpened the exported tifs in PS (CS4). The 100% crops were then uprezzed so that it would be easier to see the results on a monitor. What follows is a demonstration of how each converter handles green "foliage".
X-E2- Adobe LR
http://mlschragphotos.zenfolio.com/img/s9/v86/p316676118-5.jpg
X-A2 (Bayer sensor) Adobe LR
http://mlschragphotos.zenfolio.com/img/s5/v123/p179921968-5.jpg
X-E2 Capture One
http://mlschragphotos.zenfolio.com/img/s5/v123/p178664973-5.jpg
Finally, X-E2 Photo Ninja
http://mlschragphotos.zenfolio.com/img/s9/v86/p18688746-5.jpg
As noted by many in this forum, Photo Ninja does a great job, followed by Capture 1 and then the worst is LR (water color effect).
The raw files may be found: here and here



Mar 10, 2014 at 01:15 AM
justruss
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p.2 #2 · p.2 #2 · Fujifilm X-Trans Infinity Scene RAW Processing Comparison


XTrans infinity processing has been something I've pointed out regularly as an issue-- which I hope/expect a 24mp resolution bump will essentially solve.

That said, I've recently been playing with PN and Aperture, because infinity processing in Aperture seems to be a weak spot. But... one can overcome this by going into the RAW Fine Tuning panel and giving both Sharpening and Detail a hefty bump. OR, by using the Sharpening or Detail (under Enhance) adjustments... but generally not both.

What I find very interesting about XT is the seeming inconsistency about how scenes have to be processed to bring out the best possible IQ. It's hard for me to explain why there is so much variability; I guess it would suggest some funky, on-the-fly processing that bakes the RAW files, but I also find it hard to believe that such variability would be coded.

As an aside: I'm going through an assignment I shot in Slovenia (gorgeous country, btw) using both my 5D2 and my X-E1... and I am finding the RAW processing/tweaking processes much friendlier on the Fuji when it comes to colors, DR, shadows/highlights. The Canon, expectedly (20+mp) produces more naturally sharp images, particularly at infinity, but also at medium distances in highly detailed regions like wet grass.

I can usually see which camera produced which image (without zooming to 100%) by eye as I quickly process-- but I get a mix of images from one camera or the other that I prefer from each setting. Probably a 50-50 split. This is remarkable, and with a few minor advances the scales could tip...



Mar 10, 2014 at 01:49 AM
Jochenb
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p.2 #3 · p.2 #3 · Fujifilm X-Trans Infinity Scene RAW Processing Comparison


justruss wrote:
What I find very interesting about XT is the seeming inconsistency about how scenes have to be processed to bring out the best possible IQ. It's hard for me to explain why there is so much variability


My thoughts as well. IMHO it depends on the kind of light and the subject. When a subject reflects light (metal, smooth or shiny surfaces,...) it seems to cause more smearing. The harsher the light, the more issues. In soft light I've always had the least problems.



Mar 10, 2014 at 03:08 AM
Tariq Gibran
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p.2 #4 · p.2 #4 · Fujifilm X-Trans Infinity Scene RAW Processing Comparison


justruss wrote:
What I find very interesting about XT is the seeming inconsistency about how scenes have to be processed to bring out the best possible IQ. It's hard for me to explain why there is so much variability; I guess it would suggest some funky, on-the-fly processing that bakes the RAW files, but I also find it hard to believe that such variability would be coded.

As an aside: I'm going through an assignment I shot in Slovenia (gorgeous country, btw) using both my 5D2 and my X-E1... and I am finding the RAW processing/tweaking processes much friendlier on the Fuji
...Show more

Yeah, I think the Fuji raws likely get some heavy processing and maybe it's completely related to the better color ooc even with raws from Fuji. I have noticed this (better color and DR) even with the X-A1 which uses a straight bayer sensor. It's my opinion that Fuji's strength lies entirely in their processing. I have noticed with portraits, for instance, a dramatic difference in look from the raws (pushed highlights, smoother/ softer rendering of tones and textures) compared to raws from other cameras. It's not just an X-Trans thing but a Fuji processing quality.



Mar 10, 2014 at 07:10 AM
Tariq Gibran
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p.2 #5 · p.2 #5 · Fujifilm X-Trans Infinity Scene RAW Processing Comparison


galenapass wrote:
I was finally able to do a comparison of the X-A1 and an X-E2, looking specifically at how an X-trans sensor handles foliage compared to the standard Bayer sensor.


This subject matter also provides a nice torture test for moire with X-Trans. That seems to be one of the trade-offs in PN and Iridient Developer in exchange for extracting more detail. Moire is evident all over the place when processed through either program with this X-E2 shot. The moire is not there when processed through Adobe. Thus, the X-Trans trade-off with these raw developers seems to be more detail with noise or smeared detail with no noise.

http://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/5540407/PNmoire.jpg



Mar 10, 2014 at 09:30 AM
FlyPenFly
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p.2 #6 · p.2 #6 · Fujifilm X-Trans Infinity Scene RAW Processing Comparison


The A-1 rendering looks far better.

That is Seriously disappointing and turns of me off to the T1. Some of my favorite pictures have that exact kind of detail that would be rendered like crap.

Edited on Mar 10, 2014 at 11:30 AM · View previous versions



Mar 10, 2014 at 09:46 AM
Tariq Gibran
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p.2 #7 · p.2 #7 · Fujifilm X-Trans Infinity Scene RAW Processing Comparison


FlyPenFly wrote:
The A-1 rendering looks far better.


I did attempt to get the most out of it. The shot is overexposed a bit and I also sharpened it more than normal (I usually find no additional sharpening is required in fact) since it seemed less sharp than I'm used to seeing out of my X-A1+23/1.4. I don't know if these were hand held or not (there could be some slight micro blurring going on maybe?).

It's worth it to download the raw and see what you can get out of each one yourself.



Mar 10, 2014 at 09:58 AM
HelenaN
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p.2 #8 · p.2 #8 · Fujifilm X-Trans Infinity Scene RAW Processing Comparison


First I had an X-E1, which I fell and broke. Since I had wanted to get away from X-trans anyway, but couldn't find anything else I want, I decided to try X-A1. After have seen its files I can't imagine going back to X-trans unless there is a dramatic improvement with the RAW processing - preferably in Lightroom. I have tried PN but really prefer to use LR.

Overall I'm happy with X-A1, but I do want a view finder, and am reluctant to invest too much in the system since I fear that Fuji won't make any more Bayer cameras.



Mar 10, 2014 at 10:28 AM
Tariq Gibran
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p.2 #9 · p.2 #9 · Fujifilm X-Trans Infinity Scene RAW Processing Comparison


HelenaN wrote:
Overall I'm happy with X-A1, but I do want a view finder, and am reluctant to invest too much in the system since I fear that Fuji won't make any more Bayer cameras.


Well, I hope they do something with their sensor in future bodies - higher MP, bayer or maybe new technology. I'm completely blown away with the optical quality of the two Fuji lenses I have now - 23/1.4 and 60 Macro. I'm sure the 14 is in that same league.



Mar 10, 2014 at 10:43 AM
HelenaN
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p.2 #10 · p.2 #10 · Fujifilm X-Trans Infinity Scene RAW Processing Comparison


Tariq Gibran wrote:
Well, I hope they do something with their sensor in future bodies - higher MP, bayer or maybe new technology.


That would be great. Even though I miss having a VF (when the sun is out it's very difficult to compose using the screen) I'll try and stick with X-A1 at least until fall and see what is available then, or at least announced.


Tariq Gibran wrote:
I'm completely blown away with the optical quality of the two Fuji lenses I have now - 23/1.4 and 60 Macro. I'm sure the 14 is in that same league.


Glad to hear that both the 23 and 60 are really good. As you know I'm interested in that macro.
The 14mm is very impressive - it's one of the main reasons to why I chose X-A1 over Sony and other systems right now.



Mar 10, 2014 at 10:53 AM
Jochenb
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p.2 #11 · p.2 #11 · Fujifilm X-Trans Infinity Scene RAW Processing Comparison


Yes the 14mm is great. It's almost distortion-free, which is very impressive for this focal length.


Mar 10, 2014 at 10:59 AM
douglasf13
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p.2 #12 · p.2 #12 · Fujifilm X-Trans Infinity Scene RAW Processing Comparison


Tariq Gibran wrote:
This subject matter also provides a nice torture test for moire with X-Trans. That seems to be one of the trade-offs in PN and Iridient Developer in exchange for extracting more detail. Moire is evident all over the place when processed through either program with this X-E2 shot. The moire is not there when processed through Adobe. Thus, the X-Trans trade-off with these raw developers seems to be more detail with noise or smeared detail with no noise.

http://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/5540407/PNmoire.jpg


Yeah, I think all of the converters are still compromises, depending on the subject matter. I find Adobe's output to be pretty similar to the camera's jpegs, in terms of detail, watercolor and artifacts, which is why I don't expect a big change in their processing method anytime soon. I'd imagine that Adobe feels that, if it's good enough for Fuji, it's good enough for them, and plenty of people are happy with X-Trans jpegs.



Mar 10, 2014 at 11:30 AM
Dave McGaughey
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p.2 #13 · p.2 #13 · Fujifilm X-Trans Infinity Scene RAW Processing Comparison


Thanks galenapass, this is a very nice comparison. I was trying to make a comparison of my own with a Nex-3n/Sigma 30 and a X-Pro1/35 but was being driven crazy trying to get the framing the same between the two different focal lengths.

Here's my attempt of the Tariq crop area. PN for both. Exposure "-20". Sharpening, color enhancement, and noise reduction turned off. The X-A1 file got 120% 0.3 radius smart sharpen in Photoshop. The X-E2 file got 80% 0.3 radius smart sharpen* and 40% color noise reduction with the Reduce Noise filter.

* the X-E2 needed less sharpening the X-A1 file for some reason, maybe a bit of hand shake on the X-A2 shot?



Mar 10, 2014 at 11:37 AM
Dave McGaughey
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p.2 #14 · p.2 #14 · Fujifilm X-Trans Infinity Scene RAW Processing Comparison


One more comment:
When I look at this area in ACR, there's not a hint of this problem. Adobe is probably turning up the color noise reduction to "11" and calling it a day. I wish they'd make it a user-tuneable option.



Mar 10, 2014 at 11:54 AM
Tariq Gibran
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p.2 #15 · p.2 #15 · Fujifilm X-Trans Infinity Scene RAW Processing Comparison


Dave McGaughey wrote:
One more comment:
When I look at this area in ACR, there's not a hint of this problem. Adobe is probably turning up the color noise reduction to "11" and calling it a day. I wish they'd make it a user-tuneable option.


Yes, that's what I mentioned above. Adobe is likely using similar noise reduction as Fuji does with their jpegs - the point basically made by Douglas. Aperture support might do better with it's raw fine tuning whenever it finally supports the X-E2 and X-T1 on this type of subject.

http://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/5540407/rawfinetune.jpg



Mar 10, 2014 at 12:04 PM
itai195
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p.2 #16 · p.2 #16 · Fujifilm X-Trans Infinity Scene RAW Processing Comparison


TBH, in the crops Mike posted above I prefer the X-E2/PN output over the X-A1/LR output, and the converse in Tariq's. However, this seems like a small thing, how big would you have to print to even see this difference? I have a feeling at my typical 16x20 print size I wouldn't be able to tell. I guess I'll be making some prints tonight to verify.


Mar 10, 2014 at 01:26 PM
douglasf13
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p.2 #17 · p.2 #17 · Fujifilm X-Trans Infinity Scene RAW Processing Comparison


itai195 wrote:
TBH, in the crops Mike posted above I prefer the X-E2/PN output over the X-A1/LR output. However, this seems like a small thing, how big would you have to print to even see this difference? I have a feeling at my typical 16x20 print size I wouldn't be able to tell. I guess I'll be making some prints tonight to verify.


It is so dependent on the characteristics that it is hard to say. The issues above may be totally fine in print and small web jpegs, whereas I've seen other issues pop up that are quite noticeable even in jpegs at 800x1200, so it is hard to predict.



Mar 10, 2014 at 01:30 PM
BokehBeauty
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p.2 #18 · p.2 #18 · Fujifilm X-Trans Infinity Scene RAW Processing Comparison


Dave McGaughey wrote:
...
Here's my attempt of the Tariq crop area. PN for both. Exposure "-20". Sharpening, color enhancement, and noise reduction turned off. The X-A1 file got 120% 0.3 radius smart sharpen in Photoshop. The X-E2 file got 80% 0.3 radius smart sharpen* and 40% color noise reduction with the Reduce Noise filter.

* the X-E2 needed less sharpening the X-A1 file for some reason, maybe a bit of hand shake on the X-A2 shot?

https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/10544673/a1_e2_v1.jpg


Thanks Dave, this represents much more of an X-E2 result that I would expect from my experience with the X-E2 files. I can't see much difference between the processed X-A1 and X-E2 pictures. The processing results of Tariq surprised me.



Mar 10, 2014 at 01:43 PM
corposant
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p.2 #19 · p.2 #19 · Fujifilm X-Trans Infinity Scene RAW Processing Comparison


itai195 wrote:
TBH, in the crops Mike posted above I prefer the X-E2/PN output over the X-A1/LR output, and the converse in Tariq's. However, this seems like a small thing, how big would you have to print to even see this difference? I have a feeling at my typical 16x20 print size I wouldn't be able to tell. I guess I'll be making some prints tonight to verify.


I think it's 100% possible to completely lose a handle on photographic sanity when...1. looking at extreme crops, 2. comparing sensors and 3. comparing raw conversion. I'd be curious to see what becomes (in)visible in a 11x19 print.



Mar 10, 2014 at 02:59 PM
Tariq Gibran
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p.2 #20 · p.2 #20 · Fujifilm X-Trans Infinity Scene RAW Processing Comparison


itai195 wrote:
TBH, in the crops Mike posted above I prefer the X-E2/PN output over the X-A1/LR output, and the converse in Tariq's. However, this seems like a small thing, how big would you have to print to even see this difference? I have a feeling at my typical 16x20 print size I wouldn't be able to tell. I guess I'll be making some prints tonight to verify.


Just looking at the moire crop example I posted and what it would look like in a print, I think you might be happy with Adobe's rendering of the X-E2 compared to seeing the color noise that would still even be visible in the example Dave posted in a 16" (short side) print.

To get 16"'s on the short side, the image must still be resized up about 20% for output at 240ppi. If we then soft proof this by resizing down to 50% view (which, in my experience, will show any detail/ issues that will remain visible in the final print), here is what you get.: X-A1 on left, X-E2 in middle put through Adobe and Dave's X-E2, which he put through Photo Ninja and then cleaned up a little afterwards on right. For the X-Trans versions, I actually prefer the Adobe rendering at this size (a print at 16"'s on short side) since the color moire/ noise, even when cleaned up a bit, is still not acceptable imo.
http://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/5540407/Versions.jpg




Mar 10, 2014 at 03:33 PM
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