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Running out of dynamic range with Fuji?

  
 
Astrofan
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p.1 #1 · p.1 #1 · Running out of dynamic range with Fuji?


Hi all. Iím considering switching from Sony full frame to fuji. Im attracted to the film sims, smaller form factor, and how ďspecialĒ fuji cameras feel in the hand. Iíd probably buy an xt5. Im mainly a landscape and low light shooter. I know Iíll lose some capability in the dark, but how do you find the landscape dynamic range? Are you ever left wanting? Can you ever not handle a high contrast scene? Can you recover shadows enough?

I find it pretty interesting that for perspective the xt5 has almost the exact same dynamic range curve as the canon eos r and 5d mark iv. And clearly some stunning photos were made with the later by many pros ((Source photos to photons website))



Nov 14, 2022 at 10:28 PM
Rand47
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p.1 #2 · p.1 #2 · Running out of dynamic range with Fuji?


Hereís a frame from the X-H2 (same sensor / processor as the X-T5). This was my ďtorture testĒ for DR in severe contrasty, high-noon, light. Frankly, I was surprised at how well it handled the scene. Decent shadow detail, the sky is still ďblueĒ and not blown out, there is detail in the extreme highlights. This is with the 18mm f/1.4 lens.



I also shoot the GFX 100 that has excellent DR and wasnít expecting much from the 40mp APS-C in comparison. I think this is quite good. Kind of as an aside, back in the day I shot primarily on transparency film - the best of which had WAY LESS DR than even the most mediocre modern digital sensor!

Rand



Nov 15, 2022 at 10:10 AM
molson
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p.1 #3 · p.1 #3 · Running out of dynamic range with Fuji?


Astrofan wrote:
Hi all. Iím considering switching from Sony full frame to fuji. Im attracted to the film sims, smaller form factor, and how ďspecialĒ fuji cameras feel in the hand. Iíd probably buy an xt5. Im mainly a landscape and low light shooter. I know Iíll lose some capability in the dark, but how do you find the landscape dynamic range? Are you ever left wanting? Can you ever not handle a high contrast scene? Can you recover shadows enough?
)


The limited dynamic range is one of the reasons I left Fuji . Even the m4/3 cameras with their older and smaller sensors have the same or better dynamic range, and much less propensity for blown highlights, which has always been a weak spot for Fuji.

It's not that you can't make great images with a Fuji, just be aware that coming from a full-frame Sony, you will be handicapping yourself for landscape shooting.



Nov 15, 2022 at 10:27 AM
gdanmitchell
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p.1 #4 · p.1 #4 · Running out of dynamic range with Fuji?


One of my mani subjects wiht my Fujifilm (XPro2) is handheld night street photography. As you can imagine, the combination of using higher ISO plus the presence of big contrasts between shaded areas and light sources that appear in the scene can be a challenge.

I also use a high MP Canon FF system for my tripod-based night photography, and have done some street photography with earlier versions of the came lineage of Canon FF cameras.

In my view, the Fujifilm system performs very well in this kind of photography. I can usually recover quite a bit of shadow detail in post, and applying post-processing noise reduction gets that issue under control as you would expect.

In other words, I actually choose to use the Fujifilm x-trans system for a good portion of my night photography, even though I have another system that most would consider to be technically better.

(I do a lot of landscape photography with the bigger system, but do not do much of that at all with the Fujifilm, so I can only infer how that would work.)

I believe that people often misconstrue a few things about DR and how it affects photography. I think two errors are common:

1. Folks often speak as if there is a binary of possible DR situations ó†either you don't have enough or you do ó and that you want to get the camera that has enough.

2. People seem to think that if, say, a camera has 11.5 stops of DR that it will be great with a 11-stop subject and fail with a 12-stop subject. In reality, the difference between the two is not either/or, but one of degree... and both can produce good results.

Something else people forget. There are really three places you might find yourself in regards to DR if you are are comparing cameras.

1. You are photographing a scene with a dynamic range that virtually any camera can handle well. This is by far the most common situation.

2. You are photographing a scene with a dynamic range that NO camera can handle well. (Think of a shot that includes the setting sun and some details in the shadows.) This is probably the second-most-common situation and it will require alternative techniques no matter what camera you use: exposure blending, some heavy post-processing, GND filters, etc.

3. You are photographing a scene where the DR is too wide for one camera but within the slightly larger DR of another. That's a pretty small target and, hence, the least likely scenario. Keep in mind that in that non-overlapping range the weaker camera will just be a little bit worse and the better camera won't be perfect.

So, what I'm getting at here is that with very rare exceptions the DR issue, while not entirely unimportant, really needs to be weighed against a range of other factors that you consider when selecting a camera.



Nov 15, 2022 at 12:12 PM
flash
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p.1 #5 · p.1 #5 · Running out of dynamic range with Fuji?


All camera will run out off DR eventually and a larger sensor will always have the same or more usable DR as a smaller sensor with the same tech.

However the steps between formats is incremental. Forums make out like thereís a chasm of difference between APSC and 24x36, which just isnít true. Itís maybe a stop. Usually less. If you want to see a daily, functional difference in usable DR you need to move at least two sensor sizes.

I think the new Fuji sensors are a pretty noticeable improvement on the previous generation. You get more resolution with no more noise and a bit more DR. Iím still in the testing phase but up to ISO 800 itís hard for me to see much difference between my XH2 and A7R3. After 3200 the gap does grow a bit to about a stop.

Ultimately itís up to you but I personally see little reason to shoot 24x36 any more. But I also shoot 33x44 so I have my use cases. Iíll be more than happy to shoot the XT5/XH2 at low to mid ISOís.

Gordon



Nov 15, 2022 at 02:55 PM
molson
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p.1 #6 · p.1 #6 · Running out of dynamic range with Fuji?


flash wrote:
However the steps between formats is incremental. Forums make out like thereís a chasm of difference between APSC and 24x36, which just isnít true. Itís maybe a stop.


A stop is double (or half) the amount of light, so it's not trivial, especially when you might be working close to the sensor's limits, such as on a bright sunny day. The issue with the Fuji cameras I've used up til now isn't strictly the amount of dynamic range they can handle, as it is the abruptness of the highlight rolloff at the upper end of the range.

And since there's no noise or DR penalty in shooting m4/3, and you get the benefit of smaller, lighter, and sharper lenses, there's little point in using APS-C any more...



Nov 15, 2022 at 03:39 PM
CKrueger
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p.1 #7 · p.1 #7 · Running out of dynamic range with Fuji?


You'll be just fine!

I most like shooting my Fuji cameras for high dynamic range situations. Not because the sensors are any more capable, but because the controls make it easy to nail the shot SOOC how I envisioned it, so my later adjustments are tweaks instead of a "start with a blank canvas" mess of an ETTR file.

To be specific, even shooting RAW I use film sims, the Shadow and Highlight curves, the DR setting, and--on rare occasion--the DR-Priority setting. Behind the scenes, I know the camera is ISO-less to a large degree, and these settings are generally just pre-applying curves to the camera, but I find that using the camera as if I was shooting SOOC both makes it easy to make sure I nail the exposure even with crazy color channels, and it helps prevent the "what the heck was I thinking here" situation when presented with a flat, "ETTR" frame devoid of any artistic merit.

It's also--cover your ears measurebaters--fun to shoot a camera as if it were a camera, rather than a precision instrument designed to optimally capture photons for later RAW processing.

As for actual sensor capabilities, the system is easily capable of any reasonable photograph. I've never encountered a situation where I wasn't capable of getting the shot with my XT4.

Here's a few samples that are all nearly SOOC. The B&W shot is my XPro2, and the other two are my XT4. All are clipped in the center of the sun or (some of) the streetlights, but are otherwise within range.





You might consider picking up an older Fuji camera (ie: XT20) and a compact prime of your favorite flavor. That'll give you a bit of a feel of Fuji's system without taking the big step of cashing in your Sony chips. The older Fujis are mostly primitive in AF capabilities... any 24-26Mpix body will produce great results.



Nov 15, 2022 at 04:02 PM
JustShootMe
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p.1 #8 · p.1 #8 · Running out of dynamic range with Fuji?


molson wrote:
A stop is double (or half) the amount of light, so it's not trivial, especially when you might be working close to the sensor's limits, such as on a bright sunny day. The issue with the Fuji cameras I've used up til now isn't strictly the amount of dynamic range they can handle, as it is the abruptness of the highlight rolloff at the upper end of the range.

And since there's no noise or DR penalty in shooting m4/3, and you get the benefit of smaller, lighter, and sharper lenses, there's little point in using APS-C any more...


There's always a penalty , with your logic the same can be said by someone shooting full frame vs APSC , then medium format blah blah . There's a penalty anyway you slice it , smaller sensor equals smaller lenses , and better ibis vs a hit in DR , noise, image quality ... It's one giant sliding scale. There really is nothing to argue , yet we do it anyway.

Edited on Nov 16, 2022 at 02:42 PM · View previous versions



Nov 15, 2022 at 04:08 PM
pfoiles
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p.1 #9 · p.1 #9 · Running out of dynamic range with Fuji?


After shooting everything from m4/3 to digital MF in recent years I have come to the conclusion that any camera that gets a 10 stop DR at base iso on Photons-to-Photos is good enough. Its very much a case of diminishing returns as you go above 10. Sure more is better but as the photo in the second post is this thread shows smaller sensor cameras can certainly handle high contrast scenes.

My personal comparison a few years ago was comparing a Fuji X with a Sony FF on a blue hour street scene where the street lights had just come on. The main difference was that the size of the blown highlights on the street lights was a bit smaller with the FF vs apsc but otherwise there wasn't much to choose from. If the X-T5 floats your boat you will be just fine.



Nov 15, 2022 at 04:29 PM
flash
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p.1 #10 · p.1 #10 · Running out of dynamic range with Fuji?


molson wrote:
A stop is double (or half) the amount of light, so it's not trivial, especially when you might be working close to the sensor's limits, such as on a bright sunny day. The issue with the Fuji cameras I've used up til now isn't strictly the amount of dynamic range they can handle, as it is the abruptness of the highlight rolloff at the upper end of the range.

And since there's no noise or DR penalty in shooting m4/3, and you get the benefit of smaller, lighter, and sharper lenses, there's little point in using APS-C any more...


How much experience do you have with the latest Fuji sensors?

If I directly compare a camera I have in each sensor size thereís a small step between each as you go up, assuming the same output size. Slightly less noise. Slightly more DR. I have an OM-1( I bought for my partner), XT2, M11 and X2D/GFX100S. The OM-1 sensor does not equal the XH2, especially at higher than ISO 800 where the gap becomes more noticeable. It is true that youíre likely to not see it or need it much of the time. Itís also true that poor technique can completely negate any differences.

I prefer the 4:3 aspect ratio. And I like the extra DoF you get. If it was equal to the XT2 Iíd use the OM-1 myself. It isnít. Thereís no 40+MP option in m43 for starters. And itís not a given that m43 lenses are sharper than the Fuji ones. I have the best of the Olympus/Panasonic glass and the best of the Fuji. Good luck picking a winner.

A stop is double the amount of light, sure but that also might be a 1/14th increase in DR looking at a modern 14 bit raw file.. Which (a) isnít a deal breaker and (b) could be less than that at low ISOís.

Gordon



Nov 15, 2022 at 05:17 PM
 


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AmbientMike
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p.1 #11 · p.1 #11 · Running out of dynamic range with Fuji?


Of course you can do landscape on Fuji! Yes you are allowed to consider other things besides DR. Sheesh...

I shoot Canon aps DSLR, and I shoot landscapes fairly regularly. I generally shoot golden hour, and that became golden hour in large part because slide film has no DR.

If you are really picking up shadows a lot at low iso perhaps you need a high DR ff camera. But I don't really do that and prefer great color over DR. More to life than dynamic range



Nov 15, 2022 at 05:52 PM
agvogel
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p.1 #12 · p.1 #12 · Running out of dynamic range with Fuji?


I switched from Fuji to Nikon FF (Z7) primarily because I always felt that areas with any sort of shadow recovery looked very "muddy." I instantly noticed a difference with the much cleaner Nikon files, even after they'd been pushed around a fair amount. I love Fuji's system, but it the DR is just noticeably not on the same playing field, IMO, which will have a big impact on landscape photography.


Nov 15, 2022 at 06:06 PM
bobby350z
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p.1 #13 · p.1 #13 · Running out of dynamic range with Fuji?


You just need to buy the right Fuji if one cares so much for the DR. That means GFX for me. Better than any FF out there.


Nov 16, 2022 at 10:09 AM
CKrueger
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p.1 #14 · p.1 #14 · Running out of dynamic range with Fuji?


Our camera choices today, from the OM1 to the XT5 to the Z9 to the GFX100S are all well in excess of the performance required for landscape (and most other types) photography. If you can't get landscape done with any current camera model, you're not trying hard enough!

I also shoot a Z9 and GFX100S, and I can definitely push/pull both cameras more than my XT4... the GFX100S is especially malleable. But that additional latitude hasn't enabled any photographs beyond what I can accomplish with my XT4.

The most I'll say is that my GFX100S lets me recover from more egregious mistakes than my XT4. This was most-recently helpful to me as I shot my first impromptu astro photo ever, and realized the next day that I had underexposed by several stops, and was still able to pull some cool space stuff out of the 99.9% black frame. But the XT4 easily handles even extreme contre jour photographs with no issues, so long as I don't screw up the photo.

Andy Mumford is a long-time Fuji X shooter who produces great landscapes, if you want to see what the system is capable of beyond test charts. It might be better to look at his samples than take our word for it: https://www.youtube.com/c/AndyMumford



Nov 16, 2022 at 10:27 AM
newhaven
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p.1 #15 · p.1 #15 · Running out of dynamic range with Fuji?


Fuji xt4 vs gfx100s dynamic range, shadow recovery, and resolution.




Nov 16, 2022 at 11:57 AM
curious80
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p.1 #16 · p.1 #16 · Running out of dynamic range with Fuji?


Astrofan wrote:
Hi all. Iím considering switching from Sony full frame to fuji. Im attracted to the film sims, smaller form factor, and how ďspecialĒ fuji cameras feel in the hand. Iíd probably buy an xt5. Im mainly a landscape and low light shooter. I know Iíll lose some capability in the dark, but how do you find the landscape dynamic range? Are you ever left wanting? Can you ever not handle a high contrast scene? Can you recover shadows enough?

I find it pretty interesting that for perspective the xt5 has almost the exact same dynamic range curve as the canon eos
...Show more

DR difference will always be there for FF vs APS-C but the difference is not as big as you might think. Another factor is that when people notice DR differences between cameras, often some of it is influenced by the metering and tone curve used by the camera. For example when doing side-by-side comparison of Sony cameras with other brands, I have noticed that Sony often uses a lower exposure but brighter tone curve. That means that you will seem to have more 'highlight recovery' room, which you would perceive as having higher DR, even if the actual sensor DR is the same.



Nov 16, 2022 at 12:16 PM
bobby350z
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p.1 #17 · p.1 #17 · Running out of dynamic range with Fuji?


CKrueger wrote:
The most I'll say is that my GFX100S lets me recover from more egregious mistakes than my XT4.


Same here. Recently I took a few shots, nothing special but felt bad as by mistake I must have set that Preview Mode On/Off incorrectly as they were much darker. No problems recovering them in post.



Nov 16, 2022 at 12:40 PM
gdanmitchell
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p.1 #18 · p.1 #18 · Running out of dynamic range with Fuji?


CKrueger wrote:
It's also--cover your ears measurebaters--fun to shoot a camera as if it were a camera, rather than a precision instrument designed to optimally capture photons for later RAW processing.


Give it a break.

bobby350z wrote:
You just need to buy the right Fuji if one cares so much for the DR. That means GFX for me. Better than any FF out there.


Depending on what and how you photograph it may or may not be better than a different format. For some things a GFX is the right Fuji. For some things a GFX is the wrong Fuji.

- - -

Also, as people make the important point that DR differences, while existing, are not as big as some forumtographers make them out to be...

... other things besides DR can make a big or bigger difference to your photography. The range of parameters is huge: lens availability, system size, price, speed of operation, camera interface, and more.

Like any of these, DR is just one consideration.



Nov 16, 2022 at 12:59 PM
CKrueger
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p.1 #19 · p.1 #19 · Running out of dynamic range with Fuji?


bobby350z wrote:
Same here. Recently I took a few shots, nothing special but felt bad as by mistake I must have set that Preview Mode On/Off incorrectly as they were much darker. No problems recovering them in post.


I've blown so many shots having turned Preview Exposure off after shooting flash. Nikon recently added a "Preview exposure only when not shooting flash" option to the Z9, and I'm over the moon! I hope other manufacturers follow suit.



Nov 16, 2022 at 02:53 PM
genjy
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p.1 #20 · p.1 #20 · Running out of dynamic range with Fuji?


My X-T4 makes me dig through like 3 levels of menu to turn off exposure preview. I can't even assign it as a favorite menu item. Switching between using a flash at night or not is quite something.

My favorite related feature is on my ancient Nikon DSLR... there's a button you can assign to hold down to turn off the hotshoe. SS and such all revert back to as if nothing is on the hotshoe when the button is pressed down. Like I can shoot a photo with flash and one without in a second, both at the right settings.


CKrueger wrote:
I've blown so many shots having turned Preview Exposure off after shooting flash. Nikon recently added a "Preview exposure only when not shooting flash" option to the Z9, and I'm over the moon! I hope other manufacturers follow suit.




Nov 16, 2022 at 03:44 PM
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