The impetus behind all the "which sensor it is" stuff is the high ISO stuff. I'm sure the X100 will do a beautiful job at ISO 100 ... and Fuji have put an ND filter into the camera to allow capture at an effectively even lower ISO.
Considering the fact that most people nowadays use lenses that mostly open up to between f/3.5 and 5.6, the obsession with high ISO seems a bit strange. The F/2.0 lens of the X100 is around two stops faster than a typical kit lens for a DX format DSLR at the same focal length, and is probably sharper than most as well. That means shooting at ISO800 instead of 3200.
"Clean" high ISO is nice to have, but good quality, fast aperture lenses and excellent detail rendering at low ISO is so much more important for everyday use.
When that is said, the X100 seems to work very well, and better than most, at high ISO too. Seems to be a nice night companion
For me "which sensor" is not about high ISO, but about quality. I hoped to see something exceptional, with many details, live colors, like other APS-C compacts deliver (Sigmas, X1, Ricohs).
So far, based on samples - all I see reminds NEX. NEX, which is good. But only good!
It's results have digital look like, are OK on higher ISOs, but fail to deliver details on lowest ISO (probably due to AA filter) and do not bring live, deep, clean color. That can be delivered with KODAK CCD sensor for example.
No doubts - X100 brings great ergonomy - big Thank You to Fuji. That makes it different from what we have on market today.
In terms of quality - delivers what most of today cameras do, using recent APS-C sensors.
Unfortunately, presented samples did not convince many people familiar with more analog, clean, full of details image.
Steve Huff is to make comparison with X1, not tables and lines, but real life examples. Let's see.
Also - native minimum ISO is getting higher and higher.
Example is recent Panasonic GH2. They way Panasonic selected recently - is caused by Sony no doubts.
People expected better quality, even more details due to increased resolution. And they were given?
Bettter high ISO, more noisy low ISO, details not changed.
I have compared NEX and u43 on one manual high quality lens. NEX has bigger sensor, higher resolution. But does not bring more details on lower ISOs. The higher ISO - the less details. u43 is more noisy, but also contains more details (due to weak AA filter).
Yes, from NEX everything is bigger, larger. But you will not see more details in hair, material area.
If you use daily dSLRs - you may not see what I write about. If you have chance to see output from different cameras - it becomes clear for you. Steve Huff was writing about it during Ricoh compact review.
Friend sent me two RAWs - one from NEX, one from small Sigma.
NEX is OK, digital, but lifeless. It has better high ISO. But Sigma is more clean, detailed and analog.
I do observe the same with M9 vs NEX. I was expecting from X100 something different than from NEX.
So far - looks we receive perfect ergonomy with NEX IQ. I am interested in RAWs mostly, not JPGs.
As I've said on here before, obsessing over AA filters, numbers, specs and such is a waste of time. I don't care what other camera uses a sibling to its sensor ... and I don't believe for an instant that it is identical to a D300 or any other specific sensor, although it might be in the same technology family ...
My enthusiasm for the X100 stems from the design of the camera. I think Fuji has done a very nice job there. The performance is what I'll evaluate for myself if and when I get a chance to work with one ...I haven't made a decision to buy one yet.
Speculating over whose sensor it is, looking at sample jpegs on line with a microscope, etc, is just a waste of time prognosticating what cannot be known until a production camera is in your hands and you can see what it actually produces.
Digicams finally reaching a level where one can avoid ugly TV patterns at iso 1600-3200 and click the right emotional buttons in the audience should be considered progress, not lamented !
Tiny sensor digicams as my Ricoh GRD2 are very sharp and have nice tight grain pattern at base iso, however above iso 400 it is a sad digital looking mess... Looking forward to X100 reviews in this respect...
Most small digicams struggle as light levels drop, forcing one to use built-in flash (or carry a tripod and pose subjects). Built-in flash kills available light character, depth, color, etc, so the promise of useable high iso in a relatively small digicam like the X100 is something to celebrate, at least from my point of view, even more so if you add a bright and clear hybrid viewfinder and analog controls, (I am so looking forward to turning that rear screen OFF for good )
Design, concept - that is what I value in X100 too.
I'm surprised that nobody has downloaded any of the full sized samples and processed them out to see if the jpegs hold up and can take some pushing around.
You will see it will be discussed more and more in coming months\years.
I am fine to finish the discussion now, we can have different opinions of course.
Let's wait for more X100 reviews.
They haven't posted RAWs yet but you can get info from the jpegs and the jpegs were shot with very neutral settings. You can certainly get an idea of how much information is in the jpegs and know that it gets better with the RAW.
A couple of weeks ago, I saw a snow scene that wasn't even full sized jpeg. With a bit of a tweak to the highlight and shadow made a huge difference and was a nice clue as to how much DR was really there!
Sure, there are manufacturers that do care for high ISO mostly - Sony, Canon, Nikon (using Sony sensors). Panasonic joined recently. They care a lot what tests, review show - when looking at static tables, graphs, etc.
There are others, like Sigma, Ricoh, Leica - who do care for high ISO too, but most important is highest quality on base ISOs.
So far - seems that it is not possoble to deliver both. That is point where we disagree.
Nothing wrong in two specified tools, sold separately:
- one with best quality up to 400 (and still good higher, but not optimal)
- second best quality since 800 (and still good lower, but not optimal)
until manufactureres come up with solution merging both.
What is not so nice, when you can not select and get only 2nd.
PS: Recent rumors tell, that NIKON D800 will be sold with 2 kinds of sensors, for different kind of photography, and users can select which to buy or both.
We will see. For me - direction is good.
Now you can guess why I didnt get a Sigma DP2, no matter how impressive its low ISO resolution may be...
My tests and experience of the E-5 using my own methodology (repeatable since I designed and implemented it myself, comparable to other cameras I test with it) shows 11.5-12.0 stops dynamic range at ISO 200, 11.5 at ISO 100, and 11.5-10.5 at ISOs moving up to 3200. Acutance is very good throughout the range, with only minor degradation up to ISO 3200. Of course that says what I see as its limits, but in practical, photographic terms those limits define a pretty darn broad range of capability.
The more important question, of course, is "what is good enough?" We usd to compare digital cameras to film cameras of similar format ... but *any* current DSLR-class sensor outperforms 35mm film on technical grounds of DR and resolution, particularly at high sensitivity. Things can always get better. How much acutance, how much dynamic range, is actually, practically enough to make photographs that meet the needs of viewers, of buying, for publication, etc.?
If there is no point at which we can say the acutance and dynamic range are sufficient for the purpose of making photographs, then no camera will ever be good enough, which logically also suggests that no camera has ever been good enough. And there are a whole hell of a lot of excellent, high-quality photographs that have been made with cameras that weren't good enough ...
Other than the 5D mkII's well known low iso banding issue due to pushing the higher iso end of the spectrum, I've never heard of another APC or FF camera with that problem. Yes perhaps you could get even better low iso but to be honest, I can't think of ever needing better than my incredible 1Ds mkIII was capable of at iso 100 and that is a 4 year old camera now superceded in DR by crop cameras!
As a wedding/event shooter I don't remember the last time I used iso 100/200, I live at 800-3200 and that's with f1.8-f2.8 mainly. Shot my last wedding on Thursday of last week, stopped down past f2.8 for the family groups only, used two off camera speedlites in total the entire day rather than my usual two off camera and 4 strobes. So much easier and nicer. Shot a big synagogue dinner on Saturday night, shot iso 800 & 1600, f1.8 to f4, bounced on camera flash only. Again I don't remember using anything under iso 400 for commercial work, if only for the faster shutter speeds even when tripod mounted.
As an urban landscape shooter I again rarely use low ISO, I need to stop people movement when stopped down to f16, much of my work shown here is iso 800 & 1600.
Quality of iso 100 is important for landscape and studio, outside, I'll take all the shutter speed I can get while maximising natural light in any location, any lighting and any time of day.
I have little doubt that the majority, the vast majority are with me, the cameras from practically every manufacturer wouldn't be set up like that otherwise...
that is what I meant. If you see nothing else then today dSLRs - you do not understand what other people talk about. Only if you would have in hands other cameras for some time, other, than Sony, Nikon, Canon - you could see the difference.
I fully agree with your need of high ISO taking into account what you photograph. I can only tell you: my friend is a wedding photographer. He uses 5D II and small Sigma. His experience is clear - if conditions allow (and it often happens outdoors, he lives at seaside) - he leaves 5D II in bag and uses Sigma. You know why?
Several times he used both. When he presented print outs (not LCD 100% pixels) - customers always were selecting FOVEON.
To be clear - I do not use Sigma.
PS: I do not know how you - I am really for cutting this discussion. I expressed my X100 opinion based on seen samples, materials - ergonomy - great, IQ - just good. That is all. People who 'only use today dSLRs' - may not understand the point.
Jerry, actually, you're a bit wrong about Sony. They use a less transparent color filter than both Nikon and Canon, in order to trade performance at high ISO for low ISO color separation. That is why Sony cameras usually test a little behind at high ISO compared to Nikon cameras with the same sensor.
The Sony A580 implementation of the newest Sony chip has both incredible DR and great color, and is certainly outstanding at low ISO. If you're finding that Ricoh, Sigma or Leica X1 is doing a better job at low ISO in any way...color, dr, noise, etc, you need to adjust your workflow for the Sony, because that shouldn't be the case.
As we've discussed before, the NEX-5 also has the weakest AA filter I've seen in an APS-C camera, so, while obviously not an M9, it has very good detail.
Anyways, I'm sure the X100 will be fine in performance. I can't wait to try one.
The niche markets serve niche needs, the general working pro market wants every bit of high iso it can get. I support the need for niche markets to serve those who desire a 'non generic' feature set however the general and pro markets have specific needs which are addressed by the manufacturers.
What I like about this forum is that there is a lot of respect for others choices and needs so that if someone likes the Foveon look then all power to them, if someone needs a MF CCD sensor or lookalike (Sony A900), that is respected and understood. If someone is mainstream then who cares as long as they are happy with their tools.
I have a long on going thread in the pictures forum. I don't think anyone ever asked me what camera I used and why I didn't use 'X' instead. A person picks a tool based on their specific needs and comfort level, end of the day, it's the image that counts.
Point is though, denying the validity of the drive towards high iso does not seem justified by the general markets need and want of that high iso.
What I have learnt through 10 years of full time pro photography is that the client or customer unless very high end or an art director can't tell and couldn't care about the difference, not when you can print an iso 1600 print from my 'ancient' 5D's at 20x24" and not know it wasn't shot at iso 400 unless you put your nose literally to the print. It was a huge revelation to me after years of thinking that I cared just to be disallusioned again and again and again by client reactions. They don't care about noise unless it's ugly (colour noise/banding/blotchy), they don't care about resolution if you have enough for the images needs. They do care about impact, impact, impact and only impact. Get the rest good enough and you're good, every time.
I wanted to try this theory and so bought a lensbaby to start a new project after shooting 70 megapixel stitches and MF film for years. People love it, absolutely love it. You need the quality that the image requires but more than that and even another photographer might not know the difference in print.
My 1Ds mkIII had far more tonality and resolution. A D7000 has far more tonality. A MF back has a better look. But not for my needs which is why after 6 years, I'm still shooting a pair of battered 5D's, at all ISO's including 3200 and screw the armchair number crunching theorists.
have you ever used a Sony A900? They've been criticised for poor high ISO, but the files have a really delicious colour subtlety at lower ISO . . . added to which the one Nikon sensor which really does seem to do well at lower ISO is . . . . the D3x, which uses the same Sony sensor.
As for Leica - Ricoh and Sigma, I must claim sigmaignorance - but my main camera is an M9, and I've spent a lot of time with various Ricohs, and understand their strengths and weaknesses.
I actually completely agree with you about the trade off between high iso and low iso . . . except with respect to the Sony 24mp ff sensor, and also the new APS-c sensor found in the A580 and the pentax K5, which also seems to walk a good line between high ISO and good low ISO.
So perhaps it's becoming possible to deliver both (if you have thoroughly used both of these sensors then I guess we have to agree to differ).
Whether the X100 does this remains to be seen, but I think the images we have seen suggest that at least they've made an effort.
all the best
Just this guy you know
Thanks all for good discussion!
I will continue observing X100.
Thanks once again.
I think very few companies were in a position to produce an X100-like camera without hurting their system sales... and from them only FujiFilm combined the lens know-how and color reproduction-dynamic range experience to make it a success.
Crossing fingers and saving nickels...
Thanks everyone for a nice informative and constructive thread !
Last edited by jorgeAD; 28th February 2011 at 17:33.
I did :-) Looks pretty decent to me honestly. The color is there, and so is the DR. Shows that Fuji still "has it" after stopping on the S5 Pro. The DR settings though are a trick- same trick of the F100FS. I wish they had come out with another SR sensor even at 8/8 megapixels.
If the E-5 has 11.5-12 stops at ISO 200, then a K-5 must have like 15-15.5 stops using the same test. It may seem the E-5 has a "lot of DR" because some highlights are preserved like the e-30/620 but the truth is the shadows have lost a lot of the DR they used to have like on the E-3. Even many shots on the E-5 have visible shadow noise as early as ISO 200, though Olympus JPEG processing (new JPEG processing) helps here. This isn't something the E-3 did.My tests and experience of the E-5 using my own methodology (repeatable since I designed and implemented it myself, comparable to other cameras I test with it) shows 11.5-12.0 stops dynamic range at ISO 200, 11.5 at ISO 100, and 11.5-10.5 at ISOs moving up to 3200. Acutance is very good throughout the range, with only minor degradation up to ISO 3200. Of course that says what I see as its limits, but in practical, photographic terms those limits define a pretty darn broad range of capability.
Not negative B&W film. At least not "any" camera.The more important question, of course, is "what is good enough?" We usd to compare digital cameras to film cameras of similar format ... but *any* current DSLR-class sensor outperforms 35mm film on technical grounds of DR and resolution, particularly at high sensitivity.
That's a good point, there are certainly points of diminishing returns. A better question to ask then is why pay more for the camera that has less of that irrespective of some diminishing returns, though that "good enough" depends on the type of photography one is doing also.Things can always get better. How much acutance, how much dynamic range, is actually, practically enough to make photographs that meet the needs of viewers, of buying, for publication, etc.?
All of the current cameras are good. But there are pros and cons and matching one needs is important, and if any camera can do - but then on top of that you have cheaper option than other models while still doing better anyway, I think that's worth considering.If there is no point at which we can say the acutance and dynamic range are sufficient for the purpose of making photographs, then no camera will ever be good enough, which logically also suggests that no camera has ever been good enough. And there are a whole hell of a lot of excellent, high-quality photographs that have been made with cameras that weren't good enough ...
Some might find this interesting....a little look into the demographic of who is buying the camera
The E5 gives very clear results with much greater detail up to ISO1600 compared with the K5, given you are using the appropriate pro glass from Olympus.
However there are these test showing higher DR for the K5 and also D7000 and other cameras. But how does it come that the results from the E5 are topping the results from the K5 and others by such a high degree????
The most likely answer is the weak AA filter of the E5 plus the less strong post processing for higher ISO. Just take a E5 image shot with 6400 and apply strong noise correction - bingo then you might even top the K5 or D7000 results Unfortunately all competition is relying on pretty strong AA filters so far. Which results in "waxy" and "not so detailed" images the higher the ISO gets. With the E5 you have still details as you go higher, but as noise is not limited in camera, you finally get noise taking over the fine details.
So what is the better approach? To have a product like the E5 where the last decision is left to the customer for noise suppression, or the other approach where the vendor makes the customer happy (tries to make the customer happy)?
For myself I vote for the first approach and stay myself responsible for how I want to massage my images.
Here is a 12800 ISO image with minor PP and a side by side before and after. Blows me away.
and did you really need ISO12800 ?????
Or would 3200 not have been sufficient?
Or ISO 1600 or even 800 with a decent in camera IS ?????
BTW the details do not blow me away - sorry.
Some highlights (based on a X100 with firmware 0.69) :
Tester complains about the rear wheel that, unlike great top controls, he finds inconvenient and slow when accesing camera menus.
He also complains about the EVF refresh rates when the light gets really low, but considers its quality very close to the Panasonic G2.
He would have liked the center area of the EVF to get enlarged upon activating the MF dial, which he complains works in small bursts (fly-by-wire). So as expected MF isnt really a forte of the X100.
They have a interactive geometrical distortion and vignetting test from F2 to f16. Tester claims (and samples seem to prove) the distortion is very well controlled at all F stops and vignetting is considerably reduced by F2.8 and gone at F4.
Corner sharpness is also tested with crops at all F stops and full performance achieved by F4, but already outstanding by F2.8. He praises contrast and resolution consistency between F2.8-F11.
He notes that even using a SanDisk Xtreme Class 10 card, once the buffer gets filled with 10 JPGs or 8 RAWs its takes 20 seconds to empty the buffer. Apparently the X100 lets the photographer shoot even with a full buffer, but menus are not accessible so only aperture and speed can be changed.
With the firmware used Aperture Priority limited shutter speed between 1/30 and 1/1000.
He tested the Dynamic Range and was pleasantly surprised by the highlight recovery ability possible with the DR400 option (full size samples available).
He postpones judgement on Noise Reduction and high ISO performance until Firmware 1.0 is available, yet posted NEW full-size low-light ISO 3200 - 6400 - 12800 samples taken on location (no studio setup)...
Hope you find this info useful. Please excuse my limited non-native english...
Please show me a comparable camera that shoots ISO 12800 with that much detail and color. I haven't seen it. The closest I have seen is the Nikon D3S and it is a FF $5K camera if I remember correctly. Do I need 12800, not most of the time but in low light where the subjects are not posed (moving) I need a higher shutter speed, hence higher ISO. Restaurants, night clubs , parties, etc.
You loose detail. You loose dynamic range with every stop.
What everybody can do - is to compare lowest ISO with eg. 12 800 and see how much you loose.
Ideally with face, skin within the frame and not whole photo perfectly lit.
Then everybody can answer yourself, if accepts it or not.
For WEB or small prints - it may work.
even in pub or restaurant - I always find a way to put camera still if needed and use longer shutter.
Even if people move - I personally prefer to show it, than plastic picture.
PS: About - show me today camera - I think you can find few RAWs makers, plus good de-noise soft and achieve the same. If you like of course.
PPS: to be clear - I have nothing against what X100 is delivering at 12 800. I just wouldn't use it anyway, that's not the reason I observe that camera
Right ! barjohn wasnt paid enough by Architectural Digest so instead of a 4x5 he did the interior shot with his new pocket toy
Fictions and proofs-of-concept aside, I think Fuji is reclaiming the low light compact digicam throne and, most likely, the DR one as well with the DR400 function.
Thanks for the iso 12800 touch-up barjohn, your version does indeed look a lot better, even printable !
Jerry: I always carry a small Ultra Pod II table tripod in order to keep the iso down in my GRD2. I use it mostly for situational wide shots and it works great. But for candid or action flashless shots having good iso 6400 or great iso 3200 in a pocket digicam is something to acknlowledge.
Last edited by jorgeAD; 1st March 2011 at 10:21.
I personally think that the X100 is a great little camera, but I am so fed with all that high ISO stuff which vendors think they need to push in order to be able to sell their products.
What was MPs in prior years is now high ISO
Well I think the X100 is a perfect tool for low to mid ISO!
I'm with you, Peter. There's way too much marketing hype and techno-geekery associated with any new camera (or other device) these days.
Based on what I've seen about it, I think the Fuji X100 will be a very fine compact camera. It looks like Fuji has put a lot of thought and effort into the design, and into producing something with the kind of quality feel and image quality that photographers value for the type of camera it is.
I look forward to seeing the photographs it produces, once it is released and some photographers learn how to exploit its capabilities.
Let's face it, unless you are making large prints with cropped images the MPs or the ISOs are not the problem. There are many very good P&S with small sensors that do a very good job (the new Oly XZ-1, the S-95, the LX-5, etc.) The one thing that small sensor cameras cannot do compared to APSC is high ISO. There is more than an order of magnitude difference. However, high ISO is not the only reason to buy a particular camera and certainly not the only reason to buy an X100 though it makes it a more compelling case. The ergonomics weigh very heavily and in psrticular the hybrid OVF/EVF view finder.