and I realize I am very very late to this "party" so maybe this has been talked to utter death already. But something was bugging me every so often about the images I was getting on the X-E1 in terms of understanding how the X-trans works on the image and wanted to itemize it.
Anyhow, after more shooting experience, looking here and there and talking to some very knowledgeable peopleTM it seems the X-trans boils down to the following set of trade offs.
As we know, we have traditional Bayer has more blue/red and a bit less green, while X-trans has more green than red/blue. While Fuji claims color reproduction is better because every line has a red or blue, it's also true the distance between some red and blue data is sometimes a bit much (over Bayer).
Something's gotta give.
Fuji says they went X-Trans to eliminate or reduce color moiré, while taking out the AA to make for more sharpness. We get that sharpness in luminance but in color- not quite. Some shots with reds and blue do indeed suffer a bit, and the JPEG engine tries to sometimes deal with it by making the colors a bit more desaturated than they should.
Looking at the image in reasonable sizes (i.e. not walls, not pixel peeping) you get awesome tonality. Part X-trans, part un-undoubtly the lens. I still really think something like an AA-less Bayer will do overall colors better except for the moiré when it happens.
X-trans gets some of the "crisp" you expect from not having the AA filter but a bit of de-sat or smear in some color in some more rare situations. Capture One 7 seems to handle this overall good.
Is it a better trade off? I think it is an interesting one. I shot something that would have given an AA-less Bayer (and even AA bayers) a bit of a nightmare, and the X-trans did rather well.
Itemized to me this looks like:
- superb B&W
- excellent luminance detail
- some of the "zip" and micro contrast expected from removing the AA filter
- highly resistance to color moiré
- Great DR, tonality and ISO non pixel peeped
- red and blue color resolution is less than what 16MP would suggest. More like 10-12
- Color shots have a combination of detail and less than expected detail in some areas
- Color tonality sometimes seem flatter when look at at 100% (side effect of point #1)
Bottom line good news: Sensor and Lenses work really well together.
I am going to do later an experiment that it seems far fetched but may be more common than people may think in a real life situation. I will buy a something like a blue gift paper roll and a red ribbon, then make the red ribbon go in spiral along the tube and take a shot of that when red ribbon is small on the shot.
That should be an X-trans worst case.