Four Facets Of Fujifilm

on October 02, 2016

One of the advantages of owning your own studio is the fact that you can use it to do photographic experiments without interference from other people. You might be able to do this in a commercial rented space, but every minute you occupy the place costs money - and you might be tempted to skimp on the science to economise.

You can also do photo experiments out in the open air on any number of subjects - if you are a landscape shooter, outside is where they keep landscape. But there are no end of atmospheric and optical variations that might be introduced and skew your results. And outside is dirty - if you're going to change lenses some of that dirt may get in the camera. Err...not may...will...that's why Camera Electronic Repairs Department does so many sensor cleans.

Well the question that arose today was what practical changes can we find in the Fujifilm X-series of mirrorless cameras between the first X-100 and the newest X-T2? I mean practical changes in the final image that comes from the camera. I assembled four bodies and tested them under my own conditions. The conclusion is not quite as predictable as I thought it was going to be.

The basic bodies were an X-T2, and X-E2, And X-Pro1, and an X-100. I know there are more in the Fujifilm X-series but these are four good mileposts along the way. And I own three of them, so I can use them freely.

The scene I used is the Tomahawk Cafe in Wet Dog, Alberta, August 1966. It is noon, and nothing is moving...probably all the way from Medicine Hat to Edmonton, but that is beside the point...The lighting is a constant and all the cameras have been set to a standard Kelvin temperature for it. Shutter speed is 1/250 for the X-T2 and X-100, 1/180 for the X-E2, and 1/125 for the X-Pro1. Aperture is f:16 in all cases, and as three of the bodies have interchangeable lens, a 35mm Macro lens was used in turn. The X-100 has a 23mm that is fixed but it can be switched to macro as well.

The X-100 has the least division of the sensor - 12 megapixels. The X-Pro1 has 16 megapixels, as does the X-E2. The new X-T2 has 24 megapixels...a considerable advance on the first in line. As well, of course, as the series has advanced, the processor inside has been improved. So perhaps there will be a doubling of goodness...?

Well, as with all these propositions, there were some small hiccups. None of them share the exact same range of film simulation modes. The RAW encoding is different enough to need different generations of ACR to deal with. So I opted for the simple large fine JPEG for the tests. I grant that more detail would be available in the boxes if they were all running on RAW, but my software won't cook the X-T2 RAW files and I'm too cheap to buy fresh stuff.

Okay. You can look at the results on this blog post and the next one - too may shots to run on one page. I've identified them with lettering in the image so they can't get confused. First, the overall shot:

Now the medium view:

At this point I started to become suspicious, but I'll let you wait until you see the results of the last two tests tomorrow before I tell you what I think and let draw your own conclusions.

See the Fujifilm range on the Camera Electronic website here.