Friday, March 22, 2013

Fuji X100S Still Has A Quirk

More photos from the upcoming Fuji X100S are leaking out. The lens appears to definitely be the same as the X100, which is good I guess. It was a decent lens. The few people who have handled the camera also confirm that the autofocus is indeed much better (thank god). What has stood out, for me at least, is that the newest version of the X Trans sensor is retaining, infuriatingly, the same rendering quirks as the X Pro and X-E1.

Notably is the "painting" look that caused landscape photographers reject Fuji's baby in droves. The rendering can be seen most strongly in some field photos taken by Steve Huff, here. I'm not going to steal his images, because he deserves your clicks. Scroll down to the photos of the hanging shoes and look at the bokeh behind the brown boot. It looks awful on the Fuji. This problem was first found in the X Pro 1 and likely has to do with whatever wizardry is taking place to translate the X Trans sensor into an actual picture.

As I said, this is upsetting. Not terribly so, mind you, but upsetting. Fuji is pushing harder than any other company. Every camera generation is a significant upgrade from the previous generation, proving that Fuji understands that in the world of solid-state designs, "good enough" doesn't stay good enough for long.

So while I think it unfortunate that this particular problem has persisted in three generations of the camera, I maintain confidence that Fuji will get it worked out sooner rather than later. Granted, it's one of the reasons why Fuji has yet to receive any of my money... which is actually a pretty massive problem for Fuji now that I think about it... but Fuji remains on my radar in a way that no other company does.

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Welcome to the Modern Era, Leica!

Analyses of Leica's new M camera have been posted across the various sites and, well, they look good. As always with Leica, though, the results are odd, verging on bad.

Looking at these results from Focus Numerique, we see a massive and material shift in image quality in the jump from ISO3200 to ISO6400. We saw a similar effect on the Leica Monochrom. Detail retention is good, but the amount of luminance noise is huge. Next to the Sony RX1, there is no competition. The RX1 is superior in every way.

DxOMark shows similar results. Wildly better than the old M, but still not up to the level of other cameras in its segment. And while the old M was unique on the market, the new M faces off against the RX1 and Fuji X Pro 1, making it a tough sell for anyone but the Leica faithful.

Still, the Leica sensor is competitive. That is much more than could be said of the old M, which produced inferior images to every other full-frame camera on the market.