Fuji X100T Image Quality

Image and Video quality

The 16mp X-Trans sensor remains unchanged from that in the X100s and the same one as found in all the recent (not the new 24mp sensor found in the X-PRO2) high end X-series cameras like the XT-1 and XE-2.

The Fuji X100T image quality continues to impress although the competition has now moved on to 20mp+ as the norm so the X-Trans sensor is starting to lag behind a little bit in terms of resolution.

SOOC Jpeg shot at f/2 Click the image for the full resolution file on Flickr

 

The Fuji X-Trans sensor combined with the f/2 lens on the X100T are giving plenty of detail in images. We found that at f/2 things were a little less sharp with detail increasing up to f/8 before starting to decrease at f/11. Even so, Fuji’s lens modulation optimizer does help to lessen the effects of diffraction at smaller apertures.

SOOC Jpeg, f/4 1/240 ISO 200 Click the image for the full resolution file on Flickr

and 100% crop from the above image

100% crop from the centre of the same image.

 

SOOC Jpeg, f/4, 1/150, ISO 200, Click the image to see the full resolution file on Flickr

100% Crop

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Fuji X100T Film Simulation Modes

In addition to the usual film simulations we now have Classic Chrome which offers a more subtle muted pallet which quickly turned in to one of our favourites for general photography. Prior to shooting Fuji we have always been in favour of shooting raw and processing the images in post in software such as Lightroom. However Fuji are just about the only cameras that we use where we don’t feel the need to shoot raw. The Jpegs straight out of camera are just so pleasing to the eye that we can spend ages editing a raw image only for us to prefer the SOOC Jpeg anyway. The only time we shoot raw with the X100T is for important shoots where we want the flexibility to edit later if we don’t quite get the results we want from the Jpeg file. You could of course shoot raw and take advantage of the X100T’s in camera raw processing to choose your film simulation etc later but we like to make these creative choices before pressing the shutter.

Below we have a large number of images created using the Fuji X100T . If you want to see the full resolution files along with many more shots then head over to our Flickr page.

 

 

Noise performance

 

We still think that the performance of the X-Trans sensor is more than enough for most needs. Its 16mp sensor results in nicely detailed images and the ISO performance up to 6400 is very good. One thing to note though is that there is some talk of Fuji fudging the numbers a little in this regard and in our testing we reckon they are over estimating the ISO by 2/3 of a stop. That means that for any given ISO number stated by the X100T we should basically compare it to a Canon or Nikon at 2/3 stop lower ISO to get a fair comparison. That means that Fuji’s 6400 ISO is actually closer to 3200.

Even so the noise performance of the Fuji X100T is still decent and usable up to an indicated 6400.

Below is a SOOC Jpeg shot around sunset at ISO 1000. The image is very clean straight out of camera with just the slightest hint of noise in the shadows.

SOOC Jpeg, ISO 1000, f/5.6 1/4000

And below is a 100% crop from the same image

100% Crop

Below is a shot at 3200 ISO. These shots are straight out of camera Jpegs with no post processing done on them. You can tweak the in camera noise reduction to suit your tastes. Obviously the raw files are more noisy.

Here is a 100% crop from the same image.

Files at 3200 are still clean and retain most details. We have no hesitation shooting at ISO 3200 with the X100T.

The following image was shot at ISO 6400 and is as high as we would go if you want a usable image unless it is an emergency. Again, this is a SOOC Jpeg with standard Fuji NR applied. No post processing work was done to the image.

ISO 6400

 

and the 100% crop from the same image

At ISO 6400 we are seeing a loss of detail due to the in camera noise reduction being applied. Still quite usable for non professional work.

 

Video

Let’s be honest, if you are serious about video then you should not even be considering a Fuji. The Panasonic GH4, Sony A7 series or the new Canon 80d are where the better video-centric options lie

Even so the Fuji X100T does offer 1080 at up to 60p which gives the ability to shoot in high definition and even shoot some slow motion video too.

One of the main issue when shooting video on the X100T is the lack of image stabilisation. Given that most people will only use it for casual video, the lack of IS is a bit of a problem as it makes getting smooth pans or stable video quite difficult.

The quality of the video itself is not too bad and certainly an improvement over previous models but there are still some artifacts present and the lack of a touch or articulated LCD screen make it difficult to shoot from interesting angles. It also means that if you want to shoot video using the screen you have to hold it out in front of you which is not the most stable position. You could use the viewfinder but it just doesn’t feel right for video. In fairness to the Fuji X100T it doesn’t really set out to be a video camera so most people wont mind the issues as when required they can grab a quick HD video.

 

The below video was shot at 1080 24p and show some of the artifacts on the petrol tank of the green motorbike that we mentioned previously

 

The following video, again shot at 1080 24p shows some effects of moire on the headlight of the near scooter.

This last video was shot at 1080 60p.

 

Be sure to check out conclusion on the next page by clicking the link

Fuji X100T Review- Conclusion

Fuji X100T Review conclusion

 

Having used the Fuji X100T for nearly 2 years we are well placed to give a real world opinion on what it is like to use day in and day out. We have traveled with it all over the World and in that time have really put it through its paces.

The Fuji X100T is aimed quite clearly at photographers who enjoy the simplicity of photography but don’t want to compromise on image quality. In this respect it it is a very good camera. We like the design and look of the X100T.

Using an aperture ring on a small range finder style camera feels very natural and combined with the shutter speed dial and other physical controls it creates a very pleasing tool which gets out of the way and just lets you shoot.

When coming from DSLR’s the Fuji controls can seem a little small. For example when first shooting this camera we noticed that it was a little difficult to get purchase on the aperture ring to quickly adjust it. Maybe that was just our clumsy fingers as after some use our hands and muscle memory adjusted and now we don’t find it difficult at all.

 

Even after all this time though we still don’t find the FUji X100T to be a camera that we can quickly adjust the settings of while having our eye up to the viewfinder. Want to change ISO, white balance, enable the ND filter then we almost always find ourselves doing so on the LCD screen with the camera away from our eye. This means that we don’t feel it is natural to quickly change settings on the fly while shooting.

However other items that are perhaps more regularly changed like moving the focus point and changing film simulations can be quite quickly controlled via the D-pad custom functions and in fairness to Fuji they have made this camera very customisable so you can set it up so that your most used functions are where you want.

The shutter speed and exposure compensation dial are definitely ones which we change before or while bringing the camera up to our eye. We just find we want to physically check the settings before shooting. However it is nice to be able to set these while scouting potential shots before being immersed in the viewfinder. If we know we are going to be shooting people or faster moving subjects we can set the shutter speed accordingly and then adjust aperture as required when framing the shot.

The image quality is very good, offering sharp images from f/2.8 on-wards and although you lose some detail when shooting the lens open at f/2 we still generally liked the image quality that we were getting. High ISO performance is very good (with the proviso that Fuji ISO numbers may be fudged somewhat). Up to and including ISO 3200 files are very clean. ISO 6400 is usable.

SOOC Jpegs from Fuji are amongst the best in the industry

We believe the in-camera Jpegs from Fuji are the best in the industry and the film simulations modes are very pleasing. The new Classic Chrome gives a very appealing muted palette which suits a wide range of imagery. We often find that we just shoot Jpegs with Fuji cameras as combined with the ‘what you see is what you get’ element of an electronic viewfinder there is very little need for chimping after the exposure and the quality of the Jpegs produced is excellent.

What we really love about using the X100T for general photography is that it is a camera that can shoot in virtually any light. It’s main advantages over the competition are its leaf shutter. This makes the Fuji quiet in use but more importantly it gives much faster flash sync speeds than the typical 1/250 or less of most other cameras. This allows you to take shots with flash in full sunlight at fast shutter speeds without issue. Combine this with a built in ND filter and it means that we can use large apertures and create images with that beautiful shallow depth of field without having to add an ND filter to the lens. All this while still being able to add a touch of fill flash thanks to the faster flash sync speed.

Don’t forget there is an electronic shutter too which goes up to 1/32000 of a second although the flash wont fire when using the electronic shutter.

The fast sync speed enables use of fill flash at large apetures

 

This allows you to go out with just the camera and nothing more and know that you can create the look in your images that you want without having to carry loads of kit. That is exactly the simplicity that we desire when carrying a small and light camera.

For street and general travel photography, if you are happy with the focal length of 23mm (35mm Full frame equivalent) then it is certainly one of the most enjoyable cameras to use. Some may feel limited by the lack of ability to change lenses but after nearly 2 years of use we feel it is actually quite liberating.

No longer are you constantly asking yourself which lens to put on the camera, as you simply focus on what you have and learn to use it to the best of your ability.

 

Pros

  • Image quality up to ISO 3200 is very good
  • Leaf shutter allows for fast flash sync speeds
  • In built ND filter allows you to shoot shallow depth of field shots even in bright light
  • Out of camera Jpegs are beautiful 
  • Excellent flash exposure for fill light in portraits
  • Electronic shutter allows up to 1/32000 shutter speeds
  • Aperture ring on the lens is intuitive to use
  • Small size and light weight means that you take this camera with you everywhere
  • Very customisable with 7Fn buttons 

 

Cons

  • Auto Focus is not as good as other mirrorless cameras like the Fuji X-T1, Olympus OM-D E-M1 and Sony A6300 and nowhere near a modern similarly priced DSLR
  • Auto Focus can hunt in poor light
  • Tracking Auto Focus is abysmal
  • Shutter Dial would benefit from a lock and Exposure compensation dial needs to be stiffer to avoid being accidentally changed
  • Not actually much smaller than an X-T1 with 27mm pancake lens and not quite small enough to go in a standard pocket
  • Poor battery performance (average around 300 shots per battery) You need at least 2 for a days shooting, probably 3. 
  • 16mp sensor is lacking resolution compared with the competition
  • Did we mention the auto focus

 

Recommendations

So would we recommend the Fuji X100T to other photographers?

Yes we would because this camera possibly more than any other makes you want to get out and take pictures and that is a great quality. When you do you wont be disappointed with the quality of the images you get thanks to the X-Trans sensor and f/2 lens.

 

However we would add a few words of caution because this camera is quite a niche tool in our opinion. If you shoot fast subjects, like to change lenses, crop heavily in post or just want a do everything camera then you should probably look elsewhere.

 

The Fuji X-100T feels like a camera built for purists that enjoy its simplicity of control, fixed lens and beautiful image quality. It feels like a camera for creating images with rather than for snapping pics of your holiday as record shots. Used in the right way it can produce fantastic results but if you just want a general camera to snap away with then auto focus performance and lack of zoom lens might leave you disappointed as for considerably less money you could get a decent entry level DSLR and kit lens which would better serve that purpose.

In an ideal world the Fuji X100T would probably be your second camera to work along side an interchangeable lens camera.

You might also consider

 

Street and travel photographers – Fuji X100T or the X-T1 + 18mm, 27mm or 35mm f/2. You might like to check out our videos on the Fuji X-T1 and Olympus OM-D

Want better IQ in small and light pakage? Sony A7II, Sony A7RII. See Our quick look at the Sony A7 mkII

Landscape Photographers– In our opinion Nothing beats a DSLR like the Nikon D810 or Canon 5Ds due to the image quality, build quality and available lens choice. Mid range DSLR’s like the Canon 80D and D7200 also offer a a lot of these benefits at a cheaper price than their full frame alternatives.

Sports and wildlife– Nikon D500, D5 or Canon 7d mkII or 1DXII- Take a look at our Canon 7d mkII and Nikon D500 (coming soon) reviews.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sony A7Mk Quick Review

We recently put the new Sony A7 mk II through its paces to see what it was capable of and if this is the perfect mirrorless camera.

There is no doubt that Sony is storming the mirrorless world in the last year with its A series of mirrorless cameras. We have the megapixel monster the A7R, the general use A7 and the low light performer A7S.

Now only a year after the first round of releases Sony has updated the A7 with the new A7 mk II.

So what’s new? 

Well the headline feature and the one we want to get straight to is the 5 axis in body image stabilisation system that Sony have put in the A7 II.  Sony are claiming it will provide up to 4.5 stops of compensation.

It is quite a feat of engineering to fit in body IS into a body this small with such a a large sensor and given the A series popularity for mounting adapted prime lenses, one that is sure to excite a lot of photographers. We’ll get to how good it is shortly.

Other notable changes include a deeper grip with re-positioned shutter button, a new finger dial, more solid construction, improved AF performance and the ability to record video in XAVC S format at upto 50mb/sec.

Same name new design

Although the Sony A7 II shares its name with the A7, Sony have changed the feel of the new mk II in a number of ways. The mk II feels substantially heavier than the original A7 at 599 grams with battery compared to 494g for the A7. It is also 2mm taller and 10mm thicker, thanks largely due to the new deeper grip and more metal used in its construction.

Although the Sony A7 II feels heavier than the previous model we actually prefer it thanks to the improved grip which is deeper and gives a better hold on the camera. It makes it much nicer to carry around in one hand without the fear of it slipping out of your hand. It also offers a better feel when combined with any larger lenses.

One small change that has resulted in a marked improvement is the new position of the shutter button which has moved from the rather awkward position on top of the body on the A7 to the new position which is now on the grip and angled slightly forward. This offers a much more natural shooting position and makes it quicker and more comfortable to press.

Size comparison of Sony A7 II (left) , Fuji X-T1 and Fuji X100T (right) all sporting their 35mm equivalent lenses.

Let’s get down to shooting

Image quality is virtually identical to the A7 as Sony has stuck with the same 24mp full frame sensor used in the original A7. No complaints here really about image quality as you are getting wonderful clarity and contrast, good if not great low light performance and plenty of resolution alongside Full frame formats ability to isolate subjects with shallow depth of field.

Shot with the Sony A7 II + Zeiss 55mm at f/1.8

If we were going to pick fault with image quality it would be that the Nikon D750 seems to eek out better high ISo performance from the same sensor and Sony still does not offer lossless Raw files which can result in slightly poorer quality files which are not able to be pushed quite as far in post processing as those of the D750. However, this is nitpicking and to most the images that the Sony A7 II can produce will be more than enough. We would also mention that despite some complaints on the internet about Sony Jpegs we cannot fault the colours that this camera is capable of producing, they are rich, contrasty and beautiful in our opinion.

Shot on Sony A7 II + Zeiss FE 35mm @f/4

So just how good is the new image stabilisation and does it work with Leica/Zeiss/Canon/Nikon primes? 

This is the first full frame mirrorless camera with in body Image Stabilisation. In theory this will give all the benefits of a full frame sensor and stabilise any lens attached to the camera. The possibilities for low light shooting are incredible with these two technologies working together.

When you shoot non stabilised lenses on the Sony A7 II the image in the viewfinder is now stabilised too and this not only allows precise and steady framing it also makes manually focussing using magnified view possible. Without IS it can be difficult to handhold the camera steady enough to manually focus effectively but with the stabilised image this is now a breeze.

During testing we found that the IS combined with the Zeiss FE35mm 2.8 and the Zeiss FE 55mm 1.8 primes worked very well.

We were able to shoot handheld shots with the FE 55mm 1.8 and 35mm f/2.8 at shutter speeds slow as 0.5 seconds and still get sharp shots.

Overall performance

Overall the addition of in body image stabilisation to the Sony A7 II is a ground breaking advancement in the technology. It allows photographers to create incredible full frame shots at previously unthinkable shutter speeds. It transforms the usability of this camera when combined with manual focus primes and for static subjects enables incredible low light performance. Combine the High ISo performance of a full frame sensor with the image stabilisation of the Sony A7 II alongside a bright prime and you can virtually shoot in the dark.

There are a few niggles to be aware of with the Sony A7 mk II and indeed all of the Sony A series bodies.

We found that for street shooting the start up time from sleep mode was a little slow and could result in missed shots.  While auto-focus is improved from the original A7 it can still hunt a little during low light.

Button placement and general ergonomics are not as good as some such as the Fuji X-T1. When you shoot lots of different cameras as we do some just feel like they were built by photographers and some feel like they were built by engineers. The Sony is definitely in the latter camp. We found the placement of the zoom button a little unusual and the menu system still takes some getting used to. However overall there really is not much to complain about .

The Fuji X-T1 (centre) feels a little more intuitive to use than the Sony A7 II (far side).

If you want the best image quality in a small package then the Sony A7 II deserves serious consideration.

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