X20 vs. X10

by Rico Pfirstinger

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Same, same, but different! That’s what Fujifilm’s new X20 compact camera is for those who know its predecessor, the X10. From the looks of it, the X20 and X10 are quite the same, so X10 users will immediately feel at home. However, it’s a new and different home, one with a more conventional X-Trans sensor. Yep, compared to EXR even an X-Trans sensor is pretty old-fashioned. So in order to get the best results from an X20, you might want to shoot it less like an X10 and more like a X100(S), X-E1 or X-Pro1.

In order to compare the image quality of the X10 and the X20, we have to shoot with image resolution M, aka 6 megapixels. That’s because the X10 is an EXR camera with a split-sensor of 2 x 6 MP. Sure, you can also use it in HR mode to get full-size 12 MP output, but why would you buy an EXR camera in the first place if you weren’t interested in its unique features, such as hardware-based DR expansion, or pixel binning to reduce noise and artifacts under low light?

So I took both cameras and shot a series of samples. Click here to open the X20 vs. X10 shootout set on Flickr. While you are at it, you might also want to take a look at my ever growing X20 samples set.

In order to get comparable results, I put both cameras in 6 MP (size M) mode, set DR to Auto (or DR100% for some shots) and also used matching film simulation modes (Astia, Provia and Velvia). Noise reduction was set to -1, the rest was all default settings. After completing the series, I redeveloped each X20 image in 12 MP resolution using the camera’s internal RAW converter. This way we got two versions of each shot from the X20, one with 6 and one with 12 MP.

Looking at the full-size samples, you will recognize that even at 6 MP, the X20 is able to resolve better midtone and highlight detail while keeping noise levels lower and the image cleaner. Have a look at this example:

DSCF6416 - X10, DR200%, M

DSCF0139 - X20, DR200%, M

However, it’s a different situation when you look at dark shadow details in images that were shot with DR200% and, even more so, DR400% dynamic range expansion modes:

DSCF6415 - X10, DR400%, M

DSCF0137 - X20, DR400%, M

** CLICK HERE to Read the Rest of the Article **

X20 and X100s impressions and samples + FR-reader interview with Fujifilm at focus on imaging show

1) The Polish site fotopolis posted some samples at different ISO’s. For the X20 samples click here (translated version) and for the X100s samples click here (translated version). On fotopolis you can also read the first impressions of the X100s here (translated version). They say that the X100s is a “very successful evolution of the already very good camera.” Thanks for the link Jakub.

You can also read and see samples at the Polish site optyczne. The X100s impressions here (translated version) and the X20 impressions here (translated version). They seem to be very happy with the X100s (compared to the X100 better speed, focus accuracy, start up time, EVF…). The first impressions of the X20 are “positive”.

2) FR-reader Adam made an interview with Fujifilm at the focus on imaging show (UK). At the beginning of the video the Fuji-guy demonstrates Digital Split Image focusing, and Focus Peaking on the new X100s, and then he answers a few questions about the possibility of silver XF lenses, release dates, and future firmware updates for the X-Pro1 for auto ISO and Focus Peaking… to what concerns the firmware updates the Fuji employee just said “I’m not so sure, I haven’t heard anything about it yet“.

He also takes a closer look at the upcoming lenses. Many thanks Adam.

X100s: AmazonUS / BHphoto / Adorama / AmazonDE / AmazonUK
X20: AmazonUS (blacksilver) / BHphoto (blacksilver) / Adorama (blacksilver) / AmazonUK (blacksilver) / ebayITA /  / AmazonDE / AmazonITA

X100s: High ISO review at Brian Krafts website

Keep the X100 or jump to the X100s? Brian says that, if you shoot in low light, you should definitely buy the new Fuji X100s. It’s a huge improvement to the previous model and “I have to say that I am quite impressed with the usability of these files.

Click here to see the High ISO 25,600 shot with different noise reduction (NR) settings.

Remember that Brian updates continuously his X100s review with PROS and CONS and images.

X100s: AmazonUS / BHphoto / Adorama / AmazonDE / AmazonUK
X20: AmazonUS (blacksilver) / BHphoto (blacksilver) / Adorama (blacksilver) / AmazonUK (blacksilver) / ebayITA /  / AmazonDE / AmazonITA /

image courtesy: Brian Kraft – ISO 25,600 NR at 0

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X100s: PROS and CONS at Brian Kraft

Brian Kraft continuously updates his post about the X100s with images and PROS and CONS here.

Here some PROS:

  • AF improvement… Is it what you’d expect from the latest and greatest DSLRs? Do you really expect it to be? In some respects it is as good, but probably not quite in all– as it’s very different. At least if I’m comparing to my Canon 5D Mark III cameras, which are quite sophisticated in tracking motion, etc. That’s what I have to compare to and probably an unfair comparison.[…]
  • Being able to preview your photo in the viewfinder for .5 seconds is like a fresh of breath air to me. On the X100, the shortest preview time was 1.5 seconds or not at all.[…]
  • A much shorter minimum focusing distance (with AF) in non-macro mode! Fuji says it’s been reduced to 21 centimeters or 8.25 inches at that seems to be what I’m getting.
  • The manual focusing ring is way more responsive.[…]
  • Switching between AF and MF, with the re-ordering of the switch on the X100s is wonderful.
  • You can now switch between photo previews in a zoomed-in state. If you want to closely examine photos for detail on the LCD or EVF, you can now scroll through various photos with that same view, whereas with the X100, you had to zoom all the way back out, proceed to the next photo, then zoom back in on that one–making it almost impossible to properly compare any photos in that way.[…]


  • This does not apply to RAW shooters, but for those that enjoy shooting jpegs, this may apply. Now, I say may, because this is very much an opinion and personal preference. I’ve noticed that when I had the X100s set to standard (0) noise reduction and I shot jpegs at 3200 and even more so at 6400, and even higher, that I was not wild about the way the camera was cleaning the image up. Less noise can be a nice thing oftentimes, but it’s  the trade off that I’m not quite loving–when set at 0. To my eye, it’s almost a smearing of detail–an almost plastic-y look–the way someone may heavy-handedly over-use the noise reduction in a program like Lightroom. It’s not something I initially noticed zoomed in at all. In fact, I think it’s even more apparent when viewing without zooming in. Now, the nice thing is the X100S allows you to set among 5 different levels of noise reduction +2, +1, 0, -1, and -2. I just did a test at ISO 3200 and 6400 settings and shot the same thing, using all 5 levels across the 10 photos and happily I can already tell that I will be able to find the happy balance that works for me. I need to spend more time with it, but I think I’ll keep mine set on at least a -1 NR. I don’t mind a little noise and, in fact, quite enjoy the quality of noise that the X100S has– at least at ISO 3200 and 6400. I’ll need to do further testing to see what my impressions are at the even higher ISOs and what effect the different NR settings do for me.[…]
  • […]On the X100, that button was called the RAW button and after a few firmware updates, it became customizable and was the perfect way for me to toggle the ND filter on and off. Now, with the X100S, you have to dive into the menus to toggle the ND filter on and off. I’m not happy about that and I do hope a firmware update can address that and add the ND filter to the Q button options. I do realize that the function button can be assigned to the ND filter, but I like that assigned to my ISO.[…]

X100s: AmazonUS / BHphoto / Adorama / AmazonDE / AmazonUK (will be shipped on March 11, according to R. Bachmann)
X20: AmazonUS (blacksilver) / BHphoto (blacksilver) / Adorama (blacksilver) / AmazonUK (blacksilver) / ebayITA /  / AmazonDE / AmazonITA /

image courtesy: Brian Kraft (PROS and CONS / initial photos / more photos)

chess photo Chess-Players_zps92ae2934.jpg

Lightroom 4.4 RC purple fringing effect

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Massimiliano Angeloni from riflessifotografici (website) is one of those who’s testing the latest release of Lightroom. He says that overall the new release is definitely an improvement! But, well, just look at the image where he compares the SOOC Jpeg’s, LR4.4 and C1.

Have a look at the water drops! The Lightroom 4.4 release candidate shows a purple fringing effect when processing images with strong sunlight falling on wet surfaces. And look at the bridge, where the whole surface that reflects the light is tinged violet!

Thanks for the image, Massimiliano!

Oh, and if you want to read an interesting “riflessifotografici-quality” review about three cameras that were taken out of production, the Fuji X100, Leica X1 and Sigma DP2X, you should read the latest article of riflessifotografici here (translated version).

Fuji X100 Amazon, Adorama, B&H, eBay Leica X1 Amazon, Adorama, B&H, eBay Sigma DP2X Amazon, Adorama, B&H, eBay

image courtesy: riflessifotografici

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climb up there with a DSLR… no way, you need an easy Fuji X100 ;)

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