UPDATE: Lightroom Fails with X-Trans V: Are 40MP Fujifilm X-T5 Files Really Softer than 26MP X-Trans IV Files?
The Spanish website Fujistas has shared reports that the 26 mpx RAF were sharper to 40 mpx RAF with the development settings by default.
He shares samples of images processed with DxO and other software, where he gets clearly superior results out of the 40MP sensor over the older 26MP sensor. So the deduction Fujistas makes is that this problem is related to Lightroom only.
I can’t verify that myself, as I dropped Lightroom a few years ago in favor of Capture One, which is my main editor, and I can use Topaz or DxO occasionally too (with DxO gaining more and more of my attention).
But I can report what Fujifilm X Guru Rico Pfirstinger had to say about it already a few months ago at the German Fuji-x-forum here:
it must be noted here again that with LR/ACR, the basic sharpening compared to previous Fuji models with 26 MP has apparently been withdrawn or not balanced. Since there are also multi-level values for “Baseline Sharpening Tag” and “Baseline Noise Tag” at Adobe, you cannot necessarily compare identical settings for the controls for Sharpening and Noise Reduction.
So it is meant nicely, but still not necessarily effective for objective comparisons, if DPR always sets all LR/ACR controls for noise reduction and sharpening to 0 for the RAW comparison (what else should they do?), because 0 can mean a different zero for each camera model.
This also explains why the RAWs look softer on the X-H2 with 40 MP at zero sharpening than on the older 26 MP studio examples. To compensate for this, it is sufficient to set the focus regulator at 40 MP from 0 to 5 or 10. Then the baselines are back on the same level and you can better compare detail resolution and sharpness.
UPDATE: Fujistas contacted me and said:
“I only found that 26 mpx RAF were sharper to 40 mpx RAF with the development settings by default. I basically warn about the inconsistence of the sharpening in Lightroom from one X-Trans sensor generation to another. And then, of course, write about other software alternatives.
But in the end of the article i clarified that i can get better results with the 40 mpx RAFs adjusting the default sharpness settings”
So to me this all sounds that 40MP are sharper, but you have to adjust the sharpness settings.