Tony Northrup Color Sciene Comparison: Fujifilm vs Canon vs Sony vs Nikon – “Fujifilm Most Hated Brand. Sony Wins, Fuji Second”

Color Sciene

Tony Northrup launched a poll, where people voted which images they considered had the best colors.

He starts off analysing, if we just think a certain camera has the best colors because of brand loyalty.

So what he did is the following: sometimes he labeled pictures with numbers, and sometimes he put the fake brand names on the same images that don’t even match up to the pictures.

The results:

  1. Canon has the highest brand loyalty. Canon users picked an image 3.1 times more likely if marked with “Canon” than with a number, even though it was not a Canon image
  2. Sony 2.2x
  3. Nikon 1.5x
  4. Fujifilm 1.4x – the lowest brand loyalty. Tony says “maybe Fujifilm users are the most rational people

92% of people picked a different image when numbered or marked with brand name, showing that there was no consistency.

Interestingly, the most popular image when it was numbered (the Nr.1) suddenly became the least popular, when Tony wrote “Fujifilm” on it, even though it was exactly the same picture. It seems there is a lot of hate for Fujifilm by Sony, Canon and Nikon users out there.

Tony speculates that this is because Fujifilm users tend to be the meanest of all and can be very hostile, and kind of give “the whole brand a bad name“.

On the contrary, Fujifilm users downvoted only Sony, and not Canon and Nikon, which tells us about the brand rivalry.

Then back to the colors. He says “fake colors” are ok. People don’t upvote the most realistic colors, which is normal. In one example, the Nikon got the colors completely wrong, much to warm, and people voted it the best.

Color science is overblown, because if you see pictures individually, they are just fine. But photographers tend to compare.

White balance is more important than color science. When he adjusted white balance in post, results where much more balanced.

Tony says he adjusts colors in post anyway, so he never really cared much about “color science”.

The results for the best colors:

  1. Sony (1,336)
  2. Fujifilm (227)
  3. Nikon (-518)
  4. Canon (-605)

Read also

  • fujirumors.com – Sony A9 Vs. Fujifilm X-T2: Who Has Better Colors?
  • fujirumors.com – Fujifilm X-T2 vs Nikon D500 Shootout: Fujifilm X-T2 Wins Overall… and The Fuji Colors Rock Again (at Least For Me)
  • fujirumors.com – The Great JPEG Shootout by TheCameraStoreTV

NOTE – Film Simulations Anyone?

I hope I will not pass for hostile and mean if I point this out, but what about film simulations?

Fujifilm is renown and loved for its color science, not because they created the universal profile that is best for everything, but because they offer the film simulations, which are created to give the best results in different shooting situations or to create a certain mood. Velvia for landscapes, Astia for skin tones, Acros for black and white, Classic Chrome for a vintage touch and when the story should stand out more than the colors, Sepia for nothing ;) etc…

And while I get the point that you can change colors in post, if the camera itself offers you a great starting point, then you simply have less work to do in post, which can save you a lot of time. We should not underestimate the value of passing less time on the computer editing images ;).

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The Evolution of Fujifilm Colors from X-Pro1 to Fujifilm X-T3 and Why DPReview RAW Lab Tests Don’t Show Fujifilm Colors

Fujifilm Colors

I am one of the few on this wonderful globe, to have had the privileged to own and shoot with all X-Trans cameras (except the X-Trans 4, until now).

And when in these days I read that the colors on X-Trans 4 might be slightly different from those on X-Trans 3, this does not surprise me at all.

In fact, Fujifilm has always slighlty fine-tuned and changed colors with every Fujifilm X-Trans/processor generation. And they even say it openly here, that they change colors trying to reach “the ideal vision” or “the ideal color reproduction” by taking advantage of new technologies (new sensors/processor).

It’s all about improving Fujifilm colors/film simulations, mostly based on customer feedback.

For example, when people complained that red colors with X-TransII in Velvia are too strong and lose texture too quickly, Fujifilm desaturated the reds a bit with X-Trans III.

So, there is nothing like “THE Fujifilm colors“.

Fujifilm colors change with every new sensor and processor generation. Then it’s up to you to see if they changed for the better or for the worst.

The Problem With DPReview Lab Test

The problem with DPReview lab test is that their Fujifilm X-Trans RAW samples we pixel peeped yesterday don’t show you the Fujifilm colors.

Why?

Because RAW file colors depend on the RAW converter you use (and in case of the X-T3 it’s even just a beta support). And as far as I know, RAWs don’t really have “colors”, but “luminance”. Colors are created during the demosaicing (correct me if I am wrong).

To get the closest results to “real” Fujifilm colors in Lightroom, you would have to apply to the RAW file one of the Fujifilm film simulations presets in Lightroom (Astia for example is great if you want the best skin tones), and then continue to edit your image from there… if there is any need for editing at all, given how amazing Fujifilm film simulations are ;).

Of course, the film simulation profiles in Adobe Lightroom do not match 100% the “in camera” film simulations (or “in X RAW STUDIO”), but they are Adobe’s attempt to get as close as possible to Fujifilm colors, which is already much better than their standard stuff ;) .

So when yesterday some of you compared the RAW file colors, just know that these are not really the “Fuji colors”.

Down below you will find the results of RAW and JPEG from X-Trans I to X-Trans IV, as you find them on DPReview.

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