Towerjazz Explains Why Sony’s Sensor Hegemony is a Problem, the 8K Downsides, the Dynamic Range Challenge and More

The Sensor Business

There was a time, when Fujifilm was making its own sensors.

However, at some point in time, Fujifilm sold its sensor business to Toshiba, which later on sold it to Sony.

As of today (and as far as I know) Fujifilm only makes the color filter array for sensors. Fujifilm also cooperates with Samsung on the ISOcell+ sensor development, which we reported about here.

In short: Sony dominates the sensor market, and most camera manufacturers buy all the sensors they need from Sony.

This gives Sony a huge advantage, as Fujifilm managers Toru Takahashi and Toshihisa Iida said back in 2016 here:

Sony has a big advantage, they make their own sensors. That is a very big advantage for them.

FujiRumors got information years ago, that Fujifilm had a contract with Sony, that allowed them to use the latest Sony sensor only 6 months after Sony used them on their own cameras, giving them a strategic time advantage (timing is crucial in business).

I don’t know if this contract has been changed in the meantime, but what I know is that Sony officially said once, that they will keep the best sensors for themselves, and not sell them to other camera manufacturers.

The Sony Problem

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FUJIFILM vs SONY Colors Compared: “If You don’t Want to Spent Time Color Grading, Fujifilm is Great”

Max Yuryev compares the Sony vs Fujifilm color science.

It’s a blind test, so you have to go through 10 frames, note on paper if you prefer camera A and B. Of course I did it, and it turns out I prefered Fujifilm in 80% of the cases.

The video frames from 1 to 4 are taken with standard picture profile, whereas from 5 to 10 he compares Eterna to a custom made picture profile.

Some general conclusions Max made, before we watch at the frames one by one:

  • in harsh daylight, with light bouncing, the Sony got some heavy tint, but Fuji’s smart color science got rid of it
  • Sony is usually more accurate, but you have to spend time to get rid of that tint
  • Fujifilm got it figured out, and you don’t have to worry about color tint
  • If you just want to shoot, and not spent time color grading, Fujifilm is great

We remind you that, as reported here, Fujifilm makes a distinction between metric color and memory color. Metric color is more realistic, whereas memory color is interpretation, it’s how your brain sees and remembers colors in a certain scene.

Certain Fujifilm film simulations are not ment to be accurate representation of real colors, but interpretations closer to how you remember those colors.

Other film simulations instead just have to give a unique vibe to the image, think at the vintage touch of the less saturated Classic Chrome for example, great for documentary photography, thanks to the “art of omission” that puts the story/content in the center, instead of colors.

Colors science is a crucial factor at Fujifilm, and we told you already that the engineer, who developed the original Velvia film, has also developed the digital Velvia film simulation.

And now back to the comparison:

1st frame

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Value Angle of Mirrorless Cameras Explained and Compared

At the last Fujifilm X summit (which we covered and sumed up for you here), Fujifilm talked to us about the “value angle”.

The value angle is not a weird concept invented by Fujifilm, but a factor that influences the whole design and development of a camera system, as well as image quality.

In short: the wider the value angle, the more precise and easier a lens can send light to the sensor. A wider value angle gives more flexibility for lens design and allows for more light and less digital correction.

As you can see below, Fujifilm X has a huge value angle and Sony Full Frame an extremely small value angle, which is why Sigma said that it is a challenge to develop full frame lenses for Sony, especially high quality ones.

Chart below provided by the German site docma.

In German we refer to Full Frame as "Kleinbild" (small format)

In German we refer to Full Frame as “Kleinbild” (small format)

If you want to get an anology with a soccer player hitting the ball, in order to understand it better, we can get the help of an article appeared at the German site docma many months ago.

Google translated version down below.

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Photons to Photos: Fujifilm GFX100 Preliminary Dynamic Range and Other Sensor Measurements Results

Fujifilm GFX100 Sensor Data

Photons to Photos has released prelimiary Fujifilm GFX100 (non production) sensor measurement data.

In terms of dynamic range, the 100 megapixel GFX100 beats all full frame cameras. If you need even more dynamic range, you have to pay $40,000 for a Phase One.

The bump you see at ISO800 is due to dual conversion gain.

Earlier today we shared the DPReview lab shots, which in my eyes showed impressive results in favor of the Fujifilm GFX100.

Fujifilm GFX 100: B&H Photo, AmazonUS, Adorama, Focuscamera

The GFX Community

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Fujifilm GFX100 Lab Test Images vs Phase One XF IQ3, Sony A7rIII, GFX50S, Nikon D850

Fujiflm GFX100 Lab Test

We love photography, because…

… we love the art of painting with light, the creative process of composing a story, of freezing fugitive moments and capturing ephemeral beauty in an image forever.

The camera specs are the last thing we care about.

Ok, now let’s get serious and have an exciting pixel peeping time! :D

Let’s compare the Fujifilm GFX100 with other high-resolution cameras like the Phase One XF IQ3 100MP, Sony A7rIII, Fujifilm GFX50S and Nikon D850.

Keep in mind that these are JPEGs from a pre-production Fujifilm GFX100. We can’t really make final conclusions, until we finally have standardized tests using RAW files developed in the same RAW converter.

Anyway, judging from the JPEGs, the Fujifilm GFX100 beats them all in terms of sharpness and high ISO performance, including the $30,000 (or is it $50,000) Phase One XF IQ3 100MP.

However, the there are some problems: for example, GFX100 sample was shot at f/8, whereas GFX50 at f/9. Let’s hope their RAW comparison will be more accurate.

Holy Crop! The Fujifilm GFX100 is pixel peeper paradise!

Down below I share some samples available at the imaging-resource comparometer here, where you can compare the Fujifilm GFX100 to any other camera in their database.

We love photography, because we can experience a childish joy of discovery, sometimes also by digging deep into the most technical aspects of it. :)

Fujifilm GFX 100: B&H Photo, AmazonUS, Adorama, Focuscamera

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Lab Tests Samples

Fujifilm GFX100 vs Phase One XF IQ3 @ ISO100

Fujifilm GFX100 vs Phase One XF IQ3 @ ISO100

Fujifilm GFX100 vs Phase One XF IQ3 @ ISO12,800

Fujifilm GFX100 vs Phase One XF IQ3 @ ISO12,800

GFX100 vs a7rIII @ ISO200

GFX100 vs a7rIII @ ISO100

Fujifilm GFX100 vs Sony A7rIII @ ISO 51,200

More Image Comparisons Below

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