Fujifilm X-E1 Ken McMahon, March 2013

Fujifilm X-E1 vs Canon EOS M Noise RAW

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  Fujifilm X-E1 results
1 Fujifilm X-E1 Quality JPEG
2 Fujifilm X-E1 Quality RAW
3 Fujifilm X-E1 Noise JPEG
4 Fujifilm X-E1 Noise RAW
5 Fujifilm X-E1 Sample images

To compare RAW noise levels under real-life conditions, I shot this scene with the Fujifilm X-E1 and the Canon EOS M, within a few moments of each other using their RAW modes at each of their ISO sensitivity settings.

The Fujifilm X-E1 was fitted with the 18-55mm f2.8-4 kit lens and the Canon EOS M with the 22mm f2 pancake prime. To match the Canon 22mm lens' field of view the Fujinon lens was zoomed in to 23mm

Image stabilisation was disabled for this tripod-mounted test and all other settings were left on the defaults.

The image above was taken with the Fujifilm X-E1 fitted with the 18-55mm f2.8-4 zoom lens. The extended ISO sensitivity range of the X-E1 is 100-25,600 ISO, so for the shot above, the first in the sequence I set the sensitivity to 100 ISO and the Aperture to f4 in Aperture priority mode. The X-E1 metered a shutter speed of 0.7s and the Caon EOS M, also set to f4 at 100 ISO metered 0.6s.

I processed both sets of files in Adobe Camera RAW using identical settings: Sharpening at 70 / 0.5 / 36 / 10, Luminance and Colour Noise Reduction both set to zero, and the Process to 2012 with the Adobe Standard profile. To reduce the white balance differences between the crops I also reduced the tint on the Fujifilm X-E1 files. These settings were chosen to reveal the differences in sensor quality and isolate them from in-camera processing. The high degree of sharpening with a small radius enhances the finest details without causing undesirable artefacts, while the zero noise reduction unveils what's really going on behind the scenes - as such the visible noise levels at higher ISOs will be much greater than you're used to seeing in many of my comparisons, but again it's an approach that's designed to show the actual detail that's being recorded before you start work on processing and cleaning it up if desired.

These RAW crops mostly confirm what we saw from the JPEGs. Note there are no crops available for the extended 100, 12800 and 25600 ISO settings as these aren't available when shooting RAW. Throughout the ISO sensitivity range the X-E1's sensor really does generate low levels of noise with marginal linear increases each 1EV step up the sensitivity scale.

The Canon EOS M crops start noisier and the noise increases by a bigger margin, and in fact looking at these RAW crops, the difference is greater at an earlier stage than with the JPEGs. Canon's noise reduction is working harder right through the sensitivity range; at the lower end it succeeds in closing the gap between the two models, but the further up the sensitivity range you go, the wider the gap gets. This is a fairly emphatic win for the X-E1 over the EOS M.

Now head over to my Fujifilm X-E1 sample images to see some more real-life shots in a variety of conditions, or head straight for my Verdict.

Fujifilm X-E1
Canon EOS M
100 ISO Not available in RAW
100 ISO
200 ISO
200 ISO
400 ISO
400 ISO
800 ISO
800 ISO
1600 ISO
1600 ISO
3200 ISO
3200 ISO
6400 ISO
6400 ISO
12800 ISO Not available in RAW
12800 ISO
25600 ISO Not available in RAW
25600 ISO

Fujifilm X-E1 results : Quality / RAW quality / Noise / RAW Noise

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