Fujifilm X-E1 Ken McMahon, March 2013

Fujifilm X-E1 Quality RAW vs JPEG

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To compare real-life RAW performance I shot this scene with the Fujifilm X-E1 with the camera on its RAW plus Fine JPEG setting.

For this test the X-E1 was fitted with the Fujinon XF18mm f2 R wide angle prime lens.

The camera was mounted on a tripod and, as for the JPEG test on the previous page, the X-E1 was left on the default settings.

  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

The image above was taken with the Fujifilm X-E1. The camera was set to Aperture priority mode and the aperture set to f5.6. The sensitivity was set to 200 ISO at which the X-E1 metered a shutter speed of 1/450.

For this test I've compared the X-E1's in-camera JPEG with the the RAW file processed in Adobe Camera RAW, first using the default settings, then a second time with the following 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. These settings were chosen to reveal the sensor quality characteristics 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.

Because of the novel construction of the X-trans CMOS sensor in the X-E1, RAW processing varies from that required for the majority of digital sensors which use a Bayer colour filter array. For some time after the X-Pro 1 was launched the only RAW processing application that would handle the files was the the Silkypix-powered RAW File Converter EX application supplied with the camera. Adobe was one of the first to provide support for X-trans sensors and others, like Capture One have followed suite, so owners of models with X-trans sensors now have a wider degree of choice.

As for the crops, the default processing in ACR produces a somewhat softer result than the in-camera JPEG which reveals less of the fine detail. The ACR processing looks also to have provided a slighly more saturated result. One other thing that's clear is that the 18mm lens suffers from a degree of chromatic aberration that has been automatically corrected on the in-camera JPEGs.

The third column of crops with exaggerated sharpening and no noise reduction show that there is a good deal more detail recorded by the sensor that could probably be coaxed out, particularly given the very low levels of noise in these crops despite the absence of noise reduction.

One other thing worth noting is that I produced these crops in ACR 7.3; Adobe Photoshop Camera RAW 7.4 release candidate includes improved demosaic algorithms for Fujifilm cameras with the X-Trans sensor and also adds support for the X100S and X20.

Now see how these models compare at higher sensitivities in my Fujifilm X-E1 Noise results.


Fujifilm X-E1 in-camera JPEG
Fujifilm X-E1 Processed RAW ACR defaults
Fujifilm X-E1 Processed RAW ACR
f5.6, 200 ISO
f5.6, 200 ISO
f5.6, 200 ISO
f5.6, 200 ISO
f5.6, 200 ISO
f5.6, 200 ISO
f5.6, 200 ISO
f5.6, 200 ISO
f5.6, 200 ISO
f5.6, 200 ISO
f5.6, 200 ISO
f5.6, 200 ISO

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

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