Fujifilm X-Pro1 Ken McMahon, May 2012
 
 
Fujifilm X-Pro 1 vs Sony NEX-7 vs Canon EOS 7D quality

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To compare real-life performance when zoomed-out, I shot this scene with the Fujifilm X-Pro1, the Sony NEX-7 and the Canon EOS 7D within a few moments of each other using their best quality JPEG settings.

The X-Pro1 was fitted with the Fujinon XF 18mm f2 R, the NEX-7 with the 18-55 f3.5-5.6 OSS kit zoom and the EOS 7D with the EF-S 15-85 f3.5-5.6 IS USM.

Prime lenses for the Sony and Canon bodies were not available to us at matching focal lengths at the time of testing. I hope to retest in the near future with primes on each body.

The zoom lenses on the Sony and Canon cameras were set to an equivalent field of view to the 18mm prime on the X-Pro1 and all were set to Aperture Priority exposure mode.

The ISO sensitivity was manually set to 200 ISO on the X-Pro1 and 100 ISO on the NEX-7 and EOS 7D.

  Fujifilm X-Pro1 results
1 Fujifilm X-Pro1 Quality
2 Fujifilm X-Pro1 RAW vs JPEG
3 Fujifilm X-Pro1 Noise
5 Fujifilm X-Pro1 Sample images

The image above was taken with the Fujifilm X-Pro1 with the FX 18mm f2 R lens. I took a series of shots with the lens at all aperture settings and the most detail was recorded at f5.6 which is the aperture I chose to make these comparisons. The X-Pro1 is capable of recording at 100 ISO, but Fujifilm warns that dynamic range will be reduced at this sensitivity setting. The camera's default base sensitivity is 200 ISO so that's what I've used for these comparisons. The X-Pro1 metered an exposure of 1/1300 at f5.6 at 200 ISO. The Sony NEX-7 and Canon EOS 7D metred similar exposures at 100 ISO but as they produced similar results to the X-Pro1 their exposures were not adjusted. The X-Pro1's original Fine JPEG image size was 6.2MB. The crops are taken from the areas marked with red rectangles and presented here at 100%.

Given its unconventional sensor, I was expecting the X-Pro1's crops would make for interesting viewing and I wasn't disappointed. Overall and at first glance this test shot with the 18mm f2 lens looks very impressive with crisp detail, good colour and punchy contrast. The first of the crops shows excellent detail in the chapel and the foreground hill with little evidence of processing or noise.

The second crop is even more impressive. The first thing I look at on this crop is the lighthouse which should be a distinct white cylinder with clean edges - it is here - and as an added bonus you can also make out the lamp room on the top. The X-Pro1 has also managed to pick out detail in the distant coast. The window frames in the foreground houses are sharp with cleanly defined edges and you can also make out the fine detail in the roof tiles and brickwork.

Moving on to the fourth crop, here the detail is a little softer than nearer the centre of the frame. That and the obvious chromatic aberration, both lens-related issues, are about the only two negative elements in an otherwise sparkling performance. The final crop taken from close to the middle of the frame is hard to fault with clean edges and very impressive resolution of the finest detail.

The NEX-7's 24 Megapixel sensor produces larger image detail at the equivalent 18mm focal length. From the first crop it's hard to say if there's much of a qualitative difference but in the second crop the detail in both the foreground as well as the lighthouse and distant coast looks softer in the NEX-7 crop. Interestingly, the detail in the edge crop from the NEX-7 with its 18-55mm zoom not only looks sharper and better defined, it doesn't suffer from chromatic aberration, though the absence of fringing is more likely due to the NEX-7's JPEG processing. In the final crop from close to the centre of the frame both cameras produce excellent detail, but the X-Pro1 has a definite edge in terms of sharpness and resolution.

Compared with the crops from the EOS 7D with its 15-85mm kit lens, the X-Pro1 has a clear advantage in every one of these crops. Only in the final crop does the quality of the EOS 7D come close to matching that of the X-Pro1, but even here, the edges are softer and the fine detail isn't as well resolved.

While some of these differences are undoubtedly due to the superior optics of the Fujinon 18mm prime lens compared to kit zooms, the X-Pro1's X-Trans sensor is without doubt also playing a major role. I've never seen detail this sharp from a CMOS sensor that hasn't been accompanied by obvious evidence of electronic processing. The X-Pro1 manages to achieve excellent edge sharpness and fine detail resolution while at the same time achieving a natural look that's free from noise. That's quite an achievement.

Check out the X-Pro1 RAW vs JPEG results on the next page or see how these models compare at higher sensitivities in my X-Pro1 Noise results.

 


Fujifilm X-Pro1
 
Sony NEX-7
 
Canon EOS 7D
f5.6, 200 ISO
f5.6, 100 ISO
f5.6, 100 ISO
f5.6, 200 ISO
f5.6, 100 ISO
f5.6, 100 ISO
f5.6, 200 ISO
f5.6, 100 ISO
f5.6, 100 ISO
f5.6, 200 ISO
f5.6, 100 ISO
f5.6, 100 ISO


Fujifilm X-Pro1
results : Quality / RAW vs JPEG / Noise


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