Fuji Tech Aspects Of The X10 Sensor

Sep 8, 2010
123
London UK
Andy
As for pixel peeping: I only care about how a pic looks in the resolution I'm showing it. It's not that different from showbusiness, most of it is simply an illusion. So are pixels forming an image. The pixels don't count, it's the illusion that does. And photographs are nothing but illusions, showing something that isn't really there. I don't look that much at the ingredients rather than at the final dish.
Very true.!

I did look recently at images from the f550 on Flickr and many did look very nice. I have yet to take the camera 'out and about' so perhaps I should do that before passing judgment.
 

Ray Sachs

Legend
Sep 21, 2010
123
Not too far from Philly
you should be able to figure it out...
M= resolution set to M, not large
SN=Signal Noise, High ISO, lowest noise
in any Program, Aperture Preferred, Shutter Preferred, or Manual modes if you set to M res and any DR over DR100 you are using EXR.
This is true for any current EXR camera.
On my F200EXR I use P Mode, Auto(800) ISO, DR(400) at M resolution.
Check out Kim Letkeman's excellent BLOG on this subject
Nothing Special: How to Shoot an EXR Camera -- Fuji X10, F70EXR, F80EXR, F200EXR, F300EXR, F550EXR, F505EXR, F500EXR, F600EXR, F605EXR, HS20, X-S1, S200EXR, Z700EXR, Z800EXR, Z900EXR – *updated 7 October 2011 for F600EXR, X10 and X-S1*
Just going through this thread in more detail in an attempt to better understand how EXR works if you're not in an EXR specific mode on the X10. I downloaded the manual and it implies that you have to be in EXR mode to take advantage of the EXR, and there's an EXR priority mode so you can tell the cam whether to go for high DR, high SN (low noise in low light), or high res (which doesn't sound like its EXR at all?). Or it will choose for you if you leave it in EXR-AUTO. In high DR priority, you can jack the DR to 1600% whereas in any other mode you can only go to 400%. But according to you and Kim Letkeman, if you simply set the resolution to M, and then set high ISO and high DR (given that its not AS high), the sensor is still doing its "paired pixel" tricks??? But it sounds like the sensor does a somewhat different trick in the EXR-SN setting than the EXR-DR setting, no? So, if you're not in one of those modes, how does it know? I guess just based on its metering it's making that decision just as if you left it in EXR-AUTO??? I'm pretty fascinated by this technology - I'd rather have a really good 6mp file than a bad 12mp file. My wife has a little Fuji point and shoot that has EXR but doesn't have any manual options that I've been able to find, so I can't test anything there. But the results are quite good for a tiny sensor like that. But I'm not sure I want to go that way if I have to give up being able to control aperture and/or shutter speed.

TIA for any clarification - this thread and the blog you linked have been very helpful but I'm still mildly confused. Which is probably my natural state anyway, but I'm always trying to emerge from it... :cool:

-Ray
 
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flysurfer

Hall of Famer
Aug 31, 2011
123
There are some tables in the back of the EXR camera manuals showing that EXR modes work pretty much everywhere once you set the camera resolution to M.
 
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Ray Sachs

Legend
Sep 21, 2010
123
Not too far from Philly
you should be able to figure it out...
There are some tables in the back of the EXR camera manuals showing that EXR modes work pretty much everywhere once you set the camera resolution to M.
OK, thanks. They're a bit confusing, but they do show EXR checked nearly everywhere. So I guess the only thing you lose by not using the EXR setting on the mode dial is the ability to go to a dynamic range setting above 400%...

I could see using this camera mostly in aperture priority at full res with normal DR and ISO settings, but then set up the two custom setting slots on the mode dial so that one dropped the resolution to medium and bumped the ISO and DR but stayed in aperture priority, and set the second to go into the EXR DR priority mode with the DR bumped all the way up to 1600. I guess it would take some testing to see what the actual results of these different settings would be, but in theory that sounds workable.

I guess the question is whether there'd ever be a reason to use full res if you're ok with the 6mp files produced with EXR on? I'm guessing the processing involved in EXR doesn't really slow the camera down from shot to shot much and, if that's the case, I guess I could see just leaving it in medium resolution. I never print larger than 12x18 and I still have some wonderful 8x10 prints from a very old 3mp point and shoot with a sensor that must have been terrible in comparison to this, so I imagine a good 6mp file would turn out a damn fine 12x18 print. And very few of my shots ever get printed beyond a page in a photo-book and that's a whole lot smaller than 12x18 or even 8x10.

This camera is getting intriguing as an all-in-one solution for when I'm travelling really light. Which I do a fair amount of... I'll be really curious to see more real world examples coming out of this little beast now that its hitting the streets...

Actually, I'm heading up to NYC for a few days starting Saturday, maybe I'll go crazy and see if I can get an overnight delivery from Best Buy, put it through its paces this weekend, and see if its a keeper... I think they have a couple of week return window. Yeah, because I really need another camera. I was gonna take my X100 and EPL3 with 2-3 lenses and maybe the GRD also. Which fit in my little Domke well enough, but an X10 would go in my pocket. Hmmmm....

-Ray
 

BBW

Administrator Emeritus
Jul 7, 2010
123
betwixt and between
BB
Yeah, because I really need another camera. I was gonna take my X100 and EPL3 with 2-3 lenses and maybe the GRD also. Which fit in my little Domke well enough, but an X10 would go in my pocket. Hmmmm....
Wear your cargo pants or a nice deep pocketed coat and report back!:biggrin:
 

Ray Sachs

Legend
Sep 21, 2010
123
Not too far from Philly
you should be able to figure it out...
I'm wrestling with myself here - I have a couple hours to decide in time to still get it delivered tomorrow. On the one hand, I'd enjoy shooting with the big guns (little big guns, as it were). OTOH, when we're just taking a train and a small backpack, I hate lugging any extra gear. And I don't particularly like carrying a camera bag around the city. The last time I was in the city, I only had the LX5 and it was MORE than enough. And I'd certainly learn the camera well in 3-4 days of intensive shooting. The only downside would be if I just couldn't get on with the camera and came back with a lot of blown shots. But I suspect it'll do at least as well as the LX5, even if I don't try any of its tricks, so I doubt it would be a BAD idea. If I liked it and decide to keep it, I have a couple of lenses gathering dust I could sell to recover nearly the cost. I'll have to see...

-Ray
 
Sep 8, 2010
123
London UK
Andy
This little camera is proving to be pretty damn good. I can't wait to get one but am going to wait a bit before i can test it fully in the shop where i work. They are a bit thin on the ground at the moment so even if you did buy it and decided to sell it i doubt you would loose much money.
 

Ray Sachs

Legend
Sep 21, 2010
123
Not too far from Philly
you should be able to figure it out...
This little camera is proving to be pretty damn good. I can't wait to get one but am going to wait a bit before i can test it fully in the shop where i work. They are a bit thin on the ground at the moment so even if you did buy it and decided to sell it i doubt you would loose much money.
Within a couple of weeks I could actually return it. I've never done that with a camera before (I've returned a couple of lenses in the past). Obviously the intent would be to keep it, but on the chance that it really doesn't work for me, I'd do it. And a few days in New York with just that camera would tell me all I'd need to know...

-Ray
 

flysurfer

Hall of Famer
Aug 31, 2011
123
Don't go for DR1600% with EXR cameras if you don't really desperately need it. This is an emergency mode with quite some shadow noise, especially with small sensor EXR cameras. The X10 is doing better here, of course, but still, you usually lose more than you gain. DR400 is perfectly okay with most situations, even demanding ones.
 
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Ray Sachs

Legend
Sep 21, 2010
123
Not too far from Philly
you should be able to figure it out...
Don't go for DR1600% with EXR cameras if you don't really desperately need it. This is an emergency mode with quite some shadow noise, especially with small sensor EXR cameras. The X10 is doing better here, of course, but still, you usually lose more than you gain. DR400 is perfectly okay with most situations, even demanding ones.
So, would you just leave it in M resolution and let it shoot with EXR all the time or would you recommend shooting normally in hi res until the situation calls for EXR?

-Ray
 

flysurfer

Hall of Famer
Aug 31, 2011
123
So, would you just leave it in M resolution and let it shoot with EXR all the time or would you recommend shooting normally in hi res until the situation calls for EXR?
The X10 is a technically better camera than the P&S sensor HS20/F550, so shooting in 12 MP resolution does often make sense IMHO.

EXR SN makes sense with really bad lighting, you can force it in PASM by setting M resolution and DR100%, so you will lose quite some dynamic range. This means that you have to expose very carefully, often with manual negative EV compensation in order to preserve highlights. Dynmic range suffers at high ISO setting, but OTOH, EXR SN is only useful at high ISO settings with plenty of noise, so two bad things are coming together here, hence the need for careful exposure in order to get clean and detailed low light shots.

However, if you want to use a (fill-in) flash, I'd rather set the X10 to L resolution, since EXR DR doesn't work with flash anyway, but still, the camera usually benefits from some kind of dynamic range expansion through tonal DR compression/expansion. Obviously, conventional tonal DR expansion also makes the tiny flash more powerful in a relative way, as the camera is underexposing by 1 or 2 stops. ISO 400 in conjunction with conventional DR400 is actually a ISO 100 shot with -2 EV exposure compensation. Hence noise is not a problem in the RAW (ISO 100 is pretty much noise free), it will however become a problem in the tonally corrected/expanded JPEG, especially in the shadow areas of the shot. So it will also depend on what you are shooting. In any case, filler flash and conventional dynamic range expansion (DR Auto) do work very well together, just like they do with the X100 (which doesn't have EXR).

For extra dynamic range with no flash, it depends on the situation. If you need higher ISO (like 400) and faster shutter speed, use L resolution and conventional DR expansion. For low ISO shots of non-moving subjects, EXR DR will probably be better most of the time. Personally, I would not use EXR DR with an ISO setting higher than 400. Since EXR DR is basically taking two shots with different shutter speeds at the same time, there might also be some strange effects with moving subjects and longer exposure times.
 
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Ray Sachs

Legend
Sep 21, 2010
123
Not too far from Philly
you should be able to figure it out...
Damn, that's a lot to remember. I may print that out or stick it in a note on my iphone until I get comfortable with the camera. Assuming I like it - the quality of your samples suggest that if I don't, its on me, not it!

-Ray
 
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BBW

Administrator Emeritus
Jul 7, 2010
123
betwixt and between
BB
Good idea about the note, Ray. So I take it she's on order?

(Thanks flysurfer though truth be told I really do not understand it all...if I were to get the camera I'd certainly try things out.)
 

Ray Sachs

Legend
Sep 21, 2010
123
Not too far from Philly
you should be able to figure it out...
For extra dynamic range with no flash, it depends on the situation. If you need higher ISO (like 400) and faster shutter speed, use L resolution and conventional DR expansion. For low ISO shots of non-moving subjects, EXR DR will probably be better most of the time. Personally, I would not use EXR DR with an ISO setting higher than 400. Since EXR DR is basically taking two shots with different shutter speeds at the same time, there might also be some strange effects with moving subjects and longer exposure times.
OK, flysurfer, you seem to have a lot of experience with EXR generally and already a bit of a head start with the X10. Everything I'm reading about EXR is its primary advantage is to give a more film-like roll-off of the highlights and fewer total blowouts, as are generally more of a problem with digital than with old negative film. So, it sounds like a good walking around shooting mode in average to bright daylight conditions might be to keep the M resolution in PASM (A for me most of the time), set the ISO to Auto-400 or just manually keep it at 400 or below, keep the DR at 400 (or would you put it on auto and let it choose to go as high as 400), and then just shoot as you usually would, adjusting the aperture and/or shutter speed and/or ISO and/or exposure comp on the fly, keeping the 400 ISO limit in mind.

I think I get your approach for non-flash low light shooting above, but that's a relatively smaller percentage of what I do. As a good walking around setting though, does the above sound like a reasonable approach. There's more to think about here than with most any other camera I've used, where I pretty much always stick to one of the PASM modes and just adjust the 3-4 primary variables to taste as I'm shooting. Having to think about whether I'm in EXR and how the different EXR modes react adds another layer that's gonna take some time to fully wrap my head around. So, as a starting point, assuming I'd like to take advantage of EXR and just leave it in Medium resolution all the time, does the above approach sound about right? Or, how would you change it?

Thanks much for your patience.

-Ray
 

Ray Sachs

Legend
Sep 21, 2010
123
Not too far from Philly
you should be able to figure it out...
Good idea about the note, Ray. So I take it she's on order?

(Thanks flysurfer though truth be told I really do not understand it all...if I were to get the camera I'd certainly try things out.)
Yeah, should be here by 10:30 this morning, which UPS is generally very good about, or I'm just in the right spot on their route. Only $15 for the overnight delivery. I don't think I'm only gonna take this cam with me though - sounds like a lot to wrap my small head around and I'm gonna want the fallback of the EPL3 and a few lenses too. So I'll have them both with me, and will take the X10 when my wife and I are hanging out and will probably take the bag with the whole kit when I go off shooting by myself...

-Ray
 
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BBW

Administrator Emeritus
Jul 7, 2010
123
betwixt and between
BB
Just found this from Photolife, thanks to the Fuji Guys on Twitter, which may be helpful/instructive while we're waiting for personal feedback from flysurfer and JH as our early adopters. The reviewer, Peter K. Burian goes into some details on the settings he used and how he felt they worked on his photos...though his was a preproduction model.
 

Ray Sachs

Legend
Sep 21, 2010
123
Not too far from Philly
you should be able to figure it out...
Just found this from Photolife, thanks to the Fuji Guys on Twitter, which may be helpful/instructive while we're waiting for personal feedback from flysurfer and JH as our early adopters. The reviewer, Peter K. Burian goes into some details on the settings he used and how he felt they worked on his photos...though his was a preproduction model.
Thanks BB. He seems to have enough faith in the basic sensor to leave it at high res for most day to day shooting (with 200% DR) and just use the EXR modes for relatively extraordinary circumstances. Which was my instinct, but I'm not sure there's a great reason not to leave it in Medium resolution so the EXR can do its thing within reasonable parameters pretty much all the time. This camera feels like its gonna take a little while to fully grasp...

-Ray
 
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