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Author Topic: Why Fujifilm Range Finder has better IQ than Canon DSLR and more expensive  (Read 4720 times)
EinstStein
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« on: January 06, 2013, 12:20:39 AM »
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I' not sure Fujifilm X-series range finder system has better IQ than Canon T4i & APS-C series, but the price is surely much more expensive.
Is there any engineering reason that a range finder has potentially better than IQ than a DSLR, given the same sensor size?
Yes, the RF flange distance is shorter than a DSLR, the mirror vibration is eliminated, but does this give any potential benefit in IQ?
In fact, a RF normally is expected to have smaller lens, but that actually is a challenge instead. For the same target IQ, a larger lens is easier to make than a smaller lens.

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ErikKaffehr
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« Reply #1 on: January 06, 2013, 01:21:00 AM »
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Hi,

I essentially agree with your suggestions. There are two ways Fujifilm can improve on Canon, one is better lenses. This is mainly a cost issue, Fujifilm has a few high quality primes designed for the X series. Canon has few high quality designs for APS-C and the lenses are mostly zooms.

There is always some imprecision in AF and a well working AF system needs sensor, mirror, secondary mirror and AF-sensor to be perfectly aligned for correct AF. I guess that Fujifilm uses contrast detection, a technique that is more exact albeit slower.

The Fujifilm cameras probably use more metal parts and the camera is intended to feel like a piece of good craftsmanship. This also helps price.

Best regards
Erik


I' not sure Fujifilm X-series range finder system has better IQ than Canon T4i & APS-C series, but the price is surely much more expensive.
Is there any engineering reason that a range finder has potentially better than IQ than a DSLR, given the same sensor size?
Yes, the RF flange distance is shorter than a DSLR, the mirror vibration is eliminated, but does this give any potential benefit in IQ?
In fact, a RF normally is expected to have smaller lens, but that actually is a challenge instead. For the same target IQ, a larger lens is easier to make than a smaller lens.


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Petrus
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« Reply #2 on: January 06, 2013, 02:37:33 AM »
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Top of the range models X-Pro1 and X-E1 also use X-Trans sensor which does not need an antialiasing filter like "normal" sensors do. This makes them somewhat sharper than the pixel count would suggest, competing in the same class with 22-24 Mpix cameras. Low light sensitivity is also among the best there are. The downside is the complicated math needed to construct the picture, sometimes causing a so called "watercolor" effect specially in foliage.

Mirror less design gives more freedom to lens designers, but unfortunately digital sensors have to be designed/optimized for certain ray angles in the corners unlike film. This has been shown with the two Fujis mentioned above, with which old excellent RF lens designs do not work well, as the lens comes too close to the sensor.
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Marco Pampaloni
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« Reply #3 on: January 06, 2013, 04:25:15 AM »
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Anyway Fuji X cameras are NOT rangefinder cameras...
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BernardLanguillier
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« Reply #4 on: January 06, 2013, 05:13:36 AM »
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I' not sure Fujifilm X-series range finder system has better IQ than Canon T4i & APS-C series, but the price is surely much more expensive.

What makes you think that the price of an item has to be related to its actual level of performance?

The right pricing is nothing but the amount of money the buyer is willing to pay.

Cheers,
Bernard
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A few images online here!
ErikKaffehr
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« Reply #5 on: January 06, 2013, 07:58:15 AM »
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+1  ;-)

Erik

What makes you think that the price of an item has to be related to its actual level of performance?

The right pricing is nothing but the amount of money the buyer is willing to pay.

Cheers,
Bernard

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EinstStein
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« Reply #6 on: January 06, 2013, 12:49:39 PM »
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>> Mirror less design gives more freedom to lens designers,...

Why? I don't think this is true. A shorter flange distance may enhance the light intensity, but it also hurts the evenness across the frame. Tilted micro lens does not solve the problem it only avoid to get it worse.
Contax SLR vs. Contax G, for example, the SLR lens usually performs better than the G version. G version is much smaller, which is G's strength in portability but also the weakness in achieving the better performance.

Here I'm not counting on the mirror vibration and shutter latency. Which indeed favors the mirror-less system.

I tend to believe that the SLR system has the advantage, in theory,  in the AF and the uniformity across the frame while RF has advantage, also in theory, in the vibration reduction and shutter lag.

 
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madmanchan
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« Reply #7 on: January 06, 2013, 12:58:06 PM »
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It comes down to what aspect of lens and sensor performance you care more about.  There are many such aspects: lens resolution, shading, and various types of aberrations. 
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Petrus
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« Reply #8 on: January 06, 2013, 01:37:11 PM »
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>> Mirror less design gives more freedom to lens designers,...

Why? I don't think this is true. A shorter flange distance may enhance the light intensity, but it also hurts the evenness across the frame. Tilted micro lens does not solve the problem it only avoid to get it worse.

Huh?

Designing a lens for reflex camera has one restriction: mirror box dimension = minimum distance from the sensor/film plane. Mirrorless camera does NOT have this restriction. Thus there is more freedom for the lens designer. For example it is much easier to design a good wide angle which needs not be a reversed telephoto. This is just from the lens designer's angle, and was 100% true with film.

Like I said things are different with digital sensors, where the ray angle actually means more than just vignetting in the corners. So having a mirror less digitla camera (like Fuji X-Pro1 & X-E1) does not mean that old RF lenses actually work well with them. Lenses for those cameras have to designed like they were meant for DLSRs.

What mirrorless cameras giveth to the lens designers, digital sensors taketh away...
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EinstStein
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« Reply #9 on: January 06, 2013, 05:08:09 PM »
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>> What mirrorless cameras giveth to the lens designers, digital sensors taketh away...

It sounds right. Comparing Contax SLR vs. Contax G, Fujifilm Xpro-1 system vs. Canon T4i/5D system, with the limited lenses I tried (Contax : 28,45,90,35-70 zoom; Canon/Fuji: 28f1.8,50f1.4,85f1.8 vs. 18f2,35f1.4,60f2.4) the SLR look better in IQ, and the price is clearly on the SLR side. For about $3200, I have the choice of  Fuji Xpro1 + 35.1.4 + 18/2.0 + 60/2.4  or  Canon 6D + 50/1.4 + 28/1,8 + 85/1.8. But  Fuji-X is APS-C while Canon is full frame. Canon has a lot of room ready to expand but Fuji-X is still hard to say.

But in the long run, potentially, will Fuji-X eventually offer  a better IQ system? 

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Petrus
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« Reply #10 on: January 06, 2013, 11:03:33 PM »
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>> What mirrorless cameras giveth to the lens designers, digital sensors taketh away...

It sounds right. Comparing Contax SLR vs. Contax G, Fujifilm Xpro-1 system vs. Canon T4i/5D system, with the limited lenses I tried (Contax : 28,45,90,35-70 zoom; Canon/Fuji: 28f1.8,50f1.4,85f1.8 vs. 18f2,35f1.4,60f2.4) the SLR look better in IQ, and the price is clearly on the SLR side. For about $3200, I have the choice of  Fuji Xpro1 + 35.1.4 + 18/2.0 + 60/2.4  or  Canon 6D + 50/1.4 + 28/1,8 + 85/1.8. But  Fuji-X is APS-C while Canon is full frame. Canon has a lot of room ready to expand but Fuji-X is still hard to say.

But in the long run, potentially, will Fuji-X eventually offer  a better IQ system? 

The basic mistake here is to compare those cameras in the first place. They are not really competitors, they all can be used to take photographs, but DSLRs are the best allround tools with greatest selection of lenses, while our Fujis are more about feel and shooting style for certain shooting situations and styles than allround greatness. With great IQ, by the way, even if "only" APS-C sensor. This is my firm view, influenced by the fact that I have both a full DSLR kit and Fuji XF kit in my possession and I need not think about which is "better". Heavy DSLR is "better" 80% of the time.

In the long run ALL camera companies offer better IQ systems... Or at least the same, cheaper.
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BJL
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« Reply #11 on: January 06, 2013, 11:18:43 PM »
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A mirrorless camera can also use lens designs with rear elements very close to the sensor but far from symmetric, and with very high exit pupil, and so with angle of imcidence of light on the sensor very close to perpendicular even towards the corners, and so with low vignetting problems. Some fixed lens digital cameras use such designs.

So modern mirrorless digital camera lens designs can be very far from old rangefinder film camera lens designs, to allow for the different behavior of electronic sensors compared to film.

And of course they are also free to use any lens design that works with an SLR! So the mirrorless approach does not "taketh away" anything from lens designers — it only adds more choices.
« Last Edit: January 07, 2013, 07:49:28 AM by BJL » Logged
ErikKaffehr
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« Reply #12 on: January 06, 2013, 11:35:42 PM »
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Hi,

It really depends on what you put in the term IQ.

It seems that Fuji has an odd placement of RGB filters which many raw converters may have problems with. Fuji wants to eliminate need of OLP filtering by having a different RGB pattern leading to less Moiré. They can probably improve on that.

Regarding noise and ISO don't expect to much. The sensor collects photons and they are quite good at that. Sensor designers can reduce readout noise but that doesn't help against laws of nature (random distribution of light). I'm pretty sure sensors are close to optimum.

Best regards
Erik


But in the long run, potentially, will Fuji-X eventually offer  a better IQ system? 


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DaveL
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« Reply #13 on: January 08, 2013, 08:40:56 AM »
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What makes you think that the price of an item has to be related to its actual level of performance?

The right pricing is nothing but the amount of money the buyer is willing to pay.

Cheers,
Bernard


Thanks Bernard! You're right.

Meantime, I had hoped to find the answer to my question. "Which small camera is the holy grail? Of course, it must be affordable.

(I read through these posts as I am contemplating yet another camera purchase. I have used a little Pany camera for about a year, to journal for work, and capture the odd image.  It has worked well for work issues, but not so well for other uses. Pany ZS20.)
Short list is a G15, or the Fuji rangefinder-like camera with wide to moderate zoom lens. This was offered to me yesterday as a store's suggestion.
Just personal use, no thought of service or sales.

The little voice on my shoulder doesn't help. It says "snatch a Nikon 1 V1, they are such a bargain now!"



Currently using an OM D, and a basic Nikon d300s system. And a Pany Zs20...
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EinstStein
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« Reply #14 on: January 09, 2013, 08:41:03 PM »
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What makes you think that the price of an item has to be related to its actual level of performance?

Is this a joke?
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Petrus
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« Reply #15 on: January 09, 2013, 10:54:55 PM »
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Is this a joke?

No. For example there is a rangefinder digital camera still made which costs over $10000 with a basic lens, but almost any recent $1000 amateur camera produces better IQ. People are paying 10X more just for the brand and the legend and the feeling it provides to the photographer. So the cost consists of real practical value and a bunch of imaginary qualities, for which people are sometimes willing to pay more than the basic "tool" worth. Basic marketing economics. And in the end the value really is whatever a buyer is willing to pay, no more, no less.
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Paul Sumi
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« Reply #16 on: January 09, 2013, 11:41:34 PM »
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The basic mistake here is to compare those cameras in the first place. They are not really competitors, they all can be used to take photographs, but DSLRs are the best allround tools with greatest selection of lenses, while our Fujis are more about feel and shooting style for certain shooting situations and styles than allround greatness.

As a recent X-Pro 1 buyer and long-time SLR/DSLR user, I wholeheartedly agree with Petrus' comment.  It's the difference between a small, open sports car and a SUV. The former is more fun to drive, but the latter is more versatile.

Depending on what you photograph, both can have a place in your photography toolkit.  But I never thought that the Fuji camera could replace my DSLR system.

Paul
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ErikKaffehr
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« Reply #17 on: January 10, 2013, 12:22:42 AM »
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No,

Do you think a Hasselblad Lunar at 5000$ has better image quality than a NEX-7 at perhaps 800$? The Lunar is a NEX-7 with an "exclusive" exterior. Same electronics, sensors and lenses.

Best regards
Erik

Is this a joke?
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EinstStein
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« Reply #18 on: January 10, 2013, 01:18:26 AM »
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>> For example there is a rangefinder digital camera still made which costs over $10000 with a basic lens, but almost any recent $1000 amateur camera produces better IQ.

Don't know what you are talking about. Do you? You've done the first hand and real comparison, haven't you? 
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EinstStein
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« Reply #19 on: January 10, 2013, 01:34:52 AM »
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No,

Do you think a Hasselblad Lunar at 5000$ has better image quality than a NEX-7 at perhaps 800$? The Lunar is a NEX-7 with an "exclusive" exterior. Same electronics, sensors and lenses.

Best regards
Erik


I can't judge that yet, I haven't seen any Lunar sample. Have you? 
I've heard Lunar and Nex has the same sensor size, I won't doubt given the more advanced and sophisticated electronics and better lens, there could be big difference. I'm sure because I've seen big IQ differences between some old P&S and the new P&S, that have the same vendor and same sensor size. 
But I am willing to bet the Lunar's IQ won't be as good as 6D, no, not even close. I've compared the APS-C DSLR and the FF DSLR. Given the right lenses, and stays in the still photography, even the old Kodak DCS SLR/C puts the new T4i in the dust.

But I start to understand what the joke means. Yes, you can find inferior equipment that costs a lot more. The Fuji-X is exactly one of the example, and the Lunar may well be another one, (yet to see).
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