More On Fuji X-Series Color

After yesterday's exercise in crazy color and white balance let's bring it back to the realm of normal for a moment. Seems my somewhat rational look at my Fuji X100S vs. my boring old Nikon DSLR (you know, the one sitting at the table with Canon because those two companies have no idea what the hell they are doing) got a few folks upset so I am back with more provocative concepts on how similar digi-cams are if you shoot RAW. Yeah - there are nits here and there but not the wild crazy magical differences one way or another that are going to revolutionize your pictures in some way.

It just so happens that it ties in nicely with my notion that how you dial white balance knobs has far more to do with color than fuji-sauce etc. Of course that applies to how cameras choose to dial those knobs by themselves as well as particular flavors of fixed settings like "daylight".

Let's take the image at the top. I put a lot of work into shooting that this morning while having my first coffee and first cigarette of the day. I actually had to carry two cameras outside with me with a mug. That's a lot of gear to drag 20 feet. I shot these just for this purpose. I did creatively shoot them wide open in nice light - that takes a lot of work to. I had to dial the Aperture all the way open and focus. Then I had to do massive calculations to frame the scene as close as I could with two completely different angles of view while groggy. (Hyperbole + Sarcasm = close to the way I feel prior to noon)

Here's the other one…

Which is which? Be careful my main goal was similar size relationships with a 50mm on full frame vs a 23mm on APS-C not exact framing. So there is some tricky shit going on here with camera angles hence different planes of focus to make my 50mm seem wider. Okay - I will let the cat out of the bag. The top image is the Fuji X100S leaving the one directly above as the D600 image.

If you squint your eyes really really hard and concentrate you might be able to tell there is a slight variation in the tonal response curve. Sorry - not my fault the Fuji X100S needs an exposure boost in post compared to the D600 because it's base ISO 200 delivers less real shadow and mid-tone speed. In any case a quick neutralization of the whites should demonstrate that there is no night/day difference in color here between a Nikon RAW and a magic Fuji RAW. If you think they are different colors you are actually perceiving things like variations in focus and vignetting etc and somehow confusing that with color. Even the greens are exactly the same hue numbers.

Prior to actually making the whites neutral the two images were for certain night and day different. The Nikon shoots more neutral in auto in this particular scene and the Fuji chooses slightly cooler and way pinker. Both of them were processed exactly the same in Aperture 3 - VSCO 800Z-, black point 0 (prolly an additional reason the response curve is a hair different), neutralize the same whites, that's it.

I am not going to bother getting them closer or showing the RAW's with completely different white balance but I will show you the OOC JPEGs. They are very different - of course. A lot still has to do with the WB. The rest is the tonal response curve and the particular color flavors of the two in-camera JPEG engines. Here's the Fuji.

And here's the Nikon D600.

I like the Fuji a bit better in terms of response curve for sure it puts contrast more where I like it. You can see the Fuji tends towards pink and the Nikon tends towards a bit less pink. You can to a lesser extent see that the Fuji is a bit cooler - this is a trend for this camera as far as I can see. That's not a bad thing for sure. Generally it tames the tendency for skin to go nuclear orange.

The Fuji OOC JPEG was the "standard" provia with no other tweaks dialed in. The Nikon was picture control standard with no other tweaks as well. So there you have it. Is my camera somehow broken? Did the magic Fuji-ness (aside from the JPEGs) somehow not get put in at the factory? No. Do I like it a lot? Sure - it's great - it's one of the reasons why I don't have a good 35mm prime for the D600.

So… What do you all think of the new Fuji X-M1 or whatever it is called? Me - I am sort of trying to figure out what it's for and why anyone would want it. I certainly don't. I kind of thought the EVF only XE-1 was a bit of a mistake. This one doesn't even have a viewfinder. Doesn't that make it part of the herd of other APS-C mirroless junk out there from the rest of the camera makers without a viewfinder. If you get it please let me know what this thing is for and why people that gravitate to the Fuji 's in the first place would want it.


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