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Thomas Menk recently linked to an article on the so-called “false-detail” produced by Fuji’s X-Trans sensor. The example provided (courtesy of DP Review) certainly demonstrates the effect well, but it isn’t exactly a real-world example of photography.
I happened to be looking through photos of scenes I might use for testing on Fuji vs. Fuji (I promise, more content is coming) and, on a hunch, had a look at some of the high contrast diagonal lines in the images to assess the false detail situation in a photograph one might actually make.
Here are the images.
And here is a crop of the buildings. Notice how the lines on the building are broken (aliased), and they're starting to look a little like the checkerboard pattern shown in the test chart example.
The lack of an Optical Low Pass Filter is also producing a little moiré on the building – more so near the tree – but it’s still fairly well controlled.
The false detail does seem to be a real thing, but from what I can tell, it isn’t going to appear in much real-world photography. This building image has to be on the bad end of the spectrum, and I haven’t noticed anything like this at all in other images, and I’m just shy of having created 5,000 images on X-Trans sensors. For me, it’s an acceptable trade-off for the kind of shooting I do, and all the benefits the sensor brings. If you’re a heavy-duty architectural shooter, you might want to give this some consideration, but this is truly the only time I’ve noticed this behaviour.
With that said, I am a little concerned with the trouble the X-Trans seems to have with rendering subtleties in green detail. Landscape photography is something I really enjoy, but have yet to spend much time with any of the landscape images I’ve captured with an X-Trans sensor that have a lot of green in them.