… said no one, ever.
Fuji says “You will be amazed by the image quality of GFX100 coupled with GF lenses”say mirrorless rumours.
Not only will that image quality be entirely believeable, my guess is you won’t tell the difference with the current GFX, in similar photographic scenarios. And I find the claim by Fuji worrying.
Format for format, we’re long past peak IQ. And every new sensor generation in the past few years has “only” expanded envelope, bringing the goodness of previous iterations to more varied shooting conditions, sometimes even at a perceivable loss of visual magic. If the new 100Mp GFX is well designed and built, it will bring to the table a host of very valuable envelope-expanding benefits : faster AF and possibly IBIS, for example.
Both would be major boons on my X1D. Although I have pulled off a couple of 1/5s exposure with a 30mm lens, most of my shots cease to be critically sharp at speeds below 2/f (1/25s for a 50mm lens, eg). That’s already pretty good, but another 2 or 3 stops of added reach would be lovely to have.
As for faster AF, well … no need to comment on that. I’ve never used a GFX, but the X1D is one slow focuser.
That being said, neither would be a life-altering benefit. For my style of photography and – I believe – for most who lust for medium format, neither of these is a priority. Big fat pixels and a beautiful image is all that matters. I’ll even grab a tripod for the X1D, if that can help ! The camera has been so good at doing what I have longed for so long, it could be 3 times slower and still not bug me.
So, you’d expect the 100Mp sensor to fill me with joy. It doesn’t. I don’t believe for a second that the X1D’s resolution has much to do with the beauty of its images. In fact, it’s probably the low-ish pixel-density that makes it shine. Much like the Nikon D700 in its time, among many others. But serious calibration is likely responsible for 90% of the camera’s goodness.
More pixels equals smaller pixels. This means a lot more stress on the glass and the shooting technique, and more noise. And more processing power, and more storage. And all for a resolution increase that will only truly benefit a few % of the target audience of the GFX line, already a pretty small population.
Why does this bother me? Because Fuji know better. They created one of those legendary cameras in which sensor pitch is a sweet spot and that drew the crowds (and continues to elicit teary-eyed comments) because of quality, not quantity : the X-Pro 1 / XT1.
So, what’s the nonsense about ? Either Fuji mucked up something in the current GFX and are correcting it in the new version (I doubt it) or they are giving into that most populist of marketing tactics : quantification of performance. Fuji, you’re better than that smoke.
When the X1D was first rumoured, it felt like an electric shock on a dying heart. To me, at least. We were being bombarded by stats, higher ISO, higher AF speed, higher frame rates … expanding shooting envelope while pleasure of use and image beauty stagnated. The main “culprits” (others will regard them as heroes 😉 ) were Sony, who were milking their technological superiority to the max.
Fuji, in that era, appeared to be the sane ones, pushing reasonable pixel count, fun shooting and inspiring ergonomics. And Hasselblad appeared to offer an alternate road altogether. One on which engineers do their utmost best to make the image great and don’t give a number 2 about specifications. Medium format digital seemed like that quiet little corner of the world for haiku lovers, one in which fps, and all the other 3 letter signifiers of technical performance, had no dominion. A sheesh niche.
And now, here comes this new megapixel race, like it’s 2008 all over again. Please, Hasselblad, please, be the better company, here. Keep the moral high ground. The X1D is hands down the best digital camera ever made for photographic sybarites. Give us an X2D with a better EVF, fewer bugs and faster glass for shallower depth of field. Heck, why not throw in your exceptional pixel-shift tech if you must satisfy pixel-peeper. Even make it 100Mp if sensor markets really dictate it but please don’t insult our intelligence by claiming we won’t believe how much better the IQ will be. It won’t.
Hahaha! Pascal has brought out the heavy artillery against quantification, the pixel race, etc… He waxes lyrical about the Nikon D 700 and its fat pixels. Fat pixels, ha! I thought he was talking about me…:-(
But is he using one? Of course not! He says that the megapixel race trashes the soul of photography, but what resolution is his present toy? 50Mp!(nobody has more, yet). What size his sensor? 44×33! Nobody has more yet, this side of a Hassy H6, a Phase One, and 30K$. How many stops of DR? You guessed it, nobody has more, yet.
So there he goes, ranting against exactly what he is using, loving, and flaunting.
Of course, being who he is, he will very cleverly explain that it is not because of the high resolution, high DR and large sensor that his pics shine. But it is rather hard to unbundle why something works, methinks, when you can’t compare like with like and change just one variable.
Fact is, a Nikon D 850 will produce much better output than a D 700. To date, the best IQ of any brand of cameras is delivered by their most recent models. I have yet to see a brand introduce a “worse” camera than before, though it could of course happen. Except that some people wax lyrical about how good some “golden oldie” camera was, while using a newer one, of course…
What I see is that, in some cameras, technology and quantitative peformance are not in synch/step with “real IQ”, and certainly not always with the shooting experience. But trashing them, Pascal? Well, fact is, much as it chagrines/pains me to acknowledge it, especially publicly, his images with the X1D are in fact very clearly better than any output I have seen from any 35mm camera, as well as from the Fuji GFX. Maybe the man has a point after all… Except that, now when the Fuji is out, I can tease him about his “mediocre” resolution. And even more so when Hasselblad, eventually release a 100Mp camera with IBIS….
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