Fuji X70 Image Quality


Color

Saturation & Hue Accuracy
Typical saturation levels with excellent hue accuracy.

ISO Sensitivity
100
200
400
800
1600
51200
In the diagram above, the squares show the original color, and the circles show the color that the camera captured. More saturated colors are located toward the periphery of the graph. Hue changes as you travel around the center. Thus, hue-accurate, highly saturated colors appear as lines radiating from the center. Mouse over the links to compare ISOs and click the links for larger versions.

Saturation. The Fuji X70 produces images with bright, pleasing colors using the standard film simulation (Provia) at default settings. The camera pushes most colors by a small amount, dark red and dark green by a moderate amount, but undersaturates aqua and cyan just a bit. Default mean saturation at the base ISO of 200 was 110.3% (10.3% oversaturated), which is about average these days. You can of course tweak saturation and/or select a different film simulation mode. Mean saturation fell gradually as ISO increased to 25,600, but it fell more abruptly at ISO 51,200, to a minimum of 102.3%. Most consumer digital cameras produce color that's more highly saturated (more intense) than found in the original subjects. This is simply because most people like their color a bit brighter than life.

Skin tones. The Fuji X70 rendered pleasant Caucasian skin tones that were just a touch on the pinkish side when Auto white balance was used. Results were quite pleasing, with a healthy look, while Manual white balance produced slightly warmer, more yellow results. (Here, too, the X70's saturation and/or film mode adjustments may come into play for some users, letting them tweak the color on skin tones, if they find the default rendering a bit too saturated for their personal tastes. Note that Fujifilm claims their Astia film simulation produces "true-to-life" skin tones.) Where oversaturation is most problematic is on Caucasian skin tones, as it's very easy for these "memory colors" to be seen as too bright, too pink, too yellow, etc.

Hue. The Fuji X70 produced only a few color shifts relative to ideal colors in its images, and has excellent hue accuracy overall. Noticeable shifts are in cyan toward blue (this is very common among the digital cameras we test; we think it's a deliberate choice by camera engineers to produce better-looking sky color), and orange toward yellow, but most shifts are very minor or hue is dead on, and there was very little shift from yellow to green we often see. Average "delta-C" color error after correction for saturation at base ISO was only 3.53, which is excellent, and hue accuracy remained better than average across the ISO range. Hue is "what color" the color is.

Click to see X70FAR2I0200.JPG Click to see X70OUTBAP2.JPG Click to see X70hSLI00200NR2D.JPG
See full set of test images with explanations
See thumbnails of all test and gallery images

Sensor

Exposure and White Balance

Indoors, incandescent lighting
Auto and Incandescent white balance were quite warm, but very good results with the Manual setting. Above average exposure compensation required.

Click to see X70INBAP2.JPG Click to see X70INBTP2.JPG
Auto White Balance
+0.7 EV
Incandescent White Balance
+0.7 EV
Click to see X70INBMP2.JPG
Manual White Balance
+0.7 EV

Indoors, under typical incandescent lighting, color balance was quite warm using the Auto setting, with a fairly strong reddish cast. Results with the Incandescent white balance setting were also very warm, with a strong yellow/orange cast. The Manual white balance setting was pretty accurate, though perhaps just a bit cool. The Fuji X70 required +0.7 EV exposure compensation here, while most cameras need about +0.3 EV for this scene. Our test lighting for this shot is a mixture of 60 and 100 watt household incandescent bulbs, a pretty yellow light source, but a very common one in typical home settings here in the U.S.

Outdoors, daylight
Very good color though slightly cool outdoors. Average to good exposure accuracy outdoors.

Click to see X70OUTBAP2.JPG Click to see X70FAR2I0200.JPG
Auto White Balance,
+0.7 EV
Auto White Balance,
0 EV

Outdoors, the Fuji X70 produced good color at default settings, just slightly on the cool side. The Fuji X70's default exposure was too dim in our "Sunlit" Portrait shot, requiring +0.7 EV compensation to keep the mannequin's face bright. That's about average, but high contrast lead to a lot of blown highlights in the shirt and flowers. Skin tones were pleasing, with a healthy-looking pinkish cast that's not too overdone with Auto white balance, and Manual wasn't much different (just a touch warmer). The Fuji X70 did a pretty good job exposing our Far-field shot, producing relatively few clipped highlights (mostly just specular) at default exposure, though some shadows are quite deep. Very deep shadows contain good detail, but are somewhat noisy and abruptly clipped to black. See the Extremes: Sunlit section below to see how the X70's Highlight/Shadow Tone and D-Range settings deal with harsh lighting like this.

See full set of test images with explanations
See thumbnails of all test and gallery images

Resolution
~2,300 lines of strong detail from JPEG, about the same from ACR converted RAW.

Strong detail to
~2,300 lines horizontal
Camera JPEG
Strong detail to
~2,300 lines vertical
Camera JPEG
Strong detail to
~2,300 lines horizontal
ACR converted RAW
Strong detail to
~2,300 lines vertical
ACR converted RAW

Our laboratory resolution chart revealed distinct line patterns up to about 2,300 lines per picture height in the horizontal direction, and to about 2,300 lines per picture height in the vertical direction as well. Complete extinction of the pattern didn't occur before the 4,000 line limit of our chart. Adobe Camera Raw wasn't able to extract any additional resolution from the matching RAW file. As expected, ACR produced low amounts of color moiré even though it normally produces higher from Bayer-filtered cameras, because of the X-Trans sensor's irregular color filter pattern, however it did still produce some. Use these numbers to compare with other cameras of similar resolution, or use them to see just what higher resolution can mean in terms of potential detail.

See full set of test images with explanations
See thumbnails of all test and gallery images

Sharpness & Detail
Good detail and sharpness overall, with minor to moderate edge-enhancement artifacts appearing around some high-contrast subjects. Mild noise suppression is visible in the shadows at base ISO.

Good definition of
high-contrast elements,
with only minor evidence of
edge enhancement.
Subtle detail: Hair
Noise suppression tends to blur
detail in areas of subtle contrast,
though detail remains strong in
the darker parts of the model's hair here.

Sharpness. The Fuji X70 captures fairly sharp, detailed images, with only minor edge enhancement artifacts visible on high-contrast subjects such as the relatively thin sharpening "halos" around the lines and letters of the bottle label above left. Default sharpening seems to be a touch stronger than some prior X-Trans models, but is generally still fairly conservative, however it varies with subject matter and even lens aperture. Edge enhancement creates the illusion of sharpness by enhancing colors and tones right at the edge of a rapid transition in color or tone.

Detail. The crop above right shows low levels of luminance noise suppression, as the darker areas of the model's hair still show a pretty good amount of detail. Some individual strands do merge together when local contrast is low and as shadows deepen, but performance here is very good for an APS-C sensor. The Fuji X70 does a great job at keeping chrominance noise low, better than most Bayer-filtered cameras, but it can struggle to resolve fine detail or accurate color with certain subject matter because of its unique color filter arrangement. Noise-suppression systems in digital cameras tend to flatten-out detail in areas of subtle contrast. The effects can often be seen in shots of human hair, where the individual strands are lost and an almost "watercolor" look appears.

RAW vs In-Camera JPEGs
As noted above, the Fuji X70 produces sharp JPEG images with very good detail at default settings. Let's see if we can extract better detail from RAW files with Adobe Camera Raw without introducing additional sharpening artifacts:

Base ISO (200)
Camera JPEG, defaults
RAW via Adobe Camera Raw

In the table above, we compare an in-camera JPEG taken at base ISO using default noise reduction and sharpening (on the left) to the matching RAW file converted with Adobe Camera Raw 9.1 via DNG Converter 9.6, using default noise reduction with some moderate but tight unsharp masking applied in Photoshop (200%, radius of 0.3 pixels, and a threshold of 0).

Adobe Camera Raw does a decent job with the Fuji X70 X-Trans sensor's output especially compared to some earlier versions, but it doesn't extract significantly more detail than the camera does, though contrast in the our red-leaf fabric is noticeably higher. There is a touch more detail in the mosaic crop and perhaps more accurate colors in the monk's garment, but nothing really to write home about, and overall contrast is lower, and saturation of certain colors is lower as well. Bottom line: Fuji's in-camera processing is quite good, and there's very little advantage to shooting RAW in terms of detail reproduction, at least at low ISOs.

Be aware that Adobe Camera Raw applies chroma noise reduction to X70 RAW files even with its color noise reduction sliders turned down all the way, unlike for most cameras. We know this because converting the same files with dcraw or viewing them in RawDigger reveals much higher levels of chroma noise, particularly at higher ISOs.

ISO & Noise Performance
Very good high ISO performance for an APS-C sensor, with very low chroma noise.

Default High ISO Noise Reduction
ISO 100 ISO 200 ISO 400
ISO 800 ISO 1,600 ISO 3,200
ISO 6,400 ISO 12,800 ISO 25,600
ISO 51,200

The Fuji X70's images are very clean with good detail up to ISO 400, though the rendering of hair is a little soft. Luminance noise "grain" is quite fine and tight at ISO 800 so there's only a small drop in image quality at this sensitivity, and there is very little sign of chrominance noise. At ISO 1,600, noise reduction efforts are little stronger as you'd expect, but fine detail is still very good for an X-Trans sensor. ISO 3,200 shows a larger increase in noise and blurring, but fine detail remains pretty good and chroma noise remains very low. At ISO 6,400, luminance noise becomes much more noticeable, though it's still fairly fine-grained, and chrominance noise is still well-controlled. Image quality drops off more rapidly at ISO 12,800 and above, with progressively stronger noise "grain", blurring, and noise reduction artifacts. Fine detail at ISOs 25,600 and 51,200 is quite soft with heavy luminance noise accentuated by sharpening artifacts, and chrominance noise in the form of large yellow and purple blotches becomes an issue in the shadows and lower midtones.

Overall, though, noise performance in high ISO JPEGs is very good, and is among the best we've seen from such a compact camera.

We're pixel-peeping to the extreme here though, which isn't always representative of what you see in prints. As always, see the Print Quality section below for maximum recommended print sizes at each ISO.

Extremes: Sunlit, dynamic range and low light tests
High contrast and mediocre dynamic range in JPEGs at default settings. Good low-light performance.

Click to see X70OUTBAP1.JPG Click to see X70OUTBAP2.JPG Click to see X70OUTBAP3.JPG
+0.3 EV +0.7 EV +1.0 EV

Sunlight. The Fuji X70 struggled with the harsh lighting of this test at default settings at the base ISO of 200 (which should be best case). We preferred the the +0.7 EV exposure overall, because the exposure at +1.0 EV exposure compensation was too bright with too many clipped highlights and the +0.3 EV exposure was a bit too dim in the face. Default contrast is high and at +0.7 EV quite a few highlights were blown in the mannequin's shirt and flowers. There are quite a few dark shadows as well, and very deep shadows clip to black rather abruptly, likely in an attempt to hide noise. Overall, the Fuji X70's JPEGs performed below average here without any highlight and shadow adjustments, nor any dynamic range enhancement (see below).

The good news is we were able to recover almost all blown highlights from the Fuji X70's matching RAW files even from the +1.0 EV image above, and shadows contained good detail with relatively low noise. However, as mentioned previously, be aware that Adobe Camera Raw applies chroma noise reduction to the X70's RAW files even with its noise reduction sliders set to zero.

Because digital cameras are more like slide film than negative film (in that they tend to have a more limited tonal range), we test them in the harshest situations to see how they handle scenes with bright highlights and dark shadows, as well as what kind of sensitivity they have in low light. The shot above is designed to mimic the very harsh, contrasty effect of direct noonday sunlight, a very tough challenge for most digital cameras. (You can read details of this test here.)

Click to see X70OUTBMP0.JPG Click to see X70OUTBMP1.JPG
Off On

Face Detection. The Fuji X70 offers face detection which optimizes both focus and exposure for faces. As you can see above, enabling it improved exposure so that the face is not so dim.

Contrast Adjustment
The Fuji X70 does not offer a traditional contrast adjustment. Instead, it offers Shadow and Highlight Tone settings, which let you adjust contrast in highlights and shadows independently. There are five settings each: "Soft", "Medium Soft", "Standard" (default), "Medium Hard", and "Hard."

Shadow and Highlight Tone. Above you can see the effects of three of the five settings for Highlight and Shadow Tone control on our high contrast Far-field shot. Mouse over the links to load the associated thumbnail, and click on the links to visit the full resolution image.

Note how the Highlight settings mainly affect the brighter portions of the image, while the Shadow settings impact the darker areas. Both settings can be used simultaneously, giving more flexibility to tune the tone curve at both ends compared to a single contrast setting, though we wish the range of adjustment toward lower contrast was greater as highlights and particularly shadows are still clipped with the "softest" settings.

Far-field D-Range Comparison

D-Range is Fuji's name for their dynamic range enhancement technology. D-Range designed to preserve hot highlights, by exposing for highlights and then boosting mid-tones and shadows. There are three levels: DR100 100% (default), DR200 200%, DR400 400%, as well as an Auto mode which can select DR100 or DR200. DR200 is available at ISO 400 and above, while DR400 is available at ISO 800 and above. All the above samples were taken at ISO 800. Mouse over the links above to load the corresponding thumbnail image, and click on the links to get to the full resolution images.

As you can see above, the Fuji X70's manual D-Range settings were very effective at retaining clipped highlights while boosting midtones and shadows. As they say, though, there's no free lunch: since you need to increase sensitivity to use this feature, it comes at a cost of increased noise. Note that the Fuji X70 does not offer a multi-shot in-camera HDR mode.

 

  1 fc
11 lux
1/16 fc
0.67 lux
1/16 fc
No NR
ISO
200
Click to see X70LL002003.JPG
1s, f2.8
Click to see X70LL002007.JPG
15s, f2.8
Click to see X70LL002007XNR.JPG
15s, f2.8
ISO
3200
Click to see X70LL032003.JPG
1/15s, f2.8
Click to see X70LL032007.JPG
1s, f2.8
Click to see X70LL032007XNR.JPG
1s, f2.8
ISO
51200
Click to see X70LL512003.JPG
1/250s, f2.8
Click to see X70LL512007.JPG
1/15s, 1 f2.8
Click to see X70LL512007XNR.JPG
1/15s, f2.8

Low Light. The X70 performed well in our low light tests, able to capture bright images down to the lowest light level we test at. The darkest level equates to about 1/16 the brightness of average city street lighting at night, so the Fuji X70 should be able to take well-exposed photos in almost any environment in which you can see well enough to walk around in.

Using the default noise reduction setting, noise is low at ISO 200 and very well-controlled at ISO 3200, though as you'd expect, noise is quite high and obtrusive at the maximum ISO of 51,200 equivalent. We didn't notice any significant issues with hot pixels or heat blooming but some fixed pattern noise could be seen at the highest ISO.

Automatic color balance performed well in low light, just a touch cool at one foot-candle shifting to a bit warmer at 1/16 foot-candle.

The camera's hybrid autofocus system was able to focus on the subject down to just above the 1/8 foot-candle light level unassisted, which is good. With the AF assist lamp enabled, the Fuji X70 was able to focus in complete darkness (as long as the subject was in range of the focus assist lamp).

How bright is this? The one foot-candle light level that this test begins at roughly corresponds to the brightness of typical city street-lighting at night. Cameras performing well at that level should be able to snap good-looking photos of street-lit scenes.

NOTE: This low light test is conducted with a stationary subject, and the camera mounted on a sturdy tripod. Most digital cameras will fail miserably when faced with a moving subject in dim lighting. (For example, a child's ballet recital or a holiday pageant in a gymnasium.) Thanks to its larger sensor and Hybrid AF, compact system cameras like the Fuji X70 tend to do better than point & shoots, but you still shouldn't expect a quick autofocus lock with moving subjects.

Output Quality

Print Quality
A superb 24 x 36 inch print at ISO 100/200; a good 16 x 20 inch print at ISO 1600 and a nice 5 x 7 at ISO 12,800.

Canon PRO-1000 Printer ImageISO 100 and 200 prints look quite impressive at 24 x 36 inches, with excellent fine detail and great looking colors. This print has quite a lot of "pop" to it. Wall display prints are certainly fine at 30 x 40 inches, depending on your viewing distance, but for critical applications the 16-megapixel X70 performs best at 24 x 36 inches as a maximum print size. Note that the native ISO for the X70 is 200, with ISO 100 being an expanded setting.

ISO 400 also delivers a solid 24 x 36 inch print. While not quite as critically sharp as the print at the native and expanded settings above, and with just a subtle hint of noise in a few flatter areas of our test target, this size still easily passes our "good" grade for print quality. Of note, the 20 x 30 inch print here looks superb.

ISO 800 yields a 20 x 30 inch print that most definitely passes the test. As with the 24 x 36 inch print at ISO 400 there is the slightest trace of noise apparent in a few flatter areas like shadows, but not enough to suggest a reduction in print size. Fine detail is still quite good at this size as well.

ISO 1600 produces a solid 16 x 20 inch print, which is quite a large size for this sensitivity. Contrast detail is now beginning to fade in our tricky red-leaf swatch, and there's a subtle trace of noise in flatter areas of our target similar to the issues mentioned above, but still a good print for ISO 1600 with nice fine detail and good color reproduction.

ISO 3200 prints a 13 x 19 inch print that almost passes our good grade, and is certainly usable for less critical applications. The 11 x 14 inch print here is quite nice however, and warrants our full seal of approval. Contrast detail is now gone in our tricky red-leaf fabric swatch, but this is common among most all cameras by this ISO save for a few with larger sensors.

ISO 6400 delivers an 8 x 10 inch print similar to the 11 x 14 at ISO 3200, with good fine detail and full color reproduction. Other than the common issue with our red fabric swatch, there are really no other apparent issues and the print is quite nice for this gain setting.

ISO 12,800 allows for a good 5 x 7 inch print, which yet again is an impressive feat for this ISO sensitivity and sensor size. At this time, larger sizes are generally only found at this ISO on some full-frame and medium format cameras. There's nice color reproduction still being output, and very little in the way of noise or noise-reduction artifacts.

ISO 25,600 yields a 4 x 6 inch print similar to the 5 x 7 at ISO 12,800. While not a large print, there aren't that many APS-C sensored cameras that can deliver a worthwhile print at this ISO as of this writing, so a noteworthy achievement for the X70.

ISO 51,200 allows for a 4 x 6 inch print that's not too bad, and usable for less critical applications, but there's a bit too much noise to pass our good rating. As such, this setting is best avoided for printing purposes.

The Fuji X70 excels in the print quality department, no question about it. From a superb 24 x 36 inch print at native and expanded low all the way up to a good 4 x 6 inch print at the lofty ISO 25,600, your printer will thank you for images from the X70 even as ISO begins to rise. It's not a surprise that the highest ISO of 51,200 isn't capable of a good print, as not many cameras can yet pull that off without a full frame or larger sensor. However, knowing that you can count on good 8 x 10s all the way up to ISO 6400 from a camera as compact as the Fuji X70 is certainly reassuring while you're out in the field shooting.

About our print-quality testing: Our "Reference Printer"

Canon PRO-1000 Printer ImageTesting hundreds of digital cameras, we've found that you can only tell so much about a camera's image quality by viewing its images on-screen. Ultimately, there's no substitute for printing a lot of images and examining them closely. For this reason, we routinely print sample images from the cameras we test on our Canon imagePROGRAF PRO-1000 printer, which we named our "Printer of the Year" in our 2015 COTY awards.

The Canon PRO-1000 has a lot of characteristics that make it a natural to use for our "reference printer." When it comes to judging how well a camera's photos print, resolution and precise rendering are paramount. The PRO-1000's more than 18,000 individual nozzles combine with an air feeding system that provides exceptional droplet-placement accuracy. Its 11-color LUCIA PRO ink system delivers a wide color gamut and dense blacks, giving us a true sense of the cameras' image quality. To best see fine details, we've always printed on glossy paper, so the PRO-1000's "Chroma Optimizer" overcoat that minimizes "bronzing" or gloss differential is important to us. (Prior to the PRO-1000, we've always used dye-based printers, in part to avoid the bronzing problems with pigment-based inks.) Finally, we just don't have time to deal with clogged inkjet heads, and the PRO-1000 does better in that respect than any printer we've ever used. If you don't run them every day or two, inkjet printers tend to clog. Canon's thermal-inkjet technology is inherently less clog-prone than other approaches, but the PRO-1000 takes this a step further, with sensors that monitor every inkjet nozzle. If one clogs, it will assign another to take over its duties. In exchange for a tiny amount of print speed, this lets you defer cleaning cycles, which translates into significant ink savings. In our normal workflow, we'll often crank out a hundred or more letter-size prints in a session, but then leave the printer to sit for anywhere from days to weeks before the next camera comes along. In over a year of use, we've never had to run a nozzle-cleaning cycle on our PRO-1000.

See our Canon PRO-1000 review for a full overview of the printer from the viewpoint of a fine-art photographer.

*Disclosure: Canon provided us with the PRO-1000 and a supply of ink to use in our testing, and we receive advertising consideration for including this mention when we talk about camera print quality. Our decision to use the PRO-1000 was driven by the printer itself, though, prior to any discussion with Canon on the topic. (We'd actually been using an old Pixma PRO 9500II dye-based printer for years previously, and paying for our own ink, until we decided that the PRO-1000 was the next-generation printer we'd been waiting for.)

 

The images above were taken from our standardized test shots. For a collection of more pictorial photos, see our Fujifilm X70 Photo Gallery .

Not sure which camera to buy? Let your eyes be the ultimate judge! Visit our Comparometer(tm) to compare images from the Fujifilm X70 with those from other cameras you may be considering. The proof is in the pictures, so let your own eyes decide which you like best!



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