Good ISO 6400 images with APS-C? Check out our Fujifilm X-H1 First Shots
posted Sunday, March 4, 2018 at 8:16 AM EDT
We know that you all shoot out in the real world, as do we. Controlled lab images are not the real world, but they are the very best way to compare one camera's image quality to another, in order to ensure you are giving yourself the best chance out in whatever world you do happen to shoot in.
We've just run the new flagship Fujifilm X-H1 through our lab's initial journey, which is our Still Life test target that we often call First Shots. These allow you, the reader, to start making your own image quality comparisons in our Comparometer, while we're busy with the remainder of the review.
In my general experience analyzing images at Imaging Resource for more than five years, I've found ISO 3200 to be about as comfortable as I get with APS-C sensors. Of course, that is just a generalization, and there are exceptions to every rule. The Fujifilm X-H1 seems to be more than just an exception to the rule, more like a complete rule breaker.
Fujifilm X-H1 - ISO 6400
The image above has plenty of fine detail where it counts, such as in the mosaic tile pattern, and yet doesn't introduce a great deal of noise in areas like the shadows behind the bottles. As most of you know, that is the real trick, getting the detail without introducing the noise inherent at higher gain settings. The shadow areas in our target are traditionally prone to plenty of noise depending on the camera and the chosen compression algorithm, and the above combination is a very good one for this sensor size.
Because the X-H1 has been enhanced by Fujifilm in the video department (read more about that in our X-H1 Overview) let's compare the basic still IQ to three companies known to excel in that department: Canon, Panasonic and Sony. For Canon and Sony we'll look at their top-tier APS-C model, the 7D Mark II and the A6500, and for Panasonic their video flagship GH5. (For comparisons to the newer GH5S, or any other competitor we've tested, please see our Comparometer!)
We tend to post side-by-side images in these First Shots articles, but frankly the X-H1 image seemed to deserve the full width of the page. Below are the mentioned competitors, and then below that is a montage of the four cameras for a more direct comparison.
Canon 7D Mark II - ISO 6400
Panasonic GH5 - ISO 6400
Sony A6500 - ISO 6400
So there's a close look at each competitor at ISO 6400. Below is a montage for a better immediate comparison. We'll have our signature Image Quality Comparison report coming during our full review of course, but for now we'll simply let the images do the talking, as this comparison is certainly eye-opening.