Fuji X10 -- special modes

Discussion in 'Fuji Forum' started by Armanius, Nov 17, 2011.

  1. Armanius

    Armanius Bring Jack back!

    Jan 11, 2011
    Houston, Texas
    Real Name:
    Jack
    Here are some samples of how well (or not) some of the special modes on the Fuji X10 work. I hope other X10 owners will chime in so that people interested in the X10 can understand and see whether or not the plethora of special modes in the X10 have any real practical use. I haven't read the manual yet, so bear with me if I write something incorrect about the X10!

    The X10 has two special modes that supposedly lowers noise in high ISO conditions -- (1) EXR SN, and (2) Pro Low Light.

    EXR SN uses the pixel binding technology to create a size M (6 mp) photo. There's an EXR option on the dial mode, but it's my understanding the EXR can also be activated in PASM if the user sets the photo size to M. When using the EXR mode with the dial mode, you have no control over ISO. Not sure how the control is using PASM.

    Pro Low Light works like Sony's multi-shot noise reduction. The X10 takes 4 shots and creates a composite of the four shots by making a size M (6 mp) photo. User has no control over ISO. I believe this mode is JPG only.

    So here's my unscientific tests photos. All photos are JPG and straight out of camera. They were all handheld shots. But I was sitting down, and my arms/hands were nicely braced. I suppose I should have used a tripod to really take camera shake out of play especially when I was shooting at 112mm EFL.

    Photo 1: Size L (12 mp), aperture priority, ISO1600, 28.4mm, 1/40, F2.8, reduced to 1024 pixels, DR100%

    [​IMG]


    Photo 2: 100% crop of the Photo 1

    [​IMG]


    Photo 3: 100% crop of Size M (6 mp), aperture priority, ISO1600, 28.4mm, 1/40, F2.8, DR100%

    [​IMG]


    Photo 4: 100% crop of Size M (6 mp) in EXR SN, ISO1600, 28.4mm, 1/30, F2.8

    [​IMG]


    Photo 5: 100% crop of Size M (6 mp) in Pro Low Light, ISO2500, 28.4mm, 1/60, F2.8

    [​IMG]

    From these test shots, it looks like the Pro Low Light mode is most effective as the last 100% crop photo shows less noise graininess than the others, even though the ISO is higher than all other photos. The higher shutter speed also helped to provide a sharper photo. The grain you see on the wall in the last photo is not entirely noise grain, it's actually mostly the wall texture! I'm impressed.
     
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  2. bilzmale

    bilzmale Super Moderator Emeritus S.C. Charter Member Subscribing Member

    Jul 17, 2010
    Perth, Western Australia
    Real Name:
    Bill Shinnick
    I agree - looks good for low light.
     
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  3. Armanius

    Armanius Bring Jack back!

    Jan 11, 2011
    Houston, Texas
    Real Name:
    Jack
    The X10's dial mode has an "Adv" mode. This is where the Pro Low Light mode is located. This is also where the panorama multi-shot stitching mode is also found. Last but not least, there's also a Pro Focus mode.

    The Pro Focus mode supposedly sharpens the subject while keeping the peripheral softly out of focus. In short, it is supposed to create a shallower DOF look in spite of the X10's small sensor. Pro Focus (similar to the Pro Low Light) takes four quick photos and makes a M (6 mp) sized composite photo. This is also a JPG only mode and it appears to be fully automated when it comes to aperture, exposure and ISO.

    I didn't get a chance to do comparison photos on this one. But here's a photo using the Pro Focus mode.

    Photo 1: 6 mp, ISO 400, 7.1mm, F2.0, 1/50

    [​IMG]


    Photo 2: 100% crop of the eye

    [​IMG]


    Photo 3: 100% crop showing the artificially induced shallower DOF. Well, I think it's artificially induced!

    [​IMG]

    Looking at the big photo, the shallow DOF "look" actually seem pretty good. The eye looks sharp on the first 100% crop, which is good.

    However, the second 100% crop shows that the X10's attempt to blur the background for the shallow DOF "look" ended up blurring part of the subject's face. Not so good. Reminds me a little bit of the Pentax Q artificially induced shallow DOF "look" as well. However, it does a better job than the Pentax Q.
     
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  4. flysurfer

    flysurfer SC Top Veteran

    791
    Aug 31, 2011
    I actually did a Pro Lowlight test myself tonight here at my desk at ISO 1000 and was very pleased with the result. Here's the OOC JPEG, all fully automatic, no PP (click on it for full size):

    [​IMG]
     
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  5. Ghosthunter

    Ghosthunter boo! Subscribing Member

    Sep 8, 2010
    London UK
    Real Name:
    Andy
    Armanius, Thanks for taking the time and effort to show what this camera can do. The pro low light and pro focus options do work really well.

    One thing, how do you set the EXR mode while in Aperture Priority at M size? There's nothing in the menu that lets me chose the EXR mode that i want.
     
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  6. Ray Sachs

    Ray Sachs SC Legend Subscribing Member

    Sep 21, 2010
    Not too far from Philly
    Real Name:
    you should be able to figure it out...
    Andy, you don't. When you're in PASM mode with "M" resolution, the camera will use the EXR "pixel binning" technology, but you don't choose the EXR mode - you set the various settings and variables yourself. Think of the EXR modes as scene modes - you tell the camera generally the type of scene you're going to be shooting and IT chooses the various settings to give you the best results. When you understand the details better, you probably don't choose the scene mode but rather put the camera in aperture or shutter priority or full manual and choose the various settings yourself based on your own decision making process. If you put the X10 in EXR-SN mode, it chooses a bunch of settings it thinks will work best for the low light situation you're encountering, based on the information its getting from the meter. If you put it in EXR-DR, its doing the same thing to stress higher dynamic range. If you leave it in totally automatic EXR mode, it even takes the next step and decides which "scene" mode you're in and makes the decisions accordingly - like if you put any camera in full auto where it makes all of those decisions.

    If you're shooting in PASM mode at M resolution, the camera is doing its pixel binning EXR tricks, but YOU have to make the various decisions on settings just like you do with any other camera when you're in one of the PASM modes. Its not on auto anymore - its up to you. To get the most out of this, you should fully understand how the pixel binning works and what combination of ISO, DR, etc, work best for various situations. You can get some hints by looking at how it sets ISO and DR generally when its in EXR DR mode and how it sets them in EXR SN mode, but then you have to decide if you want to take control of those variables. You should go back and read through this thread to better understand this and maybe get a jump start on some of the settings if you want to shoot EXR in PASM modes:

    https://www.photographerslounge.org/f63/tech-aspects-x10-sensor-4515/

    Personally, I shoot in PASM in full resolution better than 90% of the time and, for NOW at least, put it in one of the EXR "scene" modes (SN or DR) in the more extreme shooting situations that call for it. I don't want to burden my head by learning how to make best advantage of the manual settings in EXR mode, at least not yet. And, as with most auto modes, the camera does a very good job of making these decisions for me in those situations. My guess is that if I really take to this camera, I'll learn and absorb more and more about how to use the various settings in "M" resolution to do a more "manual" type of EXR shooting, but for now I'm just throwing it into auto for any EXR shooting.

    I hope this helps - if not, there are people in that other thread (Flysurfer and Lili in particular) who really seem to have been around the block using EXR cameras and can probably be of more help if you decide to get into the weeds. I've chosen not to for now, but that will probably change with time.

    -Ray
     
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  7. Ghosthunter

    Ghosthunter boo! Subscribing Member

    Sep 8, 2010
    London UK
    Real Name:
    Andy
    Ray, Thanks very much for the brilliant reply. The more i learn about the X10 the more i love it. I just wish i had more oppertunity to use it! Xmas is coming so hopefully I'll get plenty of oppertunity to do some portrait shots.
     
  8. flysurfer

    flysurfer SC Top Veteran

    791
    Aug 31, 2011
    EXR is super simple. It automatically comes alive in M resolution. With DR100, the camera will use SN and reduce noise, with DR200 and DR400 it will enhance dynamic range. That's it. So put DR on Auto, and the camera will make its choice by itself. Or override it by manually choosing the DR setting and hence the EXR mode. With a flash, the camera always uses SN, no matter which DR setting is used. DR expansion is still possible wih flash photography, though, but only by conventional means using tonal curve tweaking and underexposing, like in L resolution and with the X100.
     
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  9. Armanius

    Armanius Bring Jack back!

    Jan 11, 2011
    Houston, Texas
    Real Name:
    Jack
    @Flysurfer - The photo above taken with EXR Auto (third crop), which chose the EXR SN mode, shows that the DR was set by the camera at 200. The second crop was taken in aperture priority, M size, DR100 (set by me). The EXR SN photo resulted in less noise even though both photos were taken at ISO 1600. So I'm wondering if the camera actually did its pixel binding magic at all in the aperture priority photo. Is there a way to tell if EXR was used if the camera was not set in the EXR mode via the dial? Thanks!
     
  10. flysurfer

    flysurfer SC Top Veteran

    791
    Aug 31, 2011
    You could look it up in the EXIF info with EXIF Tool. The camera can of course combine SN with old-style DR, if this leads to better results. In EXR Auto, the camera decides.
     
  11. Armanius

    Armanius Bring Jack back!

    Jan 11, 2011
    Houston, Texas
    Real Name:
    Jack
    More information on the Pro Low Light mode in the X10, which so far is quite an impressive special mode that lower the noise in photos.

    If you haven't read the discussions above, the Pro Low Light mode works like Sony's multi-shot noise reduction. Similar to the Sony's, the Pro Low Light mode in the X10 is a JPG only mode. The X10 combines 4 photos into one to make a less noisy photo at high ISO. In the Sony A55, it's my recollection that the A55 combines 6 photos. The NEX and some of Sony's P&S cameras also have the same function.

    Going back to the Pro Low Light in the X10, I noticed that the X10 underexposes the photos to produce a faster shutter speed, which is very important given that the user has to hold the camera steady for 4 photos. So even when the X10 (while in the Pro Low Light mode) automatically uses the same ISO as the user may select in the EXR SN mode or any of the PASM modes, the EXIF information shows that the shutter speed is faster on the Pro Low Light photo. One would think that the Pro Low Light photo should come out slightly underxposed (when compared to the same photo taken at the same ISO in the other modes), but it actually comes out well exposed. Perhaps the X10 is applying exposure compensation as it produces the final composite photo. Or maybe the X10 is taking the 4 photos at different exposure values. Whatever the X10 is doing though, it's highly effective in lowering the noise content in high ISO photos.

    The Pro Low Light is more effective that the EXR SN mode in lowering the noise while keeping the photo sharp. However, the EXR SN mode can be used in non-static subjects while the Pro Low Light mode should only be used in static subjects.
     
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  12. BBW

    BBW Administrator Emeritus S.C. Charter Member

    Jul 7, 2010
    betwixt and between
    Real Name:
    BB
    It's pretty darned amazing what the technology of this camera (and others) are becoming capable of. Frankly, if all this stuff works - I think it's wonderful because as long as I can choose my f stop and/or shutter speed and concentrate on what I see, I am quite pleased to have that kind of freedom.

    Armando, things are looking very good to me with regard to your significant other...and flysurfer, I do have to admit that I really do like your portrait of your X100 taken by its sibling in "Pro Low Light".

    I'm enjoying reading about all these discoveries by you all - and seeing your pictures!
     
  13. Armanius

    Armanius Bring Jack back!

    Jan 11, 2011
    Houston, Texas
    Real Name:
    Jack
    Super Macro

    The X10 has a "macro" mode, and a "super macro" mode. The super macro mode allows the user to get as close as 1 cm (or less) from the subject. That's pretty darn close. Unlike some other cameras, the closest distance from the lens to the subject is achieved with the lens at its widest setting of 7mm (or 28mm EFL) instead of at its longest setting. I did a couple of tests comparing the camera at its "normal" mode vs. "macro" vs. "super macro."

    (1) "Normal" mode resized to 1024 pixels, at the closest distance possible to subject before AF failed to focus (1/27, F2, ISO 400):

    [​IMG]

    (2) "Normal" mode 100% crop of the photo above:

    [​IMG]

    (3) "Macro" mode resized to 1024 pixels, at the closest distance to subject possible before AF failed to focus (1/26, F2, ISO 400):

    [​IMG]

    (4) "Macro" mode 100% crop of the photo above:

    [​IMG]

    (5) "Super Macro" mode resized to 1024 pixels, at the closest distance to the subject before AF failed to focus (1/15, F2, ISO 640):

    [​IMG]

    (6) "Super Macro" mode 100% crop of the photo above:

    [​IMG]

    My conclusion is that there isn't much of a difference between using the camera in its "normal" setting vs. "macro" mode. If one is going to shoot macro with the X10, one might as well use "super macro" all the time.

    The sample "super macro" mode photo that I took above looked a little soft. It was likely due to the slow shutter speed. All photos were taken indoors in my office. When you get so close to the subject as the "super macro" mode allows, you will likely block a lot of the light. So good lighting is essential especially if you want to stop the lens down for hopefully a sharper image.
     
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  14. flysurfer

    flysurfer SC Top Veteran

    791
    Aug 31, 2011
    With many cameras, choosing "macro" is only to help the camera getting the AF right, as it then knows to hunt in the vicinity, not far away.
     
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  15. kyteflyer

    kyteflyer ~@¿@~

    Jan 31, 2011
    Newcastle, Australia
    Real Name:
    Sue
    This also seems to be the case with all cameras which sport the super macro tag (1cm focus distance) as well as macro. "Macro" on these cams really just seems to be "close focus" - my old TZ7 could not focus closer than 5cm and that was in its "macro" mode. I have an old olympus C760uz which does the supermacro at 1cm. Ditto the Stylus (mju) 1020 I no longer own. I suspect the XZ-1 would behave in much the same way. My G11 most certainly did.
     
  16. Ghosthunter

    Ghosthunter boo! Subscribing Member

    Sep 8, 2010
    London UK
    Real Name:
    Andy
    That's a good point, I never realised that! I noticed the 'normal' and 'std macro' images above were not that different and it would make perfect sense for the camera to look for focus close up.

    What I have to remember in 'Super Macro Mode' is to use a wide DOF as using f2.8 or similar is far too narrow for most things I do.
     
  17. HeatherTheVet

    HeatherTheVet SC All-Pro

    Apr 23, 2011
    Scotland
    Real Name:
    Heather
    Great test, thanks for that
     
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  18. wt21

    wt21 SC Hall of Famer

    Aug 15, 2010
    This thing is incredible.

    Is this ONLY in jpg? (i.e. these features are processing features, and therefore are not in RAW)?
     
  19. BBW

    BBW Administrator Emeritus S.C. Charter Member

    Jul 7, 2010
    betwixt and between
    Real Name:
    BB
    I'm embarrassed to say that I don't know. I have yet to have fully absorbed the intricacies of this camera. While you're waiting for someone to give you a more definitive answer (and for me to read my manual!) here it is - the X10 Manual from Fuji itself.
     
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  20. wt21

    wt21 SC Hall of Famer

    Aug 15, 2010
    Thanks BB! I just read the manual on Pro Low Light. It uses four shots (I'm assuming a bracketing type action???) and combines them into one, so I'm guessing jpg output, but would love to hear confirmation from "those in the know" (i.e. them that got the camera)