Photons to Photos: Fujifilm X-Pro3 Beats Sony a7III Low Light PDR Performance


It looks like Fujifilm figured out a better way to tweak their PDR performance in the Fujifilm X-Pro3 over the X-T3 even though the cameras use the same processor and sensor. We may never know what exactly they did to get such a large jump in PDR performance, but Photons to Photos is an independent group that is reporting the results, which you can manipulate here. The most shocking thing about the results is that they match the Sony a7III.

If this is simply a firmware tweak and not due to better thermal characteristics or something like that than I hope to see this improvement in a future X-T3 update. The Fujifilm X-T4 is right around the corner and it might even offer a bigger jump in performance. Maybe APS-C hasn’t come close to reaching the limits of its performance yet. The next few months will be interesting ones.

Camera Model Maximum
PDR
Low Light
ISO
Low Light
EV
Fujifilm X-T3 10.35 3258 10.03
Fujifilm X-Pro3 10.38 6724 11.07
Canon EOS 1D 11.60 6420 11.00

Bill Claff from PTP said on DPR Forums

“The X-Pro3 appears to have improved PDR but it is an illusion.

It’s well known that Fuji implements the ISO setting in an unusual way.
In this case they have given ISO 320 to ISO 12800 an addition 1 stop boost.

Fuji uses a proprietary Exif tag called “Raw Exposure Bias” to indicate how much they have shifted the raw data from “standard”.

Adjusted in Excel for Raw Exposure Bias we see that the X-Pro3 and X-T3 are essentially identical. (They shift to dual conversion gain at a slightly different point).”

But the fact of the matter is that ISO has long been arbitrary in the world of digital photography so how a company registers results doesn’t matter as much as real-world performance. Applying gain vs applying digital gain has been seen as the same for years by photographers that look at final results. The gain shift is likely where the additional performance comes from and probably can’t be applied via a firmware update.

Fujifilm X-Pro News, Rumors, and Collaboration
Fujifilm X-Pro Owners Group

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Fujifilm X-Pro3 (Pick Your Trim): B&H Photo / Amazon / Adorama
Fujifilm X-T3: B&H Photo / Amazon / Adorama
Sony a7III: B&H Photo / Amazon / Adorama

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