by Tom Lee Published 01/04/2017
Even with the most minimal post processing, the JPEG files from my initial test have better tonal range throughout but particularly in the skin; fine detail appears sharper and the colour gamut appears larger. Bear in mind also that when making enlargements to a digital negative we are interpolating additional information that is ‘manufactured’ in the process. Having a larger file to start with (much the same as a film negative) means that more of the original image quality is retained.
The pictures of Beth were taken in the studio and on location where I had much more scope for putting the camera through its paces. I have not been disappointed. Take a look at the ‘eye’ enlargements from the full frames of Simon and Beth. These ‘warts and all’ images show the level of detail which is retained, even with extreme magnification from a minute portion of the overall file.
The main problem as I see it now, is that being primarily a people photographer, the image detail is too good for some subjects. It’s fine for emphasising that craggy, ‘lived in’ face, but a good-looking girl like Beth needs treating with sympathy. I have fully retouched some of her photos, but I’ve left a few to show the quality of capture … most of the captures have only been slightly sharpened from the original Raw file (nowhere near as much as I do with the XT2 files), and a minor adjustment to the highlights to get rid of some shine in the make-up. Nothing else has been touched other than the more obvious skin blemishes. The enlargement from the same file shows the fine detail in hair, eyes and skin texture which should be evident even in this reproduction.
The photo of Beth at the rail station (on track) shows a full-frame image with a tweak to the sharpness, slight reduction in highlights and a little warm-up because it was a cold afternoon. You can count the goose bumps on her arm and the fine hairs when you zoom in, it is quite remarkable. Absolutely nothing else has been done.
If any of the Societies’ members are interested in having a test drive with the new GFX, Cambrian Photography are willing to make their studio and demo model available for a morning or afternoon on most days by prebooking directly with them.
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