That Fuji colors….


In this blog post I want to touch on the subject of the famous Fuji Colors, that is the color rendition of teh Fuji cameras that are equipped with the X-Trans, in my particular example, X-Trans III sensors. As you all probably know, the Fujifilm sensors differ from all others in different distribution of the red green and blue pixels across the sensor area. Whereas all other mainstream camera manufacturers are using the Bayer method, Fuji decided to go in other direction, producing the X-Trans sensor, now in it’s 3rd iterration with 24 megapixels. It can be found  in Fuji’s X series cameras (X100F, X-T2, X-T20, X-Pro2 and X-E3), but not the medium format GFX (as well as XA cameras), which uses the traditional Bayer sensor.

X-Trans vs Bayer
X-Trans (left) vs Bayer (right) sdistribution of red green and blue pixels.

Having all that in mind, I recently bought a Fujifilm X-T20 camera to test it against my Sony A7 II (more on that subject to come in the future). I really noticed that the colors it produces indeed are different to my Sony. I believe that you attribute those differences mainly to 3 variables: the sensor, white balance and Fujifilm film simulations, both in JPEF and RAW (I’ll make another blog post about RAW vs JPEG differences in film simulations in the future).

There really is something more to the Arcos film simulation than just sliding the saturation to 0

White Balance – using mostly auto white balance, I must say that Fujifilm tends to to the job quite nice here, with my overall impression that it is better and more accurate than what I have in my Sony A7II that tends to make everything green and blue as soon as light starts to get less than ideal.


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But, as you can see from the example above, the difference is really not that large. Given the sensor and the white balance, results are still very comparable or at least not as much different as between any other brands. So what are the famous fuji colors everybody is so crazy about? They mostly come to live when using the fuji film simulations.

Fujifilm Film Simulations.

Fujifilm has a special approach to how colors are renditioned in their fotos in that it adds to their camera special profilest hat immitate some of classical 35mm films: we have Provia, Astia  or Classic Chrome, based on the once beloved Kodachrome Kodak film.

Here are all Fujifilm out of camera JPEG film simulations:


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Film simulations present the user with 9 different settings, differing mostly in color rendition. Provia provides most neutral result, Velvia comes out on the more (over) saturated side while Chrome gives you a toned down look.

Saturated Velvia (XT-20, 18-55 F2.8-4)
classic chrome
Toned down Classic Chrome (XT-20, 18-55 F2.8-4)

Many times, especially if the lighting conditions are poor and depending on the film simulation you are using, the colors can turn out to be oversaturated and look realy artificial

Shot with Velvia filter on a rainy day with overcast sky. The colors are really strong on this one.

In film simulation mode, Fujifilm (the film is in the name afterall) utilises years of experience in the analog photography industry to bring an interesting spark into digital world. These are not necessarily meant to reproduce as true to reality results as possible, but rather give the user something more original, a little bit vintage, as well as significantly reduce post production time, that is if, of course, you are happy with options that Fuji gives. If not, you can of course use your RAW files to produce the results you want.

Classic Chrome really seems to be growing on me…

As a rule film simulations are applied to JPEGs, but if you go to Lightroom Camera Calibration tab, you can there choose to reapply the simulations in post production to your RAW file, which will more or less reproduce what you would get in a JPEG, additionally leaving you the maliability of the RAW file. This however will not be perfect, as from my my short experience the color rendition is not the only thing that Fujifilm JPEGs give you, but more on that in a future post.


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Out of camera JPEG and RAW file with applied Astia film simulation. Can you tell the difference?

Overall, Fuji’s film simulations seem like a pretty nice feat, especially for people that do not want to spend alot of time playing with color hue, saturation and luminance in post production and people who want to shoot JPEG but still want some creative leeway (At this point I don’t know whether I’ll take the RAW or the JPEG route, but both seem tempting in case of Fujifilm cameras). The results, though not too super realistic, will surely give you something to look at. And if you are a film shooter, they will bring back memories.



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