Fujifilm X-Trans sensor
The Fujifilm X-Trans is a CMOS sensor developed by Fujifilm and used in its Fujifilm X-series cameras. Unlike most CMOS sensors featuring a conventional Bayer filter array, X-Trans sensors have a unique 6 by 6 pattern of photosites. Fujifilm claims that this layout can minimise moiré effects, and increase resolution by eliminating the need for a low-pass filter.
Typical Bayer sensor arrays have RGB photosites in a repeated 2 by 2 pattern. When it overlaps with a regular pattern that is being captured, a new interference pattern can occur that does not exist in real life. In contrast, X-Trans sensors have a more randomised pattern of RGB photosites than conventional Bayer array sensors, reducing the likelihood of interference and removing a need for a low-pass filter that lowers image resolution. See Patent PCT/JP2011/067419
Conventional Bayer sensors can also produce false colour as they do not have R and B photosites in some horizontal and vertical lines, X-Trans sensors on the other hand have an improved colour reproduction due to all horizontal and vertical lines containing at least one R, G and B pixels.
Fuji claims that APS-C sized X-Trans sensors, while being physically smaller, have a greater perceived resolution than the number of pixels on the sensor and are said to be on par with some full frame sensors.
A drawback for users is the lack of support for X-Trans sensors in third party raw processing software. DxO OpticsPro does not support raw files from Fujifilm cameras with X-Trans sensors because their proprietary demosaicing and image enhancement algorithms are designed for the Bayer matrix. However, darktable, which uses the Rawspeed open-source software to read raw files, does support the X-Trans sensors.
Under certain conditions, cameras equipped with X-Trans II and III sensors can exhibit purple flare/grid artifacts in backlit photos. This occurs due to the particular arrangement of the phase detection and masking layers on the sensor. The appearance of the effect can vary with the demosaicing algorithms in use.
In an interview with DPreview during the CP+ 2017 show in Yokohama, Japan Fujifilm confirmed that an X-Trans sensor array is to be used for its next generation of APS-C sized sensors, whilst larger medium format sensors will continue using a conventional Bayer array because of the increased processing requirements of X-Trans filter arrangement.
List of X-Trans sensors
|Sensor Model||Number of effective pixels||Total number of pixels||Sensor size||First announcement date||Utilizing cameras|
|X-Trans||16.3 MP||23.6 mm x 15.6 mm (APS-C)||9 January 2012||Fujifilm X-Pro1|
|X-Trans II||16.3 MP||16.7 MP||23.6 mm x 15.6 mm (APS-C)||7 January 2013||Fujifilm X100S
|12 MP||14.5 MP||2/3-inch||7 January 2013||Fujifilm X20|
|X-Trans III||24.3 MP||23.6 mm x 15.6 mm (APS-C)||14 January 2016||Fujifilm X-Pro2|
|X-Trans 4||26.1 MP||23.5 mm x 15.6 mm (APS-C)||20 September 2018||Fujifilm X-T3|
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