Canon EOS 6D, Nikon D5500 and Fuji X-E1 compared

I decided to compare the Canon EOS 6D, Nikon D5500 and Fuji X-E1. I was curious about how big a difference there is between these cameras. For Lenses I used the Canon 24-70 f4 L for the Canon EOS 6D, the Fuji 18-55 for the Fuji X-E1 and the Nikon 16-80 for the Nikon D5500. All these lenses are high quality zoom lenses which I prefer for landscape shooting, mostly due to their Stabilization systems.

I shot all images in raw and developed the Nikon an Canon images in lightroom. I set all three cameras to daylight white balance.

The Fuji has a X-trans sensor and does need special software (Iridient transformer) to get the most detail out of it. If I used lightroom for developing the fuji raws, the result would be terrible.

One interesting thing I noticed is that the Fuji Image was noticably darker than the Canon and Nikon files. All images were taken at ISO 200, 1/100 sec shutter speed and f8. The Canon and Nikon exposures were perfectly matched. The fuji however required to be brigthened by the equivalent of 0,67 of a stop. That means ISO 200 on the fuji equals Iso 125 on the Canon or Nikon. That means a Canon/Nikon camera can shoot at 2/3 of a lower ISO value compared to fuji. Furthermore the white balance of the fuji seems off by about 500 Kelvin. The Canon and Nikon files look alright at 5500K white balance whereas the Fuji requires 5000K to match the others. Why does Fujifilm do this? Whats wrong with matching the standards of the industry which have been around for decades?

Since these cameras have different resolutions it would be unfair to compare them at 100% magnification each. Therefore I upsized the Canon 6D from 20 to 24 megapixels. The Fuji from 16 to 24 and the Nikon stayed at its default 24 megapixel resolution. This way we have a fair comparison looking at the images as if they were all printed at the same size.

This was the scene I shot with each camera:

These are 100% crops from each camera:

Canon 6D with 24-70mm 4.0

 

Nikon D5500 with 16-80mm 2.8-4.0

 

Fujifilm X-E1 with 18-55mm 2.8-4.0

 

Conclusion

The most important thing I discovered is that these cameras can all be made to take nearly identical images. The biggest difference is sharpness.

The Nikon has the highest resolution and, unsurprisingly, the best sharpness. It would also offer the highest dynamic range, had the scene I captured required it.

The Canon is a bit softer. Its image does have slightly higher micro-contrast and its colors are more saturated. What I like about the Canon is its super precise and reliable autofocus. I can’t remember ever having a misfocused image.

The Fujifilm is the weakest in terms of sharpness. It is still very good. I have made beautiful 120x80cm prints from its 16 Megapixel images. I still like to shoot with it because it’s very small and the electronic viewfinder makes getting perfect exposure super easy. Its files are difficult to edit though.