Fujifilm’s Moiré-Killing X-Trans Sensor is a Throwback to the Days of Film


Fujifilm’s new X-Trans sensors diverge from the traditional way CMOS sensors are designed by using an irregular pattern of red, green, and blue pixels. This allows the sensors to eschew the standard anti-aliasing filter, eliminating moiré patterns without putting an extra component in front of the sensor. Roy Furchgott over at The New York Times has an interesting piece on how the new tech is inspired by Fujifilm’s glory days in the film photography industry:

Old fashioned analog photographs didn’t get a moire pattern because the crystals in film and photo paper aren’t even in size and placement. That randomness breaks up the moire effect.

So Fuji built a new sensor employing what it knew from the film business. Instead of using the Bayer array, it created a pattern called the X-Trans sensor which lays out the red green and blue photo sensors in a way that simulates the randomness of analog film.

Furchgott does a good job of explaining the new sensor design (and its benefits) in an easy-to-understand way.

Old Technology Modernizes a Camera Sensor [NYTimes]

  • ELV Film School

    This approach has the potential to be really huge. The manufacturers have stated that it has turned the X100s into the best APS-C camera in existence and that its IQ is as good as some full frame DSLR’s. Likewise, they have claimed that the 2/3″ class sensor in the X20 will be as good as anyone else’s Micro Four-Thirds sensor. I got to play with the X100s at CES, and although I can’t validate the IQ claims, I can state that handling and ergonomics are good enough that they won’t spoil matters. I can’t wait to see what the labs reveal about the new Fujis.

  • Samcornwell

    This is serious news and I’m delighted to see some manufacturers exploring the possibilities.

  • Goofball Jones

    So different that the current crop of RAW imageneditors still dont handle it all that well. Adobe Camera Raw and Lightroom really don’t treat them well, with somewhat smudgy results, while Camera One seems to do better, but it’s interface is too obtuse for many. And Dxo doesn’t even handle them at all.

  • pro400h

    What if this tech was announced by the Nikon or Canon? There seems to be a lack of coverage (not that there aren’t any) on this advancement?

    Just a though.

  • kimi

    this is not a news. It’s kind of old.

  • Matt

    I agree. But Fuji has always been inventive with their chips. And IMO have been better IQ than the big names. Wish they would get in the MF game :)

  • Norman

    Maybe there’s are reason Nikon and Canon didn’t announce this technology. It’s not as revolutionary as Fuji says it is and the result is a cooked RAW image. I think the Foveon technology is much more interesting. When you’ve seen a photograph made with i.e. a Sigma Merrill DP 2 you know what I mean.

  • Nope

    The different color sensitivities of film is in different layers, so no, the trans-x is not harking from film. The foveon sensor on the other hand…