Image: The standard 2×2 Bayer pattern (left) looks far more random than the 6×6 X-Trans array (right)
The sensors from each camera have similar resolutions: 16.2 million pixels in the Nikon Df, and 16.3 million pixels in the Fujifilm X-T1. However, the two sensors are very different in their design.
The Nikon Df uses the same sensor as the company’s professional-level D4. This 16.2-million-pixel, full-frame CMOS sensor is designed by Nikon and manufactured by a third-party. Chipworks (www.chipworks.com) revealed the details of the sensor when it took apart a Nikon D4.
In contrast, the Fujifilm X-T1 has a smaller 16.3-million-pixel, APS-C-sized sensor, which is the same as that used in Fuji’s X-E2 and is believed to be the same Sony 16.3-million-pixel unit that is used in a number of other cameras. Fujifilm then supplies the X-Trans filter array, which is fabricated onto the sensor.
For those who are unfamiliar with the Fujifilm X-Trans filter array, it uses a 6×6-pattern array. In comparison, most other digital cameras, including the Nikon Df, use a standard 2×2 Bayer pattern filter. The result is that the X-Trans array appears more random in appearance, as can be seen in the diagrams above. The more random pattern helps to reduce false colour and moiré patterning. As a result of this, the X-Trans sensor doesn’t need an anti-aliasing filter, which makes the X-T1 capable of resolving more detail compared to the Nikon Df. Where the Df hits around 26 on our resolution chart, the X-T1 is able to reach almost 30. However, in real-life examples there was very little difference in edited raw images, although the X-T1 raw files require a little less sharpening.