Is the new Fujifilm X-S20 X-Trans IV or X-Trans V? I’ve been asked this question a handful of times, so I thought it would be worthwhile to answer on the Fuji X Weekly blog.
The nearly three-year-old Fujifilm X-S10 is an X-Trans IV model, and we’re over one year deep into the X-Trans V generation, so surely the X-S20 is X-Trans V, right? It’s not that simple. You see, Fujifilm is using the X-Trans IV sensor inside the X-S20. Does that then makes it an X-Trans IV model? Well, the X-S20 has the new X-Processor 5 chip. So is the camera X-Trans IV or V? The answer is yes! The X-S20 is both X-Trans IV and X-Trans V at the same time.
This isn’t the first time that Fujifilm has done this. The often-overlooked X-M1 had an X-Trans I sensor paired with the X-Trans II processor. Still, this is an unusual arrangement in the Fujifilm lineup. It’s a rare exception to the norm. The X-Trans IV sensor is “old” now, but it is still quite excellent, so I don’t think it was a bad move by Fujifilm whatsoever to keep using it. Personally, I really like the X-Trans IV sensor.
The question is whether you should use X-Trans IV Film Simulation Recipes or X-Trans V Recipes on the X-S20? The differences between the aesthetic output of these two sensor generations are pretty minor. The biggest distinction is how deeply blue is rendered on some film simulations; most notably, on X-Trans V cameras, Classic Chrome, Classic Negative, Eterna, and Eterna Bleach Bypass render blue more deeply than on X-Trans IV models.
I’ve never used a Fujifilm X-S20 (and probably never will, unless Fujifilm sends one to me …hint, hint Fujifilm), so I have no firsthand experience on how exactly blue behaves on it. Is it more like X-Trans IV or V? I don’t have a definitive answer. But, two people have reported to me that they believe the X-S20 output looks the same as other X-Trans V cameras, so I’m inclined to believe that the programming makes pictures captured with it look like X-Trans V despite the X-Trans IV sensor. With that said, I don’t believe it matters a whole lot since the output is so similar, and I think it’s ok to use either X-Trans IV or X-Trans V Film Simulation Recipes. My recommendation is to use X-Trans V Recipes, as well as X-Trans IV Recipes that use Provia, Velvia, Astia, PRO Neg. Hi, PRO Neg. Std, Acros, Monochrome, and Sepia; for X-Trans IV Recipes that use Classic Chrome, Classic Negative, Eterna, and Eterna Bleach Bypass, reduce Color Chrome FX Blue by one notch (Weak instead of Strong, Off instead of Weak) when possible. That’s simply a recommendation, as I’m not certain what the right answer is.
Do you like the results that a particular Film Simulation Recipe produces? If a certain Recipe gives you the look you want—whether it’s an X-Trans V, X-Trans IV, or even X-Trans III Recipe—that’s what’s important, and it’s great that you found it. Whether or not you’re “supposed to” use that one on your camera is irrelevant. I have the Fujifilm X-S20 categorized as an X-Trans V model for Film Simulation Recipe purposes, but don’t let that stop you from using X-Trans IV Recipes on it.