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Author Topic: Fuji X-Trans: Which raw developer do you use?  (Read 7636 times)
datro
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« on: August 27, 2013, 02:49:20 PM »
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I recently acquired a new Fuji X-E1 and took it on a trip abroad.  I love this camera!  It's much easier to carry than my Canon gear and produces very good IQ.  Now it is time to process my RAF files and I'm wondering what everyone is using for the raw developer.  I normally use Lightroom, but I'm reading that maybe there are better developers for the X-Trans sensor.  I use Windows so unfortunately Iridient is not an option.  Is Silkypix any good compared to Lightroom?  What about Capture One?  Is Iridient so good in comparison to the others that I should consider acquiring a Mac to run it?  Is anyone aware of an in-depth write-up comparison of the available developer software for the X-Trans sensor?

Thanks,
Dave
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RFPhotography
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« Reply #1 on: August 27, 2013, 03:39:46 PM »
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There were problems when the X-trans sensors first came out.  Fuji has worked with Adobe to improve the demoasicing of the Fuji files and the results are quite good. I've found no evidence really of the chroma smearing problem using Lightroom.  Based on what I've read, it doesn't seem that Silkypix is any better than Adobe products.  I think C1 is about the same as the others.  Sandy McGuffog has his Accraw product but it's Mac-only.  I don't know if Raw Therapee can handle the X-trans files, but it's free so might be worth a look.
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Peter Stacey
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« Reply #2 on: August 27, 2013, 03:41:22 PM »
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For my X-Pro 1 I use Lightroom most the the time, but while the conversion is much better than it used to be, it is still far from perfect on occasion.

If I have something I really want to work on, then I use Capture One.

A useful 3 part general discussion here:

http://gambofoto.blogspot.de/2013/04/fuji-x-pro-1-raw-conversions-other-day.html
http://gambofoto.blogspot.de/2013/07/fuji-x-pro-1-and-six-raw-converters.html
http://gambofoto.blogspot.de/2013/08/fuji-x-pro-1-and-raw-converters-part.html

There is also a lot of good discussion, including a whole forum dedicated to post production from x-trans, on the fuji x-forums:

http://www.fujix-forum.com/index.php/index

Hope that helps.
« Last Edit: August 27, 2013, 04:00:57 PM by Peter Stacey » Logged

k bennett
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« Reply #3 on: August 27, 2013, 03:50:31 PM »
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Have you tried Lightroom? I've been generally pleased with its raw processing of my Fuji files.
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JV
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« Reply #4 on: August 27, 2013, 07:47:42 PM »
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I am using the latest version of SilkyPix 5.0.44 and I like it.

I cannot compare to LR though as I don't use LR.

I have also tried Capture 1 and Iridient Developer but in most cases I prefer SilkyPix.

If you are already are a LR user I think it makes sense to just stick with LR and only look for another developer if you are really dissatisfied.

Both Capture One and SilkyPix have trial versions that allow you to use the product for 30 days if you are interested.

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Petrus
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« Reply #5 on: August 27, 2013, 11:15:07 PM »
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I am using LR for convenience, but there are still some "watercolor" artifacts if too much sharpening is applied.

Silkypix is slightly better what comes to quality, but it is so slow and the interface so clumsy (and does not have all the goodies LR provides) that I have not used  it at all since LR 4.4 came out. Just do not sharpen too much (max 40 on the amount slider, or so).
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Hanson
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« Reply #6 on: August 28, 2013, 12:26:50 AM »
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In my personal experience C1 (7.1.3) is the best raw converter for the X-Trans sensor.  LR4.4 is pretty much an inferior product, the smearing and sharpness is so poor in ACR.  I have not tried any of the Mac only version raw converters, so I can't give a personal opinion. 
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rupertpupkin
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« Reply #7 on: August 28, 2013, 07:08:54 AM »
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I'm primarily a landscape photographer and I was not happy with the results I was getting with Lightroom 5 and the X-Trans sensor. There are still noticeable artifacts and lack of detail in foliage with ACR when compared to the in-camera jpegs, and the color felt a bit flat.

I tested Iridient and I find the results much more pleasing to my eye - so much so that I purchased the application even though I would prefer an all-Lightroom workflow. After development I import the files into Lightroom as a 16-bit .tif file.

The differences aren't very noticeable on all files, and sometimes Lightroom wins, but I'm glad to have an option that pulls the maximum detail from this sensor.

I've heard good things about Capture One as well, although it's a bit pricey for me.
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RFPhotography
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« Reply #8 on: August 28, 2013, 09:06:21 AM »
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I just did a test with the most recent release of Raw Therapee.  It definitely can't handle X-Trans raw files.
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datro
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« Reply #9 on: August 31, 2013, 10:17:41 AM »
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Thanks everyone for the comments, suggestions and pointers to other discussions.  Very helpful.  For now I'll move forward with LR5 since that is my current tool, but enough of you commented on C1 giving slightly better results in some cases that I will plan to experiment.  I really hate to add complexity (and cost!) to my workflow, but for some images it might be worth it.

Dave
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armand
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« Reply #10 on: August 31, 2013, 05:57:23 PM »
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There are also a couple of topics here about the same question, one started by me; if you didn't read them you might find more information there also.
With my current LR 4.4 the processing seems to be mostly good. Probably should handle some details better but if you don't print very large it shouldn't be a major thing, makes it look more like film. The main issue for me is color accuracy as it does a poor job with some colors, magenta to red range and it's quite difficult to correct. I guess you can take a test shot and make a profile for scenes you think will be troublesome but I really didn't have the energy or time to do so.
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Doug Peterson
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« Reply #11 on: September 01, 2013, 10:22:57 AM »
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I don't see how anyone could miss the watercolor effect even in the latest update to LR. Just shoot anything that has a fine pattern of color and open in both C1 and LR and it's night and day.

Mind you my opinion is highly biased - we teach Capture One classes - but I'd be the first to say that C1, LR, Aperture are all very good bits of software. But when it comes to the X-trans sensors I can't imagine not going with C1.

There is a free trial, and depending on your needs you may be able to get away with the "lite" version for $100. Considering the ratio of time you spend in raw processing versus shooting images this seems like a very small sum to pay.

But anyway, there is a free trial, and I have no hesitation in saying that it's at least worth your time to download, learn the very basics of the software, and do your own tests.
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Paul2660
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« Reply #12 on: September 02, 2013, 07:15:43 PM »
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It's funny I have yet to see the "watercolor" effect on anything I have shot with the Fuji X-E1, in Lightroom 4.4 conversions.  After reading all the posts that showed issues, I was a bit concerned, but so far I just don't see it.  This is on all Landscape shots, with lots of green and finer details.  Watercolor effect IMO tends to be from over process noise reduction and on the Fuji files I have processed out I find I don't any noise reduction much past 3 on the Luminance slider.  This is with files shot as raw, iso 200, 400 and 800.  I do use the extra Dynamic range settings for both iso 400 and 800. 

I have used both Capture One and LR.4.4 on my files and can't say either one is better than the other, as each has unique features I like.  Capture One's lack of plug-in support is a big issue for me, as I am a big users of the Nik suite and some of the Topaz products. 

With LR I will have problems at times on "pine needles", again not a watercolor look but just overall lack of details.  Where as on other green leave, Oak, Maple, Hickory, no problems.  Capture one does do better on this subject.  I will also use the "creative sharpening" set of algorithms from photokit on some of the output on both the Lightroom and Capture One files. Lots of good tools there.

I believe that neither LR or Capture have any lens profiles, and it would be nice to see these added, at least for the 14mm and 18-55mm.  Both tools also seem to have only one color profile to pick from (this is pretty standard with Capture One) but on Lightroom on many cameras LR offers several different profiles to try out. 

Coming from the Sony Nex-7, I have to say I am just totally amazed by this camera and the results.  DR is close to that of the D800e especially in shadows.  Noise is just non-existent in files taken up to iso 800, and even 1600 and 2500 are very clean. 

I just started to use the X-E1 for night work and overall I was very pleased with the results, clean files and very few stuck pixels, but I do expect this to change over time (stuck pixels).  There are several non-branded remotes that offer interval and longer times so it works well in my stacking methodology. 

I only wish that this camera had a iso base of 100 for raw (don't understand this) but it's been an issue with Fuji ever since the old S2.   

For sure the silkypix's software that comes with the camera is pretty worthless overall. 

Paul Caldwell
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Paul Caldwell
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« Reply #13 on: September 02, 2013, 08:47:01 PM »
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It's funny I have yet to see the "watercolor" effect on anything I have shot with the Fuji X-E1, in Lightroom 4.4 conversions. 

I tend to not see the "watercoloring" unless I underexpose, and using the higher DR settings of 200% and 400% in camera almost always generates this artifact for me to some extent.

It's not a Windows solution, but I find Aperture has been working better than ACR/CS6 after various updates that seem to include fixes for .RAF handling. All I do is exposure and white balance adjustments in Aperture, and then finish editing in CS6. It seems to require less tweaking to get the initially imported Xtrans II file to a usable state.
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Manoli
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« Reply #14 on: September 03, 2013, 03:20:10 AM »
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I have used both Capture One and LR.4.4 on my files and can't say either one is better than the other, as each has unique features I like.  Capture One's lack of plug-in support is a big issue for me, as I am a big users of the Nik suite and some of the Topaz products.  

Don't disagree with anything you've said, Paul.

I would add Iridient Developer to the C1/LR5 combo I'm using right now. The latest ID 2.2 seems to be a definite step-up. ID has a checkbox for lens profiles, with various options but no lens profiles other than 'Use Source Image Metadata' and an option to 'Load from LCP file ..'. Anyone have any input on lens profiles and LCP files (whatever they are) ?
« Last Edit: September 03, 2013, 03:24:02 AM by Manoli » Logged
snoleoprd
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« Reply #15 on: September 03, 2013, 11:02:32 AM »
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The Fuji files contain the lens correction information in the file header, it is an EXIF field, I believe the Olympus does this as well. Lightroom and C1 both use this information and apply the lens correction automatically, that is why there are no lens profiles, none are needed. If you try to convert a file use DCRAW you can see the difference as DCRAW does not apply the lens correction. Iridident only recently added support for that feature from what I have read.

Alan
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Alan Smallbone
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Manoli
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« Reply #16 on: September 03, 2013, 11:55:19 AM »
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The Fuji files contain the lens correction information in the file header, it is an EXIF field,..Lightroom and C1 both use this information and apply the lens correction automatically, that is why there are no lens profiles, none are needed... Iridident only recently added support for that feature from what I have read.

Alan, thank you.
I was aware of the C1/LR auto correction and assumed Iridient also, but have never heard of LCP profiles. Any idea what they are ?

M
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armand
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« Reply #17 on: September 03, 2013, 02:22:11 PM »
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Another thing that I've noticed and I don't think it's just my imagination is that it doesn't do as well as my D90 in underexposed shadow areas when I try to compensate in post by more than 0.5-1 EV, gets noisy faster.
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Manoli
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« Reply #18 on: September 03, 2013, 02:39:31 PM »
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... it doesn't do as well as my D90 in underexposed shadow areas when I try to compensate in post by more than 0.5-1 EV, gets noisy faster.

Armand,

What are you using ? Out of curiosity, I did a quick check in LR5 and though my shots tend to be more 'street' with the XE-1 ( I dial-in +0.3EC, recover highlights and increase contrast to taste) I can't say I've noticed any excessive increase in noise - and that's up to +1.5EV - that isn't marginally correctable via LR's built-in noise reduction.

ps can't comment in comparison to the D90 - don't have one.
« Last Edit: September 03, 2013, 02:43:10 PM by Manoli » Logged
k bennett
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« Reply #19 on: September 03, 2013, 07:14:06 PM »
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I do pretty much the same thing as Manoli, shooting at +1/3 exposure compensation most of the time, then pulling back highlights in Lightroom. But when the files are underexposed, which happens for me sometimes when shooting in very dark rooms with small bright sources (someone's living room, for example), I find I'm able to push the exposure well over a stop without any issues, even at very high ISO values.

In all seriousness, perhaps my expectations and standards are lower.... but I'm pretty happy with my Fuji system after several months.
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