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More on Fujifilm X Trans Raw Conversion

Those of us who shoot the interchangeable lens Fuji cameras such as the X Pro 1, and XE 1, have had much to enjoy.

But as we discussed in an earlier posting, the novel configuration of the new Fuji sensor in these bodies, has apparently made it somewhat difficult for imaging software companies to come up with the appropriate software to translate the raw files into images, particularly given the potential of the sensor and the camera body.  Adobe in particular have struggled with this.  There has been two problems with Adobe Camera Raw, and Lightroom conversions of the Fuji files.  Number one there has been a smearing affect in areas of images, weather is for instance white lettering on a darker background.

There is also an obvious lack of detail in the Adobe conversions, relative to those done with Fuji’s bundled Silkypix-based conversion software, and Capture One 7, not to mention the in-camera raw conversions.

This week, Adobe made available a of quotes “release candidate”  raw conversion software for Photoshop and Lightroom that is said to among other things, address the weaknesses in  X Trans raw processing.  I wanted to see if it represented a significant improvement.

DPreview has done an evaluation of the new raw processing software.  Their images when compared to earlier raw conversions, do tend to suggest that the “smearing” problem has been somewhat successfully dealt with.  It did appear however on their images, that reproduction of fine detail may still be an issue.

To find out, I ran a picture of the hemlock trunk I’ve used in earlier articles through the newer Adobe converter and then compared it to images converted with other software.

I actually did additional sharpening, on the files converted with a newer Adobe plug in.

Hemlock Trunk, ACR 7.4

Hemlock 100% (Raw File Converter)

Hemlock 100% (Capture 1v.7)

To my eye, at least on this image, the fine detail/watercolor issue continues to be a slight problem, though less so than before  (the differences are more pronounced when viewing the on uncompressed Tiff files).  Files converted with the Fuji Software, and Capture 1 version 7 continue to be  slightly superior in terms of apparent resolution but it’s closer than before.

But  then I converted some other image files I have recently taken with Capture One Express 7.0 and Adobe Camera Raw.  This particular  file which was fairly typical, I reconverted multiple times, to make sure I hadn’t made any mistakes.

Late Winter at Berger’s

 

Here’s the 100% images

Late winter at Berger’s( Capture 1)

Late Winter at Berger’s(ACR)

To my eye, there remains a significant difference in detail retention with a strong advantage to Capture One (and believe me, I worked hard with the Adobe file).   Given this, I think Adobe still has a way to go.  For now I will  be using Capture One, or Fuji Raw File Converter, for detailed landscapes.

On a related note, Capture 1 has released version 7 of its Express Software which is less well featured on the pro version, but should still be useful for  the X Trans raw files.  I shall probably acquire that software as I do not require all of the capabilities of the more expensive version.

I suppose the good news here is that there are now several excellent choices for the conversion of Fuji X Trans raw files.  This would certainly be important to Fujifilm, who is about to come out with two more cameras (the X100s, and the X20) that use the same sensor technology.

Though Adobe conversions are still not optimal, they are improved and in many cases may now be adequate.



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