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Monday, 13 April 2020

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Looks like someone woke up on the wrong side of the bed this morning. I should think you'd be delighted that Fuji does such an excellent job of producing JPEGs, especially since that's the only file format you can easily post to TOP anyway. But if you're determined to be irascible, why not check our Fujifilm X Raw Studio? It's a free raw converter that basically allows you to convert RAF files to JPEGs using Fuji's native raw conversion engine. It's fast, simple, and reliable--or does that annoy you too?

I am coming to the same conclusion about my black and white jpg files out of my X100F. The Acros jpegs with yellow filter are nicer to my eyes than the Capture One interpretation of the raw version.

I have actually revisited some older raw files with this peculiar software called X Raw Studio, downloaded from Fujifilm website, and using the pugged-in camera itself to process in jpegs. And interestingly enough, I love the results.

"#$%! Fuji" all the time channel continues. [I *shoot* Fuji, Moose. What do you want me to talk about, FILM?!? :-) --Mike]

As the above indicates, I know nothing about Fuji. I do have considerable experience with a few other brands. Canon, Olympus and Panasonic all provide their own Raw conversion software free with the cameras, the first two self branded, the last a custom version of SilkyPix.

In those three cases, it appears to me that the same algorithms* are used in both camera firmware and conversion software. I haven't done Canon for some time. When I did, as with the Oly and Panny software, Raw files converted with default settings looked exactly like the JPEGs.

Does Fuji not provide such software?

"There's been an awful lot of argument online over the years as to what the best Fuji raw conversion software is."

How much of this argument has been based on the JPEGs as touchstone? Any argument or comparison based on any other criterion is useless for your goal.

* As a sometime programmer, that is the route I would take.

If you have some spare time (probably do these days) you can do the jpeg conversion yourself in camera. When I shot Fuji I did this occasionally, since no matter the film simulation the top and bottom ends clipped more than I liked using the presets.

Fuji certainly gives users a bunch of 'film look' presets for JPEG conversion, but I've never used them. Seems too canned, like dropping a roll of 35 mm print film at the drugstore minilab (you kids may have to look that up) and picking up an envelope of automated prints a few days later. I'd rather play with the raw file myself.
I do have to concede however that I get consistently better color from Canon D-SLRs. After 18 years I know exactly what I'm going to get from Canon's raw files, with their carefully tuned, pleasantly warm palette. Fuji's files still feel like a work in progress, a moving target. I seem to get marked jumps in color rendering even between consecutive frames taken in the same light.

Mike, You are not alone in this , I have read similar comments from a number of other respected photographers. The x-Trans sensor is notoriously difficult to convert really well, and does not behave the same way as Beyer sensors when edited in ways that we have learned work of most other cameras.
I like the design of Fujifilm Cameras, but have not bought one in part because of what I have read.
Now, obviously, it CAN be done as Fujifilm demonstrates with their widely acclaimed in camera conversions.
I feel a bit like the X-trans sensor was done more to be different than better.
It certainly hasn't hurt Fujifilm.
Perhaps we'll hear from someone who has figured it out, and gets the same advantages from xTrans Raw as others get from Beyer Raw.

Couple of things... Anyone who shot a lot of kodachrome in the past or pushed B&W should be accustomed to managing to exposure limits of jpeg. Also, on my X-T1 I adjust the settings to pull down the highlights and up the shadows. And I have fine-tuned the EVF to match the scene and resulting exposure, so between the EVF and the histogram, my exposures are easily on the money. Post work is usually just a curves tweak and some HSL work, and done. I only use Raw in the trickiest of lighting challenges. Can't wait to get an X-T3 soon!

Fuji does a nice job in camera -- no doubt about that. If the JPEGs it produces make you happy, that certainly simplifies things.

Just in case you're not aware of this, the software Fuji provides for RAW conversion actually uses the camera. It's simply duplicating what you can do less easily inside the camera with a RAW file.

I use Lightroom, which used to be so-so for converting Fuji X-Trans III RAF files. Lightroom has come a long way. I no longer bother processing the RAFs in other software; now I just bring them straight into Lightroom, which does a perfectly good job.

Pretty much, yep. I’ve managed to nail down one particular JPEG look in Capture One (Astia with 0/+1 shadows/highlights), but the other film simulation settings elude me. I can get close using Capture One’s equivalent film curves, but there’s always something off, usually in the highlights.

You might want to try Fuji’s X Raw Studio app – it uses the connected camera’s JPEG conversion hardware to do the actual conversions, while displaying the results on your computer.

I think X Raw Studio is for you:

https://fujifilm-x.com/en-us/products/software/x-raw-studio/

I haven't worked with Fuji RAW files, but I have recently changed camera and I'm experiencing the same pain. It's so destabilizing to see your workflow fall to pieces when you change equipment and your source files behave so differently.

Stick with it!

Pak

You could use this. It's really easy:

https://fujifilm-x.com/global/stories/fujifilm-x-raw-studio-features-users-guide/

I use Auto Smart Fix on my 'primitive' Elements 9- it usually gets most of the RAW image off on the good foot 9 of 10 times. Then I just tweak locally (usually for days) here and there until all is (as) well (as I can make it)...

I've been shooting 100% Fujifilm cameras for work and fun since 2013, using Lightroom to edit raw files. Yes, the Fuji JPEGs are excellent, but I get better control with raw.

The Fuji jpegs are indeed nice but they can be replicated quite accurately in raw. Why would you want to do that? Because you will have several stops more dynamic range in the shadows, You can tailor the sharpness and noise and even the exposure and white balance are easier to alter after the fact. Start with the built in Fuji film simuations in C1 or Lightroom. Then get familiar with all the develop settings.When you get something you like save it as a preset to give you a starting point. I shoot raw and jpeg and go to raw if I think the image will benefit.

Exactly. for me, it was a decision between a Fuji or an Olympus. I knew that DXO was not going to support the X-Trans sensor, and that is, more than ever, my go to RAW converter. You have many more options and control in RAW, and no way would I go back to Jpeg. With Topaz Gigapixel Ai, I can enlarge that photo 600 percent without the loss of one speck of dust, so I don't suffer from pixel envy.

Newer cameras put out great JPEGs straight out of camera, period. Fuji more so than most. I think Fuji and Canon lead the way but I can't even complain about good old Pentax, who is not known for its in-camera processing. But most of the time it looks great, if the composition and light are right...

PhotoNinja was one of the early software packages to process X-trans raw files properly. It still works well; give it a try.

Mike: Your instinct to be irritated by this is correct.

The strategy of insisting that the only/best raw converter is in the camera is fundamentally flawed. Algorithms and converters get better over time. I should be able to go back to a raw image from years ago and with today's computer and SW get a better result. If I can't, then the vendor/industry, the tool chain if you will, has let me down. Fuji would be better served by making it easy for you to get the same (or better) results on a separate SW/compute stack.

Closed tool chains lose to open tool chains much more often than not. You need only look at the work that was done recently on the 16mm film from Apollo 13. No camera Fuji makes today will be able to compete with a HW/SW stack from 50 years into the future. Making that hard to do is a bad call on their part.

After direct tripod mounted comparison images of Canon, Sigma DP Merrill and Fuji X-T2 and X-T3 images I kept the Sigma and Canon gear and sold the Fuji stuff.

All RAW images for the comparison. Processed in a number of ways so I could view many options.

For me the choice was made. Others like Fuji - that's life.

Here I thought it was just me and my lack of skill.

I've been trying to learn, for years, to use RAW and work with Photoshop and Silver Efex to make good conversions. However, it was extremely difficult for me to do better than the OOC jpgs from my Olympus m4/3 cameras.

Now I've switched to a Nikon D7100 and am making use of the picture control system on board. I have not been able, at all, to do a better conversion than OOC jpgs, especially when I use the custom picture controls I downloaded from https://nikonpc.com/ If I do the initial shot correctly - exposure, composition, etc - then the OOC jpgs Will Be Better.

For now I'm still shooting RAW+JPEG (storage is cheap) but if I have had such difficulty processing it manually now why am I supposed to think that I can do anything better later? Perhaps there will be an app "for that" someday.

I love the JPEGs from my Fuji. I almost never use raw, but when I do I always develop in camera.

If you have some time to experiment the open-source Ufraw does a great job on Fuji files, I'd say quite on par with the in-camera processing.

"...expose and compose correctly and it's like getting a box of slides back from the lab when I dump the images into the computer."

Thank you, Albert Smith. This is *exactly* what I want to do.

I have also read (but have no Idea how much of it is true) That at it's Heart, Fujifilm is Still a Film Company, (at least in the emotional sense) They have a rightful Pride in the wonderful film stocks they created over the years, and have gone to great effort to preserve them in Digital Jpeg versions.
They WANT you to use their JPEGs and thus dragged their feet on full cooperation with third party converters.
What is more, PhaseOne had steadfastly declined to support the MF Fuji GFX (as they did with Hasselblad) C1 is important for many MF users. So a deal was struck and now they support Fujifilm X-Trans & Beyer sensors.
Fujifilm's pride in their film legacy is fine, even warranted , BUT, If I buy a camera, I would like to know that I can use the software of my choosing.

Ya know the X-RAW is free as stated already. What you are really doing using it is using your computer to view what the EVF sees but larger. Think of it that way. Take any RAW file you've already shot and do anything, anything any way you like with all the same options and settings you would in camera, but on your computer. The simulations, grain, push/pull exposure, color balance etc etc. You camera is now there on your computer. Than save that file as a jpg or a TIFF and carry it into LR or C1 or whatever to add whatever the camera can't. It works extremely well and we are all skeptical. It's free, it's using your RAW file so just do it.

With my Fuji X-T3, I shoot RAW and JPEG (Astia by default), then edit the RAW files in camera, if needed. Of course I could use X raw Studio as suggested by others, but the in-camera options have sufficed for me thus far.

Like many here, I have chased the El Dorado of Fuji RAW file conversions. Capture One is very good. However, I find that Photo Ninja is still the best for tonality and detail. However, it takes longer to render files and there are no Fuji profiles. But, wow, the quality in color monochrome is excellent.

I like Fuji Jpegs, but every time I compare them to what comes up in the raw in Lightroom, I like the raw a little bit more. The jpegs have a softer contrast, so that might be what you like, in part. I often lower the contrast of the raw files, going down to -20 with black and white (bringing some back with a curve adjustment).

I'll have to play with X-Studio though, mostly to see if I can fine tune a jpeg setting that I prefer.

Fujifilm's Raw File Converter still exists, for free, on their download site.

https://fujifilm-x.com/en-us/support/download/software/raw-file-converter-ex-powered-by-silkypix/

X Raw Studio, Capture One 20, Raw File Converter, Irident X-Transformer, Lightroom (s) all do Raw to JPG/TIFF conversions, and are all useful, depending on how you view your workflow. There are other options, as well, but those mentioned are most popular currently.

The real treat with X Raw Studio is to be able to get the baked in silicon Arcos directly from the camera caw, if you have framed and shot in one of the color sims, and saved a raw. Nothing like it!

For older cameras, use one of the above mentioned apps to demosaic to TIFF, and Silver Efex or the like for B&W.

I use Exposure (formerly Alien Skin) for everything. I'm not very accomplished or sophisticated - I'm stuck in the darkroom age and thank you very much, I like it.

You can download a trial if you like. Its initial raison d'être was to apply film "look" profiles to images, especially black & white. It has evolved into a complete processing package. Whether or not others really like it, I've grown up with it since version 2.0 and I'll stick with it unless I get blown away by something else that is easier.

To my eye it does a good job importing Fuji Raw files. But then you and I disagree on film developers ... so there's that LOL.

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