Fuji’s X-Trans sensor sucks? (PART 3 – Lightroom vs The World)

“Lightroom sucks the most!  It messes up everything.  Every other processor in the world is better!!!”*

*Let’s face it, if you talk like that you’re probably a troll.

XtransSucksPart3Title

(Note: I know not everyone who has a problem with Lightroom or Fuji is a troll. Tis all in jest.)

 

Now, hopefully I’ve explained that X-Trans doesn’t suck compared to other sensors.  However it’s a common opinion that Lightroom can’t process X-Trans files worth a damn and that other processors are much better. This may be true, this may have been true before but not now, let’s see shall we?

 

COMPARING TO OTHER PROCESSORS

Gosh, I know already, no matter the results, this is going to be a controversial post…

I want to make something really clear right off the bat here.  If you like a particular processor and it works for you.  That’s fantastic.  I’m sure all the processors I’m testing here today can to a great job in the right hands.  I’m just testing the basic, just imported base settings.  That means you can surely do better by tweaking files.  My main purpose here is to see what I personally think is the best and to see if Lightroom really is as bad as some like to think it is.  I actually don’t know and if one of them is better I’ll use it.  If Lightroom turns out to be good enough, I might stick with it.  Let’s see…

 

WARNING

SUBJECTIVE OPINIONS ABOUND IN THIS ARTICLE

 

IF I HAPPEN TO THINK YOUR FAVOURITE PROCESSOR ISN’T GOOD,

THAT DOESN’T MAKE IT BAD

(feel free to come to your own conclusions, I won’t mind)

__________________________________

Programs and versions used in these tests

Lightroom CC 2015.6

Photo Ninja 64 1.3.4

Iridient Developer 3.1

RAW Therapee 4.2.1148

Capture One Pro 9.2

Silkypix Developer Studio Pro 7.0.6.0

Jpeg from the camera

 

Methodology: I tested the default import settings because I wanted to see what the programs did without tweaking.  I think this is the fairest way to do it because if I tweaked each one, my lack of knowledge of a particular program would make it unfair to that program.  Also, if I tweaked them all to the way I liked it, the differences would be so minor I’d probably go blind trying to pick a winner. So default settings is what I used.

As best I could I did the test without knowing which sample was from which processor.  That way I was sure not to introduce bias.

I compared the different samples you see below, side by side 100% cropped.  I formulated the ranking first, then went and made notes on each one giving my opinions.  All this was done BEFORE I knew which one is which.  I only inserted the names after I revealed to myself which one was which.

I wanted to use my own photos for this test, but it turns out a few of the programs don’t support the compressed files from the Xpro2.  So, yet again I turn to DPreviews test chart (thanks guys).  I downloaded the RAW file (200ISO) for this comparison. You can download them HERE.

I’m not going to look into usability, each has its learning curve and if it works for you, that’s all that’s important.

 

 

Illustration Comparison

Remember: Open in new tab (or right click and “view image” in Firefox) to see full size.

CompareIllustration

 

My Opinions:

  1. (PhotoNinja) Slight yellow cast. Good details. Some Smearing
  2. (Lightroom) 2nd best in sharpness. No yellow cast.  Very good details.
  3. (RAW Therapee) 3rd Good details
  4. (Iridient) Sharpest. Lots of details.  Very contrasty.
  5. (Jpeg) Softest. Lacks details in the wall. Lost details.
  6. (Capture One) Yellow Cast. Some smearing.
  7. (Silky Pix) Yellow Cast. Quite soft.

 

My Rankings:

  1. Iridient
  2. Lightroom
  3. RAW Therapee
  4. Jpeg (no yellow cast keeps it from last place)
  5. PhotoNinja
  6. Capture One (too much contrast or “clarity slider” for my liking)
  7. SilkyPix (not terrible but the worst of these, yellow cast and soft).

Actually all of them are quite good here. Iridient stood out as a clear winner though.  I say PhotoNinja and Capture one are bad, but I’m sure with tweaking they’d be fine too (also some people prefer the Capture One look, which is fine, I PERSONALLY don’t like the look it gave to this sample). Silkypix is worse to my eyes, but it certainly isn’t fall on the floor and die terrible.

 

“Foliage” Comparison

CompareFoiliage

My Opinions:

  1. (Lightroom) Slightly soft and therefore lacks details in large areas. Some minor smearing in the fine details.
  2. (Photo Ninja) Quite detailed. Bit too contrasty which seems to bring out some artefacts in the darks.
  3. (Capture One) Worst smearing in fine details. Larger details are fine.
  4. (Jpeg) Large details lost to softness. Some slight smearing.
  5. (RAW Therapee) Not quite as sharp/detailed as Iridient, but fine details well maintained.
  6. (Iridient) Best overall. Details really come through.
  7. (Silky Pix) Lacks sharpness. Fine details smeared badly.

 

My Rankings:

  1. Iridient
  2. RAW Therapee
  3. Lightroom
  4. Photo Ninja
  5. Jpeg
  6. Capture One (smearing in the fine details puts it 2nd last)
  7. Silky Pix (softness and smearing put it at the bottom)

All but capture one were close to the jpeg files enough to say they’re all good.  Capture one smeared the fine details too much for my liking.  Irident wins again.  Adobe, hire that guy NOW.

 

Printed Words Comparison

CompareWords

 

My Opinions:

  1. (Photo Ninja) Quite clear. Not any apparent colouring from what appears to be moiré . Lacks contrast/sharpness of Iridient but fine details are well maintained.
  2. (Capture One) This APPEARS almost as good as Irident in terms of sharpness, but slight colouring from moiré lets it down. It seems over sharpened, which doesn’t make it better, in fact it introduces fine artefacts that affect the details.  It is the most contrasty though.
  3. (Lightroom) Slight better contrast than Photo Ninja, also less slight artefacts/moiré colour than Capture One.
  4. (RAW Therapee) Worst in this test. Too much colour from apparent moiré.  Words looks jumbled and therefore not clear.
  5. (Jpeg) While not the sharpest, it manages to maintain fine details without sharpening artefacts.
  6. (Iridient) Sharp and contrasty without introducing artefacts that affect detail. Best in this test.
  7. (Silky Pix) Good details overall. Let down by slight smudging and lack of contrast.

 

My Rankings:

  1. Iridient
  2. Photo Ninja
  3. Lightroom
  4. Silky Pix
  5. Jpeg
  6. Capture One
  7. RAW Therapee

 

OVERALL RANK

So I’ll give them a ranking based on points according to their rank above.  7 points for 1st place, 6 for 2nd and so on…

  1. Iridient (21 points)
  2. Lightroom (16 points)
  3. Photo Ninja (13 points)
  4. RAW Therapee (12 points)
  5. Jpeg (10 points)
  6. Silky Pix and Capture One (both 6 points).

 

Oh boy.  I’ve made someone upset I guess.  I want to make it clear again, this is MY opinions. Feel free to think I’m wrong. 🙂

 

CONCLUSION FOR PART 3

I conclude that (for me at least) Lightroom is a very good choice and can keep up with or beat most of these other processors.

I am extremely impressed by Iridient.  How can one guy beat Adobe like that?  I will be testing to see if I can get the Iridient look in Adobe, but I suspect even if I copy it, Iridient can probably still beat Adobe.  Pity I don’t use a Mac.

I’m pleased Adobe isn’t as bad as some seem to make it out to be online.  Maybe it was a lot worse before.  I think it was.  I remember processing my Xpro1 files and thinking it wasn’t very good.  Especially with colours. I also think some people have legitimate problems with Lightroom and I don’t dismiss them.  I personally don’t see it,  but it doesn’t mean it doesn’t happen.

So for me, I’ll stick with Lightroom.  It seems to be slightly better than the Jpeg files to my eyes. If you use something else and love it, that’s great too.  When Iridient comes out for PC I might pick it up too.  It’s pretty impressive.

Oh and feel free to dislike Lightroom.  I think it’s OK myself, but I understand people not liking Adobe for various reasons 😉

 

NOTE: I’ve since come to realise that PHOTO NINJA can pull out a lot more detail in landscapes than Lightroom.  Lightroom will produce worms or painting effects when trying to push it as hard as Photo Ninja can go.  So I will be integrating it into my workflow.

 

So, that’s it for this series I think.  I will be back soon with a comparison of some SD wifi cards (Eyefi and Ez Share, two ends of the Wifi Card spectrum… you might be surprised which one is better and why).  Stay tuned.

 

Thanks for reading,

signature

 

 

Addendum

I played in Lightroom a bit and the following setting get LR closer to Iridient.  Close enough that Lightroom is now more than good enough for me:

IridientCloseEnough

CLOSEENOUGH

 

t-shirt-close-enough

 

SUGGESTIONS FOR BETTER PROCESSING

(from readers)

From:  “Funkmonkey” made on Fuji Rumour’s comments section

For users of Capture One:

“Interesting article. I take on board your caveat that specific processing within individual tools may improve things. On that note, Capture One did not score highly in your tests, so some comments for those who might want to experiment more.

1) Use the colour profiles/simulations available in a thread on Fuji Rumours forum (these are essentially user created icc profiles that allow you to have approximations of the Fuji simulations in C1, just like LR has as default)

2) Just like LR C1 is sometimes counter intuitive when it comes to best results for sharpening. Firstly by default the NR in capture 1 is too strong for Fuji files, pull that slider right back. I think you can change the default to be lower, can’t remember how off the top of my head. Secondly as in LR I find that the sharpening slider is often not your best friend. I find that the Clarity slider (possibly analogous to details in LR) is a better place to start if you want to add sharpness to an image with less artifacts. The sharpness slider gives you worms if you over do it the clarity slider gives you grain which I find to be more pleasing. The best results usually come from juggling these sliders. I find that first off i drop NR down this usually brings back some detail, then I push clarity up a few notches, this adds some crunch, and then maybe a little bit with the sharpness slider which cleans up fine detail a bit more. YMMV”

 

From: “David Owen made in the comments section below (edited into points by me, you can scroll down to see the whole comment)  

For users of Silky Pix:

  1. Silkypix Pro 7 (SP7)  is a lot better than the Raw File Converter 2 based on the old Silkypix 4 which is a free download.
  2. SP7 has a new sharpening method called “natural sharp” which is far better than what came previously and using this with a slight boost to the outline emphasis — around 20-25 is usually ideal — gives very good detail but at the same time an organic rendering which lacks the excessive textural contrast of, for instance, Photo Ninja.
  3. The film simulation colours are gorgeous too with a freshness which seems unique to this software. The only significant issue I find with SP7 is dealing with very high contrast images. Highlight recovery works very nicely in restoring colour but is weaker with the actual details in the highlights. Additionally, there can be a tendency for some desaturation in shadow areas which increases in high ISO images. This can be significantly reduced by moving the “demosaicing sharp” slider down to zero but doesn’t eliminate entirely. However less contrasty high iSO is dealt with very well because of the excellent luminance noise reduction in this software which is far more sophisticated than LR.
  4. SP7 and Lightroom complement each other well.

Regarding Lightroom:

  1. LR6 has mostly good highlight recovery and shadow boosting and in general is a safer pair of hands with difficult high contrast images, especially with the new HDR photo merge. (Editor’s Note: I totally agree with this.  The HDR Merge in LR6 is excellent)
  2. It also does a pretty good job with the film simulations on the X-Pro2 (and presumably X-T2) though the default Adobe standard is totally lifeless. (Editor’s Note: TOTALLY True.  The colour profiles almost perfectly match the Fuji Jpegs.  Adobe standard sucks, though I did use this in the test above for fairness)
  3. The basic demosaicing problem remains though and no matter what setting you use, you can be stuck with choosing between worms or smudging with certain types of textures, especially some sorts of foliage. High detail and lowish amount often help but, unlike what some have maintained, there is no magic bullet and each image has to be dealt with individually. (Editor’s Note: Yes this is true.  It’s quite hard to balance in some images.  Pushing NR can/will encourage paint effect to come in very easily with X-Trans files.  Worms come in if you push the sharping slider too hard (sometimes not even by that much.)

In summary, my choice is SP7 for most images, LR6 for difficult high contrast, PN for really gritty landscapes, RT if you really want the funky film simulations. ID I cannot judge, not having a Mac.

 

From: sir_c (comment made on Fuji Rumours)

Regarding Lightroom Settings:

“Instead of Clarity/Saturation/etc, I sometimes mess around with the Dehaze function. Works better with some images than others though, as it does more than plain vanilla clarity/contrast adjustments.”

 

From: Tommy Weir (comment made below, edited slightly by me)

Regarding Capture One

  • Set Details to 100
  • Set Luminance Noise Reduction to 0
  • Set Sharpening to low, I have 120, Radius 0.8 and Threshold 1.0
  • You can save these as Presets and have them automatically apply to imports.
  • In addition, Capture One’s Clarity and Structure slider are more subtle in effect than Lightroom’s versions, you can use them to aid sharpening if needed.

Sometimes there’s a file I see which could use the additional detail and sharpness Iridient certainly delivers. Luckily Capture One and Iridient work really well together, Using the ‘Edit In’ option in C1 creates a Tiff, launches ID, which is smart enough to load the Raw file, ignoring the Tiff. Once ID outputs, it overwrites the C1 Tiff. Can have best of both worlds. ID does a great job converting Raw, but C1 has wonderful editing tools, especially color and local adjustments, and is a decent DAM to boot.

 

From: DFogle (on Fuji Rumours)

Again, it’s just his opinion and they are like armpits, everyone has one and they all stink :).

I absolutely love Photo Ninja, easily the best raw converter I’ve used for XTrans. Highlight recovery is phenomenal like you’re working with film, and then using the detail slider is amazing. Taking it past 10 on most images brings out so much detail without smearing can make it look fake. LR creates those little worms and can’t sharpen anywhere close to Ninja. Of course I use LR when the images aren’t critical, and just need to batch process wedding pictures for albums and small prints. You do have to know how to use Ninja, especially with the color corrector, if its set to landscape, portrait, or plain it can give images a color cast, just like any converter that has a specific setting. Noise reduction, I only use Ninja, or Topaz.

 

From: 

  • It is very important to turn on X-Trans false colours suppression. It is off by default and it really should not be. Push it all the way to 5 passes. It does not slow things appreciably.

 

If you have any suggestions on how to process better in any of these programs, please let me know in the comments section.  If you have a good point I’ll add it here.

 

MAJOR ADDENDUM

I’ve been playing with PhotoNinja a bit more and I’ve come to really like what it does with landscapes and fine details.   I am still exploring it’s colour accuracy (compared to Fuji Jpegs) but to me, I’m strongly considering adding PhotoNinja to my workflow. Especially for Landscapes and highly detailed work.  I also really prefer the way it deals with noise.  It has a much more pleasing grain effect (smoother) than Lightroom.

 

 

NOTE: I think you can pull more out of LR using my new settings, read about them here: http://www.aevansphoto.com/my-default-lightroom-sharpening-and-nr-settings/

 

 

  • azbest

    thankx. too bad rt failed partially, but hopefully it will be all a matter of a proper setting 🙂

    • RAW threapee was actually quite good. Especially considering the price 😉

      None of them were terrible, each can do better with pushing. Even Lightroom. The problem with LR is it’s a fine line between good results and bad. The sliders are too sensitive.

      It could well be that LR has more issues with older sensors. I think the older sensors are more likely to get the paint effect and details smearing (that came up in part 2), I’m not interested in looking at how the older sensor processed though because I’m also doing this stuff for my own personal curiosity.

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  • David Owen

    I guess my main point about this is that I’m not sure if it’s really worthwhile to try out the various converters at default settings as all can be improved just with simple presets once you know your way around them a bit although I can understand it’s an interesting experiment! Having said this, like you, I’ve never really been won over by Capture One, either in detail or colour rendering. However the bottom choice I would query. There is a world of difference between Raw File Converter 2 based on the old Silkypix 4 which is a free download and the current Silkypix Pro 7. The latter has a new sharpening method called “natural sharp” which is far better than what came previously and using this with a slight boost to the outline emphasis — around 20-25 is usually ideal — gives very good detail but at the same time an organic rendering which lacks the excessive textural contrast of, for instance, Photo Ninja. The film simulation colours are gorgeous too with a freshness which seems unique to this software. The only significant issue I find with SP7 is dealing with very high contrast images. Highlight recovery works very nicely in restoring colour but is weaker with the actual details in the highlights. Additionally, there can be a tendency for some desaturation in shadow areas which increases in high ISO images. This can be significantly reduced by moving the “demosaicing sharp” slider down to zero but doesn’t eliminate entirely. However less contrasty high iSO is dealt with very well because of the excellent luminance noise reduction in this software which is far more sophisticated than LR.

    I find that SP7 and Lightroom complement each other well. LR6 has mostly good highlight recovery and shadow boosting and in general is a safer pair of hands with difficult high contrast images, especially with the new HDR photo merge. It also does a pretty good job with the film simulations on the X-Pro2 (and presumably X-T2) though the default Adobe standard is totally lifeless. The basic demoisaicing problem remains though and no matter what setting you use, you can be stuck with choosing between worms or smudging with certain types of textures, especially some sorts of foliage. High detail and lowish amount often help but, unlike what some have maintained, there is no magic bullet and each image has to be dealt with individually.

    In summary, my choice is SP7 for most images, LR6 for difficult high contrast, PN for really gritty landscapes, RT if you really want the funky film simulations. ID I cannot judge, not having a Mac.

    • Thanks for the excellent comment David. I put it into the article with some comments of my own. 🙂

      • David Owen

        Glad you found comments useful and your summary above of my points is very well done.

        On Photo Ninja – this was my developer of choice for a couple of years and I still find it has a very distinctive look which can work very nicely for some images, especially landscapes. I got frustrated with the lack of progress recently and didn’t upgrade it to an X-Pro2 compatible version. it doesn’t, of course, have the Fuji film simulations and does look a bit different though I find colours mostly work ok. Luminance noise reduction is better than LR but that isn’t hard –LR does little more than just smudge. I find SP7 better still. LR is mostly fine with chroma noise reduction though and is rather less of a simple on/off switch which I often found with Capture One in difficult images (I mean the balance between removing the noise but preserving the colour). Fortunately, Fuji files have little chroma noise anyway.

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  • Robert Kittel

    Regarding RAW Therapee: Did you use the default sharpening procedure? Then it is obvius that it wont achive better results than the others. In my own tests I found Raw Therapee to give way better results than the others using its RL-Deconvolution properly (which isn’t enabeld by default). Especially the letters should be free of the mentioned artifacts then and the level of details is pretty much better than with LR.

    What I’m missing is a mention of Darktable which is as easy to use than LR, has much faster support for new cameras and gives generally very good results without the limitations of LR. There is a special section for demosaicing X-Trans images that works pretty well. Downfalls are a sometimes quirky UI and the lack of modern sharpening procedures at the moment (which can be a problem with jpg, but less with RAW). Nevertheless it gives me impressive results without big efforts.

    • Yes I used default for all of them. I am very sure each one can be a lot better with editing. I’m exploring Photoninja a bit right now and I’m finding it very nice, especially the grain from it. Unfortunately Lightroom has more accurate Fuji colours I feel.

      • Steven Kornreich

        Adrian,
        can you share your setting you are using in PhotoNinja for landscapes
        thanks

        • Unfortunately I have deleted the trial. I will probably buy the software later but for now I can’t afford it. If anyone from Photo Ninja is reading this, feel free to send me a free licence. 😀

          • Steven Kornreich

            Totally understand, so for now are you sticking with LR?

          • Yeh for now. LR is fine for most things.

  • To add to what Funkmonkey said regarding C1’s rather bad defaults (which you can change), a couple of points:

    1. Fine detail is improved by moving the Detail slider all the way to 100. This in conjunction with reducing the NR sliders helps considerably with images like the ‘foliage’ section. Can look a bit rough at 100% on screen, but looks great when printed.

    2. The default tone curve is ‘Auto’; selecting Film Extra Shadow gives you a less contrasty image with, unsurprisingly, more open shadows. There’s also a bunch of other controls to reduce contrast if that’s not enough.

    Kind of agree with David Owen, too – this is a comparison of processor defaults, not a comparison of processors, and nobody stays with the defaults, otherwise why even shoot raw?

    Like you said at the top of the article, “I’m sure all the processors I’m testing here today can do a great job in the right hands.” I agree, they’re all perfectly capable of getting good results, so really the only important difference is, how good are they at getting the results YOU like, and in a way that fits YOUR workflow? This is something you can only discover by trying each application yourself.

  • MontyMo

    First, thanks for your article. Phew, I’m glad LR finished will 🙂
    I’m more than happy using Lightroom for processing my images. The one improvement I’d like to see is SPEED. I am using PhotoMechanic to cull my pictures before importing into LR. It is ridiculous for it to be necessary to spend an extra $150 to speed thing along….

    Thank again
    Monty

  • I actually think OS X’s built in RAW converter is awesome. I use it with Aperture (discontinued years ago), but you can use it with what ever image editor you us on your Mac that uses the OS’s built in image processing.
    Would love to see a comparison.

  • Tommy Weir

    Capture One’s default settings are not optimal for Fuji. A few people have mentioned some changes:
    – Set Details to 100
    – Set Luminance Noise Reduction to 0
    – Set Sharpening to low, I have 120, Radius 0.8 and Threshold 1.0
    You can save these as Presets and have them automatically apply to imports.
    In addition, Capture One’s Clarity and Structure slider are more subtle in effect than Lightroom’s versions, you can use them to aid sharpening if needed.

    Sometimes there’s a file I see which could use the additional detail and sharpness Iridient certainly delivers. Luckily Capture One and Iridient work really well together, Using the ‘Edit In’ option in C1 creates a Tiff, launches ID, which is smart enough to load the Raw file, ignoring the Tiff. Once ID outputs, it overwrites the C1 Tiff. Can have best of both worlds. ID does a great job converting Raw, but C1 has wonderful editing tools, especially color and local adjustments, and is a decent DAM to boot.

    • Rob Van Bever

      I follow the same workflow using ID (trial) with C1 but I get very small Tiff-files back in C1 … This doesn’t happen when I “edith with” files from C1 to, let’s say Nik’s Viveza.
      Do you know the reason?

      • Tommy Weir

        Is it possible that you have resized the output out of ID? There’s a scaling option in there.

  • Matt E-D

    Thanks for putting in the work for this comparison! Have you done any high ISO testing comparing the RAW conversion software? I often shoot RAW+JPEG with my X100s and XT1 and have noticed that the high ISO (<1600) results in Lightroom at defaults are awful and look nothing like the JPEGs (colour, exposure, and sharpness). Capture One, in my experience, seems to do much better with high ISO RAW conversion of X-trans, although I've seen some fairly inaccurate colours, especially reds.

    • Hi, thanks for your comment. No, I’ve not done any real tests, but with the X-Pro2 shot at all sorts of ISO levels from 200-6400 I had a very tough time telling the difference between Fuji and the LR version of the RAW files (when choosing the correct profile). It may be a different story with the older cameras though. I remember with my X-Pro 2 Lightroom didn’t match well at all.

      I also wish LR would do better with NR and give us some more fine grain (like PhotoNinja) instead of just smearing everything into paint when adding NR.

      • Matt E-D

        Thanks for your reply. Good to know that high ISO with the 24 MP Xtrans sensor is better; I will be getting an XT2 as soon as I can!

  • I’m actually liking PhotoNinja quite a bit for landscapes as I mess about with it more. Check out the details difference on this building (LR = Left | PN = Right)

    • Without masking the details come out a bit and the difference isn’t quite as dramatic. Still like PN a bit more but LR is better in tonal variations very slightly… so… hard to justify two programs…

  • rhymeswithpulverine

    Good post, thanks for the insight. Would you consider doing mobile editor app comparison? (iPad, iPad Pro, phone etc.)

    • Mmm I could, I don’t really use them though. I think they’re all pretty bad. Lightroom or Snapseed would be my two choices. They’re both free to download and try. 🙂

  • Romeo Bravo Photo

    Great Job Adrian. I was a big plot twist to learn that the Stealthy Ninja didn’t prefer Photo Ninja!

    • LOL yeh I actually quite like it, but I need them to send me a free licence. 😉

  • LittleCam

    Any thoughts about the speed of the workflow?
    Especially loading and comparing images and zooming in to 100% to check the sharpness of the eyes?

    • I’m used to LR so I think it’s fairly quick, though it does take a while to load a X-Trans Raw (probably the demosaic process going on in the background). Photo Ninja is really slow for everything, but it has good results. I can’t comment too much on the others.

  • Mguel

    great article, thanks for your work!

  • Raeuber

    I think I can contribute a small improvement to you LR settings. You left it on 25. That is very high and will reduce the color gradiations in your images. The default is to high for most cameras. Set it to 0 for low ISO images (200-400), 5 for 800 and then goto 16 with ISO6400. X-Trans only needs very low color noice settings. With the to high default colors look a little bit lifeless. For me it is a big improvement.

    • You mean Colour NR right? Yes good point. X-Trans files don’t need much colour NR at all.

  • lumieredargent

    Right from the start, you state that you’re “testing” by doing what no user of those programs do: use default settings. It you want to use default settings you might as well shoot jpeg!
    Too bad you made your hard work useless.

    • You’re kinda right, but it’s also the fairest way I could do it. Otherwise my skills in processing (or lack thereof) in a particular program would give it an unfair advantage/disadvantage.

      The way I did it I see the way the individual programs demosaic the X-Trans files and what base they give us to work with.

      If you’d like to post the way you get the most out of your particular processor of choice. I’d love to learn more.

      • lumieredargent

        Well, firstly, in RT, it is very important to turn on X-Trans false colours suppression. It is off by default and it really should not be. Push it all the wau to 5 passes. It does not slow things appreciably.
        The rest in RT is personal preference and it is very hard to rank programs on that.
        LightRoom’s settings and, I suspect algorithms, are becoming outdated. they poorly take into account the disappearance of low-pass filters and tend to over-sharpen by default. Also, as someone else said, the noise reduction is better left at zero for X-Trans. It some noise reduction is needed is some areas, it is better to use another program like Nik DFine.
        As you mention, LR is really poor for landscapes with X-Trans. Photo Ninja, RT and ACDSee are much better for that.

        • Thanks, I’ll look into RT again and give ACDSee a go.

  • Thanks for the test!
    The best RAW converter is the one we know how to use… 🙂

    With Photo Ninja try to create a Light Profile.
    It is very easy, go to menu>Image>Profile Light Source and use a ColorChecker
    as a reference, just need to match the overlay grid with the ColorChecker.
    You can do this with this Dpreview RAW.

  • Photonoxx

    Personally, I use Lightzone to work my fuji X RAW files (X-E2 and X-T10), and I’m pretty happy with it.

    It works on Windows, MacOs and Linux, and was one of the first software which support X-trans file under Linux (which was one of the reason I tried it). It is more versatile than LR, for my use at less.

    I just notice that some processor seems to have some pretty “high” default sharpness, which is not really revelant to compare processor, RAW processing meaning in a way to start from something a bit “RAW”. After that, it’s difficult to compare, even with sharpness adjustement.

  • Alan Paone

    the only extra advice i’ve got is to lower the colour noise reduction, on my x-t1, i found that ~12 was good for nearly all iso’s, and anything higher would exacerbate the watercolours and softness. I haven’t tried newer versions of LR with my x-pro yet, but i might have to after seeing the changes