The Fuji X-Trans sensor and Raw Processing

In my post yesterday I wrote about the somewhat complicated method I've come up with to process my X-Trans sensor raw files. By coincidence, today saw the release of the latest ACR beta version which supports the X-E2. I thought I would show you the difference using that.

Here's the original file:-

Here are the two files, my .dng files created from Iridient Developer > Tiff > .dng file is the top one, the .RAF file processed in Photoshop ACR is the bottom one. Both processed identically using the default camera setting with all sharpening turned off.

Below are the two images with identical sharpening applied in Photoshop.

As you can see, the .dng / Iridient Developer file is crisper with more detail in the leaves on the trees. However it has colour noise and is less saturated. So below is my finished version with colour noise reduction and a saturation boost applied in Photoshop to the top image only.

As you can see Iridient Developer 'lets through' more detail whereas Photoshop ACR processing reduces noise better but produces less sharp results and has this tendency to loose details in yellow / green areas. This is seemingly to compensate for what the sensor produces and the lack of an AA filter which does seem to produce more colour noise. Fuji and / or Adobe don't want you to see this, and I suppose I can see why. If Fuji X Trans sensor cameras produced files that show this colour noise, then they would get plenty of criticism. However, for me and the type of images I create, of which the one above is pretty typical, I need that resolution and fine detail to be apparent. And that's why I choose Iridient Developer for my basic raw file conversion over Adobe and ACR, and of course the Fuji / Silkypix software.

As I've often pointed out, for images that don't have green foliage, its not usually a problem and for those I would be perfectly happy to use ACR. It's interesting that Fuji can produce such good jpgs. So they do know how to get clean files from their sensor without destroying this green / yellow foliage detail. I and I think a lot of other photographers are still mystified as to why this seems not to transfer over to Adobe ACR raw conversion. I was thinking that this latest update might have finally 'unlocked' the potential of the Fuji raw files, but no, its still pretty much the same. For me it's not that much of a problem, but for non-Mac users, who can't use Iridient Developer or Aperture both of which produce 'better' raw file conversions, i.e. ones that let this detail through, it is. 

Will this ever get 'solved?' Well, we are up to eighteen months and counting since the X-Trans sensor appeared and still no satisfactory Fuji / Adobe solution. It's unwise to say it will never happen, but as I've written before, I'm not holding my breath!

For all my posts on the X-E2 CLICK HERE

N.B. to see more on the cameras and lenses featured in this post click on the relevant labels (tags and keywords) below.

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