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dpjones

RAW Processing, observations

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Hello all,

Shooting with an X-T1, I just did a lot of testing between CaptureOne, Lightroom, Iridient Developer, and Iridient X-Trans w/ Lightroom and here are my thoughts, and what I ended up going with. All of this is just personal opinion.

A quick word, I am a serious hobbyist, and I have worked for 20 years in the film business as a camera assistant. I know two people who are professional on set still photographers who have moved to Fuji and both shoot with the X-T1. I did own a 5D Mark III but recently sold it. I started with Apple Aperture and moved to Lightroom when Apple dropped it(so much fun redoing the catalogue). I have recently moved to the X-T2.

Okay, CaptureOne: I really liked the results of its processing engine. It does a great job with the high ISO files, and a very good job with the detail. I ended up not going with it for a couple of reasons, 1. I do not like the all in one catalogue system, the same as Aperture was. 2. I did not want to learn a new processing system. I didn't have any reasons not to like CaptureOne based on performance with the X-Trans files, though.

Lightroom: I found the fine detail and high ISO noise was handled the least well with Lightroom processing of the RAW files.

Iridient X-Transformer: I found it does a very good job with the detail, and a pretty good job with the high ISO noise. Pretty on par with CaptureOne(some files seemed to be better in CaptureOne and some seemed better with X-Trans, and I have no idea why). 

Iridient Developer: Same as X-Transformer for processing results, though I looked at this the least.

In the end, I decided to go with X-Transformer with Lightroom. I like the Lightroom catalogue and I already know the program, and the X-Trans processing is close enough to the CaptureOne that I didn't feel it was worth it, for me, to make that change. I am still experimenting with the processing settings in X-Transformer(currently using 'more detail', and default for everything else- I would welcome comments from anyone who has done some experimenting with this). 

I'm dpjonestown on Instagram if anyone wants to check it out.

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I had many stability issues with Capture One on Windows 10; Phase Ones suggested solution was to upgrade to the latest version.

I never found the noise reduction terribly good and it could leave a very "bruised" mottled look in dark areas. I also never understood the sharpening - most tools have input and output sharpening - C1 has only one set of sharpening parameters but isn't clear if they are for input or output, so I could never find a way to sharpen exported files for a certain sized reproduction.properly.

I agree its catalogue system is hateful and completely unintuitive.

Having said all that I like Light room even less as the output quality is so mediocre.

SilkyPix was also good with X Pro 1 files and the latest version is excellent with files from other cameras, offering extraordinary pixel level details.

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4 hours ago, artuk said:

Having said all that I like Light room even less as the output quality is so mediocre.

Try the Iridient X-Developer. The trial is 100% functional (apart from a small watermark) and the program can work as a LR plug in if you want.

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Although I'm using Iridient X Transformer for landscape or leafy detail images, I still find the more recent updates to LR have improved it so that most files can be processed straight - street/architecture etc in LR and landscapes via IXT.

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21 hours ago, K1W1_Mk2 said:

Try the Iridient X-Developer. The trial is 100% functional (apart from a small watermark) and the program can work as a LR plug in if you want.

Thanks K1W1 but my last version of LR was 4.4 and since then I've been using other software, and I don't own any X Trans sensor cameras any more. Adobe's raw development engine has always been poor with X Trans and often mediocre with cameras that aren't Canon or Nikon, so I simply gave up on it as other tools had better image quality, the dame features, were cheaper in some cases, or didn't need monthly payments. Capture One for Sony users is free for thr light version and heavily discounted for thr pro version, for example. Overall I actually like SilkyPix image quality the best and it doesn't have a hateful catalogue system, meaning its far easier to work with files across multiple machine.

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If you are on Mac, give the RawPower a try. It is not a raw converter, just an interface to the Apple proprietary built in software. Very good output in three different colour spaces.

Another Mac raw converter is the Picktorial 3, but many times I get questionable results. There are sometimese huge differences how the picture is rendered in Pictorial and the exported file seen in Preview.

 

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18 hours ago, Dr.S said:

If you are on Mac, give the RawPower a try. It is not a raw converter, just an interface to the Apple proprietary built in software. Very good output in three different colour spaces.

The problem with any software that uses ACR (Apple Camera Raw) is that you In the hands of Apple as far as updates for new cameras are concerned and Apple are notoriously slow at releasing updates.

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I also use Iridient X-Transformer followed by Lightroom CC for most files. For years I used Silkypix with my previous Pentax kit and still like it, especially for Dodge and Color Burn and the various film simulations. Nowadays I'll often follow Lightroom with Silkypix (Pro6),  sometimes processing with Velvia (V1) for surroundings and Astia for skin tones and combining the two in Photoshop.

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17 hours ago, Dr.S said:

If you are on Mac, give the RawPower a try. It is not a raw converter, just an interface to the Apple proprietary built in software. Very good output in three different colour spaces.

Another Mac raw converter is the Picktorial 3, but many times I get questionable results. There are sometimese huge differences how the picture is rendered in Pictorial and the exported file seen in Preview.

 

Hi Dr. S, can you please drop us an email about this issue? support@picktorial.com

We would love to investigate and fix it.

Thanks!

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I too used Aperture along with Nik as my external editor. I have tried Iridient, LR, Capture 1, and decided on LR but only because I sharpen with Nik pre Sharpener, then back to LR for the rest. The pre-sharpener in NIK is about as perfect as I need and it is so much better than LR

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