Capture One Fujifilm X-Trans Raw support tested

Capture One v7.0.2, the latest version of Phase One's image management and Raw conversion software, includes support for Fujifilm's X-Trans cameras. Given the trouble this non-Bayer design has caused for third-party Raw converters (it remains to be seen how many will ever offer support), this has caused a lot of excitement in the Fujifilm community. So, just how well does Capture One do, and how significant is the problem , in the first place?

To provide some context, the vast majority of digital cameras ever made perceive color using what's known as a Bayer Color Filter Array, named after the late Kodak engineer Bryce Bayer. For its recent cameras, Fujifilm has developed its own color filter array pattern, which it calls X-Trans. The idea behind X-Trans is that its pattern repeats less often than the Bayer pattern, rendering redundant the low-pass filter that usually protects against moiré.

The disadvantage of creating a non-standard color filter array (especially one that took two years to develop the demosaicing algorithm for), is that third-party software makers have to do a lot more work to provide Raw support.

Adobe Camera Raw support

Adobe was one of the first third-party software makers to provide Raw support for the Fujifilm X-Pro1, but the results have not always lived up to the standard set by the camera's JPEG engine, when it comes to rendering fine detail.

ACR vs Camera JPEG

Adobe Camera Raw - Default settings Camera JPEG - default settings
100% Crop 100% Crop
100% Crop 100% Crop

In the ACR-converted files, the foliage files takes on something of a 'watercolor' appearance, and the white text of the sign is 'filled-in' green. However the differences in detail rendition aren't pronounced, even at 100%. They become more apparent at even greater levels of magnification but the degree to which this is relevant is arguable. It's interesting to note that this brushstroke effect is exaggerated by applying more luminance noise reduction to files in ACR.

Adobe Camera Raw - Default settings  Camera JPEG - default settings
100% Crop 100% Crop
100% Crop 100% Crop

Capture One v7.0.2 - default settings vs Camera JPEG

As you can see, Capture One's color response is much closer to the camera's results than Adobe's default profile. The default results are also substantially more sharpened than the JPEGs are. In comparison with the camera JPEGs, there are hints of the same brushstroke effect that Adobe Camera Raw produces, though not to the same degree and mitigated, perhaps, by the better color response.

Capture One 7.0.2 beta - default settings Camera JPEG - default settings
100% Crop 100% Crop
100% Crop  

It's noticeable that Capture One is less prone to color errors than Adobe Camera Raw, but struggles with the moiré that Adobe appears to be trying to avoid.

 Capture One 7.0.2 beta - default settings  Camera JPEG - default settings
100% Crop 100% Crop
100% Crop 100% Crop

You can download the original Raw files below to try your own processing settings. We've found some improvement can be had by reducing the sharpening but we'd be interested to hear the settings you find give you the best results.

Download Tram Raw File

Download Test Scene Raw File

Comments

Total comments: 211
12
thinkfat
By thinkfat (Jan 14, 2013)

Looks like the free software digikam is able to do quite a good job on these raw files. There is still a lot of color moire in the studio sample. However, even the camera JPEG is not free of it.

Take a look at my gallery. There's a full size JPEG quick'n'dirty conversion of both samples.

0 upvotes
justinwonnacott
By justinwonnacott (Jan 14, 2013)

In camera tiff has no advantage whatsoever, it still requires demosaicing the xtrans sensor data (which is the problem), all you would get is a big file with the same appearance as the jpg files written in camera but it would cripple the camera with grossly inflated write to file times.

In the end the same sensor based issues will persist.

Comment edited 3 minutes after posting
1 upvote
HowaboutRAW
By HowaboutRAW (Jan 14, 2013)

You have more colour, WB, and exposure adjustment options with a tiff than a jpeg.

You don't get stepped gradations of monochormatic surfaces. Eg the skin of someone's face doesn't change colour in stepped bands when working with tiffs.

1 upvote
justinwonnacott
By justinwonnacott (Jan 14, 2013)

This is true, but why do it in camera? It would create a serious write to file time problem and it has no advantage to using an external RAW processor to create a tiff. The same demosaicing problems will remain however the tiff is created.

1 upvote
miniTO
By miniTO (Jan 15, 2013)

you do realize the JPEGs don't exhibit the problems outlined? The problem is matching or improving on the internal Fuji RAW Converter...

Comment edited 33 seconds after posting
0 upvotes
shutterdragon
By shutterdragon (Jan 14, 2013)

Hmm, I'm not too impressed, unfortunately. If Fujifilm would only support in-camera TIFF....

4 upvotes
Mescalamba
By Mescalamba (Jan 14, 2013)

Thats actually best idea I heard for some time..

0 upvotes
HowaboutRAW
By HowaboutRAW (Jan 14, 2013)

shutterdragon:

Right and then there's the problem that these are raws extracted to jpeg not tiff and no one going for image quality, say for a good print, is going to use a jpeg if he or she can avoid it.

And even if one is forced to use a jpeg at the end of the process, say posting on the web or printing, or emailing, no one who cares about image quality, who starts with a raw file, is going to do work on a jpeg. He or she will extract to tiff or perhaps PSD and then edit the photo and the last step, once the colour is right, etc, would be conversion to jpeg.

1 upvote
Kinematic Digit
By Kinematic Digit (Jan 14, 2013)

The TIFF idea has actually been requested of the engineers at FujiFilm and they are considering it.

0 upvotes
Photomonkey
By Photomonkey (Jan 14, 2013)

Why not just help third party developers make better converters? The TIFF option is a clunky way of delivering something that gets closer to RAW editability. You would want 16bit ProPhotoRGB to get the most out of a converted file and that would take a lot of on camera resources.
All this to piggy-back on Fuji's proprietary knowledge? Just silly.

4 upvotes
Asylum Photo
By Asylum Photo (Jan 14, 2013)

Fuji has apparently given Adobe what they need, but Adobe has taken the lazy route.

2 upvotes
Pat Cullinan Jr
By Pat Cullinan Jr (Jan 14, 2013)

What's new?

0 upvotes
shutterdragon
By shutterdragon (Jan 15, 2013)

The reason why I want TIFF is simple - I want Fuji color uncompressed. Even if X-Trans RAW is fully supported by the third party, I still want TIFF because I can't always better that Fuji blue and Fuji green when I develop RAW files. A dream scenario would be to have options for Provia/Velvia/Astia/Pro-Neg color options when developing RAW, but I guess that's too much to ask :)

0 upvotes
gsum
By gsum (Jan 14, 2013)

The Adobe results are dire compared to the Fuji jpgs but that's to be expected given the overpriced crud that is Photoshop CS. Adobe really needs to do us all a favour and get out of photography.

4 upvotes
jm67
By jm67 (Jan 14, 2013)

Granted. However, the CaptureOne chicken wire results aren't very attractive either.

2 upvotes
HowaboutRAW
By HowaboutRAW (Jan 14, 2013)

gsum:

And XTrans raws extracted with ACR (PhotoShop CS6) to tiff are a good bit better than Fuji in-camera jpegs.

Yes Fuji does nice in-camera jpegs, but there's more than jpegs.

In fact there are inherent limitations to jpegs that simply aren't there in tiff files.

Fuji could tweak the firmware of these XTrans filtered cameras to allow shooting directly into tiff, like the Nikon D700, D800, D3, D3s, and D4. And that would improve the image quality, and allow better colour and exposure adjustment, may not help to much with noise.

Yes I know tiffs are even bigger than raws so the shooting would slow down.

2 upvotes
justinwonnacott
By justinwonnacott (Jan 14, 2013)

Not terribly impressed by the results,they are not earth shakingly better than the jpg files used for comparison. But, however good the jpg files are they are not a practical option for me and I may be "stuck" with C1 as a raw processor because it allows me to work with a 16 bit RAW file with its greater exposure latitude, better colour balancing options and sharpening choices. Using out of camera JPGs is not what I paid Fuji for. If I can not get good results from my XP1 in the next couple of months I am finished with this sensor forever.
I was happy to see DPREVIEW mention moire as an issue - it is present even though fuji says otherwise and I suspect that it may be a core difficulty with processing these files with certain types of subject matter.. I hope that I can get better out of C1 than dpreview has - after all the tests have been made at default settings and each photographer's mileage may vary. I am hoping better results are possible.

Comment edited 3 times, last edit 15 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
HowaboutRAW
By HowaboutRAW (Jan 14, 2013)

You can extract to 16 bit in ACR in PhotoShop CS6 too and then edit those files in PS CS6.

But if CaptureOne does what you want, great.

Now maybe this CaptureOne variation will inspire Aftershot(Bibble) and DXO.

0 upvotes
Peiasdf
By Peiasdf (Jan 14, 2013)

Maybe Adobe and Capture One should get out of PP business and let Fujifilm took over. Refusing to support non-Bayer sensor is holding digital photography back.

10 upvotes
graybalanced
By graybalanced (Jan 15, 2013)

Oh really? Which industry-leading raw development software does Fujifilm have to "take over" with?

I thought so.

It would be better if Fujifilm would just apply their internal knowledge to output their unusually proprietary sensor data directly to a very nice DNG file, the way Pentax and Leica do. Then you could have your choice of which raw software to use, instead of wishing for a company to "take over" when they've never offered you anything better than SilkyPix.

0 upvotes
weldonb
By weldonb (Jan 14, 2013)

The default noise reduction settings in C1 are great for digital backs but way too strong for the X-Trans files. Try cutting the settings in half (or more.) You can get much better results than images above.

3 upvotes
PaceSalute
By PaceSalute (Jan 14, 2013)

I'd add to that :
lower sharpening threshold to .6/.8,
enhance sharpening amount.

The images will still lack a bit of detail compared to Silkypix or the jpg, so you can increase clarity using : punch / structure about 20.

Unfortunately, Noise reduction tend to produce that waterpastel effect.

0 upvotes
G Sciorio
By G Sciorio (Jan 14, 2013)

AND EOS-M before supporting the GH3 and OMD?!?!

0 upvotes
Gianluca Grossi
By Gianluca Grossi (Jan 14, 2013)

They already support OMD.

0 upvotes
G Sciorio
By G Sciorio (Jan 14, 2013)

Meant to say tethered support.

0 upvotes
Juraj Lacko
By Juraj Lacko (Jan 14, 2013)

To my eye jpeg pictures look better than processed raws. Why to bother to shoot raw if camera can do it equally or better... Only reason i shoot raws is WB correction but that is not with fuji. People say fuji gets WB right in camera.

10 upvotes
Ryan Williams
By Ryan Williams (Jan 14, 2013)

RAW is valuable because of the extra headroom it has in terms of recovering data from under- and over-exposure. JPEGs start to degrade and render tonality inaccurately the second you adjust anything, something that doesn't happen with RAWs.

If cameras shot PNGs or something instead this wouldn't be a problem, but because JPEG is so lossy it's simply not adequate for those needing to do any significant post-processing.

Of course, the whole argument of 'should you post process' is entirely different and outside the scope of this issue really.

13 upvotes
marike6
By marike6 (Jan 14, 2013)

Who wants files that start off as 8-bit? Not me. Imagine archiving all your work as 8-bit JPEGs. Thanks but no thanks. Shooting 14-bit or even 12-bit RAWs is the way to go for exposure latitude, WB, better sharpening control, etc. And you don't get ugly posterization in continuous tone areas like the sky as you get with JPEGs.

4 upvotes
HowaboutRAW
By HowaboutRAW (Jan 14, 2013)

Juraj Lacko:

And raws extracted to tiff look better than in-camera jpegs with these Fujis, at least when that extraction is done with ACR in PhotoShop CS6.

So that's a big reason to shoot raw, and no reason the same wouldn't be true of tiffs extracted from raws with CaptureOne, though not the horrid Silkypix 5.

Comment edited 2 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
ELLIOT P STERN
By ELLIOT P STERN (Jan 14, 2013)

adobe to big to care?

11 upvotes
HowaboutRAW
By HowaboutRAW (Jan 14, 2013)

Well these are just jpegs, not say tiffs.

And ACR or CaptureOne has many different extraction settings that aren't demonstrated here. Feel free to get CaptureOne, it's good software, but my experience is that it has limitations that ACR does not. Or get some XTrans filtered raws and play with the three raw extraction programs that open them.

And if CaptureOne is indeed better at the XTrans filtered sensors than ACR at any setting/setup, then perhaps that fact will inspire Adobe to improve the extraction of XTrans filter raws.

Remember, ACR is vastly better than Silkypix 5, which is the basis for the raw extraction software that Fuji ships with these XTrans cameras.

0 upvotes
Dabbler
By Dabbler (Jan 15, 2013)

The Silkypix that ships with Fuji is not based on Silkypix 5, its based on v3.x. Silkypix 5 Pro is a much improved product although still awkward compared with Adobe. I've found for sharpness the free SP is better than ACR but I like what I see in C1 7.0.2 Final and its much easier to use than SP with more better features.

0 upvotes
Sgt_Strider
By Sgt_Strider (Jan 14, 2013)

So can one safely say that the C1 software is the best for X-Trans sensors at the moment?

Have Adobe even acknowledged that their converter needs improvements? I wonder if they'll put in the effort to produce better results for X-Trans sensors going forward?

0 upvotes
Kokeen4231
By Kokeen4231 (Jan 14, 2013)

For now yes! And finally a decent conversion software. Finally!
I guess whether adobe bothers depends on how many x trans users there are and if fuji would continue sticking to it.

0 upvotes
bravoecho
By bravoecho (Jan 14, 2013)

according to these samples, Fuji JPEGs still rules... next please...

10 upvotes
HowaboutRAW
By HowaboutRAW (Jan 14, 2013)

bravoecho:

And starting with raw, then extracting into tiff, which is the best, and have you tested all the various settings options in an updated PhotoShop CS6 and also this new CaptureOne while doing these raw extractions to tiffs?

Note: I said PhotoShop CS6 and tiff.

It's nice to see another piece of software that extracts these XTrans filter raws, and yes it's a safe bet that CaptureOne, like ACR, is much better than the horrid Silkypix that ships with these Fuji cameras.

You are most certainly correct that Fuji does really good in-camera jpegs with these XTrans cameras, however these jpegs don't match the quality of tiffs extracted from raw files with ACR.

(Haven't tested this version of CaptureOne yet with my own XTrans raws. Perhaps CaptureOne will open the raws that I have from a XE1, as yet ACR opens them very nicely but crops them.)

0 upvotes
rogerstpierre
By rogerstpierre (Jan 14, 2013)

HowaboutRAW:

I don't understand the remark wrt Silkypix. Have you tried Silkypix DS Pro 5 rather than the 2+ generations old free version that ships with the cameras ?

Comment edited 2 minutes after posting
2 upvotes
sierramike
By sierramike (Jan 14, 2013)

Fuji file looks good in LR 4.3, smearing not as bad as in example. I'm not impressed about sharpness though, so what's the real benefit of an x-trans sensor??

2 upvotes
Gianluca Grossi
By Gianluca Grossi (Jan 14, 2013)

It's all marketing, I mean very good marketing...

0 upvotes
Sho-Bud
By Sho-Bud (Jan 14, 2013)

According to the release notes, this is just preliminary. So in a next version I expect the results to be better

0 upvotes
Dabbler
By Dabbler (Jan 14, 2013)

To get the best details you have to use something like Silkypix or CameraOne Pro. Adobe LR4.3 doesn't process RAW details and sharpness nearly as well.

Comment edited 22 seconds after posting
0 upvotes
HowaboutRAW
By HowaboutRAW (Jan 14, 2013)

rogerstpierre:

Yes, I have tried Silkypix 5, it is still a piece of garbage like the older versions, and does an awful job with raws from the Fuji XPro1. It is so bad, Fuji should drop it.

I had no particular problem with the XTrans raws I extracted to tiff in ACR (PhotoShop CS6). I was particularly impressed by the ISO 6400 performance.

My testing was done with raws I shot in the store with both a XE1 and XPro1.

If I owned one of these cameras perhaps extensive usage might convince me there's a problem with ACR extraction. But what I see in these comments, and elsewhere, is complaints about Lightroom (don't own it) and jpegs, almost never use them.

Also yes, I got Silkypix 5 from Silkypix and it's still beyond horrible.

Unlikely that it's a really old Silkypix that ships with the XPro1, it's likely a tweak to 5.

No my problem with is Silkypix is not the bad interface, with which I'm familiar because of a Panasonic LX5 I own that shipped with Silkypix.

Comment edited 3 times, last edit 14 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
HowaboutRAW
By HowaboutRAW (Jan 14, 2013)

Dabbler:

Silkypix is horrid software, that's particularly bad with XTrans filter raws.

Just go with in-camera jpegs with these Fujis if you must use jpegs, or extract to tiff from raw with PhotoShop CS6; it's really good, despite all of the complaints about jpegs and Lightroom, or get CaptureOne.

Fuji is dumb to ship Silkypix with this camera. Samsung finally learnt that lesson.

Comment edited 2 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
exdeejjjaaaa
By exdeejjjaaaa (Jan 14, 2013)

> Silkypix is horrid software, that's particularly bad with XTrans filter raws.

it just reflects your incapability to work with SilkyPix... neither ACR/LR, nor C1, nor RPP, nor whatever so far can deliver better resolution vs artefacts free output than Fuji/ISL... like it or not.

0 upvotes
miniTO
By miniTO (Jan 15, 2013)

Its really not bad... think what you will though... Silkypix DP5 does a very good job with fuji Raws...

it just takes some time to get used to over ACR

0 upvotes
HowaboutRAW
By HowaboutRAW (Jan 15, 2013)

exdeejjjaaaa+miniTO:

Sorry neither of you paid attention, I'm not new to Silkpix and know the interface, nor is ACR the only raw extraction program I use.

And Silkypix most definitely sucks and it's not about the interface.

It sucks for Panasonic cameras; it sucks for Fujis, it sucks for Samsungs, and having Silkpix v5pro does NOT help one bit.

Try learning how to use real raw extraction software before making up stories to defend terrible software (Silkypix the Windows ME of of raw extraction software--or if you like an application that's still terrible the Widows version of AutoCAD).

ACR, Aperture, CaptureOne, Capture NX 2, DXO and Aftershot(formerly Bibble) are a all really good raw extraction programs. Pick one.

Don't make preposterous claims about artifact free extraction of RAF files with Silkypix 5, that's simply an untrue claim. And when I read things like that I know you haven't really used good raw extraction software.

0 upvotes
Total comments: 211
12