X-system not for Linux Locked

Started Jul 23, 2013 | Discussions thread
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X-system not for Linux
Jul 23, 2013

The new X-trans sensor looks like a real advance, and the X series of cameras look great. However, as a Linux user, I'm stuck. The proprietary raw file format, that requires proprietary software to process that runs only on Windows or Apple OSX, means that there is little support for the image format in Linux.

It doesn't matter how great the hardware and technology is, if a person who captures an image can't develop or process that image, if the camera owner in effect doesn't even own the image because it's locked inside a camera manufacturer's secret vault, so to speak, then the camera is not of much use, at least to me.

There is a lot of support in Linux for the more traditional bayer-sensor cameras, and a lot of hacking has occurred to give camera users many options other than having to depend upon their camera manufacturer's software. Even in a Windows or Apple OS environment, there are (thankfully) more choices for developing raw files and post-processing.

But the two "rogue" sensors, the foveon and the X-trans, have very little support (yet) from independent programmers and 3rd-party software creators. Some of the popular raw file developing programs, such as RawTherapee, say they have no plans to support these non-standard sensors and the raw files they create.

I'm sure that software companies such as Adobe become very frustrated with having to try to support so many raw file formats and now, sensor types, even as some manufacturers, like Nikon, are trying to make certain aspects of their file formats not only proprietary but encrypted, in order to try to capture and lock in a customer base, instead of merely enticing and attracting them by having great hardware and open-source software that any programmer can work to enhance.

"Suck them in with great camera hardware and technology, and then lock them in," seems to be the camera manufacturers' strategy.

So, I'll stay on the sidelines with my trusty old, inferior bayer-sensor camera whose proprietary raw file format and software has already been hacked to death and reconstructed so that even people who use Linux can develop their own images, while enjoying a distance the new technological advances in camera hardware technologies.

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Stephen Doonan, New Mexico US

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