Does PhotoNinja suck or is it me?

Started Feb 21, 2014 | Discussions thread
Dick Barbour Regular Member • Posts: 416
Re: Does PhotoNinja suck or is it me?

SaltLakeGuy wrote:

I downloaded it last night in hot anticipation as it was billed as THE best (or at least one of the finest) ways to convert RAW images from the new X-T1. I downloaded the latest pre release version which added highlight recovery for the X series sensors and such. Well, I'm NOT impressed. Not only do the Jpeg images blow the RAW's away but I can NOT for the life of me remove the noise as it should or could be. It just doesn't take much out. It is as if I'm not seeing the results of what the program is doing. But I can see it's processing from the icon that moves above showing in progress processing. There is a ton more noise than in the Jpeg and it doesn't provide the kind of resolution and quality image I would expect from a competent converter. The RAW's coming out of Lightroom from my former EM1 was far superior, and I KNOW this can't be right. Anyone out there using this program tell me something is wrong and how to make it right?

I'm not sure why you're having problems; I don't see much noise that needs any treatment at all with my X-E2 or X-M1, except at very high ISOs. I use PN regularly for both the X-E2 and X-M1 raw images, and was delighted with the recent 1.2.3 pre-release that made substantial progress on highlight recovery. I don't have the X-T1, but I wouldn't think the raw processing would be any different than the X-E2 since supposedly they share the same sensor. I have tried Silkypix (the full version as well as the supplied one) and the latest ACR. I don't like converters that force me to use their database, so that lets out Capture 1. Also, I work on a PC so can't try Iridient. I like PN better than Silkypix or ACR for color, and it's just as good for detail, IMO.

At any rate, I have stuck with PN as the best current alternative for X-Trans and have generally been very happy with it.  One thing I do is use just the demosaicing, color correction, and exposure sliders, and un-check everything else. So I'm not doing any noise reduction or sharpening in PN and I normally set the Preset to "Neutral" for all types of photos. I use the neat method they offer to open a photo directly in Photoshop without having to save an intermediate file.

In Photoshop I do pre-sharpening in either Focus Magic or Nik Raw Pre-Sharpener, depending on which looks better, and usually don't have to do any more sharpening except a little when outputting to printer. I find I don't need to do any noise reduction on most files unless they are at very high ISO, which for X-Trans is 1600 or above for me. Funny, not many years ago I was hesitant to use ISO 400 with my Canon 5D! If I do need NR I use Nik Dfine which does a good job automatically for me, but of course can be refined manually.

Try this method and see what you think.


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