LR Alternatives for Fuji

Started Aug 19, 2022 | Discussions thread
TonyGN10 Contributing Member • Posts: 650
Re: LR Alternatives for Fuji

5teveO wrote:

Yes I know this has been debated to death.. and I know there are varying opinions on LR's effect on Xtrans files - I'm not here to debate them (again ) My opinion is all that is here and is very subjective..

I'm a relatively new XT4 user coming from Pentax (K3 Mk1) and I love the camera - so fast (compared the the K3) and the lenses (18-135 and 70-300) and fantastic.

I'm a long time LR user (still have the LR5 disks) and am subscribed with the latest version. I have already come across the worms and wierd processing in a few images when pushing sharpness. Noise reduction is generally done for bad images in Topaz, but I shy away from it as I just cant stand workflows where I have to create new files to edit and have excess files. I am an engineer by trade - so inherently lazy, but like things tidily organised, plus have a 5 year old and a business to run and far too many hobbies so very very time poor. My workflow has to be fast and efficient. I'm not looking for stellar results as im a poor amateur at best. I dont want to convert and process etc..

We have just been on a big family holiday to Dubai and I took around 1000 images. So have given them the first pass in LR, Culled, categorised (eg noisey - needs work etc) and processed around 30% of them as keepers (family snapshots TBH) exported and generally happy with them as far as snapshots go. A few I want to work on.. but thought i'd look at other options to LR

As a test I decided to have a look at the options out there for alternatives. As time allows I'm learning Darktable but its immense and unfamiliar - so is a huge learning curve.

I have installed and trialling the following as a quick look see how the software renders a few specific images and deals with things like sharpness and NR (and some initial thoughts - bear in mind ive had an hour or so in each and am only familiar with LR basics):-

Capture 1 - Bloody expensive now and hard to justify - lovely rendering of the images though. Sharpening can be pushed hard, adjustments are pretty quick and colours match LR pretty well. Not keen on the interface - LR really is king here as is the speed of LR - I find myself waiting with C1 for images to load etc - Machine is old but well spec'd

On1 Raw - Well priced - Produces very nice images also albeit with a slightly yellow cast to them on skin tones - not sure if LR and C1 are just warmer though. Interface is slow in some areas and fast in others - buttons ect really dont confirm to any windows standard so are a bit confusing - Produces .on1 files instead of XMP - not sure if they can be used elsewhere or converted. Sharpness can be pushed hard and AI NR is pretty impressive for some shots although very very slow... and NR needs to be locked to stop it from reprocessing.. which is a bit wierd

Exposure X7 - Well priced - Speedy kinda LR speed - renders Xtrans nicely - but images just looked a bit rough for want of a better description. sharpness just isnt there jpg output looks a bit grainy

Lightroom - Honestly almost holds its own when looking at JPG exports - however unless I am willing to not pixel peep and accept there will be some rendering oddities C1 and On1 give better output - but it wont effect everything. One example was my 5 year olds eyes on a photo. at 100% with medium sharpening in LR worms were starting to appear at the interface of the iris and sclera (white) - again only noticeable at 100% - I do like the file management of LR too..

So here I am - more confused than ever

re quality C1 and On1 seem to be the clear quality winners to me. C1 with an edge to rendering and On1 for noise reduction on some images albeit very slow.. however LR still has the speed and useability for larger culling sessions. From what I have read here C1 seems to be closest in regard to performance and number of tools / options.

I know there are a lot that recommend C1 over LR so useability must be there - me being unfamiliar makes things harder. Price is hard to swallow in AUD though.

So without bashing any of the above softwares... what do you use and importantly WHY? I'm genuinuely interested in what drives you to use what software..


I’ve used both Capture 1 Pro and ON1 for the past 4 years. I used to have a Nikon dslr, sampled most of the raw processors at the time and eventually bought ON1 - I rejected LR because of its (then) relatively expensive subscription only price. I soon moved over to the Fuji X system and tried the (cheaper) C1 Fuji only edition and really liked it - moving to Fuji also confirmed my rejection of LR as it was, at that time, hopeless with x-trans files. But I kept up with ON1, so I could process non-Fuji files.

So I’m very familiar with both C1 and ON1 (not so much other apps). Between the two, on balance, I prefer C1 for its powerful colour editing and masking tools, its UI is very good and totally configurable, so once you get it to your liking, you can work very quickly and efficiently. I also occasionally shoot tethered, which is a very strong plus for C1. On the downside, importing files into C1 is slow and its catalogue functions are probably best described as merely adequate. The biggest downside is of course price - C1 is very expensive. I started out with C1 with the much cheaper Fuji only C1 edition. When C1 got rid of these, existing camera specific customers were able to continue, in perpetuity (!) with their existing price - so I only pay £9 per month for C1 - which is cheap (for C1).

However, ON1 has continued to improve substantially year by year and now has some very useful additional tools - it has a very handy and easy to use time lapse tool, a very effective image enlarger and its noise reduction tool is pretty good and very easy to work with your raw files (no need to generate proxy files). And if you like/need sky replacement, that too is now very good. Although its catalogue is similar to C1 (ie just adequate), with ON1 you do not need to import files - you just point it to the location of your files. And it’s much cheaper than C1.

So long story short, if I was now starting out new, between C1 and ON1, I would go with ON1 - IMO it’s a very good, well-priced,  all purpose raw processor (and you can also do some basic pixel editing with it as well) - it has some very useful tools which C1 does not have and is much cheaper than C1.

Obviously everybody has their own (often very strongly held) views on photo editing apps - these are just mine. Also in my view, life is just too short to get sufficiently familiar with all the different photo editing apps available to us to form a really informed opinion - they’re all pretty good! 
Good luck making your selection!

 TonyGN10's gear list:TonyGN10's gear list
Fujifilm X-T4 Fujifilm XF 55-200mm F3.5-4.8 R LM OIS Samyang 12mm F2.0 NCS CS XF 90mm Fujifilm XF 33mm F1.4 R LM WR +6 more
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