Raw and raw conversion
The Fujifilm FinePix X10 is provided with the 'FinePix CD' software disc which includes:
- MyFinePix Studio Ver 3.1 - A basic file viewer / manager (Windows only)
- FinePix Viewer Ver 3.6 - A file viewer / manager (for Mac OS X 10.3-10.6)
- RAW File Converter EX - A powerful, fully-featured RAW converter based on SilkyPix
The X10 ships with its own customized, but fully featured version of SilkyPix, called RAW File Converter EX. This is a hugely flexible piece of software that includes a vast range of options and adjustments, and which is capable of producing pretty impressive results. It's not the easiest converter to get to grips with though: its menus give the impression of having been machine-translated, the available options aren't necessarily very logically organized, and the on-screen 'Help', although comprehensive, is about as obtuse as you'll ever find (it tends to repeat what the options are, rather than explain what they mean). But if you're prepared to put in the time and effort to work it out, then the results can be very worthwhile.
Once you've worked your way past the slightly odd terminology (images are called 'scenes', and parameter sets get saved to the 'cloakroom', for example), you'll find a vast range of tools to rival industry leaders such as Capture One or Adobe Camera Raw. This includes features you won't always find in bundled software, such as highlight recovery, lens aberration correction, and perspective correction (here known as 'Digital Shift').
As is normal in our reviews we like to compare the supplied raw conversion software, any optional manufacturer raw conversion software and some third party raw converter. For the purpose of this test we've picked Adobe Camera Raw alongside the SilkyPix software. Here we compare these two converters to the camera's JPEG engine to see how each of them pulls detail out of the images.
- JPEG - Large/Fine, Default settings
- SP - Raw File Converter EX
- ACR - Adobe Camera raw 7.1
Sharpness and Detail
While there are noticeable differences in contrast and color rendition as well as minor sharpness distinctions between the ACR and SilyPix Raw conversions, it is immediately obvious in the samples below that neither file contains as much detail as the in-camera JPEG. This strongly suggests that the unique EXR sensor data is not being demosaiced for optimal results by either of the raw converters, both of which officially support the X10.
The distinctions between in-camera and third party Raw support are such that in our opinion anyone wishing to take advantage of the X10's Raw file advantages would be best served by using the in-camera raw conversion options rather than external software.
Fortunately, Fujifilm has provided a wide selection of useful and effective options for converting Raw files in-camera. You can choose among film simulation modes, adjust, color intensity, sharpness, noise reduction, white balance (including fine-tuning shifts) and adjust local highlight and shadow contrast.
|Raw File Converter EX (SilkyPix) Raw ->JPEG (Default settings)
ISO 100 studio scene 100% crop
|Adobe ACR 7.1 Raw ->JPEG (Default settings)
ISO 100 studio scene 100% crop
|In-camera JPEG, Fine quality (Default settings)
ISO 100 studio scene 100% crop
In the 100% crops from our resolution chart below, the difference in output between in-camera and external raw conversions is even more striking. You're simply not able to achieve resolution you'd reasonably expect from Raw output of a 12MP sensor with either ACR or SilkPix. Both raw converters were used at their default settings to produce the images you see here. And while we're tempted to give a slight edge (no pun intended) to ACR over SilkPix neither conversions are ideal.
|In-camera JPEG||Raw File Converter EX (SilkyPix) Raw|
|ACR 7.1 Raw|
In-camera Raw conversion
As we've established, converting the X10's raw files using computer software is quite a hassle, and doesn't necessarily result in markedly better image quality than is offered by the camera's JPEG engine. Fortunately though, like the X100 and X-Pro1, the X10 offers an excellent in-camera Raw conversion feature.
|Although you don't get as much control over noise reduction and sharpening as you'll get in Silkypix and Adobe Camera Raw, the X10's in-camera conversion feature allows you to quickly change color modes, white balance, and even adjust highlight and shadow tone.|
In playback mode, navigate to the image you want to adjust, and press the 'RAW' button to activate the in-camera conversion dialog.
Raw files for downloadDon't just take our word for it - take a look at the X10's raw files for yourself, and process them yourself. Here, we provide you with a selection of raw files of 'real world' scenes, and provide the associated in-camera JPEGs for comparison. if you want to take a closer look at the X10's studio scene shots, you can download original raw files from our Image Quality Compared (raw) page.
|Waffles with fruits by Coolinarka|
from Food photography (desserts)
|Vestrahorn Frozen Reflection by Will B Milner|
from Ice cold
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