Adobe's Fujifilm X-Trans sensor processing tested | Digital Photography Review | Fuji X-Pro1 | Scoop.it


With the posting of ACR 7.4 and Lightroom 7.4 'release candidates' (RC), Adobe has updated its raw processing algorithms for Fujifilm's X-Trans sensor cameras, the X-Pro1, X-E1, X100s and X20. This move comes in response to months of online user requests for improved raw processing of the X-Pro1, Fujifilm's flagship mirrorless interchangeable lens model. It is rare that Adobe's Camera Raw team revisits its demosaicing process for previously supported cameras, so we were excited to try out this latest version with some X-Pro1 raw files and compare results to the previous version of ACR, Capture One Pro 7 and Fujifilm's own in-camera conversion. 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 was one of the first third-party software makers to provide Raw support for the Fujifilm X-Pro1, but the results often fell short of the standard set by the camera's own JPEG engine, in terms of rendering fine detail. So let's see what changes Adobe has made.....

Summary:

While it's important to recognize that ACR 7.3 and earlier was certainly very usable for many types of X-Pro1 images - especially if they weren't subjected to 100% view scrutiny - there's no question that with the 7.4 release candidate, Adobe has substantially improved their raw processing for the camera's X-Trans sensor. Our hats are off to Adobe for committing the not-insignificant resources necessary to improve support for X-Trans sensor cameras with relatively limited market share. The results speak for themselves and we feel confident in saying that ACR 7.4 RC is the update that X-Pro1 users have long been waiting for. Default settings offer a useful comparison of a raw engine's demosaicing capabilities but of course you'll want to tweak these parameters to get the most out of any raw file. In re-processing dozens of X-Pro1 images with ACR 7.4 we found that they all benefited from slightly more aggressive than usual sharpening, with a higher radius value than we'd typically use. You can download the original Raw files below to try your hand with your own settings in the raw processor of your choice. Share your findings with the community in the comments section. We'd love to hear what works best for you.