I will still suggest it as a third option for those who maybe can not run Enhanced details, or do prefer X-Transformer for some reason. After all, a lot of this is down to personal choice too. However, I think in the long run, if you can get as good, or better results without external software, then that is the way to go. Which leaves the disk space issue.
For some people, file size is more important than image quality. I’ve had readers complain about even creating DNGs in the first place, regardless of the size. For those for whom storage is more important than image quality, I suggest leaving the default conversion, then just tweak the sharpening settings. If you have an issue with a file, then just run enhanced details on that individual file or files. If you really do want to convert every file, but still want to not use too much disk space, then the only real option is to use X-Transformer. Or switch to Capture One.
For others, I’m working on a workflow to minimise the amount of space used. I would never suggest running enhance on every file, as it would use up too much time, space, and is unnecessary. Instead, I suggest a way of marking your selects, and then just converting those. I’ve even come up with a simple(ish) way to separate the DNG files once they’re created into a sub folder. I will probably do a video on how to do this once I’ve finalised my workflow.
Using Capture One which has superior demosiacing for X-Trans files also solves this problem, and you don’t need an intermediary step. For many though, switching applications may not be an option or they may just not want to. Despite how much I like Capture One, I still use Lightroom 30-40% of the time.
At the end of the day, the ideal solution would be for Adobe to just fix the damn conversion process properly and not have these hoops, but I don’t think that will ever happen at this stage, but who knows. The ACR processing engine is starting to show its age, and needs an overhaul in my opinion, but I can’t see that happening any time soon.
Anyway, I’m still at the planning stages, so I would welcome any feedback, or thoughts you might have on this - so feel free to leave a comment below.
Is Lightroom Really That Bad with Fuji RAW Files?
It’s no surprise that I’m a Fuji enthusiast. I’ve been shooting with Fuji since 2016 when they released the X-T2. It’s hard to criticize their cameras, they have a vintage form factor, a nostalgic selection of film simulations, great image quality, and (depending on the camera) some very impressive video features.
If there’s one criticism that I read all too often though, it’s the complaints that Fuji files look “terrible” when they’re processed in Lightroom. Maybe that’s more of a reflection of Adobe than it is Fuji, but in any case, I’ve come across this complaint so often that I felt it was time to address it.
Does Lightroom really suck with Fuji files?
Let’s just answer this question right out of the gate. In my experience, Lightroom handles Fuji X-Trans files quite well.
Keep in mind though, I primarily shoot portraits. Some of the complaints I’ve read specifically refer to how Lightroom does a poor job rendering foliage, saying they notice “wormy” artifacts where fine details should be. And I’ll admit, I have noticed this in the past whenever I had any foliage in my shots, but it was only noticeable if I zoomed in around a 100-200% crop. And even then, I was able to minimize those artifacts by tinkering with the “Detail” panel in Lightroom. For my portrait work, I’ve been more than pleased with how well of a job Lightroom does.
Does Capture One do a better job of processing X-Trans files? Sure, I’d say so. But I reallyyyyyy have to pixel-peep in order to tell.
Take a look for yourself. In the slider below, you’ll find two versions of the same image. One was processed in Lightroom, the other was processed in Capture One. No cropping or color adjustments were made to the image. Does one stand out as far superior to the other?
Edit: I noticed that one of the versions is the tiniest bit cropped in. I have no idea what caused this, as I exported both of them without applying any cropping. 🤷🏻♂️
Why Fuji Photographers should switch to Capture One
If you own a Fuji camera, you’ve probably noticed that everyone in the Fujifilm-community is changing from Lightroom to Capture One (myself included) – and it’s not just because of the huge discount you get right now – but that’s certainly a plus.
Why I made the switch from Lightroom to Capture One
I used to be a very happy Adobe Lightroom user for a long time and I always shoot with either my Fuji X-T3 or Fuji X100f.
(Update, I just bought myself the new and incredible Fuji X-T4)
It wasn’t until a friend of mine who is a Fuji X Photographer told me I should give Capture One I try because it renders photos shot on the Fuji X-Trans Sensors better than Adobe Lightroom does.
In his own words, my Fuji X Photographer friend said:
“Adobe Lightroom does a good job, but Capture One renders Fuji RAW files better and makes them sharper.Fuji X Photographer.
That was one year ago, and since then I’ve canceled my Adobe Lightroom subscription and made the complete switch to Capture One by Phase and I haven’t looked back since.
If you’re already used to working in Lightroom it’s very easy to do the transition. Both software is doing the same; they help you convert your RAW files and both provide you with, more or less, the same tools for you to edit and manipulate your photos.
Should you switch from Adobe Lightroom to Capture One?
Whether Capture One is better than Lightroom depends on your needs and the only way to really make that call is by trying it out for yourself.
Luckily all photo editing software comes with a 30 day free trial – without any commitments – here’s a link to Capture One’s free trial, go try it out for yourself.
Which photo editing software is faster?
When you import and render let’s say 1000 Fuji Raw files, then I experienced faster import and rendering-time in Capture One vs Lightroom. So if speed matters to you and you take a lot of photos, that’s another reason to change.
The Capture One Presets packages
The lightroom community has built a lot of presets, I had bought some myself that I was bummed out to lose when switching to Capture one.
But after I installed Capture 1, I bought their preset package that is really extensive and the Capture One preset package is one sale right now.
Learning how to use Capture One
If you’re already familiar with Lightroom, then the transition to Capture One will be quite easy, but in case you need it, there are a lot of great Capture One tutorials on Skillshare and Youtube.
After I switched from Lightroom to Capture One it’s not like I’ve seen a huge difference in terms of how I edit my raw images. But I have this feeling that I’ve made the right choice, because someone who is a lot better in photo editing than I am, told me it’s the right thing to do.
But I have this feeling that I’ve made the right choice, because someone who is a lot better in photo editing than I am, told me it’s the right thing to do.
If you want, take Capture One of a test-drive and see if it’s for you. Here’s a link to a discount on Capture One.
I know some of my friends who also take photos with the Fuji X-series like to use Adobe Photoshop as well, but that’s not for me. I don’t feel like going down the path of completely manipulating the photos I take. But that’s just my personal choice.
Should I change to Capture One if I have a Canon, Nikon or Sony camera?
That’s for you to decide. But I honestly don’t think you would feel a big difference going from Lightroom to Capture One if you are shooting Sony, Canon or Nikon, because Adobe Lightroom is very good at rendering those RAW-files too. So I wouldn’t bother changing my photo editing software if I were you.
Changing software for photo editing is not fun. It takes time to adapt to a new program. So if I were shooting with a Sony Camera or a Nikon camera, then I wouldn’t bother switching from Lightroom to Capture. One.
FAQ about why professional FujiFilm photographers are using Capture One.
Why is Capture One particularly popular among Fujifilm Photographers?
It’s because of the X-trans sensor that’s in Fuji cameras and how the RAW file renders.
Fuji is still a small player in the global marketing of camera brands.
If I owned a Nikon, Canon, Sony or one of the other popular camera brands, it probably doesn’t make that much sense for you to make the switch from Lightroom to Capture One.
Make sure to check out my favorite Fuji lenses and cameras for street photography.
Latest on Lightroom and Fuji?
When Adobe first moved to favouring subscriptions, I switched to a Capture One perpetual license.
The other concern around the time was that Adobe's handling of XTrans Raw files was not as good as you'd hope and expect.
However, Capture One have recently increased prices significantly. Even if I only upgrade every 2-3 years, new features, support for new equipment makes me wonder about that choice of software.
For me, someone who doesn't do much more than the minimum post processing however, the most important factor is the cataloguing. Nothing comes close to Lightroom. Not Capture One or any of the specialized catalogue packages I looked at a couple of years ago.
So my questions are:
1. Is XTrans support in Lightroom now on a par with other software?
2. Are there any software packages that can rival Lightroom for cataloguing?
BTW when I say "Lightroom", I mean the "Classic"/desktop application.
And by "cataloguing", I mean organising your photos.... Not sure if you'd quite call that DAM.
Lightroom and Fuji RAW Files
This is a section from the foreground of the image magnified to 200%. On the left is the unsharpened Fuji RAW file whilst you can see the sharpened version on the right. Notice how the ferns appear a little odd and unnatural, caused by something that’s become widely known as the wiggly worm effect. It’s typically seen in grass, ferns, and the bark of certain trees when the subject is a little more than 10-20 feet from the camera.
I’ve read a lot of articles by photographers who claim you can avoid the effect with certain sharpening and noise reduction settings. Having experimented with many of these, some work to a degree, but the image is often less than optimally sharpened. This is because part of the problem is the way Lightroom performs the Demosaic of the Fuji RAW file and isn’t only an issue with sharpening.
Lightroom Enhance Detail
If you don’t want to improve the way Lightroom processes Fuji RAW files without spending money, you may be able to use the Enhance Detail feature. Adobe launched this feature in 2019 which immediately improved the processing of Fuji RAW files. It will work with any RAW file supported by Adobe but whether there is any significant advantage for other types of RAW file is questionable.
To process a Fuji RAW file using Enhance Detail, first select the file in the Lightroom Library module. You can then select “Photo | Enhance Detail” from the Lightroom menu. This will process the RAW file, converting it to a new DNG format file. You can then process the DNG file in Lightroom, applying sharpening and noise reduction as required.
Lightroom Enhance Details produces sharp and quite natural results, with the wiggly worm effect being difficult to identify.
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