Fuji X100 and RAW: Aperture VS Lightroom VS Jpeg

Photographers using the great Fuji X100 struggling with the camera RAW files and for a good reason. Lightroom, maybe the most popular RAW developing software, just doesn’t do the work when it comes to Fuji’s RAF raw files. For many of us, Mac users, the RAW developing software provided with the camera isn’t an option at all, as it doesn’t work on OSX Lion. Saying that, even for PC using photographers, its not the ideal concept to have an additional workflow for this camera.

Fuji really did an amazing work with the image processing abilities inside the camera. Thanks to that, photographers now can get amazing Jpeg files with a great dynamic range, wide  tonality and impressive colors straight out of the camera. But what if we do like to keep the RAW files, with their great advantages?

Fuji X100 original Jpeg file

Couple of days ago I went to visit a friend who was shooting some dancers in a studio. I had the Fuji X100 with me. The studio was very dark with only few bright point and I was thinking that this scenario is a great opportunity to see how will the Jpeg files of the X100 will look next to the RAW files from the camera. Specially because I was convinced that the weakest point of Lightroom with this camera files is the inability to take advantage of the camera’s enacted dynamic range. I put the camera on RAW + Jpeg and started taking photos. I loved what I saw on the camera screen, which was looking almost identical to the JPeg file the camera produced (Picture above).

I imported the images into Lightroom and was looking after this frame that I remembered, and this is what I got instead:

Fuji X100 RAW file in Lightroom

I tried everything I can to get the most of it in Lightroom, including building an all new presets, cheating with color profiles and using great third party solution that usually work magic. This embersessing result is the best I could get:

Fuji X100 RAW file corrected in Lightroom

Wishing to steel keep the RAW capabilities and not to give up to the great result of the Jpeg file, I decided to reinstall a software that I haven’t work with for a very long time: Aperture. Yes, the software with the terrible interface that once tried to win over Lightroom. Aperture did a great work reading the Fuji X100 files, which only been improved when reducing the default black point value from 3 to 1. Figures that were in most cameras you will find mainly noise in the darks, Aperture finds lots of info:

Fuji X100 RAW file in Aperture

The Aperture really surprised me and with a very small black point adjustment really works wonderful with the X100 and proved that it still has allot to suggest to photographers.

  1. Edward Starkie says: September 27, 20112:49 pm


    Just read your blog about the Finepix software. If you download the latest version of the Raw Converter EXE from the Fujifilm support website, it does work on Lion. I have it on my MB Pro 15″ and it seems to work fine, although the software names for processes are rather cryptic. No make that very cryptic.


    Edward Starkie

  2. gillavi says: September 27, 20115:17 pm

    Can you please post a link? I couldn’t find any trace for a raw converter working on lion by Fuji anywhere, including of course on the support site.

    It can be very helpful for many.

    Gil Lavi

  3. Edward Starkie says: September 28, 201110:30 am

    Here is the link:


    It says it’s for 10.6 but works fine so far on my box with 10.7.1

    I’m interested to see how you feel it compares with Aperture and Lightroom as I don’t have either–I just got my X100 a few weeks ago and it’s the first camera I have had that was worth using in RAW


  4. Edward Starkie says: October 3, 20112:25 pm


    I posted this before, but it hasn’t shown up so maybe it didn’t work. The link to Raw Converter EXE is here:

    It works for 10.7.1 on my macbook pro. Interested to see what you think of it in comparison to the other programs.



  5. henkie says: October 10, 20114:43 pm

    I have the same problem lion doesn’t see my camera also doesn’t show up in image capture? And the installers on Fuiji website only go up to 10.6? And when you do try it it tells me sorry this is POWER PC?!! only. Seems like the Fuiji dudes need to step it up and get with it… Now i have to make sure to always bring my card reader…

    • Kenisha says: December 29, 20119:03 am

      The purachses I make are entirely based on these articles.

    • Namari says: December 30, 201111:00 pm

      That insight’s prefcet for what I need. Thanks!

  6. Edward Starkie says: October 18, 201112:48 pm

    The Fuji Finepix viewer does not work according to most people (I haven’t even tried it), but the link I posted, even though it says 10.6 installed just fine on my 2010 Macbook Pro. As far as camera recognition, I don’t know, haven’t used it. I take the card out of the camera, put it in the port on the left hand side of my computer, and grab the pictures I want from the disk directly.

    Good luck!


    • Robinson says: December 30, 20119:04 pm

      Your answer lifts the intelligence of the dbetae.

  7. Brendy says: December 30, 20119:03 pm

    Hey, good to find smoenoe who agrees with me. GMTA.

  8. Ado says: March 25, 20129:17 am

    “Aperture: Yes, the software with the terrible interface that once tried to win over Lightroom”

    Hmm, I’ve been a dedicated Aperture user for years and I think it does a marvelous job. Years ago I decided very carefully between Lightroom and Aperture and Aperture won. I never looked back.
    But judging from your comments I maybe should take a look at Lightroom again? Do they really get a leg up on Aperture these days? Or is it still “oranges or apples” as it was when I made my decision?

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