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?
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:
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:
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:
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.