Archive for December, 2012

31
Dec
2012

Happy New Year from Antwerpen!

antwerpen sky

 image courtesy: myself ;-)

Happy new year, dear readers! I’m here in Antwerpen, waiting for the fireworks to illuminate this sky! Have a good start in this new year, and, as Olaf wrote me in his mail, a 2013 full of photo events! Let’s start with the CES early January. :-)

But now, have fun tonight!

Patrick

P.S.: if you want, take a look at the 2012 round-up at pixiq.com… in one sentence: “it was all about putting big sensors in smaller cameras“.

31
Dec
2012

Capture One – When the Going Gets Tough…

…the Tough Get Going. Demosaicing the X-Trans sensor is a tough task, and in about a week, Phase One is expected to release a new final version of their successful Capture One (aka C1) RAW file processing software. Although it’s just a minor update (7.0.2) on paper, this is major news for Fujifilm X-Trans camera users. There’s also a crazy amount of hype  going on about it in the virtual sphere. Several beta testers have been stating that C1 is putting Lightroom/ACR to shame. This usually refers to X-Trans image detail reproduction, which is pretty lame in Lightroom. So this is a no-brainer: Of course, detail rendering is better than in Lightroom! DCRAW and Silkypix put Lightroom/ACR to shame in this category, as well.

That said, I think detail rendering is pretty decent in this C1 beta, but it’s also nothing to brag about too loudly (at least if you know how to use Silkypix 5 or the DCRAW based “RPP” converter). In any case, it’s always great to get new workflow options, because competition is good for us customers. I’m also confident that Phase One’s X-Trans market entry and increasing sales of current and future X-Trans camera models will put more pressure on Adobe to get their act together. Not that I really needed Lightroom, as I appear to be one of those very few human beings on this planet who have no problem at all processing X-Trans RAWs in (gasp!) Silkypix 5.

I have played with C1′s beta version for almost two weeks, and I’m quite pleased with its ability to recover highlights, which seems to be on par with Lightroom/ACR and definitely better than Silkypix 5. There are still several issues, though, which I will not get into specifically at this time, as I expect them to be ironed out in the final version of the software. It’s called “beta” for a reason, at least hopefully so.

Here are a few successful examples of me developing some of my high dynamic range test samples  in Capture One (click on them for high-res versions):

DSCF6339 (Capture One version)

DSCF5915 (Capture One version)

DSCF5528 - A Storm is Coming (Capture One version)

Please let me take this opportunity to thank you all for your warm welcome here on Fujirumors – and for so many of you also expressing their support by pre-ordering “Mastering the Fujifilm X-Pro1“, which will start shipping in just a few days, as my publisher has told me.

With respect to the topic of my next regular column, it appears like we already have a winner. However, please still cast your vote if you haven’t done so already. Your votes are not just helpful in determining what topics to discuss in future editions of this column, their accumulated number is also a good indicator of your general interest in this column altogether. That said, I’m already mentally preparing to write something insightful about “extended ISO” settings. See you next Friday here on Fujirumors, and have a great start in 2013!

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Rico Pfirstinger studied communications and has been working as journalist, publicist, and photographer since the mid-80s. He has written a number of books on topics as diverse as Adobe PageMaker and sled dogs, and produced a beautiful book of photographs titled Huskies in Action (german version). He has spent time working as the head of a department with the German Burda-Publishing Company and served as chief editor for a winter sports website. After eight years as a freelance film critic and entertainment writer in Los Angeles, Rico now lives in Germany and devotes his time to digital photography and compact camera systems.

31
Dec
2012

Comparison between Capture One-Beta / SOOC JPG / Lightroom / Silkypix

Hi

I’m always very happy when people offer their collaboration with this blog. People send me emails to share news, rumors, deals, reviews, considerations… This collaboration is very important for me and I’m grateful for any help I get from you. Really, thank you very much!

This time Toby invested a lot of time to make an extended comparison between  SOOC JPG/Lightroom/C1-beta/Silkypix. He sent me an email with a lot of images and personal considerations. I’m happy to share it with you. Thank you Toby.

He wrote:

“Fujifilm’s X-Trans CMOS image sensor is designed with  an irregular R, G and B pixel pattern to remove the need of an anti-aliasing filter, improve color reproduction and meet or surpass image quality of a full frame sensor.  Other manufactures use a traditional Bayer Array Sensor, regardless of who makes the sensor or the overall size, the R, G and B layout is the same.

A problem arises when a RAW Fuji image file (RAF) from an X-Trans sensor is processed by software designed to develop Bayer Array RAW files.    It is like the two devices are speaking a different language.

Probably the most popular image editing software is Adobe Lightroom and Photoshop.  I’ve used Photoshop since the late 90s and Lightroom since LR1.  In a recent update Adobe’s RAW converter began to be compatible with Fujifilm RAF files.  The only problem is when you start to view the photos closely you notice what I see as an orange peel effect.  It is as if the image was printed on textured canvas.  This visual is easiest seen in some situations more than others, but it is always there.   From the language analogy above, it is like Adobe’s RAF converter is using Google Translate to make sense of the X-Trans array.  Much like Google Translate, the results are understandable but something is not quite right….

You could just deal with it.  Up until now you had two other options though; you could use SOOC JPGs (straight out of camera JPGs) or the included-in-the-box copy of Silkypix  Fujifilm was kind enough to include.  I’ve never come to grips with SOOC JPGs.  I’ve tried, I did a bunch of controlled test shots and took notes of each JPG setting in the camera then analyzed them later to try and find one I liked, I just couldn’t do it.  Some people love SOOC JPGs, others don’t.  The second option, Silkypix, is a good intention with bad execution.  To be frank, it is hard to use and you never get used to it.  I’ve yet to hear or read about anyone that uses it out of choice.

But there is some good news.  Just on the horizon is a new release of Phase One Capture One Pro 7 and it is supposed to have proper support for RAF files.   I’ve been working with a beta of the release and the results speak for themselves.

So enough of that, lets do some testing.  I set up my camera to take a single shot RAW+JPG L/F and ran the RAF image through Lightroom 4.2, Siklypix 3 and Capture One Pro 7 beta and copied the original jpg file from the camera SD over to my work folder.    Each RAF test was imported into the software and exported as a 220 ppi sRGB jpg at the highest quality available.  SOOC JPG settings on the camera were all areas to default with the film type as Standard.

All the files here can be seen as a set on my Flickr page (direct set link:  http://flic.kr/s/aHsjDpaFTK )

Here is one of the original test files from my back patio.  It is a mix of straight lines, dark and light areas and a tree.

Tree House

Here are some crops of JPG, LR, C1 and SP images:

Crops 1

Crops 2

Crops 3

Using LR, you can’t sharpen RAF files much before problems arise:

Converter

On a second image I did the same test but went a bit farther and did my personal choice edits of the image in Lightroom and Capture One just to see the different results.  At this viewing resolution, both files are quite useable.

Lightroom:

Lightroom Plant

Capture One:

C1 Plant

More LR/C1 image test are available here:  http://flickr.com/gp/tdp_photos/Gn53wg/

My two cents:

As I mentioned earlier, I’ve been an Adobe user for quite some time.  It would take a lot for me to change to another piece of software, it would have to blow my socks off.  Capture One does just that…..and it is a beta.  Betas are supposed to be buggy little bits of trouble, this one has been flawless – and the image results from RAF files are fantastic.  Oh did I mention it was FAST?   I’m using it on a 1 year old MacBook Pro laptop and the software is very quick.  I’m a happy camper, with great pleasure I will be buying this software once it comes out for three reasons:  The speed, the tools and the results.

It has been mentioned in various places that posting image results from Capture One beta software goes against the terms of service.   According to item 6 in the beta TOS you agree not to distribute the software or download link, nor discuss any issues that go on during the beta test.  I have no issues with the software at all, nor am I discussing any faults or shortcomings – because I have not experienced any problems at all with the software.

- tdp

My 500px   http://500px.com/xaitian

My Flickr    http://www.flickr.com/photos/tdp_photos/

The debate is open in the comments!
30
Dec
2012

miXed Zone

Fuji X photography

gizmodo top 10 cameras 2012

Gizmodo released his top 10 cameras 2012 rating (click here). The X-PRO1 reached the 8th position. First position for the Canon EOS 5D MARK III, second position for the Nikon D800 and the RX100 is third.

X-PRO1

Landscape photography and X-PRO1? See the results at fstopguy.com. His landscape photography equipment is: XF 18mm, XF 35mm, XF 60mm. Accessories: L-Bracket and grip for X-PRO1cable release, extra batteries, SanDisk Extreme PRO, Circular Polarizer, ND Filters, Tripod with ball head.

The X-PRO1 in the metro of Paris. See all the people with their mobile phones and read the impressions of parisphototours.

Street photography with the X-PRO1 and 18mm lens? See the pics of the trip in Melbourne here.

Some X-PRO1 pics at high Iso. (click here)

Is the X-PRO1 the perfect travel camera? Read the opinions of mcgaughey here.

X-PRO1 highlight recovery at hfortysixit.com

From 11th. of August 2012 Juha Periniva started to shoot with Fuji X-Pro1 and four lenses. Click here to see his beautiful shots in Finnland.

X-E1

Street photography by derekclark (click here). Don’t avoid to shoot in the rain or in the midday sun! Read why.

All I want for X-mas is a X-E1… read the creativelondonphotographer review here.

Did Simon Peckham the right decision by selling his Nikon DSLR and purchasing the X-E1? Here are his first thoughts. And once he received the camera, he posted his first impressions and pics (click here). (also he enjoyed “the best review of the X-E1 to date” of riflessifotografici as he worte here. If you want to read the riflessifotografici review, click here!)

A German video review on youtube can be seen here. If you want to read the review and look at sample pics click here (translated version).

Many, many snapshots can been seen here: brandonremler

Read the sansmirror review here. It focuses also on the difference between X-PRO1 and X-E1.

Fuji’s has always made cameras and camera sensors that intrigue me and have enabled me to turn out beautiful files. And their lenses are also well regarded“. Read the whole opinion about the X-E1 at visualsciencelab (click here)

X-F1

A video review of PhotoNewsReview here.

Fuji F800 EXR

For a first look at digitalcamerareview click here.

VOTE THE X-PERT CORNER POLL

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29
Dec
2012