Good News for Fujifilm Shooters! - Adobe Updates Lightroom and Photoshop

Published: Fri, 06/24/16

Hi ,

If you’ve been shooting with the Fujifilm X Series cameras for awhile, then you may know that Lightroom and Photoshop haven’t always done a very good job with the X-Trans RAW files with regards to sharpness. This is due to the proprietary format of the color filter matrix that sits on top of the sensor. Adobe has been slow to improve their X-Trans demosaicing algorithms, and the result has been that Fuji RAW files processed in Photoshop and Lightroom generally appear soft and “smudgy.” 

This is why I’ve recommended the use of Iridient Developer and Capture One Pro for processing Fuji RAW files. Both of these programs produce very sharp images. The downside to using these programs is that it can complicate your workflow to add additional apps. We all want high quality images, but we also want simplicity in our workflow. We want to be efficient at the computer so we can spend more time outside taking pictures, right…?

Adobe Updates The CC Apps! Good News for Fujifilm Users!
Well, good news!~ Adobe updated both Lightroom CC and Photoshop CC this month, and it looks like Adobe has dramatically improved their X-Trans processing capabilities. It's not something they announced, but after a few tests, I’m pleased to report that both programs now produce much shaper conversions of Fujifilm RAW files, and they’ve even added color profiles for the new Acros black and white film simulation that were included in the X-Pro 2.

Adobe apps automatically apply their own standard Adobe color profile to any RAW file. This means the Fuji film sim you chose for that picture is erased once you open the file in Photoshop or Lightroom. However, you can reapply whatever Fuji color profile you wish under the “Camera Calibration” tab in both programs. Note, they’re not perfect reproductions of the actual Fuji film simulations, but they’re pretty close. 

I’m really excited about this, and my guess is that you will be too. It’s been a frustrating process to figure out an efficient workflow when my main image management program doesn’t play nice with my cameras. Sure, Lightroom isn’t extremely fast at importing and browsing, so I still use Photo Mechanic for initial import and culling of large batches of images. 

I still recommend Iridient Developer because it’s a great program that was created by one guy instead of a giant corporation, and I like to support that kind of effort. If you already have a way to catalog your images and just need a RAW converter, Iridient is a very good solution. 

I still think that Capture One Pro does an amazing job with color reproduction. It’s a very powerful program, but it’s just not realistic for me to switch over from Lightroom when I’ve got an image library that’s closing in 100K images. If you’re not into the idea of paying the monthly subscription fee to Adobe, Capture One Pro offers a good alternative.

However, if you’re like me, and you’re already entrenched with Lightroom and/or Photoshop, then you have reason to rejoice. Update both apps in your creative cloud dashboard so that you can take advantage of the X-Trans RAW processing capabilities.

Here's a quick sample to show you the kind of sharpness that's possible with the Adobe apps now. This images was opened and converted in the latest version of Photoshop CC. Notice the shadows and orange reflections on the rock, that's where you can see the most detail.
Fuji In-Camera RAW Converter
As you may know, the X Series cameras all have a RAW processor built right in. You can actually convert any RAW file you’ve already shot, and it adds the newly converted JPEG right to your card. Processing options are limited, but it works quite well, and it’s very convenient. If you haven’t checked this feature out, I highly recommend giving it a try. You may not use it all the time, but it’s one more tool that can come in handy when you need it.

Re-Thinking The RAW File
All this talk about RAW… One of the reasons the X Series camera are so awesome is that they produce excellent quality JPEGS. Their image processors are amazing, and when you combine that with real-time live view, you can shoot JPEG with confidence, and walk away with a good images. This same time and card space, and it makes your life easier. 

After years of shooting nothing but RAW with my DSLRs, I’m shooting more JPEGS now. I only shoot RAW when I’m dealing with very tricky or high contrast lighting. 

With this in mind, you should read this excellent article by my friend Lee Varis called Re-Thinking the RAW File. In addition to being a great travel photographer and X Series shooter, Lee is a very smart guy and his article presents some very interesting ideas about different approaches to RAW, JPEG and using the Fuji film simulations. 

X Series Camera and Lens Rebates - Through July 2
The current Fujifilm rebate promotion is still going on, but only for 10 more days. Almost every single camera and lens is on sale through July 2, with rebates of up to $300 on bodies and up to $400 on lenses. 

The best deal is the XF14mm f/2.8, at $400 off, which makes this lens almost half price! The XF14 is my favorite wide angle of all the Fuji glass, it’s a fantastic lens with almost no distortion and relatively close focus. This makes it an excellent choice for things like landscapes, travel, environmental portraits and night photography. This is my go-to lens for shooting the northern lights.

In fact, all of my favorite XF lenses are on sale, including the 18mm, 23mm, 35mm f./2, 56mm, 90mm, 50-140mm and 18-135mm. With the 50-140, you can either get the lens for $200 off or pay full price and get the new XF1.4x Teleconverter for free. ($349 savings). The 100-400 isn’t on sale, but if you buy it during the promotion, you’ll get the 1.4x TC for free as well. 

The X-T1 is currently $300 off right now, and you get a free vertical grip. The X-T10 is currently $599, which is a whole lot of camera for the price.

You can get the rebates at your local Fujifilm dealer, but if you prefer to buy online, you can find them at B&H Photo, Amazon and Amazon UK.

Purchasing through these link doesn’t cost you anymore, but it does help me out with a small commission. Consider that your virtual thumbs up to me for taking the time to research and bring you this info. :)

I hope you’ve been spending lots of time outside with your camera these days. Did you photograph the Strawberry moon during the night of the Solstice? Keep in touch and let me know what you’ve been shooting! The best way is to comment or tag me on Instagram and Twitter

Dan Bailey
Dan Bailey