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New to Fuji X - 3 questions - exif/film sim info, raw, & GPS/geotagging

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Hi all, I'm new both to the Fuji X cameras (but not Fuji film/chrome!) and after 2 days of reading, setting up, and doing field tests, am at the point of managing & viewing image files. I have hit 3 roadblocks which I don't see directly addressed via online search or forum search (so far, anyway).
Any advice/suggestions appreciated, and I know full well everyone's work flow, software/hardware, and personal context vary widely. Apologies for greedily asking 3 questions, hoping one or more yields something useful for my situation. Thank you in advance. 

#1 - Exif/file info with reference to film simulation.  (Note I've not yet downloaded the raw converter, and not sure which/how will give me the best and easiest tools and experience).
So... I went out to take my "first roll" of images, shooting in both .jpeg and raw, mostly stills plus a few 4K vid clips, and emulating my beloved Velvia in some (fall foliage time here) while trying out some of the other film types. The thing is, when I downloaded - to a Mac, w/ iPhotos/Photos and Photoshop - I had no way to tell which film type was on each image, among shots I took several of to compare the results side by side. Problem #1: Neither the Mac file info nor Photoshop .exif info provides "Provia" or "Velvia" or whatever label, leaving me the arduous task of going to the camera and copying that info by hand into the image notes or filename.  I see many reviews and how-to's with many photos, each listing the film emulation used. Is there anything I've missed in looking for the (.jpeg) setting? Any tips? Thanks.

#2 - Raw - I've read a bunch and upgraded Photoshop to be able to read and work with the .raf files. HOWEVER, again maybe specific to my chosen tools (usually iPhoto for viewing and Photoshop/Elements for editing/post), but my issue here is lack of thumbnail display when looking through or importing .raf files. I see only the generic thumbnail, not an image, rendering the previews useless in knowing what's there, without referring back to the camera or finding the same file in .jpeg if I have it.  Is there some fix for this either within Photoshop or via some Fuji software?

#3 - GPS/Geotagging -  Probably my biggest disappointment compared with what else is "out there", and compared against both my iPhone (which geotags and maps) or my Pentax camera which does it too. Automatically. Again, I read many posts, reviews, and manuals (like a good scientist), but while I get the idea of what's possible, still I'm not pleased with the "workaround". Obviously it wasn't a deal-breaker in choosing this wonderful camera (X-T2) but it would be real nice to automatically tag with location and/or GPS coordinates. I understand you need a GPS receiver to get this, so no firmware update is going to help, but....  I find the option to use a phone device and tether, constantly remembering to manually change the camera setting with each new location, let's say, cumbersome. (A pain!)  Sometime the phone is useless, with no wifi or satellite nearby, but that's pretty rare for GPS.
Anyway, I've read some suggestions (along the line of being sure to change the location manually with each new place, tethered to a phone with GPS/geotagging) and am wondering - though I've mostly resigned to forgetting about native, or easy, geotagging with this camera .... Any secret techniques for rather easily geotagging at least key places on a journey?  Right now, though I'm not sure I'll have phone or wi-fi near me where I'm headed, one consideration is taking a phone photo at every camera session, just to get the coordinates and/or geographic tag. If that's all I can do really, I'd be interested in knowing whether I'd be able to add the GPS info from phone photo, manually or in bulk, AFTER the fact, when I return home or to base, or whatever. Any hints/advice appreciated.

Those are my big-3 remaining questions before I venture out with this camera as my new main camera (replacing much bigger/heavier gear). My first forum query, and again, apologies for the length and breadth of my inquiry. Thinking this "the place" to ask among actual users of all stripes. Thanks!

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I’ll let others answer points 1 and 2 but I feel able to answer number 3.

Yes it is disappointing that there is no built-in GPS but in fairness Fuji never claimed there was. Using the Fuji app to add GPS coordinates is rather clunky so what I do is this. On my iPhone I use an app called GeotagPhotos

http://www.geotagphotos.net

All is explained on their site but basically you ensure your camera has EXACTLY the same time as your phone, start the app and then it records the position where you took each photo - it actually records a track (using the phone’s built-in GPS). All your recorded routes can then be exported as a GPX file via Dropbox, email, or the web and using Lightroom or a similar program it matches the time along the route with the time you took each photo and then tags each photo with the location. Simples! I use it all the time and it works perfectly. I also get a nice route of where I took my photos as well as them being individually tagged.

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Thanks glospete... responsive and very quick! I see Lightroom again seems useful (though I don't use it), but will check out the GeotagPhotos. On first look I can see how syncing time would be vital if it works by tagging by time, from the Geotag log. Not sure - though they describe it as a feature - how it might impact my phone's battery use while I'm remote and with finite external power - but probably would be fine for a day outing. Not a user now of GPX files, so will need to learn and adapt to that too, in addition to a new camera (which I'm seeing is itself not so long-lasting in terms of battery). Well, I do like their description of tagging all photos downloaded to computer and then using the log to match up location from app log and tag ALL photos with "one click". I can see how that would be a great feature. And yes, of course, Fuji never claimed to have GPS onboard, true... And maybe I'll live, as I have with 9/10 prior cameras. Still can wish... maybe next Fujicam!

Have bookmarked the app and will check it out further soon, before I take off with the X-T2 to "parts unknown" (and maybe some without wifi or satellite data altogether).  Thanks again. 

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Yes I forgot to say that there is battery impact but the latest versions of the app minimise it and I can do a whole mornings recording (with GeoTag Photos) and not flatten my battery. I carry a portable charger thing to boost my battery if I need it but nowadays I don't need to use it.

 

And the Map feature of Lightroom shows all the photos on a map and small thumbnails of them in their location. Very clever.  

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OK, I downloaded GeoTag Photos to phone and to laptop/desktop, and will give it a dry run locally before heading out. Looks good. Still learning lots quickly about XT-2 use, especially 1) that the files - .jpeg, raw, and even very short 4K clips - are pretty huge compared to previous cameras; and 2) seen in both posts here and one day's moderate/mixed use, I gather I'd better have quite a few batteries with me when I'm far from AC and chargers. (Obviously the higher resolutions I choose will do that, I know.) And maybe I'll grab another of those portable charger things too, for the phone specifically, not only for the constant GPS but - even without wi-fi or phone service - for occasional lower-filesize video &/or backup cam. (Yes, I do know that I can probably go a notch lower on file sizes, and skip the raw for just walk-around times, etc., insofar as gobbling up space.) It's keeping the camera alive (battery life), and my questions about accessing film simulation type in the exif or other viewer/organizers than Lightroom, getting my next attention. One step at a time.... I think your app may be my best bet in terms of relatively easy geo-tagging. Onward... so much to learn in this hugely featured camera - about what IS there to use in addition to how to workaround what I'd like to have but isn't built-in. Thanks again!

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Normally, since I have my phone with me I just snap a photo of wherever I'm at.  Once I'm back at LR, I just copy the GPS info from a photo taken with my iPhone, to ALL the photos in that series taken with the Fuji.  Takes me seconds and I don't have to spend any $ on GPS units, or worry about battery life etc.  Besides, my iPhone 7Plus takes a heck of an image to boot!

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Hi FenFotos,

you don't need to download the Fujifilm Raw converter if you already use Photoshop. Install the latest Camera Raw for better compatibility and when your pictures are loaded into that you can manage your film simulation in the Camera Calibration menu (on the right side of your photo, the one with the camera icon). By default the Camera Profile is set to "Adobe Standard" but if you click on that you can see and select the film simulation installed in your camera and see the change applied to the picture straight away.
This works with any camera brands and models.

Regarding the Exif metadata I use Exif Editor:

https://exifeditor.com/

With which I can manage all the metadata and also the film simulation.

Edited by lamacchiacosta

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#1

 

I'm on Mac and have EXIF Tool installed with a script icon in my Finder Toolbar, which allows me to drop the out-of-camera files (JPG or RAF) on it to see all the EXIF the image may contain.

 

In camera processed JPG show the tag FilmMode: under ----Fujifim---- category

LR exported JPG show the tag CameraProfile: under ----XMP-crs---- category

 

If you use Provia film mode it shows as 'Standard'

 

Aperture does not list the Film Mode, but it lets you add custom tags where you could fill in the info.

Lightroom does not list it either.

 

 

I pretty much gave up on worrying about the Film Simulations and shoot all my images with Provia Setting as I find Velvia overcooked in color saturation. The moment you 'enhance' your shot in post processing the  Film Type becomes irrelevant as it is when processing from RAFs. I process most of my images where strong contrasts are present as RAFs in LR, then compare with the OOC JPG in Aperture (which is still my favorite File Manager). LR beats OOC JPGs with strong differences in contrast every time, while low contrast shots often look better as OOC JPG or processed with Aperture. I also use the X-Raw Studio now and find it quite good, but it is missing Highlight/Shadow Recovery which is not possible to ad as long as it is not part of the in-camera JPG-engine.

Edited by Mikofox

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Re #3

The X-T3 hopefully will have low-power Bluetooth support and pair with BT Loggers and GPSs or some company will step in and fab a hot-shoe GPS for the X-series.

The current GPS feature is just silly, as is the built-in server for the most part.

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Thanks to those who replied with suggestions, from tagging with phone to GPS apps. I've been traveling and at times "off grid", and mostly in Cuba late Nov/early Dec, absorbing lots of things while also trying to manage my new system (X), camera (XT-2) and lenses - plus hopefully keeping a GPS log w/Geotag Photos Pro and an iPhone. I posted a bit about my experiences with the lenses (weather-resistant really helped in a monsoon with the 18-135) while night street photos with 18-55mm/high ISO are just now awing me. Both color and black at white are awesome at mind-boggling ISO.

OK, to the OP and those who replied while I was away from Net... thanks. Trying to summarize this, re-looking at my very first questions and forum question(s).

#1 & #2 - This  was my first experience trying to compare bracketed film types on computer when I only saw the number and .exif, but no mention of which film emulation it was. And also at first, until I updated PS Camera Raw, I couldn't see raws at all.   For seeing a label of the film type (at first I was experimenting with many)  I had to consult the camera until I got in a routine where I know what each of 3 exposures is, film-type wise. But still, if I keep one only, which is it (if I care or want to share info on forums, e.g.).

I am using PS (standalone) for Mac and I can  now see and edit RAFs with that but not with my beloved Apple (i)Photos which will not import, much less display the raw files. So, no converters envisioned, though am now thinking Fuji's might be useful for labeling the film types with Raw. I know, give it up and totally change my habits of 20 yrs! Nah.

#3 - GPS  - The best solution, recommended here and elsewhere, seemed to be Geotag Photos Pro. People seem to find it simple, but having used cams with built-in GPS, I came away frustrated (or agreeing with "make sure to take some phone images at each stop, to record the GPS"). It's taking me time and pains to reconstruct one day of walking around different plazas and sections of town, where the log which got uploaded and then melded with my images to geotag, well... there were gaps (set usually to 5 minutes or so intervals, and never turned off/ending the trip completely, so it was one continuous log, or should have been. Gaps. Segments where 5 hours would go by and it said I was still in the place I started off, though it was set to be logging, and each day if I could, I uploaded to their server, the day's log. As I say, several sections of a day or 1/2 day, useless or inaccurate. Not dependent on wi-fi, they say, only the phone's GPS, so... don't know, but there were glitches and I'm glad I do have a few stills with the phone to get an accurate GPS coordinate. (OTOH, occasionally the geotag pro mini-maps were spot on and detailed). But I was too trusting it was working consistently, I guess. I "interfaced" with the app developer, who apologized for days' delay, but it's not their most pressing product to support, and with days delays between emails, each getting back to their gps file type, but never really getting solid advice for accessing all the uploaded data, should I feel compelled/masochistic to try over again.  Frustrated, and wish they'd add GPS to Fuji-film! 

Anyhow, just wound my back to this original post of mine - I got no notices, and was unaware of the last few posts (or got nada while in Cuba). 

So thanks for the responses, that's my story, and... Happy New Year with lots of fun photography! 


 

Edited by FenFotos

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Hi all, I'm new both to the Fuji X cameras (but not Fuji film/chrome!) and after 2 days of reading, setting up, and doing field tests, am at the point of managing & viewing image files. I have hit 3 roadblocks which I don't see directly addressed via online search or forum search (so far, anyway).

Any advice/suggestions appreciated, and I know full well everyone's work flow, software/hardware, and personal context vary widely. Apologies for greedily asking 3 questions, hoping one or more yields something useful for my situation. Thank you in advance. 

 

#1 - Exif/file info with reference to film simulation.  (Note I've not yet downloaded the raw converter, and not sure which/how will give me the best and easiest tools and experience).

So... I went out to take my "first roll" of images, shooting in both .jpeg and raw, mostly stills plus a few 4K vid clips, and emulating my beloved Velvia in some (fall foliage time here) while trying out some of the other film types. The thing is, when I downloaded - to a Mac, w/ iPhotos/Photos and Photoshop - I had no way to tell which film type was on each image, among shots I took several of to compare the results side by side. Problem #1: Neither the Mac file info nor Photoshop .exif info provides "Provia" or "Velvia" or whatever label, leaving me the arduous task of going to the camera and copying that info by hand into the image notes or filename.  I see many reviews and how-to's with many photos, each listing the film emulation used. Is there anything I've missed in looking for the (.jpeg) setting? Any tips? Thanks.

 

#2 - Raw - I've read a bunch and upgraded Photoshop to be able to read and work with the .raf files. HOWEVER, again maybe specific to my chosen tools (usually iPhoto for viewing and Photoshop/Elements for editing/post), but my issue here is lack of thumbnail display when looking through or importing .raf files. I see only the generic thumbnail, not an image, rendering the previews useless in knowing what's there, without referring back to the camera or finding the same file in .jpeg if I have it.  Is there some fix for this either within Photoshop or via some Fuji software?

 

#3 - GPS/Geotagging -  Probably my biggest disappointment compared with what else is "out there", and compared against both my iPhone (which geotags and maps) or my Pentax camera which does it too. Automatically. Again, I read many posts, reviews, and manuals (like a good scientist), but while I get the idea of what's possible, still I'm not pleased with the "workaround". Obviously it wasn't a deal-breaker in choosing this wonderful camera (X-T2) but it would be real nice to automatically tag with location and/or GPS coordinates. I understand you need a GPS receiver to get this, so no firmware update is going to help, but....  I find the option to use a phone device and tether, constantly remembering to manually change the camera setting with each new location, let's say, cumbersome. (A pain!)  Sometime the phone is useless, with no wifi or satellite nearby, but that's pretty rare for GPS.

Anyway, I've read some suggestions (along the line of being sure to change the location manually with each new place, tethered to a phone with GPS/geotagging) and am wondering - though I've mostly resigned to forgetting about native, or easy, geotagging with this camera .... Any secret techniques for rather easily geotagging at least key places on a journey?  Right now, though I'm not sure I'll have phone or wi-fi near me where I'm headed, one consideration is taking a phone photo at every camera session, just to get the coordinates and/or geographic tag. If that's all I can do really, I'd be interested in knowing whether I'd be able to add the GPS info from phone photo, manually or in bulk, AFTER the fact, when I return home or to base, or whatever. Any hints/advice appreciated.

 

Those are my big-3 remaining questions before I venture out with this camera as my new main camera (replacing much bigger/heavier gear). My first forum query, and again, apologies for the length and breadth of my inquiry. Thinking this "the place" to ask among actual users of all stripes. Thanks!

 

Hi:

Maybe I can assist with #1 and #2.  Even though iPhoto/PS/Photos are great tools they will not be able to give you the control such as LightRoom, or another image editor.  Now, that hurts to say as I despise Adobe!  but it's today's reality.  I've tried Capture One and hated it, and I've tried On1Raw, and that is an extremely slick program.  I think they are very, very close to being a LR competitor; but for now, it' Adobe LR.  sorry.

With that being said I've been using LR since BETA 1.0!!  Going back years.  On to Fuji:  In LR, you can load all the different Fuji profiles and you can switch between all of the profiles when working on raw files.  Now, the FUJIFILM RAW STUDIO software which is FREE and I've been testing is rather nifty as it allows the camera to do the heavy lifting.  It is clunky, and has some drawbacks, but for a quick conversion, and to learn what the camera does internally when you say, change shadows from -1 to +1 it's pretty cool learning tool -- and it's free.  It has a long way to go yet, but it's useable for some.  I unfortunately have to stick to LR for now though as I said ON1 Raw is fast, and slick.

And I know no one wants to hear this but the Silkypix software, though vERY clunky to use, is an amazing tool!  It has so many options, it's just unreal.  When I started shooting X cameras, in 2013, that was my only choice for a while as Adobe did not yet support RAF files, and when they finally got to it, their processing engine sucked.  Every now and then I'll open up Silkypix and use it.  It truly is a beautiful processor, though, as I and many others have said, clunky interface but you'll fund so many options in there that LR does not have.

 

In regards to #3 Geotagging I take a simple and super cheap approach:  I take a shot with my iPhone.  When I'm back in LR, and I have the iPhone image in there (which it does automatically via LR Mobile) I open the iPhone image in LR Library module and copy the GPS coordinates. I then select ALL the Fuji images taken in that same location and paste my iPhone GPS coordinates right into the EXIF of the fuji images.  It takes but mere seconds to do - and I don't need to bother with extra devices, dongles etc, sucking battery juice from my cameras.

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