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What post-processing software for Fuji X-Trans?

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Hi,

I have been doing A LOT of reading on the internet on this topic and I am still struggling to make a decision on what software to get for editing and storing my Fuji RAW files.

I purchased a Fuji XT20 with the 18-55 kit lens last Dec to take on backpacking around SE Asia for 7 months. Prior to this I had only shot JPEGs with compact cameras and did all my (pretty basic) editing in Photoshop Elements 7.0. I have access to a copy of LR 3 but I have never used it. For file management everything is currently stored on my laptop hard drive with a Year > Trip Location > Original / Edits system and then backed up on external network drive at home.

While I was away I made the decision to shoot RAW + JPEG and just wirelessly send a few JPEGs to my phone/Samsung tablet in order to share with family/friends and leave all major editing for after I got back, since my laptop is too big and heavy to be easily transportable.

This means that now I'm back I've got thousands of RAW files to go through and I'm not sure where to start.

I've looked at the Adobe Photographers Plan for £10/pm with X-Transformer as a plug-in, but since I have no experience with LR and am hesitant to get "stuck" with the subscription model, I'm not sure this will be for me. Plus the added storage required for the DNG files produced by X-Transformer is a frustration.

Another option is Capture One Pro, which apparently works well with Fuji's RAF files; however, it is expensive and as far as I know doesn't support everything I would want to do i.e. HDR merges, panorama stitching, composites.

There seems to be a lot of suggested RAW converters flying around; however, a lot of these seem to be used in conjunction with several other programmes including PS. Further, a lot of the discussion centres around people who are already familiar with LR/PS and invested in it to some extent, very little is given to people just starting out.

Basically, I want a simple workflow for rating, culling, editing, and storing my photos which ideally uses as few different programmes as possible, won't cost a ton (since I don't anticipate the need to upgrade that often), and importantly gets the most of out my RAW files. Since I am pretty much starting from scratch there will be a learning curve with whichever system I decide on.

P.S. I am planning more long-term travel for next year, which means I will probably sell my current laptop for a smaller, lightweight version which I can take with me and therefore edit and organise on the go. I do not own a desktop PC.

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Hullo, welcome. I am a bit unorthodox maybe with what I use but it works very well for me. (I use Windows 10.)    For many years, I have been using ACDSee to manage my files. You simply copy your files to any directories of your choice and you look at them with ACDSee - the result is immediate, no slow imports or anything. It creates its thumbnails as you are looking at the directory. (You can let it do a whole structure at once if you wish). You can assign tags, ratings, labels, keywords etc. - plenty ways to organise your files. All this goes into a database in the program where this data about your files, incl. the thumbnails, is stored. You can have several databases and switch between them. I only have 440GB of photos in my directories, and that is 51.000 files, the db has 4.8GB. More files should not be any issue. Speed-wise everything works instantly - no waiting for anything. After a shoot I stick the memory card into the card reader and I let ACDSee import the files into my folder structure, creating new folders with names by dates or otherwise, making backup copies straightaway to another disk, deleting the files from the card... all this goes as fast as the card reader can provide. 

Then I delete the bad ones of course (I label them red, work through the folder, check/reconsider and then delete all reds. Not from the backup disk). Then I rate or label the ones I want to deal with. Often I use the jpeg (that is the advantage of Fuji) and most of the time for edits I am perfectly served in ACDSee directly. Have a look on their web-site to see what the software can do as far as editing goes. Plenty of tutorials there that show off the possibilities. I have the NIK collection (as a Plug-in in ACDsee) but I never use it. 

The ones that I decide to develop from raw go into SilkyPix (called directly from ACDSee) and then back for editing. There is a RAW editing module in ACDSee too but I use SilkyPix. When I print, I do it directly from ACDsee using colour profiles for the various papers that I use. 

Fast, cheap, simple, robust and reliable. You can download a free trial version. I am not a photographer, so the pros out there will probably scorn at me, but I have been an IT guy for 40 yrs. and this is what I chose. Cheers, good luck. 

 

A_Dam.PNG

Edited by George_P

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After writing this I said to myself "go try the raw developing in ACDSee". Haven't used it for a long time. SilkyPix has the Fujifilm Film Profiles and I default to that. This is what came out. What do you think of it guys and gals. 

Full size here.

 

DSCF3808_ac_small.jpg

(credits: sorry, I do not know who made this. It is a part of a statue of a bull that I saw at the Maker Faire in Vienna.)

Edited by George_P

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Meanwhile CaptureOne offers a free version for Fuji  ...

I use the Pro-Version since many years for all my digital work (Canon and Fuji) and I don't regret this decision.

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4 hours ago, platti said:

Meanwhile CaptureOne offers a free version for Fuji  ...

I use the Pro-Version since many years for all my digital work (Canon and Fuji) and I don't regret this decision.

Yes that should address the OP’s concern that C1 is too expensive. He didn’t bother to react to our efforts so he may not be reading this, but he most likely has heard this news anyway. 

You are right, C1 is very good. I will get the Pro version. 

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Hi all,

Thank you for your responses - sorry, my notifications have all been going into my junk folder so only just seen this.

Hadn't really looked at ACDSee or Silkypix but thanks for the suggestion; I will check on their website and have go with trial version. Great photo too!

On 10/1/2018 at 3:37 PM, platti said:

Meanwhile CaptureOne offers a free version for Fuji  ...

I use the Pro-Version since many years for all my digital work (Canon and Fuji) and I don't regret this decision.

Thanks for the heads up that CaptureOne has released a free express version for Fuji; it's shame they aren't offering the full Fuji-only version under perpetual license though, like they do for Sony. I've watched a few tutorials and I'm swayed by the amount of colour control you get with C1. Will have try out several editors and see, I think - just need to buy a new laptop first!

For those of you which use C1 - what other software, if any, do you use with it? I cannot afford both C1 Pro and a Photoshop subscription...

Thanks again!

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I purchased the subscription Capture One Pro for Fuji (v11.3) and may purchase the permanent license at the end of the year.  The subscription isn't bad but as always any subscription plane is just a leach attached to the wallet.  The permanent version $299 does include all the Fuji and Sony features with it.  It is designed for all cameras.  For a lower price On1 is a good option as well.

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I afraid to say that I'm a bit of a die hard LR fan.. but never been 100% happy with the sharpening on X-Trans Files... aka WORMS! :)


I'm not keen on shifting to a new solution but while waiting for LR to support X-T3 RAW files I have been using a trial of Capture One FujiFilm.. I must say that I've been impressed. I can see why people like this application... the highlight and shadow sliders alone demonstrate the power and advantage of Fuji RAW... I'm certainly considering at least continuing with the Fuji Express version.

I'll likely retain LR for a while and maybe shift wholesale over at some point in the future.. especially as the Phase One and Fuji relationship grows... Fuji Film Simulation Profiles will be another strong selling point when they arrive..

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