DxO PhotoLab - X-Trans Sensor - GeneralQuestion, regarding Fuji X100 cameras

Long ago, my Fuji X-Trans sensor cameras (X100, then X100S and now X-100F) weren’t supported in PhotoLab, but now they are.

I decided to dust off my X100F, and try to remember how to use it. This was a very handy camera for me, especially in India, mostly for capturing “snapshots”. As I used to think, for more serious photos I ought to use a more serious camera and use it “professionally”. Anyway, for the past week, I’ve been struggling to re-learn how to use the Fuji X100F.

It’s really a very capable camera - Ken Rockwell explained things best, as I saw it…

I sort of found a “conflict”. Years ago, I shot my X100F in raw, and once PhotoLab accepted the images, I processed them just as I would from any of my cameras.

Expecially after reading Ken’s review, Fuji has given us a huge amount of features, but to use many of them, I can’t shoot in ‘raw’.

It’s a great camera, with a huge amount of capabilities. Because of “social media” and other web postings, the newest model, the X100V is completely sold out for “forever”, and it’s no longer even listed for sale because Fuji is overwhelmed. My four year old Fuji, used, is worth almost twice what I paid for it new, because the demand is so great. (I didn’t believe this nonsense, until I started checking and found it’s all true.)

Jumping ahead, it seems like I have two choices - to use all the special “film formats” and the “digital zoom”, and to do a lot of what Ken Rockwell showed, I need to shoot in ‘jpg’ mode. I think DxO has so many film simulations, that I can accomplish most of this with DxO tools, but that kills some of the “fun” from the camera - shoot however I want, electronically transfer to my phone and post online or email.

As I sit here writing this, maybe I just need to plan on doing both - if I use the Fuji, either shoot in ‘raw’ and do what I usually do, or shoot for fun, and make use of all the built-in features.

I bought the camera because it was small, and powerful, and quiet, and almost felt like my rangefinder cameras. The built-in fill flash is wonderful. It can almost fit into a pocket. It’s perfect for “street photography”, which it was designed for, and not as good as more serious cameras for more serious photography.

I’m wondering if I’m the only one here who feels this way. PhotoLab is a “raw processor”, which means to get the best results, I again ought to shoot in ‘raw’ - but that wasn’t the purpose behind the X100 cameras.

My question for this post is, do others here shoot with the Fuji X-Trans Sensor, and do you usually shoot the Fuji in ‘raw’ or ‘jpg’? I’m just curious. I have no plans to give up my “better” cameras, but I like the idea of having a camera with me all the time, and my iPhone feels too limiting.

Screenshot 2023-10-20 at 19.52.34

I intend to use the Fuji X100, mostly for “street photography” and also for “travel photography”. I have no plans to buy the newer X100V, as even if I wanted to, they are sold out for a long, long time… but I would like to have the “tilt screen”… For now, it’s a trade-off between ‘raw’ and ‘all the special Fuji modes’ - and my sometimes desire to publish photos right after capturing them.

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I shoot in Raw + Jpeg. When I open the Raw file in Adobe Camera Raw, the film setting simulations are applied to the raw file. You can then make any addition tweaks or changes that you want. This will also be the same for Lightroom. Of course being a raw file you can simply discard the in camera settings that are applied and start from scratch being only limited by shutter speed, aperture and iso settings. I’m not sure what happens in Photolab as I was never happy with the results in how the xtran files were processed and no longer use it.

Consider @Louie 's reply:

With both JPEG and RAW, you can get the best of both worlds. Use the JPEG files with minimal post-processing and the RAW files for their plasticity and tweaking in DPL. Check DPL’s settings which allow rendering based on what you set as emulation or ignore these settings and do whatever suits your taste or intention of the moment. Don’t limit yourself to either/or, do both instead. All it takes is some extra storage space and stepping out of the corridor.

When traveling, I set my Canons to store RAW and half linear size JPEG files, the latter for fairly immediate unedited use to post in a blog or send to friends.

Excellent advice:
I set the X100F to “raw + jpg”, so I captured every image in both formats.

This morning I edited the images in PhotoMechanic, deleting all but the ones I like.

Photo Mechanic then ingested the images into a folder on my computer, for editing.

I was surprised to see that PhotoLab opened both the ‘jpg’ image and the ‘raw’ image using the preset I had selected in the camera:
Rendering (From camera) ACROS + R Filter)
Nice, I hadn’t expected that.

By turning off “Color Rendering” as a test, sure enough there was my color photo.
I found I can set this to:
Rendering (DxO camera profile (Fuji X100F)

I’m pleasantly surprised! I didn’t expect this to be this easy.

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Yes, this is what I have done, and it works out perfectly for me. I set the Fuji to ‘raw + jpg’, so I get a Fuji image with all the special controls applied to it, and I also get a raw file, again with many of those special tweaks which can be applied via PhotoLab. With one click, I can tell PhotoLab to show those images in full color - but I’m not always going to have convenient access to my computer, just my iPad.

The Fuji edited files look just the way I expected, with the pre-sets I selected. I’m just learning, but I left them essentially alone for now. For the intended purpose, they are fine. If I want to do better, I can take the ‘raw’ image and edit it correctly using the PhotoLab tools.

Here’s one image from the Fuji, as exported from PhotoLab in a small size:

I do not want to change from using PhotoLab for any images I am serious about.
I am happy that I can use the captured captured JPG image, and with the Fuji app on my iPhone, send it to the phone, from which I can post or publish it. I am beginning to understand why the bazillion social media people are going nuts over the Fuji. I went to my class at my local Apple Store this afternoon, and the fellow teaching the class showed me how I do these things from the middle of nowhere - as long as I have a connection.

Disclaimer - I have never shot with Fuji Acros film, let alone with a red filter. I don’t know what any of those zillions of film names are, or mean - other than the few simple films I used as a kid. I had no idea of what was going to happen using an Acros + red filter simulation, but I liked what I saw.

This small Fuji is never going to replace my D780 or M10, let alone a D850, but if I take the Fuji and my phone (or iPad) to old villages in South India, I know I’ll be able to post or email my Fuji images very easily.

One other image from the Fuji, hardly any editing other than cropping:

My better, un-edited, raw-files are sitting on the SD card, waiting for me to get to a proper computer. Hmm, if I knew several years ago what I know now, I might have actually spent the money for the X100V, but as things stand now, there is no need.

[Bearing in mind that the X100 does not have an X-Trans sensor – those started with the X100S…]

But I’ll join the chorus of people who save files as both JPEG and RAF. That’s a pretty simple way of meeting short term (social media, share directly with friends, etc.) and also have a RAW file available for more focused post-processing, or to be able to get a little more out of the image (determine which of several methods I’ll use to demosaic, apply better noise reduction and sharpening, etc.).

I do the same with any of the other Fujifilm cameras I use.

@LJClark - hi, and maybe you should post more often? What you wrote is a far better explanation than what I wrote.

I keep learning new (to me) things about the X100F. I thought the finder window had two ways to use it, digital, or “live”. I just learned that for the “live view” in this finder window, I can add a magnified digital image in the lower right corner that I can use as a live “focus check”.

I don’t yet know what to do with the app yet, but I just installed Fuji “Fujifilm X Raw Studio” on my computer. It’s to a substitute for PhotoLab, but I think it allows me to change the “film processing simulations” after capturing the image. I expect that DxO’s simulation tools will be much more powerful.

Fuji is about to release a new camera in the X100 series, with a different sensor, image stabilization, and a lot more. I started using my X100F a lot more on my recent trip to India, mostly due to its small size. I wonder if the current DxO tools for processing these Fuji images will likely work with the new camera?

The chances of my buying the new camera are minimal, as it will likely be sold out for years to come, just like the current X100V.

Like any other new camera, DxO will have to acquire a copy of it, test it, and create a module for it before its raw files will be editable.