A Fuji Rumors article from Friday, March 24th indicated that DxO PhotoLab 5 is the best software for processing Fuji x-trans raw files. As you might expect, there were some comments from users of Adobe and Capture One but I did not see any significant criticism of PhotoLab.
I am not a Fuji shooter, but it benefits all PhotoLab users when DxO’s products are praised on respected review sites.
Well as a Fuji user I personally feel inclined to agree.
Use ability aside I feel DPL5 is doing the better job of the initial corrections and results in a better file to then work with.
Capture 1 is as good but for me the cost is just too high and the free version too restricted.
Obviously C1 gets a lot of praise in the Fuji camp due to it being the de-facto choice and Fuji themselves push it but for me I prefer DPL and as soon as Fuji support arrived I upgraded (hadn’t bothered with 4 due to switching to Fuji).
LIghtroom doesn’t give the same quality but for me wins in other areas hence I still use LR but start in DPL and only send to LR for back up and on the go access now with occasional tweaks as needed.
Only real criticism of DPL is slight over sharpening at times (easily fixed) and the lack of the Fuji sims being free and built in like C1 and LR which for a lot of Fuji users is an important aspect.
Now if only DxO would created an iPad app. I can dream!
Very good article and lots of positive comments. I remember when I first tried a RAF file in PL5 and was extremely impressed with the demosaicing process. The files were so beautiful and IMO better than Canon.
I’m not a Fuji shooter either, but it made me seriously consider buying a Fuji camera and I’ve not used anything but Canon and Hasselblad since 1996!
Fuji rumors is not a review site, I see it as a gathering of die-hard Fuji-and-nothing-else-is-best fans to celebrate their brand. But the rumors are often spot on. And @rrblint Mark, before you dive into Fuji-world you should check if you like their awkward mixture of dials and menus. Fuji has some nice niche cameras, I just found them often a dead end when it comes to handling, but that’s just me. And since X-T2 and X-E2 a lot of development might have happened.
You are correct. I knew it’s wasn’t a review site when I posted, but I wasn’t quite sure the best way to describe it so I just called it that. I should have been clearer. Regardless, it was gratifying to see such high praise from Fuji Rumors for PhotoLab’s brand new support for the x-trans sensors
Still remembering how long it took Capture One to support lossless compressed Fuji RAWs, another well made RAW converter is welcome in the Fuji realm for sure.I just think today, Fuji Rumors is kind of a religion substitute for some of the posters there, but that’s less an issue of the brand and more of the internet user’s communication behaviour.
Out of curiosity, when PL5 came out, I tried out some old .RAF files from an x100S that I used to own. I was not really that impressed but it was nice to know it was an option. Since then, I have thought about getting back into the x100 line (maybe an x100F) on several occasions as part of my UGIC - GAS (used gear is cheap -gear acquisition syndrome). But I had not kept track of what Fuji owners were saying about PL5. So this is a pleasant surprise.
I occasionally come across my old x100S images and they really were pretty good. Maybe I should reprocess some more old images. Being able to use one processor for Canon, Fuji and Olympus images would be very convenient.
I too was equally disappointed at first and went back to mainly using LR and trying out C1 Fujifilm version (never really got on with it so wasn’t prepared to pay the cost of the full/pro version).
I’m not sure if DxO changed anything, but at some point things improved considerably in my opinion.
I did comment on the over sharpening and ‘worming’ early on and provided an image that was exhibiting this (which reminds me to dig that one back out and have another look) but never heard anything back from DxO.
I still think some images (especially anything with fur) tend to be over sharpened to begin with but dialling it back a bit helps.
I still prefer (but maybe that’s just familiarity) using LR for the actual edit/masks etc but PL5 returns a far better images to work with than LR does even comparing against ‘Enhanced Details’ and LR is becoming mainly just my back up (for images) and on the go access with just the odd image being edited in LR or if it’s a stack/merge, as I spend more time playing with PL5.
Definitely worth taking the time if you have it to go over your shots again and have another look.
“PL5 returns a far better image to work with than LR” sums up everything I think.
I use LR to import and catalogue everything (including keywords) and also I use LR for some features PL5 does not have (HDR Panorama and batch HDR for example). I constantly fall into the trap of going ahead and doing some processing in LR after importing because, well it’s just convenient.
But then I end going over the same images with PL5 to get the best results.
The only benefits of this duplicated effort are: 1) deleting crappy images in LR so PL5 never sees them and 2) sometimes finding images where LR actually produces a slightly better result than PL5. Frankly, it is also good to have a backup for processing in case PL5 is not behaving and I need to get something out quickly.
I have not kept up with LR’s latest changes to masking and local adjustments, so at some point I will let LR go (but not Adobe Bridge!), but for now it serves a purpose.
Awkward? When I needed to downsize from full-frame Nikon to a smaller camera because of weight (age is a terrible thing) I tried several options but went to Fuji precisely because of their wonderful mixture of dials and menus. As someone who started in photography with mechanical cameras, I have never felt more comfortable shooting than with the Fuji X system. For example, I hardly ever shot in manual mode with my Nikons; too much of a pain in the neck. With the Fuji, it’s wonderfully intuitive. Your mileage may vary, of course.
“Getting older” is something we all deal with, Daniel. With age comes experience, mine tells me to never debate with a Pentaxian or Fujista his (it’s a male thing, I learnt) system choice as in these camera owner groups are some men who replaced religion with camera brand loyalty.
Therefore I will not debate your choice with you, just out of precaution and because you didn’t ask why I find Fujis’ ergonomics awkward . I liked Fuji’s colours also a couple of years ago and still have two bodies and 4 or 5 lenses. But the awkwardness never went away, to switch on the electronic level I need a map to find it in X-T2’s menus (which ware poorly translated in parts) and finally others brands came up with usable, yet compact (enough) mirrorless bodies and (for me) better usability.
My general advice to each “soon to become” camera buyer is try before you buy. The cost of rental are sometimes a bit frightening but can save a lot money on the long run.
Can’t comment on the X-T2 but X-T4 it’s mapped by default to the front fn button below shutter release.
I came from Nikon. The D5600 seemed to get decent reviews and as a beginner (I still class myself as such) it seemed a decent choice.
I never got on with it and ended up using it little or almost exclusively in ‘A’ and I rarely ventured away from that.
For various reasons I drifted away for the DSLR and sold it and just went back to using my phone.
Last year I decided to ‘have another go’.
The Fuji wasn’t my initial choice. It wasn’t even on the radar as my inclination was to go back to Nikon but mirrorless.
Whilst in a local camera shop they had a used X-T3 in and I had a look at the weird old school looking thing and instantly loved it.
The dials for me just ‘work’. The X-T3 was however priced so close to the cost of a brand new X-T4 that after some thinking I stumped up the cash and jumped back in.
I am in no way a ‘fan boy’ and absolutely can see how the analogue look can be an off put or needless clutter but for me I get a sense of ‘joy’ from using it which as a hobbyist is to me more important that all the FF/MF/APSc or megapixel count talk.
Anyway. I’ve gone well off topic!
DxO does indeed ‘now’ do a good job with X-Trans, certainly better than LR, but equally still leaves certain stuff ‘wormy’ in which case LR works better.
Presumably it will improve as will LR no doubt.
Much like camera brand though I’m no DxO or LR fan boy. I like both and will happily praise or criticise equally.
I will though! What didn’t you get along with ergonomically?
I’ve heard criticism levelled at the grip area which I believe increased on the X-T4, certainly I have no issue but equally a little bit more would be nice (joke in there no doubt!).
Also. It’s much heavier than the D5600 was.
A lot more metal used in both the body and the lens.
Again I like that but the X-T4 with the 55-200 is certainly weighty!
Not a combination you want to hold with just a wrist strap for extended walks say.
So no doubt weight could be a negative for some.
A quick note on the menus. I find the fact you only get menus for stills or video if you are specifically in that mode great.
I know the D5600 just lumped everything in one huge menu structure.
No doubt other brands split them too.
Basically I bought the Fujis because I wanted to give mirrorless a second try. I was fed up with the need of fine-tune the AF of Nikon-DSLRs and still have a less reliable system than using LiveView. The D5600 can’t do AF-finetuning, so either the camera works well with a lens or it doesn’t. The first Fuji was a X-E2 which was compared to my D5100 more compact, delivered nice results and was comparatively easy to use.
My critic there was: buttons not easy to feel. Saw a video from a Swedish guy using Sugru to add some height to them. Worked well, but it was a design flaw.
Added an L-plate with grip and suddenly it felt like a “real camera” (again, I mean my kind of real)
The X-T2 also has some stuff to like: Two batteries in the extra grip, where all other companies only manage to put in one extra battery.
I like the fully articulated LCD of the D5100 (and the P7800 as well) very much. Missed it on X-T2 which has kind of a vertical tilt, but only in one direction and only 45°. More dials than on most other cameras and depending the setup, it’s possible to use the time dial, but change that value by the rear function wheel.
I’m bad with leveling my camera, horizon is always1-2° off, so an electronic level (preferably in two axis, the X-T2 has only one…) would be a good thing.
But the green line is distracting, so a function button would be nice to assign to. Not possible.
Then put it into MyMenu? Not possible.
Then put it into UserMenu? Not possible.
To switch it on, I need (on X-T2, latest firmware) to dive into the menu Einrichtung>Display-Einstellung> 14 menu items down another Display-Einstellung>Wasserwaage* >activate with OK.
I just counted how often I need to press a button to get this bloody level ON: 20 times if the menu is already on the set-up (wrench) position. And only if I don’t get lost on the way. I wrote a couple of mails to Fuji, sometimes I got a reply. On X-T3, X-T4, X-H1: function button available. On X-T2: 4 major firmware upgrades, but this problem still remains. So, if I have to buy a new camera to get a simple needed function, it doesn’t have to be one with the issues:
ISO-wheel: When did you ever needed 64 ISO or 320 or 250 or 5000 or 923.5? The wheel has ⅓ stops clicks, but no bigger angle between L, A, and H. Countless times I wanted A, but turnt the wheel just 17.143° too much and ended up with shooting at Low or High ISO. And setting up the A-ISO is as well a dive into the menus.
Front and back wheel (usually to set aperture and shutter-speed, but Fuji has so much more to confuse users), additionally I need to push the wheel to do certain things I already forgot (and found it always difficult to remember)
Switch for AF-Mode: fiddly, hard to feel, too easy to move accidentally and occasionally remains between AF-C or M or AF-S.
No U (or C) setting: Sure I can set-up even the number of grid-lines, the direction of focus ring and an incredible number of menu entries - but there’s no way to save these settings good for portrait, good for sports, for landscapes… This is something I like on Nikon, Panasonic, Canon and even Sigma cameras: Customizable User- or Custom-Settings to dial into and have a save base of settings.
Downside of that: Only few camera menus allow me to name the user settings else than “U1”, “U2” and so on. So, on cameras I rarely use I avoid to set them up. On Nikon Z it’s rather crap as I never found out completely which settings are save and which not. AF-Mode was not, I believe. D7000 was better int hat aspect.
In short: Dials are nice, if the menu concept consider them. Fuji uses their menus for all bodies, doesn’t always have an aperture ring (and needs therefore the tiny function wheels on back- and frontside (which was not working on X-T2, three Fuji guys tried, none succeeded and they said I need to update firmware. From 4.2 to 4.3? This basic function never worked, I was just lucky that all my lenses had an aperture ring, except the 18-55). The lenses don’t allow to override AF easily, sometimes I need to declutch the focus ring, other times it’s focus by wire, but without a quick override.
In shorter: Fuji’s ergonomics were often distracting obstacles. I don’t want to learn 500 menu entries.
Fair enough. Certainly you spent the time trying to get it right. Appreciate the detailed reply.
Guess I’m ‘lucky’ I’ve bought into the system late on and find it mostly works well. Possibly helped by the fact I took a break so in reality I was learning the camera from scratch with no real ingrained expectations or muscle memory from a previous system.
Agree on the AF-s AF-c MF switch however. Too small and fiddly.
However never had an issue overriding AF but currently only own the 18-55 (with aperture ring, I’m guessing from your reply earlier version don’t?) and the 55-200.
Relax, man. As I said, your mileage may vary. I’m not interested in converting you or anyone else; I merely wanted to say that there are opinions that differ from yours. Your advice to always try before you buy is certainly sound. I tried several camera brands when I needed to replace my Nikon, and the Fuji was what I was immediately most comfortable with. I’m not on a mission to defend my choice; I don’t like Fuji because I have one; I have one because I like it.
Then I think, you have the 16-55/2.8 (that one has aperture ring) and I had the 16-50/3.5-5.6 OIS (first version) Edit: And with overriding I meant specifically (but didn’t specify) the combination of back-button focus and AF-C. I used AF-C with the 100-400 often, but as soon as some twigs came in between bird and lens, I would have appreciated to focus manually without pushing AF-ON. Was not possible. Handholding the small camera with the heavy lens usually lead to “bird out of the frame” - one newer Fuji has a mode with a bit reduced image size but visible frame area.
You’re welcome, I just fail to remember the chronological order, if the Fuji was before or after I went Nikon FF DSLR.
That I understood now and I could have put my reply to Mark with that comment in brackets, but I never think anything I’m saying is valid and “only truth” for everybody.
I can understand you like Fuji, I did so, too but after a while I did miss too much of other brand’s “normal ergonomics” and found the GFX also not better in terms of menu quirks. Else I was considering going FF XL (that GFX sensors are smaller than what I consider MF), but the D850 was too versatile to exchange it for a bulky thing. With awkward (in my eyes) mixture of… did I already mention that?
It does have an aperture ring, however it, unlike the fixed (through zoom range) aperture lens such as the 16-55 2.8 is unmarked and is just a blank ring due to the f2.8 only being available at 18mm and the widest being f4 at 55mm so markings wouldn’t work due to changing through the zoom range.
Part of the cost no doubt of the Red Label 16-55 2.8 and 50-140 2.8.
(If you look at a picture of the lens (18-55 2.8-4) it’s the small ring below the zoom markings and is the ring closest to the body.)
I’ll check your clarification on AF override out of curiosity.
I generally only attempt when in AF-s to check a subject that isn’t moving.
Yeah as far as I was aware the majority had the ring but only the fixed aperture lens have them marked.
Even the little 27mm pancake has an aperture ring now.
I currently have nothing mapped to the front command dial/button. I wasn’t using it.
I’ll have a look sometime and see what can be mapped to it although I accept that the X-T4 is likely different in it’s available options vs your X-T2 and X-E2.