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Phase One Capture One Pro with Fujifilm X Raw (ARW) Files? How well does it work?

Phase One, raw converter, Fujifilm X

See the coverage of Fuji X artifacts with the X-Pro1 and X-E1.

I tested the Capture One Pro beta about 2 weeks ago, and I am pleased to report that its raw conversion algorithm improves the color artifacts from the X-Trans sensor in Fuji X cameras, but the offensive artifacting remains there plain to see.

I reiterate my objections to the Fuji X sensor and I advise against choosing a Fuji X platform for your photography— it’s a gorgeous sensor in term of color and dynamic range and the Fuji lenses are excellent, but the Fuji X-Trans sensor artifacting is a “cure’ that is ten times worse than the disease (moiré). Like curing a patient of hemorrhoids by giving him Chrone’s disease.

JPEG blurs details, so the artifacts are rarely visible, and so Fuji X JPEG shooters can perhaps ignore this issue.

Now we also see the improved X100s with the same X-Trans artifacting sensor. An X-Trans sensor with conventional Bayer would have been perfect in a new X100S.

David T writes:

Now that Capture One is out and no longer beta, do you plan to retest some if your images for the Fujifilm X-E1 or X-Pro1?

Have you tested with the final version?

Where in DAP do you show the artifact issue when covering with c1?

DIGLLOYD: The Fuji X cameras are in Guide to Mirrorless, not DAP.

I tested with Capture One Beta 2 Build 64747 right around Jan 1st or so.

I plan to reteest and to document the differences. I have not as yet tested with the final version, but the idea that PhaseOne would alter the final beta version 2 weeks before shipping with a significant difference in the conversion algorithms seems good for giggles at best (the PhaseOne conversion does help with certain types of color aliasing, but it doesn’t solve the artifacting).

A documentary comparison is just that. It’s clear to me from ACR and C1 Pro that the sensor itself is the problem; documenting the problem is of marginal interest: the Fuji X-Trans sensor has some truly lovely attributes but the bottom line is that its sensor design is a photographer’s headache solving a non-problem (if moiré is a big deal, how can Leica M and Leica S and medium format and the Nikon D800E even stay on the market?!). The premise that moiré is a serious problem is flat-out wrong. But to base a whole sensor design on that? That’s marketing, not good design judgment.

A quality product is the sum of the parts: sensor, camera, raw file conversion, support. The Fuji X idea falls somewhere between a science fair project and a quality product because the critically important raw file conversion is not there. I refuse to deal with fractal like artifacts that appear at random, or color bleed problems. Or to be forced out in the raw converter wilderness looking for the One Converter that Works Real Good (Silky Pix is beyond awful)). If Adobe Camera RAW cannot produce acceptable results (ACR means Photoshop and Lightroom and so far Apple Aperture which I won’t use doesn’t even support Fuji X)— well I don’t have time on my hands for that kind of nonsense.

Why bother with a problematic sensor? Or a company that can’t get its act together and just pay Adobe $250K a year or whatever to deliver exceptional results from ACR (if this is even possible, which I begin to doubt). This dog doesn’t hunt. Get a Sigma DP1/DP2/DP3 Merrill and enjoy real resolution with zero artifacts, totally clean, not even Bayer sensor demosaicing yuck. Or get a D600 or D800E system which isn’t that hugely different in size, but has a full frame sensor. I see no point in investing in a 2nd-tier system with a sensor that forces photographers to jump through hoops.

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