This is the sort of thing that I find interesting, particularly when I have been cooped up for too long. Anyone who uses a Fuji X camera appreciates the remarkable jpegs it is capable of producing straight out of the box. However, as a ‘serious’ photographer, I feel obliged to shoot in RAW to provide maximum scope for adjustment – change to exposure, recovery of highlights, adjusting shadows etc etc, the possibilities are endless. Consequently, I spend happy hours post-processing an image to the point where sometimes it is almost as good as the film simulated jpeg produced by the camera.
There are other options – Photoshop Camera RAW camera calibration contains all of the film simulation profiles which, at the click of a mouse, supposedly provide immediate conversion to the preferred profile – except that, even to this amateur eye, they don’t look as good as those produced in camera.
Enter Fujifilm’s X RAW Studio – I don’t know if this approach is unique to Fuji but it seems a very neat solution. This isn’t just another RAW processor, instead it enables access to the image processor inside the camera. Consequently, what you get is exactly what Fuji intended; not only that, it is non-destructive so you can generate as many film simulated versions as you like, all from the same original RAW file i.e. if you are shooting RAW + a simulated JPEG, you are not constrained to one version of the JPEG. There are detailed explanations of the set up and conversion process on Youtube – this is a good one.
If my ramblings are clear as mud, perhaps this will make more sense – this is the same image – shot in RAW and Acros + Red filter JPEG and these are four versions of the same image with four different Fuji film simulations:
- Top left is Vivid/Velvia with strong grain;
- Top right is Acros+Yellow filter with strong grain;
- Bottom left is Sepia with no grain;
- Bottom right is Classic Chrome with no grain.
Not only are these none destructive edits to the original RAW file, the subsequent JPEG edits are also preserved in *.FP1 files so they can be reloaded and amended further. All of this done with the convenience of a large monitor, rather than peering into the camera’s LCD.
How often I will use X Raw Studio I am unsure, given that I am already post-processing with Photoshop CC, ON1 2018 RAW and occasionally ON1 B&W (this remains a very effective mono engine even though replaced many releases ago). Nevertheless, it is good to know the option exists.
Anyway enough of that. The reason I am going cabin crazy is down to the endless hours in front of this screen. The Siberian snow has now been replaced by a dull wet slushy thaw and I can find no enthusiasm to go outside – unlike the previous few days. This has been the weather in and around Hexham: