Photo Ninja for X-Trans

Discussion in 'Image Processing' started by flysurfer, Oct 8, 2013.

  1. flysurfer

    flysurfer X-Pert

    Feb 1, 2013
    Nuremberg
    Rico Pfirstinger
    • Like Like x 2
  2. flysurfer

    flysurfer X-Pert

    Feb 1, 2013
    Nuremberg
    Rico Pfirstinger
  3. entropic remnants

    entropic remnants Solving for X

    718
    Jul 28, 2013
    You already sold me on it, lol. I'll do a few more things with it over the next two weeks, then buy it. Great software.
     
  4. Nic

    Nic FujiXspot Regular

    118
    Feb 5, 2013
    Brisbane, Australia
    I think I'm going to have to put this software to the test against Lightroom. Just have to make sure that I can get enough done over the two week trial to make a comprehensive enough comparison.
     
  5. juangrande

    juangrande FujiXspot Regular

    Let us know your results. I'm interested too!
     
  6. entropic remnants

    entropic remnants Solving for X

    718
    Jul 28, 2013
    Quick comparison of Lightroom 5.2 vs. Photo Ninja at 300%. Now before you go crazy here, the only reason I'm blowing it up so much is to make the differences clear in a reasonably sized image for the internet.

    I print large at 24x36 inches and eventually will print larger though perhaps not with the current X-Generation. So when the print gets larger, funny things get more visible. Bayer is pretty smooth and Fuji's own JPG's are good too -- but I'm seeing things in Lightroom I don't like. Here's an example. On the left is about the best I could do with Lightroom (rending detail only, forget color matching between shots) and on the right is Photo Ninja. All noise reduction is off in both shots (and that means Noise Ninja was turned off in Photo Ninja also). I left Photo Ninja's rendering at it's default except for turning off the noise reduction.

    Some things to notice (click for a larger shot, and I"ll link the original screen grab as well later):

    • Look at the rendering of the ferns at the bottom left half of the page, especially towards the ends. Lightroom on the left turns structure at the bottom of the ferns to random garbage, while Photo Ninja retains the ferns actual shape well.
    • General detail in large patches of the ferns is better in Photo Ninja.
    • On the right edge note the flowers. There is color bleeding from the green vegetation in to the red flowers tinting them more orange in the Lightroom (left) shot. Colors are much better separated in Photo Ninja. If you look closely, you can also see many of the flowers in the Lightroom bleed their color into the green vegetation in places as well creating reddish shadows that are largely absent in the Photo Ninja shot.
    This would be an even better test if I'd saved a color JPG out of camera, but I had it on JPG+RAW with monochrome JPG's as part of a test I was doing of the X-M1's monochrome. So I don't have such a shot to show.

    Still, I think Photo Ninja shows even in a limited test how much better it is. I looked all through this very detailed photo and there was no area where Photo Ninja was not the equal of Lightroom and mostly it was visibly better. Definitely I will be using it for my more critical shots.

    Comparison.
     
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  7. entropic remnants

    entropic remnants Solving for X

    718
    Jul 28, 2013
    For the pixel peeper in us all, here's the screen grab and the final image I made (as an HDR merge using the RAW processed here as one frame to a 3 frame merge).

    First, here's a full size image (right click and select "view image" or whatever your browser presents as the option to view it full size):

    [​IMG]

    Then here's how the RAW was used as part of a series for an HDR merge of the scene shot handheld, and the final version I posted online (from Lightroom de-mosaics) is here:

    10093840926_6738c7a4bf_b.
    Fujifilm X-M1 Test: Flightless Birds by Entropic Remnants, on Flickr

    You can see that at internet resolutions NONE of that detail rendering difference will show making it unimportant unless you either print large, crop way down, or just like to pixel peep, lol.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  8. dduval

    dduval FujiXspot Regular

    122
    Oct 7, 2013
    Thanks for posting this...you've convinced me to try it!

    Damn it! I need to buy an x camera first!
     
    • Like Like x 2
  9. Nic

    Nic FujiXspot Regular

    118
    Feb 5, 2013
    Brisbane, Australia
    I'd like to see what it does for regular Bayer filter cameras as well.
     
  10. pniev

    pniev FujiXspot Veteran

    489
    May 13, 2013
    Very interesting. Thanks for comparing and taking the time to enlighten us, John. Very informative - and telling. I am going to try Photo Ninja on a red rose shot. Also a good opportunity for me to check how it affects the workflow.
    Rico, thanks for starting the thread.
    Peter
     
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  11. entropic remnants

    entropic remnants Solving for X

    718
    Jul 28, 2013
    It does add a slight burden to the workflow but the program is "smart" enough to also -- for most single exposures -- make life fairly easy. Here are some thoughts after using it a short time.

    • It works like a more traditional editor with file handling. You don't have to build up a library -- just open up the photo you want to work on.
    • Adjustments are done with sliders like lightroom.
    • The program applies rendering, sharpening and noise settings when it first opens a new file and whatever drives that process is very good. You can turn on/off any class of adjustments with a checkbox easily.
    • When you click the done button your non destructive edits are saved for later as well.
    • You can export files ("render" them) in lossless formats like TIFF.
    • You then must re-import the result into Lightroom -- there is no Photo Ninja inegration into Lightroom but it would be awesome if there was!
    Would I do that for every photo. No. I have to take special care with HDR so that the program doesn't try to "fix" the individual shots too much.

    But for times when I need to shoot RAW and need an image with minimal artifacts this is priceless.
     
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  12. pniev

    pniev FujiXspot Veteran

    489
    May 13, 2013
    Just tried the program. It works nicely bur is somewhat of a burden that adds value for shots that need minimal artefacts and large prints (I need to make some large-scale prints in the next few weeks). Thanks for the advice. I'll probably add it to the photo software collection. I wish I could try it with a D800E. I thought ACR did a great job, but apparently Photo Ninja brings it to an even higher level.
    Thanks, Peter
     
  13. dduval

    dduval FujiXspot Regular

    122
    Oct 7, 2013
    Yea, for real. I will likely try it will my x100...waiting and waiting for it to arrive, out for delivery today. :yahoo:
     
  14. entropic remnants

    entropic remnants Solving for X

    718
    Jul 28, 2013
    Wanted to put in a word about workflow. Here's what I'm doing now to make it easier.

    • First, I import all the RAW into Lightroom.
    • I open Photo Ninja and select the folder I imported into from Lightroom.
    • I select all the RAW files I want to process. I haven't found a "select all" yet so it can be a bit tedious if you just want to do everything. It would be a wonderful feature if Photo Ninja could select all of a certain file type automatically.
    • Now right click on the selected batch in Photo Ninja and select "Batch render".
    • Use a TIF or TIFF image type to create a lossless render like a RAW is.
    • In the dialog box, select "Save to original folder" and underneath that type in a folder name which will be a subfolder of where you put the RAW files. I simply call mine "Ninja" or "Rendered".
    • When you select OK the program will ask you to confirm the creation of the subfolder, which you can say OK to.
    • When Ninja completes all the rendering, import that folder into Lightroom using the option to just import them where they are.
    Now you have the rendered TIFF's in Lightroom and they are easy to work with, are generally rendered with the full dynamic range of the RAW, and can stand amazing amounts of processing. They are also incredibly detailed compared to Lightroom's RAW conversion.

    Sounds like a lot, but except for the time to select the photos for the batch initially, it's really not bad at all. Rendering takes a bit of time, but it's worth it.
     
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  15. ajamils

    ajamils FujiXspot Regular

    44
    Oct 4, 2013
    entropic,

    Thank you for posting the details of the workflow. This should work nicely. I purchased PN yesterday and going by Picture Code's LR integration suggestion was driving me nuts. It takes a lot of time to render out one RAW at a time and then add it back to LR. Your workflow suggestion should work a lot smoother.

    Btw, when you render your RAW files, do you have preset for it? I just created a global preset with everything selected except for "color enhancement".
     
  16. entropic remnants

    entropic remnants Solving for X

    718
    Jul 28, 2013
    Great and I think you'll be pleased with what it can do.

    A word of correction on my previous post: there is in fact a "select all". Select the first photo in the group, then move to the end and shift-click on the last photo. All will be selected. Don't know how I missed that previously but I did.

    As far as a preset, I pretty much leave everything "as shot" but with full highlight recovery engaged. I tried "Smart Lighting" but it messed up too many shots that were extreme subjects so I went to "As Shot". I use Noise Ninja defaults at about 25% smoothing with 70% or so detail recovery. I also use "high" level highlight color recovery.

    The user interface takes getting used to, but you can make your settings the default and since I'm making surrogate-RAW files (TIFF's) to edit fully in lightroom I don't need to make the photo look right -- I just need all the data from the RAW in the TIFF. At least, that's how I operate. I'm not too conversant on multiple presets because I haven't needed them for the way I work.

    Hope that helps. I'm not an expert in it at all, but I'm using it successfully and it really helped make my steel mill series work despite the really extreme dynamic range challenges. If the sensor got it, Photo Ninja let me use it with better detail and lower noise than I would have gotten in Lightroom alone.
     
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  17. ajamils

    ajamils FujiXspot Regular

    44
    Oct 4, 2013
    PN is definitely an expensive software and I was having and doubts after buying the license but the more I'm using it, the more I'm liking it. It saves a lot of time compared to LR.

    I will have to play with profiles to see how I can change the level of noise reduction etc. Overall I've found LR does better with noise reduction but LR produces more detail.

    Sent from LG Optimus G Pro via Tapatalk.
     
  18. cherrywood

    cherrywood FujiXspot Regular

    181
    Feb 24, 2013
    Ohio
    Does anyone have the link /or where to purchase this Photo Ninja raw software?
    Thanks Dennis.
     
  19. cherrywood

    cherrywood FujiXspot Regular

    181
    Feb 24, 2013
    Ohio
    Thanks ,pniev.
    Dennis.