See here why the X20 is a "RAW machine"

Discussion in 'Coffee with Rico Pfirstinger, Fuji X-Pert' started by flysurfer, May 14, 2013.

  1. flysurfer

    flysurfer X-Pert

    Feb 1, 2013
    Rico Pfirstinger
    A commonly known and occasionally discussed quality of the X10/X20/XF1/X-S1 are certain limits of their built-in RAW converters. For example, there's no Pull processing at ISO 100.

    A very richly exposed shot would hence lead to overexposed JPEG results from the camera. Here's an example:


    Despite shooting FINE+RAW; there's not much to rescue here in-camera, as the only available options are hardening the shadows and softening the highlights. You can't correct the entire exposure downwards at ISO 100. So it's no surprise that the corrected result (highlight tone medium soft, shadow tone hard) is not very convincing, either:


    Obviously, this shot lends itself to an external RAW workflow. Lightroom 4.4 not only supports the X-Trans sensor, it also features very useful functions to rescue highlights and correct exposure and tonality. A possible result could look like this:

    View attachment 13309
    DSCF0753 by ricopress, on Flickr

    As you can see, an external RAW workflow can be quite valuable with the X20. The rather extreme ETTR of the shot (at least 1 EV above the limit for attractive looking in-camera JPEGs) also results in nicely textured, low-noise shadow tones, as they were recorded closer to the sweet spot of the sensor.

    Ob course, it's important to note that there was no DR expansion used to generate this shot, it's DR100%. With DR Auto enabled, the X20 would certainly have chosen DR400%, resulting in JPEGs with strong noise reduction and some softness in the shadow tones. But even then, the overall result would have looked too bright and far from perfect, with no means to correct this due to the lack of Pull functionality at ISO 100.

    Using an X10, one would have manually set DR400% at image size M. The resulting EXR DR JPEGs would have been usable without an external RAW workflow. However, the file would have been rather small, as the shot had to be rotated and cropped quite a bit (taking away 2.8 of the sensor's 12 MP). There wouldn't have been much left of the initial 6 megapixels of an X10 EXR image. So the X20 offers advantages regarding quality and resolution.
  2. pniev

    pniev FujiXspot Veteran

    May 13, 2013
    Thanks Rico. Interesting read, as always.

    I've decided to shoot in raw with the X20 and apply a standard preset during import in LR. It turns out that my old Nikon preset in LR works perfectly well (highlights down, shadows up, clarity and vibrance up (not too much), conservative sharpening). Other PP is usually not necessary. I select photos and convert to jpeg. Works fast.

    I found the differences between jpeg and raw especially noticeable when I compared photos of red roses. BTW: I noticed the same for X-E1/X-P1.

  3. gigabloke

    gigabloke New to FujiXspot

    Feb 10, 2013
    Northern California
    Thank you Rico. Very instructive post, and much appreciated.
  4. Quink

    Quink New to FujiXspot

    Jul 28, 2013
    Thank you Rico,

    Very informative and useful. I have learned to appreciate the X20 more for what it can do with it.