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Processing X-Pro1 & X-E1 files - solved


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#1 Alan7140

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Posted 01 January 2013 - 00:12

(solved....for the moment)

Check out afx's thread here

and also read my response, please.

Edited by Fred Nirque, 01 January 2013 - 00:56 .


#2 aerobat

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Posted 01 January 2013 - 01:53

Happy New Year Fred!

Thanks for the heads up. I'll try it tomorrow. We're just two hours into the new year and I should get some sleep. So are your results better than with Helicon Filter?

Regards, Daniel

Edited by aerobat, 01 January 2013 - 01:53 .


#3 Alan7140

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Posted 01 January 2013 - 06:40

"Better" is a bit subjective - the Helicon result is undoubtedly sharper, but that includes the grain and more annoyingly the zippered edges and spurious pixels being very obvious when pixel-peeping. I'm still finding my way around this program, but attached are the same full size file processed in Helicon and LightZone, as labelled. Even if its's not quite as crisp as Helicon, LightZone is still 10 country miles ahead of ACR (also attached).

(Files are big....)

Attached Files



#4 aerobat

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Posted 01 January 2013 - 07:32

Hi Fred,

Thanks a lot for the camparative files. I like the LightZone result best. Could you perhaps also post the JPEG if available. As Schwett I'm curious what the XTRANS sensor is really capable of as even the camera internal conversion algorithms produce some artifacts which are new (or different) compared to BayerSensors.
Anyhow I'd say we now have a workable solution. That's a great start into the new year.

Have a nice day
Daniel

Edited by aerobat, 01 January 2013 - 07:33 .


#5 Alan7140

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Posted 01 January 2013 - 09:04

OK, I've had the camera process a jpeg (so the file number is different), and how I wish I'd done this exercise earlier. If people have been raving about the "superb" jpegs from the camera, I wish they could see both the LightZone and Helicon Filter results in comparison. Seriously.
The jpeg is crap compared to them.

Attached. Also one from SilkyPix, just for a laugh.

Attached Files



#6 aerobat

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Posted 01 January 2013 - 09:43

Wow Fred, now we've got a comprehensive set for comparison - thanks for all your work. I mean the out of cam JPEGs are generally good - better than many other cameras. But RAW should be better and it is finally possible. Unbelievable how bad LR looks. One can still hope they invest some more time on this.
I like LZ best as HF has too much noise in the sky for my taste.
Another thing I noticed when I look a the 5 thumbnails side by side is that the ooc JPEG and SP have the same (typical Fuji) blue sky. LR, HF and LZ tend to more purple.
I'll have to install LZ tonight once the kids are in bed.

Regards, Daniel

Edited by aerobat, 01 January 2013 - 09:51 .


#7 Alan7140

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Posted 01 January 2013 - 09:56

Yes, I noticed that about the blues. If you pull the red out the rest of the colours go too cyan, so it is a very deliberate thing built into the Fuji engine just to green up the blues a tiny bit. Pity they couldn't get the sharpness, artifacts and detail rendering right, though....

Edited by Fred Nirque, 01 January 2013 - 09:56 .


#8 simato73

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Posted 01 January 2013 - 10:38

Wow, I am very impressed by this set of results. There is one clear winner.
It looks like LightZone is finally addressing the problems with Fuji raw files, which was my biggest objection to considering this camera system.
I also noticed the differences in blues, it is very obvious. Also as Daniel noticed the noise in the HF version, which I first noticed in the water.
Simone

#9 Alan7140

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Posted 02 January 2013 - 01:08

I used the LZ noise filter at a very low setting when processing the file with that, because it works without messing with fine detail too much and has a very fine degree of control (unlike the Helicon noise filter, which is coarse and too destructive of detail). The SilkyPix, ACR and JPEG all seem to use so much blurring or smearing that noise filtering becomes irrelevant. Unfortunately so does the rest of the image :) .

I don't know what can be done about the blues - Fuji engineers obviously have a better working knowledge of colour than anyone else in this field these days, it's just a pity that they seem obsessed with the colour and not so much with the other stuff that makes up an image with their processing (such as sharpness, for one thing). I like the Fuji sky colour - always have, even from film days, but it must be set in the initial raw processing that the camera and SilkyPix do and not in the actual sensor electronics, because all the other processors I've seen render all Fuji files (not only X-Trans) too purple in sky-blues.

Edited by Fred Nirque, 02 January 2013 - 01:12 .


#10 Alan7140

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Posted 25 January 2013 - 11:11

Well, world, we have C1 v7. Aside from having to be a masochist in actually farting about with all the importing and catalogs and exporting and complicated irrelevancies, of course. A long time ago computing was blessed with an innovation called "drag & drop" - select, click, drag to destination folder. Period. Having to navigate and nominate and name and end up with duplications and every other reason that I don't and won't use LR, it appears that some genius at Phase One decided that yes, we'll also make sure that the people who've forked out the extravagant fee for our processing program are made to spend lots of unnecessary time farting about navigating and clicking just so that they feel they got their money's worth.

So yes, we have Capture One 7, and no, we won't be buying it. Aside from the above, so attached here is the same file as before, this time processed in C1. While not as bad as ACR, they also appear to have engaged Mr Rembrandt to do their foliage, but compare it with the LightZone file attached earlier in this thread, taking particular note of the tree by the white oast house in the middle at the other side of the pond.

I will post another file later (just struggling with all this importing, cataloguing and exporting BS that I seem to have to go through to keep track of what's where with C1) which demonstrates another thing that I think is unfortunate, and that is that the mainstream software seems obsessed with providing a smoothed image at all costs, even if it stuffs up the actual sensor's resolved output, and that they insist on doing this as a default rather than adding an option to have it or not. The reason I'm pissed off with this is that LightZone/DCRaw doesn't try to mess with the raw image past demosaicing, so the files,while still not perfect, do keep that film-like quality of grain, and yes, this does mess with things like fine straight lines, but it does impart an "organic" look to the image, which I thing adds more depth. In removing this via softening and then sharpening, the result once again takes on that plastic, smooth look that typifies digital as we've come to expect it to be, and which Fuji and DCRaw and its front end programs have equally proved that it does not have to be,

Attached Files



#11 afx

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Posted 25 January 2013 - 12:37

Fred, there is absolutely no need to muck about with catalogs on C1 v7 It can still work from the filesystem...

cheers
afx
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sRGB clipping sucks and Adobe RGB is just as bad  Still no clue how to take decent pictures though, see afximages.com ;-(

#12 Alan7140

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Posted 25 January 2013 - 22:17

I'll get to discover a file browser I've found the file browser within that interface now, but they sure don't make it obvious from the opening page. Any program which opens up with a "instructional video" link in the opening popup immediately tells me I'm in for confusion - and I don't as a rule buy programs which are too confusing to use without having to sit through a propaganda reel beforehand (particularly if its main function is simply to capture and process camera images) and any more than I'll sit around for a website showing a spinning "loading" circle while it downloads a bunch of Flash crap onto my computer. Adding this catalog bullshit does nothing but complicate things needlessly. I had no such problem with either Helicon Filter or LightZone, accessing the file browser was right there, in full view, in the opening interface, but this C-1 is a bloody mess compared with them.

OK, I guess I should have just tried File>Open, but being used to image processors with a browser/thumbnail function displayed on opening I guess returning to the days of Windows 3.1 and navigating an Explorer file tree to do this just didn't occur to me.

Life is finite. We only have a certain amount of time on this earth, and it is the height of arrogance for these geek designers to expect me to waste extra breaths and heartbeats from a diminishing amount left to me in order to wade through unnecessary bullshit and confusion.

All that was obvious in the program's sidebar menus is this silly "import" function which then opens another panel which then gives me an "import from" which then gives me another window with a dumb folder tree showing only folders, not their contents displayed for me to select an individual image - it seems to want me to "import" the whole folder (which involves yet more navigation and panes for a destination to be pointed to) just to open one file. Haven't these geniuses heard of simple drag & drop, I wonder? I might just be stupid, but I'm also not exactly a newbie to image processing and I shouldn't be sitting here trying to access something as simple as opening a single file without tediously watching a movie or slogging through lines of help page instructions for something so absolutely basic to a program's functionality.

Edited by Fred Nirque, 25 January 2013 - 22:36 .


#13 Alan7140

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Posted 25 January 2013 - 22:46

I'll start a new entry rather than edit the previous, but actually trying the File>Open fuction gets me the folder tree OK, but navigating to the relevant folder gets me a blank page (no *.RAF files showing) with only the single option of opening "Capture One Document Files". Seriously??? I mean, WTFF? How precious is C1 that its files are the only ones in the universe that I might want to open to process?

For those who have worked this out you might think I'm just some lame idiot, but aside from the much deified C-1 processing of X-Pro1 files being very ordinary to say the least, all this run-around simply to choose and open a single file just to process it, not catalog or title or back-it-up or anything else it, is simply ridiculous.

#14 Alan7140

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Posted 26 January 2013 - 01:07

OK, as indicated, here are two files saved at 100 quality jpeg, cropped to be 100% on a 30" screen. Obviously labelled, I took care to try to match the two as nearly as practical without indulging in wild manipulations with such controls as clarity & contrast etc. I make the following observations: there is bugger all difference in practical use terms between the two, LightZone or C1 with this sort of low-contrast subject matter. The zippering effect is readily visible in the veins of the insect's wings in the LZ example, whereas C1 seems to boost dark and light lines to cover this, but enlarge another 100% and you'll see that this brings its own jaggy problems. Practically, in a normal sized print, these flaws are all but invisible and of no consequence.

What is apparent is that C1 has employed smoothing mechanisms, partially for the zippering effect I suppose, but also for what they apparently see to be the "flaw" of the grain effect that this Fuji sensor displays. What this does is mash ultra-fine detail, although fine detail is artificially accentuated by the smoothing/sharpening addition they've deemed necessary to add. The LZ looks a bit coarser overall, and slightly less sharp as a consequence, but in turn for its smoother look the C1 loses the definition of the micro-lenses in the dragonfly's eyes and the C1 displays some rather nasty artifacts in this area in return. Looked at ultra-critically, if capturing the maximum detail was important, the C1 performs less well - LZ might look less sharp, but it resolves the information better. Sharpness and resolution are not the same thing.

C1 also produces some very small artifacts similar to jpeg compression lines in smooth areas where it has gone to work on the grain. Also not a problem in normal use, but they are there. In the previous pond file I posted, the effect can be seen though in the vegetation rendering, not as bad as ACR, but also still there.

Given that the C1 was obviously default sharpened, which LZ was not, I did sharpen both slightly to the level that I'd normally take my LZ files, namely a 15% "Sharpen Fine Detail" in Helicon Filter, with slightly less than that for the C1 file. At this point the LZ file would stand a lot more sharpening than the C1 file owing to the larger artifacts of C1, but at the expense of further accentuating the zipper effect on the dark lines.

What this shows, I guess, is that we still don't have a "proper" and flawless decoding of the X-Trans sensor, but things are far better than the initial SilkyPix and ACR attempts would have had us believe was possible. Can't wait for a full resolution of the problem.

These observations are a bit irrelevant, other than I like the film-grain look of LZ and deplore C1's mandatory default attempt to get rid of it for the plastic digital look. In practical usage, though, it comes down to the following - $300 and a nightmare ride into the world of importing, renaming, cataloging, exporting, more navigating and naming, duplications and obscure command names, and generally more farting around than Penny in a shoe shop, or a free, straightforward processing program, albeit on which might give those who haven't come across the Zone System a bit of research to do for maximum benefit.

No prizes for guessing who'll be saving $300.

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#15 schwett

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Posted 26 January 2013 - 02:50

interesting comparison fred. it looks like the two images are actually from a different shots. the position of the wings relative to the background varies.

that aside - one could debate the merits of the two approaches - the lz version has more noise than i'd personally be happy with in a file shot at a reasonable ISO, and the c1 version is 'painterized' or posterized or smeared or whatever the correct term is. i'm not sure which i'd prefer. i think it would depend on the subject.

there really isn't much (if any) more detail present in the lz file. it looks like it because the edge acuity is higher and there's a very fine grain, almost single pixel level field of noise over the entire image. the noise pattern in the c1 version is larger, probably closer to the 6x6 matrix of the notorious x-trans filter array.

i'm not holding my breath for a 100% solution to this 'problem.' so many have tried already that it suggests strongly at a more difficult underlying challenge. especially when you consider that fuji's own jpg engine doesn't do a particularly good job either.
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#16 Alan7140

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Posted 26 January 2013 - 03:36

You're quite right - checking the files again the mis-registration I also noticed is indeed due to them being different files. I'm not kidding when I say that for a new user C1 is a bloody abomination - just selecting and opening the file you want is no easy task, I obviously goofed. The awful, and I mean awful, introduction that any new user faces with C1 will put most off before they even get to processing their first file. The biggest trick as I've apparently and unintentionally demonstrated is firstly to find the file, then open the file, the processing being straightforward, but oddly they put the colour balance & associated controls at the head of the queue, which is strange as often the tonal manipulations will affect the way the colour looks. Then after that good luck with saving the file both in a format and location that you intended to. I couldn't believe it when the initial TIFF had defaulted to 8-bits instead of 16, just as ACR does out of the box. Why on Earth would people have pushed for so hard for so long to get 16-bit processing if they wanted to save in 8-bit? Makes no sense.

I disagree that there isn't more detail in the LZ file - the eyes of the insect have their microlenses discernible, which the C1 process destroys. I don't think the different files had any effewct on that, they both appear to be focused correctly, but I'll reprocess just to be sure.

I'm not intending to give the impression that LZ is the perfect processor, but given the field available, its operating simplicity and free status makes it the best player in the DCRaw section at the moment as far as I am concerned, and that section still bests the others despite the spurious pixel effects that can happen in some circumstances. The zippering is also still annoying, though, but it is fixable in pp if necessary, whereas the Rembrant invocation isn't.

Not that I feel like it, but I might reprocess the correct file in LZ so that the comparison is correct - I will avoid using C1 ever again if I can at all avoid it.

I'm about to give another processor with claimed X-Trans support a bash, namely Oloneo, but I'm not holding my breath. Currently advertised at 30% off until Jan 31, at $119 full price it's a bit on the steep side, with a big task to unseat free LightZone.

#17 schwett

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Posted 26 January 2013 - 03:44

i kind of feel the same way about lightroom - absolutely unnecessarily complex and overdesigned for my purposes. your comments (and others) give me absolutely zero interest in trying C1.

of course, i have almost zero interest in trying anything other than ACR, which is fantastic and perfectly suits my workflow for just about every camera except the x-trans! i'm just living with it for now and avoiding the x-e1 for subjects with fine detail that i may want to print. a bummer, but worse things could happen.
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#18 Alan7140

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Posted 26 January 2013 - 05:17

OMFG. Trust the French. They've taken DCRaw (rather obviously) and rewritten it as OloRaw.exe, put just about the simplest GUI I've yet seen around it and darned if it isn't the best raw X-Trans processor I've seen yet. Still got a reduced zipper effect, but it is much reduced, and a simple Photoshop noise reduction preset smooths out the grain pretty well if that's not your thing without turning the whole picture into an oil painting. I'm happy with this, I'll probably hand over the cash.

C1 take note - from the time I opened the program opened the file in OloNeo Photo Engine, processed the file and I saved the processed file was less than a minute! and I've never used the program before. Which does nothing but confirm everything I wrote about my initial experience with C1. It's a dog. I should have guessed as much by the number of people who swoon and worship it online - I guess if I'd forked out $300 for something as bad as that I'd be trying to save my pride as well by enthusiastically championing it to cover my poor judgement in buying it for that much in the first place.

Not cropped this time (so bigger download), here is the same file this time (sorry about the previous mixup) in its entirety, processed in C1 and in OloNeo Photo Engine. Try applying a Photoshop Filter>Noise>Reduce noise... @ Strength 6, Preserve Details 15%, Reduce Color Noise 40%, Sharpen 0% in the menu boxes if the grain and colour noise is bothersome to you.

Edit: Here's where to get the trial, special 30% off offer ends Jan 31, though: http://www.oloneo.co...e/download.html

Attached Files


Edited by Fred Nirque, 26 January 2013 - 05:56 .


#19 aerobat

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Posted 31 January 2013 - 21:16

HI Fred,

Thanks for the very in depth comparisons. Oloneo is an interesting product. But it doesn't bring any IQ advantage vs the others so I guess I'll stick to LZ. Eventhough both are based on DCRAW it's interesting to see their individual signature.

Regards, Daniel

#20 aerobat

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Posted 31 January 2013 - 21:44

Hi Fred,

My LZ trial period expires tomorrow. How can I get a license?

Regards, Daniel




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