Tech Talk – Fujifilm X-Trans

Some of you out there shoot with Fujifilm® X series cameras that use the X-Trans® CMOS sensor. These sensors use a unique color filter pattern compared the the traditional Bayer pattern that most cameras use. Fujifilm claims this filter layout reduces moire patterns naturally so you don’t need an anti-aliasing filter which can soften details in your photos. They also claim  this layout provides for better color reproduction with less color noise. Here is what that looks like.

Traditional Bayer color filter pattern
Fujifilm X-Trans color filter pattern

From a software developers prospective, the way you interpolate, or debayer the raw data from these cameras is quite different from the algorithms we use for most other cameras. For most cameras there has been years of research to optimize these algorithms for speed, quality and reduced errors (noise). These approaches don’t translate directly to the X-Trans layout which forced our engineers to develop a new and unique algorithm for Fujifilm X Series cameras.

When we first started this work we listened to our Fuji users and reviewed the processing results other tools in the market produced. A common refrain we heard was other raw processors often created a smeared or painterly look in areas of texture like grass, bark and rock. This issue was very familiar to us, but in a somewhat different use case. Years ago our Genuine Fractals users would get the same smeared look when upsizing their images. Luckily for us we already knew the causes and how to properly solve the problem.

Here is a great example of this from Joel Wolfson, a respected photographer and writer. You can read more about Joel’s thoughts on Fujifilm X-Trans processing in his recent blog post.

Here is the overview of the image, the area in red is magnified below for comparison we show below.

Here are the processing results in that area using ON1 Photo 2017.0.2 and two other raw processors.

Processed with ON1 Photo RAW 2017.0.2
Processed with Adobe® Lightroom®
Processed with MacPhun® Luminar

Another processing issue we saw was the odd edges and artifacts in the bokeh, or out of focus regions in certain photos.. These are often caused by internal masks used in raw processors to define different tonal ranges. The hardness of these edges must adapt to the strength of detail in the photo so they are strong on hard edges but soft in areas that are out of focus. Below is an example of this in practice.

Here is the overview of the image, the area is magnified below for comparison we show.

Processed with ON1 Photo RAW
Processed with Adobe Lightroom

Photos © Nicole S. Young

Our user feedback has been tremendous in helping our engineers solve both of these issues. This yielded excellent image quality and processing results from Fujifilm X Series cameras while maintaining our lightning-fast decoding speed. If you shoot with an X-Series camera, give ON1 Photo 2017.0.2 a try, you’ll really notice the difference compared to your current processing. Version 2017.0.2, our latest update, includes these improvements to our raw processing just for these cameras as well as support for compressed Fujifiilm Raw files. To learn more about the improvements in the 2017.0.2 update click here.

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17 comments on “Tech Talk – Fujifilm X-Trans”

  1. On February 15, 2017 at 3:19 pm vartkes wrote:

    This is timely news. I am about to “trade up” from a Canon 5D MkIII platform to Fuji X2. Excellent
    Vartkes

    1. On February 17, 2017 at 7:26 am Roger Mathews replied:

      I have just been comparing results from my new Fuji XT 2 on Lightroom and OnOne RAW 2017.02 I have to say that, to my delight, the OnOne results are clealy superior to Lightroom. (I can not say how they compare with Iridient, as I am a Windows user.) This is a great step forward.

  2. On February 15, 2017 at 4:53 pm cvilachap@gmail.com wrote:

    Joel’s original post includes the results yielded by Iridient which is hands down the best raw developer for Fuji. Sadly this post doesn’t mention it.
    I’m a Fuji and ON1 Photo raw owner and I still think Iridient has the edge over other raw developers.

    1. On February 17, 2017 at 2:01 pm Michael Stafford replied:

      I agree, Iridient has been excellent for me, while Lightroom has had nothing but Xtrans issues. I will give On1 a try since I do own it, and use it for my other camera work.

  3. On February 15, 2017 at 11:40 pm Lawrence Cher wrote:

    Thanks from an XT1 user. Look forward to using it with my RAW images.

  4. On February 16, 2017 at 12:52 am Hans Reurings wrote:

    I’ve got my first Fuji X camera (X-T10) in january. Because of the amazing photo’s and big fun factor I switched over completely from Canon to Fuji within weeks and now got a Fuji X Pro 2 next to it.
    Fuji and RAW convertors is a big issue. There’s hardly any converter which works good for this system. I’m glad to hear that my favourite photo software supplier (I own this from version 5.5) is so busy with the Fuji X system to get a perfect RAW converter.
    I hope to see the Fuji Film simulations very soon as well and hope to see many more Fuji lovers @ On1.

    Best Regards, Hans Reurings

  5. On February 16, 2017 at 6:10 am Mark wrote:

    I set DETAIL to 10 for capture sharpening. This latest update has improved things. I find that I have to reduce Dynaic Contrast (Natural), to around 75% and Sharpening (Screen) to around 50%. I often use a luminosity mask, inverted, on both of these.

  6. On February 16, 2017 at 9:56 am Josh Riggs wrote:

    This is awesome. Thanks for committing resources for Fuji X users. The one thing holding me back from switching to ON1 permanently is the lack of support for Fuji’s native film simulations, which Lightroom has. As much as I love the way the new ON1 release renders the details of X-Trans files (runs circles around Lightroom), I can still get much better color from Lightroom because of the Fuji film simulation modes. Will you be adding support for the film profiles in the near future? If so, you’ve got a new customer.

    1. On February 17, 2017 at 7:28 am Roger Mathews replied:

      Well said! I really want to use OnOne RAW, as it is clearly better than Lightroom, but the film simulations…………..Soon I hope.

      1. On February 17, 2017 at 11:40 am Patrick Smith replied:

        Definitely make sure to make your voice heard in the raw project for this request. Here and here:

  7. On February 16, 2017 at 1:16 pm William Schaffel wrote:

    I originally bought OnOne Photo Suite as an alternative to Adobe Photoshop Elements and have upgraded with each new product release. Right now, I use Fuji’s in-camera RAW converter for about 98% of my RAFs. My secondary RAW converter is SilkyPix DS Pro7 because their Fuji film simulations are very close to what I get out of my X100T or X-E2. I also use SilkyPix for older files from Fuji and the other cameras I have had.

    I agree with Josh, that the missing piece for Fuji users in Photo RAW is the Fuji film simulations.

    1. On February 17, 2017 at 11:41 am Patrick Smith replied:

      Make sure to vote on these features in the project and tell your Fujifilm friends to vote too!

  8. On February 17, 2017 at 12:47 pm Winfried Hennes wrote:

    For me the Fuji RAW support is the only decission factor to continue with OnOne or to stopp the subscription of OnOne RAW. Even though I have a large database of Sony RAW files, Fuji is my target system.
    The shown results Joel Wolfsons are not matching with the results I have achieved with the tests on my X-T1 files.
    Either I´m using completely wrong settings in sharpening and denoise or the above samples are fake and resulting out of a combined Adobe and OnOne workflow. Even when using sharpening and denoise on TIFF files my results are a mess.
    I kindly ask for sharing the settings used by Joel and if possible a dedicated video tutorial for Fuji RAF processing.
    My intent is not to troll, just getting a justification for the spent dollars.
    KR
    Winfried

  9. On February 22, 2017 at 10:28 am claude philippot wrote:

    Merci pour votre excellent travail, ce dématriceur est supérieur à iridient X-transformeur que je possède en complément de Lightroom, beaux détails dans les ombres, netteté franche, bonne correction des aberrations chromatiques, je ne parle même pas des fichiers développés dans LR, une catastrophe …… Par contre il manque les simulations de films Fuji. un émulateur de grain plus évolué, style Exposure X2 , un outil comme dans LR pour redresser les perspectives, un stitcheur de fichier pour faire de la haute déf ou du pano …….. Alors S’il vous plaît ! Vous m’avez apportez une belle fraîcheur de printemps dans mon travail !!!

  10. On May 24, 2017 at 3:39 pm Jim Reinstein wrote:

    Hey Dan, any progress on the Fuji film simulations?
    This is a “Must Have”.
    Several earlier posts also asked about this….

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