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In this post I’d like to explain how I choose my Raw Converter Software for Fujifilm GFX. It’s not a review but more a process to my needs as a landscape photographer and occasional family and events photographer. The purpose is to give folks some information on what software is available.
Oh yes it’s time to move on and do some digital. Because right now is of course the right time of year. Once again here in the southern hemisphere autumn has graciously returned to us.
However even though I’ve neglected the binary side of things for awhile. I do enjoy very much making landscape images on full frame sensors (and now on medium format too).
A side note, just to let you guys know, I’m not giving up analog photography. No way! Its now part and parcel of my life. But when it comes to digital photography I’ve become a luddite in the last couple of years.
I’m not giving up Analog Photography. No way! Its now part and parcel of my life.
Currently I’m shooting with a black Fujifilm XT-2 for digital work and video. Now I’m about to dive into digital medium format. I’ve got a loan of a GFX50s for awhile! Which I do hope to take advantage of it in terms of landscape photography this season.
So back to my digital work, but please let me explain why I’ve been away so long from digital. There are two or maybe three reasons why. One most certainly is my new found and sincere love for analog.
The second reason was the demise of Apple’s Aperture my favourite raw editor and image management software.
Finally my third reason for not picking up a digital camera for landscape work for awhile is basically my life is so busy to joggle both analog and digital. One must concentrate seriously on one medium at a time. Otherwise both mediums will suffer.
Choosing a Raw Converter
So on to resolving my need for a new RAW converter software. Choosing a suitable raw editor/converter is tricky. But I hear you shout , “Lightroom, Lightroom!” and I reply, “Yes I did try the move to Lightroom and I pretty much hated its workflow.”
That’s probably why I stuck with Apple’s Aperture for so long .Way after its best before date. Now Aperture stinks for new cameras and Mac OS updates. So I say a sorrowful goodbye to Aperture.
My first port of call is Capture one. An awesome editor and converter it surely is. Only one major caveat are Fujifilm GFX raw files known as RAF files. It’s a real headache of jumping in and out of hoops to get things to follow suit with the GFX within C1.
Yes of course you can do it.
You need first to ensure the GFX firmware is up to date. The next step is to converter your RAF after import to Capture One. Then converter the RAFs to DNGs using Adobe’s free DNG converter. Then C1 should sync everything up. See the video below for further explanation.
The conversion process in itself is cumbersome enough along with the price of $249. For these two reasons I’ve turned it down. However Capture One is an excellent piece of software especially if you are a wedding or event photographer. But sadly not for me until they add full GFX support.
ON1 Photo Raw
Onto ON1 Photo Raw which by the way is fast becoming a star of its own. Rightfully causing quite a stir in the professional photo community. One of the photoshop guys Matt Kloskowki seems to be rather a big fan of the product. This is what first, I admit attracted me to the software.
The product is full of features but definitely lacks fine refinements such as keyboard shortcuts and UI layout. However it’s very usable, fast and most important usable. Usable in a way to get things done.
I’ve been using ON1 now for over a week now. Even though it needs some shortcuts and tweaks here and there. The software is stable and robust. It doesn’t what it says on the tin and much more. This is seems to be my choice.
Alternative Open Source Raw Software
Other alternatives are RawTherapee and Digikam which I looked also into. Which you can read my very short impressions below not a review by any means.
My personal first impressions,
If you live in the Linux world, you probably love this application. However I use a Mac. Mainly to get the computing feeling and tinkering out of my life. I want a tool to use, to get the job done. Unfortunately RawTherapee has laggy UI and typical Linux style of browsing files. It looks too foreign way outside the Mac OS ecosystem. Very capable if you are on a budget.
Again with my first Impressions of Digikam,
On first install and execute I was pleasantly surprised. I had tried the application on Windows not Mac. Easy to browse and import images. However it’s raw editor is buggy and believe that’s it’s downfall. I had to restart the application several times for the errors and non-responsiveness to go away.
I like that you can choose well looking themes from the drop down menu. Importing GFX50s and XT-2 RAF raw files was a breeze. However ON1 Raw is so feature rich and it’s editor works well unlike Digikam’s. Maybe they’ll improve this aspect of the software.
This video below illustrates the differences between Lightroom, Capture and ON1 Raw from more of photographer’s approach.