Noise Reduction

For a test, just a test, I set my new Fuji X-T3 ISO to 12,800 the other night. I was surprised by the results – the pictures were usable. Yes, grainy and there is a loss of resolution but still, usable – more on that later. While working on the images, I discovered some differences in the noise reduction capability of the different raw convertors. So, I decided to research this area a little. And, away we go….
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In the Clouds

So two things have happened since we last ‘spoke.’ One, I now have a Fujifilm X-T3. Great camera…I think – I’m still getting familiar with it. More on that in a later post.

The other thing is that Adobe released an update to Lightroom that sounded great. There’s a new feature, “Enhance Detail..” that, at least according to Adobe, yields much better results with Fuji X-Trans images. It works with other formats also but, hey, who cares?

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More on RAW Processing

I have continued ‘testing’ RAW convertors. Since Capture 1 Express doesn’t work for me and because Skylum introduced Luminar with Libraries I decided to compare Lightroom/Photoshop, On1-2109 and Luminar 3. I’m surprised by what I’ve found

Couple of things: I’m using version 8.1 of LR and PS 2019. I’ve found sharpening in PS far superior to just using LR. I have the latest version of ON1 Photo Raw and version 3.0.0 of Luminar. I own Luminar, ON1 and subscribe to Adobe. I have no connection with any of the companies.

While I really want to like Luminar, version 3 is not stable…at least for me. Using virtually any shortcut key crashes the program. [Update 12/29/18 Skylum says the bug will be fixed in version 3.1.No date as to when that will be released The bug was fixed in version 3.0,1. They are still working on 3.1 expected release end of January.]
Nevertheless, I managed to get some comparisons using Luminar but I can’t see using it in stand-alone mode yet.  It does work as a plug-in for LR – which bypasses the new Libraries module.  I think the bug is in the libraries module.
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RAW Conversion

In an attempt to evaluate RAW conversion apps, I converted and compared several images in three apps.  Lightroom(and Photoshop), Luminar 2018 and Capture One Express for Fuji.  Part of my motivation was to get around the ‘worms’ problem with Lightroom.  If you read my conclusions – see RAW Convertors –  you will see I thought Capture One was an excellent raw convertor for the Fuji X-Trans.

However, I must report that I will not be using Capture One at all. Why? Because, on my MacPro running Sierra Capture One crashes constantly. These are not “the application quit unexpectly” crashes but crashes that take out the Finder; the only way to recover is to force a Power Off, then Power on. I have no idea, and am not going to attempt to debug, why this happens. I’ll let someone else take that on. So, no matter how good it is at converting raw files, it’s not useful.

Because Capture One doesn’t work for me, I decided to try out the most recent version of ON1 Photo Raw 2019. The comparison has been added to the bottom of the page. Executive Summary – ON1 is very good. I’ll stick with Luminar, ON1 and the Adobe world. 

Rainy Day at Stow Lake

Finally! The rain cleaned up our air and it’s safer to go outside again. I was so happy to get out that the hard rain didn’t discourage me at all. In fact, I saw it as a chance to test the WR rating of my X-T1 and 18-135mm lens. I’m here to tell you both are apparently very WR. I kept it simple – head for Golden Gate Park and Stow Lake, one of my favorite places in the park. You can see more from the day – and there aren’t many, I’m not that crazy – here. Above is a detail of the shot where you can see the rain. First time I’ve captured rain. It’s easy, just go out in driving rain. As always, click on an image to see a larger version.

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