FUJIFILM X RAW Studio is a raw image processor with a clever trick: it uses the graphics card on your camera to handle the processing. This unique feature lets you use any computer, even one that's past its prime, to edit and covert image files quickly. While it likely won't be your only raw-processor, Fuji X-Raw can save you a lot of time, and will help improve your photography in ways other programs can't.
1. Connect Camera to Computer
The software is compatible with many of Fuji's cameras, but the caveat with this method is you need to connect the same kind of camera that the photos were made with in order to use the image proccesor. For example, I'm using a Fuji X100f; if my friend sends me some files from an Fuji X-Pro2 I'm not able to convert the photos using X-Raw.
Before you attach your camera, go into the menu and follow this pathway: Set Up > Connection Settings > Connection Mode. Then select USB Raw Conv./Backup Restore.
You'll also want to change USB Power Supply Setting to OFF, under Connection Settings. This will help save power if you are processing a bunch of photos. That being said, it's best to use a fully-charged battery.
2. Set Up X-Raw
Now that you've connected the camera and computer together open up Fuji X-Raw.
There is one preference you'll want to change within the software, to ask the program retain the best quality image instead of prioritizing speed. Go Preferences > Preview > Conversion Type and pick Image Quality Priority, then click OK.
3. Review, Rate, and Convert Your Photos
Fuji X-Raw is really simple to use and includes all the essentials you need for a raw-file edit. You are able to change all the image parameters set by your camera, but way faster and with easier access to all the options. The interface is basic and uncomplicated, and if you've used photo sorting and editing programs before it will feel familiar.
The main parts of the interface you'll use:
- The file navigator at top left.
- Filter Selection on the bottom left. This allows you to choose which file type you'd like to view (for example, hiding JPEG preview images to display raw-files only) as well as a star rating (0-5) system to help pick out your favourites.
- Profile, where you can create and save your favourite adjustments.
- Camera Profile, where you'll be able save custom Profile setting back onto your camera.
- Editing Options where you can simply click to adjust your parameters.
Using the camera as your converter means you get the benefit of using the sensor in exactly the way the engineers designed it—not Adobe or Apple's or some other interpretation. What's especially nice is that there's no guesswork between the camera's display screen and the photos in X-Raw.
With this clear relationship between camera and computer, you can build a nuanced understanding of what your camera is actually able to do, through observation, which is an important part of learning to pre-visualizing your pictures, and then feed that back into the camera as a profile. Bewlow, we'll show how to add customized profiles from X-Raw to the camera.
Here are the available settings:
- Push Pull
- Dynamic Range
- Film Simutaltion
- Grain Effect
- White Balance
- WB Shift
- Highlight Tone
- Shadow Tone
- Noise Reduction
- Color Space
- Rotate Image
Using the controls is also pretty basic: you select an option from a drop-down menu. Some people might count this as a minus against the program, but it has the effect of keeping your edits simple, too, which is a plus if you want to spend as little time processing photos as possible.
Speaking of saving time, if you made a change you really like and would like to use it for a set of photos you can easily copy and re-apply it. Say, for example, you used an Acros black and white profile on the camera, but later you decide you want colour after all. Piece of cake! A test we ran using a Fuji X-Pro2 to convert 900 images from black and white to Classic Chrome took about a half-hour. The computer's fan never turned on, as it usually does when processing graphics, and we went right on working on other stuff while the camera plugged away making new .jpeg preview files.
Right-click on the image you've made your adjustments to, then select Copy Conversion File. From here you can select an image or multiple photos (by holding down Shift or Command/Control while selecting) and apply the profile to all of them by again right-clicking and selecting Paste Conversion File.
Convert and Export
Once you are finished making your edits and everything has the profile and settings you want, export new .jpeg preview images. To do this, just click the Convert button on the middle/right hand side of the screen. This will save your new image in the same location where your originals are kept. You can also you batch exports by selecting multiple images using the Command button your keyboard and selecting Convert.
4. Save Your Presets
If you've made a series of adjustments you are happy with and think you might want to apply them again to another series of pictures, you can save that profile for another time! All you need to do is go up to User Profile, click Save and name your preset. It will appear right away and you can apply it by clicking.
Save Presets to Camera
Here's where things get really useful: you can save your highly-personalized profiles back to the camera!
Saving the preset to your camera is just as easy. Once you click Save you'll be presented with a pop-up asking you to select which custom slot would like to assign your preset to. From here you'll be able to name the preset and save it to your camera. Now you can you look for your profile on your camera under I.Q Settings > Select Custom Setting.
Note: Depending on the camera's firmware update, you might not have access to the Camera Profile option. This section appears under User Profile.
Fuji Raw-X is a great tool that for only improves the functionality of your camera for both shooting and editing. If you liked learning how to use this software and want to keep on reading, check out these articles on photography:
- Photo CritiqueHow to Read a PhotographDawn Oosterhoff
- PhotographyHow to Compress RAW Photo Files and Save Space With Rawsie (Losslessly)André Bluteau
- PhotographyHow to Reduce Noise in Raw Photos Using DxO PureRawMarie Gardiner
- Photo MechanicHow To Get Started with Photo Mechanic: 3 Essential WorkflowsAndrew Childress
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