Fuji X-T1 – In-Camera RAW Processing – Air Show

Earlier, I posted some out-of-camera JPEGs from the Fuji XC 50-230mm which looked too dark (at least on my monitors and iPad).

20150821 155614 DSCF4484 XT1_Crop_DCE

However, this photo looks FANTASTIC on both the X-T1 LCD screen and EVF. Not dark at all, but rich, detailed and full of pop! (more on this at the end of the post).

Now, let’s see what the X-T1 can do with the RAW file in-camera.

First, let’s lighten it up a little.
20150821 155614 DSCF5001 XT1 pp+.7_Crop_DCEThen get those highlights to pop.
20150821 155614 DSCF5023 XT1 pp+.7 ht+2_Crop_DCENot too shabby — sky brightened a little, too, but how about a little more shadow detail.
20150821 155614 DSCF5025 XT1 pp+.7 ht+2 st-1_Crop_DCENot bad. (Looks better than the previous when either displayed on a large screen or when the small output is sharpened.)

Here is what the in-camera sharpening looks like at 100% crop.

20150821 155614 DSCF5025 XT1 pp+.7 ht+2 st-1_Crop_2_DCE 20150821 155614 DSCF5028 XT1 pp+.7 ht+2 st-1 sharp+2_Crop_2_DCE

(And here it is after resizing for the web then sharpening.)

20150821 155614 DSCF5028 XT1 pp+.7 ht+2 st-1 sharp+2_Crop_DCE

(FYI Except for sharpness, if I had used these settings at the event, half the photos would have been too bright (the ones where the jet was not in the shadow to me.) C’est la vie.)


Camera screens vs Computer screens (and tablets and phones)

Adjustments:

  • To get the X-T1’s LCD to look like how the photo looks on multiple computer screens and my iPad 3, I needed to drop the LCD 3 steps and the EVF 2 steps to more closely match.
  • Or, if I boosted the iPad screen to maximum (which is too bright for typical indoor use), it looks exactly like the LCD screen on the X-T1 (set to default (0)).

Is anything going wrong? Nope. Both devices are doing exactly what they are supposed to do.

The camera wants you to see (in both bright sunlight and in dark conditions) the details available in the file (for both printing and viewing later on computer screens).

  • You may have noticed that files that look too dark on a screen (but have good shadow detail) still print fine whether you go through a photo service or go through your own desk printer.
  • But too bright files don’t print well.

The computer wants to adjust viewing to what is comfortable to you in the current lighting conditions. It cares nothing about showing its maximum dynamic range or the dynamic range of the photo.

So what is there to do? Nothing. The devices have different goals. Making your camera monitor darker will just mess up your exposure, and making your monitors, tablets and phones brighter will just hurt your eyes. (And calibration devices won’t fix this problem, either.)

Rock meet hard place.

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