Fujifilm Finepix X100 – RAW and film simulation04 Aug 2012 #Photography
– Why film simulations are not disabled when shooting RAW?
A RAW file is a photo that hasn’t been developed yet and simply consist of numerical values representing the amount of light that has been recorded by the sensor (in the case of the X100 this is 12-bit per pixel). It has to be somehow converted into RGB in order to be viewable on a computer screen (or the camera’s LCD/EVF) as an image that you can look at. This can be done through RAW converters or image viewers which know how to interpret the RAW file into an RGB image.
So, when you choose e.g. the film simulation “Astia”, this is the film simulation (or RAW converter’s formula to convert into RGB) used in order to present an image to you in the LCD/EVF and when playing back the images you have shot (see “Preview Image in the EXIF” further down below). The camera needs to do this in order to let you know what you are shooting and what you have shot. Otherwise you would just see 12.37 million different numerical values of light, and that wouldn’t help to know if your shot was in focus.
The film simulation is not baked into the RAW file that is recorded to your memory card in any other way than the film simulation’s name (in this case “Astia”). Therefore applications such as Adobe Lightroom will never be able to reproduce Fujifilm’s film simulations automatically upon import of a RAW file, unless they know Fuji’s secret formula for the specific film simulation – and they don’t.
Try changing the film simulation to “Monochrome” and you’ll see that the LCD/EVF turns grayscale. This however does not mean you are recording an grayscale-only image if you are shooting RAW. However, if you are shooting JPG-only, all RAW data is converted to RGB, then the RAW data gets discarded and there will be only a grayscale RGB JPG image. When a RAW file shot with the “Monochrome” film simulation is imported into e.g. Adobe Lightroom or Adobe Photoshop the image will be in color and not in grayscale/monochrome. This is only because ACR supports X100/X-Pro1 RAW files and does a pretty decent job in showing you what it think that the photo should look like with its RGB conversion formula (it’s not Provia, it’s not Astia, it’s … Adobes own film simulation made for the X100, if you will – only difference here being you can go in and tweak that formula with sliders and buttons.
The in-camera converter
Since you have shot the photo in RAW, you can always launch the built-in RAW-processor software in-camera and change the film simulation into something else and then “develop” the photo into a JPG using other settings than you had when shooting the image. The RAW file, however, will never be altered when doing this and will always remain as RAW data. This also applies to a number of other settings such as the tone of shadow and highlights. All of that can be changed after having shot the RAW photo.
Sample X100 EXIF data
EXIF extracted with ExifTool.
ExifTool Version Number : 8.99 File Name : DSCF6164.RAF Directory : /Users/fredrik/Pictures/RAW/2012/2012-07-12 File Size : 19 MB File Modification Date/Time : 2012:07:12 12:12:55+02:00 File Permissions : rw------- File Type : RAF MIME Type : image/x-fujifilm-raf RAF Version : 0130 Exif Byte Order : Little-endian (Intel, II) Make : FUJIFILM Camera Model Name : FinePix X100 Orientation : Horizontal (normal) X Resolution : 72 Y Resolution : 72 Resolution Unit : inches Software : Digital Camera FinePix X100 Ver1.30 Modify Date : 2012:07:12 12:12:55 Y Cb Cr Positioning : Co-sited Copyright : Exposure Time : 1/240 F Number : 8.0 Exposure Program : Aperture-priority AE ISO : 200 Sensitivity Type : Standard Output Sensitivity Exif Version : 0230 Date/Time Original : 2012:07:12 12:12:55 Create Date : 2012:07:12 12:12:55 Components Configuration : Y, Cb, Cr, - Compressed Bits Per Pixel : 2 Shutter Speed Value : 1/246 Aperture Value : 8.0 Brightness Value : 13.42 Exposure Compensation : 0 Max Aperture Value : 2.0 Metering Mode : Multi-segment Light Source : Unknown Flash : Off, Did not fire Focal Length : 23.0 mm Version : 0130 Internal Serial Number : FPX 20850584 592D36323234 2012:02:23 FE613f110062 Quality : NORMAL Sharpness : Film Simulation White Balance : Auto Saturation : Normal White Balance Fine Tune : Red +0, Blue +0 Noise Reduction : n/a High ISO Noise Reduction : Unknown (0x280) Fuji Flash Mode : Off Flash Exposure Comp : -0.67 Macro : Off Focus Mode : Auto Focus Pixel : 1088 724 Slow Sync : Off Picture Mode : Aperture-priority AE Auto Bracketing : Off Sequence Number : 0 Blur Warning : None Focus Warning : Good Exposure Warning : Good Dynamic Range : Standard Film Mode : F1b/Studio Portrait Smooth Skin Tone (Astia) Dynamic Range Setting : Manual Development Dynamic Range : 100 Faces Detected : 0 Flashpix Version : 0100 Color Space : sRGB Exif Image Width : 2176 Exif Image Height : 1448 Interoperability Index : R98 - DCF basic file (sRGB) Interoperability Version : 0100 Focal Plane X Resolution : 924 Focal Plane Y Resolution : 924 Focal Plane Resolution Unit : cm Sensing Method : One-chip color area File Source : Digital Camera Scene Type : Directly photographed Custom Rendered : Normal Exposure Mode : Auto Scene Capture Type : Standard Subject Distance Range : Unknown PrintIM Version : 0250 Compression : JPEG (old-style) Thumbnail Offset : 1964 Thumbnail Length : 9030 Image Width : 2176 Image Height : 1448 Encoding Process : Baseline DCT, Huffman coding Color Components : 3 Y Cb Cr Sub Sampling : YCbCr4:2:2 (2 1) Preview Image : (Binary data 764732 bytes, use -b option to extract) Raw Image Full Size : 4448x2870 Fuji Layout : 10 11 9 8 Raw Image Width : 4448 Raw Image Height : 2870 Bits Per Sample : 12 Strip Offsets : 789200 Strip Byte Counts : 19148640 WB GRB Levels : 302 450 447 Aperture : 8.0 Blue Balance : 1.480132 Image Size : 2176x1448 Red Balance : 1.490066 Scale Factor To 35 mm Equivalent: 1.5 Shutter Speed : 1/240 Thumbnail Image : (Binary data 9030 bytes, use -b option to extract) Circle Of Confusion : 0.020 mm Field Of View : 54.2 deg Focal Length : 23.0 mm (35 mm equivalent: 35.2 mm) Hyperfocal Distance : 3.37 m Light Value : 12.9
Advanced control during RAW development
I can recommend that everyone shooting RAW take a look at RAW Photo Processor. It’s offering an extremely eccentric control over the RAW development process. It’s completely free but unfortunately I believe it is only available on Mac OS X.
Other X100 resources
Make sure to check out some of my other X100 articles: