The Iridient Digital company, known of one product – the RAW developer for Fujifilm X-Trans sensors, available for Mac only, has just published a Windows version. So far very limited version – just a raf to dng converter – but it is a nice step in good direction. As there is available free test version, I decided to give it a try.
And one important note at the beginning: it could seem like DNG format is broadly accepted, used and universal Adobe standard of the RAW file. But some software, even the well known, does not support DNG files written by anything else than officially supported cameras. One of the examples can be DXO Optics Pro, which does not open DNG files, written by Iridient X-Transformer. Anyway, DXO documentation states clearly that this software can open DNG files written only by supported cameras. Another case is Phase One Capture One Pro – this software does not support DNG at all. Fortunately, Adobe Lightroom opens the DNG files, written by Iridient X-Transformer without problem.
OK, so lets come to the most important point – quality of the RAF files development. I’m a nature and landscape photographer, so one of the most important aspects is how many details I can get out of the RAF file. And I must say that at the first sight ma jaw has dropped. Below is a small cut of the picture developed with Lightroom:
The above picture shows quite a lot of details. So let’s have a look at the Capture One Pro version below:
Capture One Pro a bit better shows the detail, what you can see both on bark and leafs.
Bur let’s see the X-Transformer version – in my opinion all the details are much more visible, are sharper, clearer.
But I have also noticed one serious issue. As long as the entire picture does not contain any over exposed parts, everything works fine. But with overexposed parts strange things happen – look at this:
The sky is overexposed, but there are no problems visible other than lack of texture and color.
The same in case of Capture One Pro:
There is still normal, overexposed sky.
And what about Iridient X-Transformer? Look at this:
Iridient X-Transformer generated a strange structures. Unfortunately this is not an isolated, single picture – I have noticed this problem on each and every picture, containing overexposed areas. In each case X-Transformer generates color framing of overexposed area. Below are next two examples:
I couldn’t withstand without checking what’s going on and why these strange effects appear in my case, but nobody else confirms them. Definitely, the root cause must be somewhere on my side. Someone suggested that it could be a “feature” of the free, demo version – I have checked – after the program has been licensed, nothing has changed. So I installed it on another PC. And guess what? No sign of the strange graphical effects either in free or licensed version. So what is the difference between the two PCs, I was running the X-Transformer on? The first one is a virtual machine on Vmware Workstation, with Windows 8.1 installed. The second one is a physical machine, with Windows 10 installed. Now, on the production system, X-Transformer works… no, still not perfect. It works well in terms of RAF development, but I found that the user interface has been written very poorly – it does nor scale. As a result, on the 4K screen I either see characters so small, that I must use a loupe, or after the screen is scaled to 150%, I see the following:
Anyway, I understand that this is a Beta version and not a final product, so I hope for UI to be well written finally. On the RAF development side I’m very satisfied.