Fuji X-Trans Sensor Excels in Capture One 7

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Get under the hood, and learn why the Fuji X-Trans sensor’s random color filter gives you sharper images, compared to other cameras using the Bayer Color filter – and how the sensor excels in Capture One.

For more than 10 years Capture One has been supporting various RAW files from major camera manufactures. These fully supported RAW files all come from cameras using the Bayer Color filter layout.

Over the years Phase One has constantly been working on improving the algorithms for converting the RAW data captured by the sensor to a full RGB file, a process often referred to as Bayer interpolation.

The quality that can be derived from the Bayer filter layout has been well proven throughout the years. Using the Capture One 7 processing engine it is possible to achieve an amazing level of detail and precise color from RAW files using this color filter layout.

The arrival of the X-Trans filter

In 2012 Fujifilm introduced a completely new Color filter layout named X-Trans. Fujifilm’s new color filter layout is based on a 6×6 pixel pseudo random color filter pattern (as opposed to the traditional 2×2). Despite a more challenging filter layout the engineers at Phase One have managed to make support for this new filter layout in Capture One 7.1, yielding natural colors and excellent detail rendition.

A camera with an image sensor that uses the Bayer Color filter layout can run the risk of producing moiré when photographing fine structures. Image content with specific types of fabric or distant building details are potentially problematic. Optical low pass filters, also called antialiasing filters, can be used to minimize the risk of moiré by slightly blurring the image, however this can result in an image with less sharpness.

In 2012, Fujifilm offered their own solution to deal with the above dilemma by introducing a new color filter layout named X-Trans.  The theory behind the new layout was that by using a more random color filter, over a 6×6 pixel block, you effectively minimize moiré and can then remove the need for an antialiasing filter. Without antialiasing filter a sharper image can be achieved.

x-trans-colorfilter

The X-Trans color filter layout with a 6√ó6 pixel pattern

You can, of course, never completely prevent moiré from happening with just a change to the color filters from the classical 2×2 Bayer layout to the new 6×6 X-trans layout.

A big challenge

The new 6√ó6 X-trans layout is a big challenge for all RAW converters. Many algorithms and process steps in the Capture One processing pipeline have been modified in order to handle this new pattern. As a result, Capture One now has a solution with which you can achieve excellent details and precise colors using these X-trans cameras.

tip718-Img4JPEG file from camera                                        RAW file in Capture One

The image above is a 200% zoom into a X-Trans file from a Fujifilm X100S. The lack of antialiasing filter coupled with a sharp lens results in a very crisp image. If you compare the JPEG with the RAW file from Capture One you will see that, by default, Capture One extracts slightly more details.

More precise color rendition

The real benefit, however is a much more precise color rendition of the smaller details in the image. Look specifically at the colors of the curtains in the windows. In the RAW file you can see green and blue curtains while the JPEG file only shows gray curtains. Also notice the natural color variations in the bricks of the RAW file.

When using a sensor with a color filter array, moiré will occur when patterns in the image interfere with the pixel resolution. This is also the case when using an X-Trans sensor.

tip718-Img5JPEG out of the camera                                      RAW file in Capture One.

The image above is a 100% zoom into a picture of two blue shirts. This specific type of shirt fabric has always created moiré problems when testing cameras and it is no different using a camera with an X-Trans color sensor. When no antialiasing filter is used and you have a super sharp lens you can always find a distance (from sensor to subject) where moiré can show up.

Remember that if color moiré occurs you can use the Moiré Tool in Capture One 7 to minimize the color moiré. The Moiré Tool can be applied to the specific area using the Local Adjustments tool, allowing you to apply strong settings adjustments without affecting other parts of the image.

tip718-Img6RAW file with moire                                             RAW file after using the Moire Tool

After using the Color Moiré Tool on the RAW file, all color moiré has been removed. Although X-Trans color filter sensors promise moiré-free images, the reality is something else. Luckily, with the advanced Moiré Tool in Capture One 7 it is possible to remove the Moiré completely.

All the best,

Niels

The Image Quality Professor

Niels V. Knudsen

Niels V. Knudsen is Phase One’s Image Quality Professor. He is responsible for breakthrough advancements in image quality both in Phase One’s medium format camera systems and in its digital imaging software.

20 thoughts on “Fuji X-Trans Sensor Excels in Capture One 7

  1. AndreasM

    Thank you for doing a very fine job offering a professional tool for Fujifilm X-Trans raw files.
    I installed Capture One 7 Pro quite a while ago but it was somehow hard to leave Lightroom, simply because I used it for years.
    Since i tried a direct comparison on how various Software handles X-Trans RAW(.RAF) Files I can only say that Capture One delivers stunning results! Congratulations! I’m not longer hesitating to completely switch my workflow to your fine software.

    Reply
    1. The Image Quality Professor Post author

      Hi Andreas,

      I am so happy to hear. Thanks for posting your comment.

      All the best,
      Niels

      Reply
  2. ilium007

    How long until Capture One supports RAW files from the new X-E2 ? The X-E1 and X100S are supported. The X-E2 has the same sensor as the X100S.

    Reply
  3. Jamie

    That’s a great insightfull post thank you Will you be providing support for Nikon D800 raw any time soon?

    Reply
    1. David Grover

      Hi Jamie,

      We already support the Nikon D800 and have done so for quite a while now!

      David

      Reply
  4. Paul Franklin

    I love Capture One Pro 7. I have been using C1 for 3 years now. The only complaint is that I would like to see a better spot removal tool. I was an Aperture user previously and for several years Aperture’s Spot removal tool could take out a Power wire or a long dust spot as you could drag it in short strokes. Would be nice to see in Capture One. The second complaint is that I would like to see Colour Tagging that had some meaning. I do not need to see the word Red on the red square on an image. I know it is RED. Why can’t I type what I want the Red square to mean. I might want to use the Red to mean Adjusted with OnOne software and the yellow to mean I want to send this photo to Flickr or whatever. As it is I have no use for the color tagging.

    Reply
    1. The Image Quality Professor Post author

      Hi Paul,

      Good to hear that you are enjoying Capture One Pro 7. Thanks for great feedback!

      All the best,
      Niels

      Reply
  5. Graham Smith

    Are Phase One sufficiently interested in the Fuji x files to keep improving this capability.

    Having gained a reputation of being the best of the fuji x raw conversions, my tests with the latest lightroom 5.3 and irridient developer suggest that the “smearing” of foliage detail is no longer a problem with these converters, but is still an issue with Capture One 7.2.

    Still prefer the overall look of the Capture One images, but unfortunately, after now looking at same images converted in Lightroom 5.2, the slightly strange rendering of foliage from Capture One, and indeed an overall blockiness of the rendering is distracting .

    I am hoping that Phase One will look at this, and bring Capture One back up to the top spot for Fuji conversions.

    Cheers,

    Graham

    Reply
    1. Graham Smith

      Can I add to my last comment now that I have spent more time on this, the difference between Iridient, in terms of foliage detail and bare branches against the sky, is not as great as I first thought (operator error on my part).

      However, irident still shows just how much detail and resolution there is in the fuji files which Capture one doesn’t appear to be extracting. So I still hope that Phase one will be revisiting the Fuji algorithms.

      Cheers,

      Graham

      Reply
      1. The Image Quality Professor Post author

        Hi Graham,

        We will continue to improve our support for Fuji files. Thanks for taking the time to provide us with this feedback.

        All the best,
        Niels

        Reply
  6. Xavier Pintado

    Hi,

    I am trying to load a RAW (.RAF) file from a Fujifilm X-T1 into Capture One Pro so far to no avail. What am I doing wrong?

    Best regards,
    XPI

    Reply
    1. The Image Quality Professor Post author

      Hi Xavier,

      The Fujifilm X-T1 is not supported yet. But it will be in the future. It’s in our plans.

      All the best,
      Niels

      Reply
  7. Friedhelm M√ľhlsiepen

    Hello,

    1) I’m about to get a Fuji X100T, that is not yet supported bei Capture One. As both sensor and lens are not changed, will it be possible to apply the profile of the Fuji X100S to my files or have I to wait for an update because the files cannot be imported into C1?

    2) can I expect the specifics of the Fuji X100 lens top be known and corrected by C1? (vignetting, chromatic aberrations, distortion)

    Thanks and best regards,

    Friedhelm

    Reply

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