Adobe Improves X-Trans Processing in Lightroom CC Update: Promises More to Come
One of the interesting tidbits, buried in thelist of bug fixes for the Lightroom CC update that was released yesterday was a mention of improvements to Fuji X-Trans processing in Lightroom. Any long term follower of this blog, knows that Lightroom's poor quality X-Trans rendering has long been a bug bear of mine, and I've sought ways to minimise it and ways to avoid it altogether.
There are two major issues with the way Lightroom handles X-Trans files. First, an excessive amount of chroma blur which would often see colours bleed into one and other in areas of high colour contrast. The second is poor handling of fine detail, especially when it comes to foliage and other repeating patterns. Images also have a tendency to have false edges in these situations too.I've covered this all before many times, and the original post I did on this some time ago probably explains the issues best.
I've advocated using a different Raw converter such as Iridient Developer or Capture One because they do a much better job of rendering fine detail in X-Trans files. I've also looked at ways to mitigate the edge issues in Lightroom by tweaking the sharpening settings which can help a little. You would think something like this would have been fixed a long time ago, but part of the problem was that many people refused to accept that this existed, or that it was much of a problem. It was difficult to even have a discussion about it because some die hard lightroom fans would attack you on twitter for daring to point it out, usually with some variation of "It's only a problem if you're an obsessive pixel peeper" or some such vague insult. To me this always seemed like a bit of a cop out. It's like saying: "There's nothing wrong with it so long as you don't look too close". Besides, I believe that you can see the differences, even when not zoomed in 1:1 Anyway, apart from that issue with a small number of people, what it boiled down to at the end of the day, was that Lightroom's processing was good enough for a lot of users, so I really didn't expect them to do anything about it. Luckily I was wrong.
In the announcement yesterday, Adobe has dealt with the first problem, that of the colour blur, and the company has stated that they are working with Fuji to improve edge rendering and detail on X-Trans files. I'm really glad that they've acknowledged this problem and are working to fix it. Hopefully we won't have to wait too long for the second part of the fix. In the mean time, the colour contrast does appear to have been improved, and areas of colour look more solid and well defined now, but I haven't done proper testing yet.