About Thomas Fitzgerald

Thomas is a professional fine art photographer and writer specialising in photography related instructional books as well as travel writing and street photography. 

A Quick Note on Compression Options in Iridient X-Transformer 1.5

A Quick Note on Compression Options in Iridient X-Transformer 1.5

I’m really behind on this post, so apologies. I haven’t really been paying much attention to X-Transformer, as I haven’t been using it that much lately, so I missed the 1.5 update that came out in March. This update changes a couple of things in the software, but the most noticeable is that it adds some lossy compression options and changes the interface a little.

In 1.5, the DNG compression options and the Bit Depth options were combined into a single pop-up menu giving you a list of options. These include two new “Lossy” compression options. So now, instead of choosing the bit depth, and then toggling the option for compression or not, you select from the list of available options.

Compression options in Iridient X-Transformer 1.5

Just to clarify, in case there is any confusion, these options refer to compression in the resulting DNG file, and not the source RAF file.

I did a quick test using all of the options and here are the file sizes that I got. Bear in mind that the lossy compression results will change based on the contents of the file, and so this is just an example.

  • Original RAF file: 50.6mb
  • Lossy, Smallest: 10.6mb
  • Lossy, Small: 16mb
  • Lossless, 8bit: 34mb
  • Lossless, 10bit: 52mb
  • Losless, Native Bit: 74mb
  • Losless, 16bit: 92.6
  • Uncompressed: 148mb

Given that for a lot of people, the side of the DNG files when using X-Transformer was an issue, this could be a useful solution, if you are short on disk space. I haven’t done extensive testing to see the effects of the compression, as it would require a lot of testing on various different files, but I suspect it should be the equivalent to using a Jpeg file, but with extra headroom. I did do a few quick tests and I can’t see any major compression artefacts, however they probably would become prominent if you start extensively editing the file.

If you’re short on space, I would definitely consider using these, but be sure to keep a backup of your raw file. Having said that, to maintain the maximum quality, I still recommend using one of the lossless compression options, and either native bit depth or 16bits. Either of these should produce the best quality file. I see no reason to use uncompressed, other than for compatibility options.

I will be updating my X-Transformer guide in the near future for these changes - which will be a free update to existing customers of this guide. I don’t have a timeframe for this update at the moment though.

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