Recently (April, 2010), I purchased a FujiFilm HS-10.

This camera will shoot Raw images, and comes supplied with a Raw File Converter (RFC). This is 'powered' by SilkyPix, and is similar to the SilkyPix Developer Studio, albeit with a little less functionality. Still, it is very usable.

I normally use other applications for processing Raw files. At present (May, 2010), RFC, and SilkyPix Developer Studio (or Pro), are the only applications which will support the HS-10 Raw files.

The HS-10 delivers beautiful Jpeg images, if it is used correctly. If shooting Raw, much more control can be had over the resultant output. Particularly in terms of exposure, contrast, sharpening and, perhaps most importantly, noise control.

Processing raw images can seem a little daunting, and confusing, for a first time user. So, I have put together some notes about a set of process steps which can be used to get good results from RFC.

In the illustrations below, I will describe the typical step by step process which I use for converting, and adjusting, a Raw file from the HS-10 using RFC.

The original Raw file, I have used in this example, is available here if you wish to download and play with it yourself.

Have fun.


Note : This is the second example in the series. If you wish to see the first, click here

If you are not familiar with the controls of RFC, please look at the first example.

In this example, I will not put text on the image, unless I am talking about a new/different control from those used in the first example.

For a third RFC process example - Click here



Step One - Opening and displaying the image

As with all applications, simply select File/Open, and then select the Raw file you wish to work with in RFC.

Once the file is open, right click on the image and select the display size you wish to work in. To start, I normally select the size as 25%, and then enlarge the image to comfortably fit the display.

Here, I have enlarged the image to 32%, and have positioned it to the left of the display.

My main concentration in developing this image is to correct the white balance (WB), and also to try to lighten the background, whilst keeping noise levels at a minimum.




Step Two - Correcting white balance using the 'Gray balance tool'

A different, and often quicker way to correct WB, is to find an area, in the image, which should be neutral gray. In this image there are several areas which can be measured to achieve this.

Simply click on the Gray balance tool.




Step Two (continued) - Correcting white balance using the 'Gray balance tool'

Once I have selected the Gray balance tool, I look for an area in the image which I am certain should have neutral values.

You can see that when I clicked in this area, my WB has returned to a more normal look.

Note : Middle gray is described as having RGB values of 128, 128, 128. This pretty much equates to the 'midtone's values which PhotoShop, and other editing applications use.

The RFC Gray balance tool is looking more for neutral gray areas, or areas which should have equal RGB values, and still fall within the 'gray' spectrum.

 In practice, I have found that anywhere from approximately 40, 40, 40 through 165, 165, 165 can be used to balance colours in neutral areas.

Tip : If you click an area and the desired effect is not realised, select 'undo' and then select Gray balance tool again, and resample. Sometimes it takes a couple of attempts.

If you get the WB totally messed up, simply click where it says 'Manual' and then select Fine (5200K) to go back to the default settings.




Step Three - Reduce the contrast

As with my previous example, I will select 'Low contrast' to lower the overall contrast in the image.

This helps to flatten the tones in the image slightly, and also helps keep any noise to a minimum.

Remember, the more contrast you add in an image, the more noise you will accentuate. There is nothing wrong with using the contrast tools, only later in our process steps.




Step Four - Adjust noise reduction controls

Again, as with my previous example, I have negated all the noise reduction controls.

Here, however, I have then applied full (100%) False color crtl, and also 35% Noise reduction.

With this image, I am very mindful of trying to keep the noise (upper right) to a minimum. That is why the image is now enlarged, and displayed as it is.

Note : The most 'savage' noise control is the one labelled 'Noise level' in the Noise canceller window. I do use it, but only at values of one, or two. Have a play with it and see what effects it gives.

Best to leave it off, unless absolutely required though.




Step Five - Adjust sharpening

Here, I have applied the sharpening levels as can be seen in the Sharpness controls window.




Step Six - Using the Highlight controller, and Fine color controller

I am now going to use two controls which were not used in my first example.

These are the Highlight, and Fine color controllers.

Here, I have both open and I have selected 'Tender green emphasis', in the Fine color controller. This gives a slightly more green tone to the image.

Note : If you run your mouse over any of the descriptors, the screen will change to preview that selection.




Step Six (continued) - Using the Highlight controller, and Fine color controller

Here, I have selected the Highlight controller, and 'Luminance priority'. This helps to 'lift' the image slightly.

Note : If you run your mouse over any of the descriptors, the screen will change to preview that selection.




Step Seven - Adjusting the exposure

At this point, I wish to 'lighten' the image a little.

Here, I have simply applied an EV compensation of +0.20.

Note : In my first process example, I showed how to use the Shadow/highlight warning control. As I work through this image, I am also switching that on/off to see what some of my adjustments are effecting.

In reality, I will never lift all the shadow areas, nor am I trying to. I'm sure you can see though, that as we work through the image, the shadow areas are coming out. The trick is not to let the highlights 'clip' as we do so.




Step Eight - Fine tuning contrast and white balance

As I have worked through the image, I am sure you can see that the steps I have taken have had an effect on the contrast, and the colour of the image.

So, at this point, I wish to do a little fine tuning of the contrast, and the white balance.

Here, I have reopened the contrast (Tone) window, and have adjusted the 'Contrast center' control to 0.55. The original setting was 0.46. This simply helps to add a little more contrast to the image.




Step Eight (continued) - Fine tuning contrast and white balance

Similar to fine tuning the contrast, I also wish to do a very slight adjustment to the white balance.

Here, I have only adjusted the 'Color deflection' control to a value of 1. It had a value of 4 prior. Adjusting this control, affects the midtone colours in the image.




Step Nine - Saving the image

Well, that is all I am going to do. It may seem like a lot of steps, really it is few.

All I have really done is to correct the white balance, get the sharpness and NR under my control, and 'balance' the contrast of the image.

Now I am going to save the image.

To do this I simply select the Development icon and the 'Save As' options window will open. I have also clicked the 'Preview button so I can preview any steps I take here.

I am using the file format of DSCF3316 RFC Final.jpg. This is so I know that it has been developed in RFC, and this is my final version.

I have also elected to add a very small amount of extra sharpening in this step. Here I have applied the values of 20, 0.3, 3.

That's about it. So, I will simply click the Save button.


Below this illustration, I have put the image as first opened in RFC, and then followed by the final image. After that, I have put the Jpeg image which came from shooting Raw + Jpeg.








The image as opened in RFC, and with the RFC default settings.




The image as finished using the RFC adjustments as described in the process steps above.




The original Jpeg image from shooting Raw + Jpeg.




For a third RFC process example - Click here