Lightroom 4.4RC with new improved X-Trans Sensor Support
|Lightroom 4.4RC vs Lightroom 4.3 (micro details look natural vs watercolour effect)|
The good news is that LR4.4RC responds better with the Radius setting in sharpness. By reducing the size of the pixel to something like 1/2 pixel, it dramatically reduced the moire issue (I wonder if Adobe was listening in on some of my theories on 1/2 median filtering). So like Capture One, default settings might not be the most ideal setting to use. If you're using RAW processing, you're likely not going to use the default settings anyhow.
|Lightroom 4.4RC vs in camera JPG|
Lastly, one of the best improvements that I can compare and finally say that if you were shooting only in JPG because you felt the in camera results were the best, Lightroom 4.4RC actually looks much better than the JPG rendering. This is a big improvement over the previous version. Details in the logs above is dramatically improved especially in the subtle shades. There are some softening of details which is likely a result of a different approach, but it is welcome considering how much of an improvement it has over the previous version's issues and even in camera JPG.
Personally I am comfortable to say that Lightroom 4.4 has at least finally matured as a good choice for RAW processing of FujiFilm X-Trans files. Is it perfect? No it isn't, but its improvements are dramatic, and it's apparent that Adobe and FujiFilm did indeed trade information to correct for some of the glaring issues that has kept most FujiFilm X-Trans system owners from shooting in RAW.
This is a pretty quick review and I'm still exploring the potential of Lightroom 4.4, but I'm very pleased by the results at this stage.
Two things I'd like to update, first the question of what settings to use in Lightroom for sharpening. I found the best balance seems to be the following:
Amount: 70 (adjust this setting to suit your preference)
Radius: 0.5 (almost like half median filtering that I did in early workflows)
This gave me the best balance of sharpening without too much moire artifacts, specifically the maze like effect that happens on ultra high frequency textures (usually only visible at 200%).
The second update is that something an improvement that most people wouldn't know about is something I call Zipper Aliasing (something I mentioned several posts back).
This isn't something that Lightroom 4.3 had a problem with (because it never resolved the details high enough), but with the increase of details, it's a fine balance between this unique zipper alias that happens only with the X-Trans files.
It is as far as I can tell by looking at just a RAW demosaic file, that it's the Green sensors that cause a unique zipper like pattern to form between certain details (only visible at 200-400%). This was present in processors like Silkypix and DCRAW especially if you over-sharpened. Lightroom's increase in detail did not result in any zipper aliasing when over-sharpening which is good. The trade off of slightly softer interpolation gives better control over that phenomena.