Capture One vs Lightroom vs PhotoNinja vs Iridient for Fuji X-Trans Portraitures

We know that everyone complains about how Adobe handles Fuji RAF files. There has been alternatives such as PhotoNinja, Iridient, and Capture One. So I decided to try them and see how they handle RAF files for portraiture. Why portraiture? Because that’s the style of photography I do. I want the best RAW processor to get the best out of the X-Trans sensor. 

This isn’t just a pixel peeping exercise. Sure, certain software can bring out details better. They also render colors differently. So you have to figure out what gives you the best possible look that you’re going for.

Sample Images 1

The samples are straight out of the camera with no adjustments. These are at its default settings. Sure, maybe if we fiddle with stuff, we can get almost identical outputs. But I want to see what gives me the best starting point.

Since my trial license for PhotoNinja expired, I had to take a screen shot. So keep that in mind.

The following images are shot at f/4.0, 1/125 sec, at 200 ISO with my Fuji X-E1.

Capture One
Capture One
Iridient
Iridient
PhotoNinja
PhotoNinja
LightRoom
LightRoom

Right away, you can tell these are different.  They all have different tones to the image.

Let’s See These at 100%

These are screen grabs from each software. You can click on them to get a bigger size. For PhotoNinja, I had to take a screen shot again. Hopefully, you can still tell the difference.

Capture One
Capture One
Iridient
Iridient
PhotoNinja
PhotoNinja
Lightroom
Lightroom

It looks like Iridient captures the details better. The other three are about the same at its default settings. I  can’t get over PhotoNinja’s weird colors though.

Sample #2

The settings for these are f/4.0, 1/250 sec at 800 ISO using my Fuji X100s. This is lit using a flash. Once again, these are straight out of the camera using the software’s default settings. 

Capture One
Capture One
Iridient
Iridient
PhotoNinja
PhotoNinja
Lightroom
Lightroom

At 100% 

Once again, you can click on them to get a better view.

Capture One
Capture One
Iridient
Iridient
Photo Ninja
Photo Ninja
Lightroom
Lightroom

Wow, for these images, Iridient looks the worst. It looks weird. Is it the noise reduction that Iridient tried to give? I like Capture One’s output the best. It looks the most natural.

PhotoNinja’s version looks pretty good too. But I still can’t get over that weird tint the image has.

What Is My Favorite?

Capture One wins. The skin tone looks better compared to the other software. Detail wise, Iridient seem to pull more out. But Capture One does a great job. 

I like the look of Lightroom as well. But I think that’s because I’m so used to seeing Lightroom’s renderings. It looks  “normal” to me.

PhotoNinja’s output looks okay. The screen-grabs are accurate. There is no funny business going on. I just don’t like the weird tint in the images, especially in the first image.

Iridient is funny. For the first set of images, Irident seems to have the best output. For the second set, it gave the worst output. I’m thinking it’s the noise reduction since the second image is at ISO 800. I can’t believe it makes that much difference. Or maybe Iridient can’t handle the X-Trans II sensor of the X100s.

In the end, Capture One is my choice. It’s better than Lightroom for sure. Too bad it’s so expensive though.

It’s all personal preference. For Web viewing, all four softwares can give you a decent image. You need to do your own investigation on which look you like better.

What do you guys think? Which software gives the best look for your Fuji cameras?

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12 thoughts on “Capture One vs Lightroom vs PhotoNinja vs Iridient for Fuji X-Trans Portraitures”

  1. Thank you for taking the trouble to post your findings. I use Iridient Developer myself. I also have Capture One Express 7, Silkypix 5 Developer Pro and others. However, I don’t use noise reduction in any of these, relying instead on Nik Define or Neat Image. Would be curious to know how your set of images would compare following that work flow.

    Thanks again,

    Liam.

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    1. Does Iridient have default noise reduction? I didn’t touch any sliders for these images. I just opened them up in the software and published them as is. I do know that these softwares apply some noise reduction and sharpening when you open them up. I am curious how Iridient will look if I turn off all noise reductions. I’ll probably try that later.

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      1. MMmm I’m not sure what the default Iridient setting is for noise reduction, or if it automatically varies with iso. However I have ticked ‘disable’ under ‘detail’ in the menu and have all the sliders zero’d or switched of as the case may be. I do use R-L Deconvolution Sharpening 0.600 and 10 for openers and make adjustments at 100% as required.

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  2. actually I also found out that they apply noise reduction by default, Capture in my case is set to 50 on 3 sliders re noise reduction, sharpening to 140, I tend to minimum half those values

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  3. To cancel the noise reduction in Iridient all that needs to be done is zero the sliders and untick noise reduction. Then save the settings as your new default for whichever camera is in use.

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  4. i believe your Photo Ninja colors are weird in the first photo because you have “Smart Lighting” enabled (which liberally adds artificial fill light in shadows)…and this is enabled by default 😐 I turn it off when I use PN

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