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Update to Fuji EX converter, good news & bad

BJNicholls

Salt Lake City, US
10095 posts

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BJNicholls Gold Member Awarded for his contributions to the community and the Resources Charter Member
Tue 06-May-03 02:23 AM

Fuji has posted a 1.1 version of the EX converter on the Fuji Japan website. If you download it and update your English version EX software, the update works and English language is maintained.

The direct link to the download is: ftp://download.fujifilm.co.jp/pub/tools/R9UP1116.EXE

Improvements include: an RGB histogram, zoom preview up to 800%, 1/6 f-stop exposure adjustment increments, an EXIF data extraction utility and a few others.

The EX converter improvements are needed and improve the application, but the implementation is very poorly done.


1. There is no maximize window option for the control panel, so you must manually increase the window size from the default. The good news is the application retains the last used window size so you won't have to readjust the size often.

2. The zoom feature is welcome, but you can't specify a zoom amount. You're forced to zoom through every available increment from the opening window size to any higher magnification. Each zoom step has to completely redraw before you can select the next higher magnification. That means four slow redraws (including the first image loading) to see your image at 100%. And it's just as slow to zoom back out - you have to go back through every step. This is a classroom example of how to add a needed feature while actually detracting from the usability of the application.

3. If you pan while the image is a zoomed partial view, the screen needs to redraw yet again. The full image isn't loaded into the buffer so panning is excruciatingly slow and clumsy.

4. The histogram is only available at the lowest (default) "zoom to fit" magnification, after you zoom in, the histogram turns into a display of zoom percentage and (?) percent of image area. Even more confounding is the zoom percentage is already shown at the top of the window layout.

Given a choice, I'd rather have Fuji provide detailed .raf file information to Adobe so the fast and sleek Adobe Camera Raw converter could be made to work properly with S2 files than be given a two steps forward, six steps back update. The Fuji converter indeed provides the best results of all the converters I've used, but it offers dismal speed (made even worse now by the poor interface), no Photoshop integration, and too high a price as a standalone application.

I fear that this update is a weak attempt to make EX converter competitive with ACR and it suggests that Fuji will continue to stonewall third party providers on the specs for extracting in-camera image settings for color temp, sharpening, tone, and saturation. S2 owners would be better served by having access to better designed and faster third party raw conversion applications, especially Adode's much faster, fully Photoshop integrated plugin.

BJ

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