X100 RAW in Aperture 3: get Adobe DNG Converter.

Itching to work with X100 RAW files I decided to — once again — download the latest Lightroom trial. Of course I — once again — found it unbearable to work with (it's a long story) but feeling the power of RAW on X100 files was still very satisfying. So I decided to use LR to export those files to DNG and see how Aperture would react: it works. For those who don't know the DNG format, here's Wikipedia's take:
"Digital Negative (DNG) is an open raw image format owned by Adobe used for digital photography. It was launched on September 27, 2004.[1]"

The big advantage of DNG in this case is that you essentially end up with a RAW file that Aperture can work with, complete with all the control you'd expect over exposure, black point and white balance. Here's a screenshot:

Aperture! X100! RAW!

What’s missing from that panel is Noise Reduction but so far I’m extremely impressed with the lack of and/or quality of noise from this camera; it doesn’t seem to just be good NR applied to in-camera JPEGs but actual sensor performance. Which bodes very well indeed.

Does this mean I have to buy Lightroom? Nope. In a rare generous move by Adobe (don’t get me started) they provide a free utility called Adobe DNG Converter that does batch conversions of entire folders. It’s always powered by the latest Camera RAW version so you get the same camera compatibility than the rest of the Photoshop family.

I never had any use for it — until now.

This means I’ll be saying goodbye to film modes and Dynamic Range settings to concentrate on the holy trinity of shutter speed, aperture and ISO. To be honest, that’s absolutely fine by me. Like getting air back into my lungs really. This post from Rhys of X100rumors sums up my feelings perfectly.

I’m AM going to need more SD cards though…There's always something ;)

It’s raining cats and dogs over here and I’m stuck in the studio, but below is my first Aperture processed RAW pic. Interestingly the DNG files come in at about 10MB each compared to 20MB for the original RAF. Not sure what the overhead is but 10MB makes a lot more sense for a 12MP photo. Hmm.


And a couple more pics while I'm at it - JPEGS though: