I have learned to never underestimate the power of reading the manual when buying new hardware. So, coming back home with my fancy FUJI cartons, I first unpacked the batteries, put them in the charger and then started reading and making notes.

Next stop of the journey: install the FUJI software from the DVD in the box. Pardon me? Seriously? This is brand new software for a brand new camera?! It felt like I had stepped into a time machine and it did NOT take me to the future! You cannot judge a book by its cover so I decided to give it a chance, but after trying to process my first series of test shots, I decided: this is a big no-go. Above is a screenshot of 1 photograph opened in "RAW FILE CONVERTER EX powered by SILKYPIX". Maybe the fact that there are this many capitals in the software name should have been a warning... Any software that shouts at me is... EX! Not using it now-mow!

"Let's do it in Photoshop, thank God for Adobe products", is my immediate though.

Ouch.

Adobe Camera Raw does not know what to do with the FUJI's raw files, with extension .KAF. I could feel desperation rise in my body. How to process the many shots I monthly take if not with Adobe? Thank the Lord for the internet. It took me awhile, but I found out that Adobe Lightroom can actually read the .KAF files and convert them into .DNG (digital negative), which Adobe Camera Raw recognises. Phew! Wipes sweat off forehead with relief!


My professional trade is building database solutions with FileMaker Pro software. So, of course, I built my own picture archive with keywords, names of people, animals, places etc in the shots. So I have never had a true need for Lightroom. But now I do. Apparently. It adds quite a bit of time to my workflow and I also have to really think about where to store what, because both the .KAF and the .DNG files are of substantial size. But at least I can detour back to my usual tools: Adobe Camera Raw and Adobe Photoshop.

I am not saying that the FUJI software does not do its job. It does. Quite nicely as well. But it is depressingly slow, even in building the screen preview. It is also not very intuitive how to serialise some of the actions that I habitually perform on digital shots. Maybe if I had (taken) more time to dive into it, I would have started to see its advantages. But for now. I stick to Adobe and if you have that software on your computer and are comfortable with it, I recommend forgetting about the FUJI stuff. It is shamefully impractical.

Of course, FUJI has never, to this day, claimed that their Xt1 was a serious competitor for professional Nikon and/or Canon big shots such as my own 5D. But the Xt1 still comes at a fairly steep price and I really expected some cutting edge software to accompany it. This was a rude awakening...