LETS GET THE ELEPHANT OUT OF THE ROOM, Shall we?
WHY SILKPIX DEVELOPER STUDIO PRO 10?
VALID QUESTION. This is an extremely important question because you are about to spend your hard working cash and you want to stick with it forever. At the time of this writing, Silkypix Developer Studio Pro 10 is retailing at 200.00 US dollar (if you are buying from their US-Canada distributor) , and 180.00 euro if you are buying from the German, Swiss and Austrian distributor. 22000.00 Japanese yen if you are buying directly from the Japanese store . (I highly recommend you to buy from your local distributor, to get the best customer service possible)
That is not cheap. The big names such as DXO Photolab Elite is currently at 199.00 euro, Capture One Pro is 349.00 euro, Adobe Photography Plan is at 9.99 euro ( includes Lightoom and Photoshop with 20GB storage). And there are ‘the other ones’. Notably ON1 and Topaz. They are even cheaper. So, why buy Silkypix Developer Studio Pro 10?
Lets Break it down One At A Time:
During 3 months of global lock-down, I have edited about 15000 raw files from FUJI XT20, Panasonic DMZ200 and my GoPro 7 Black from my Paris home. It was a golden opportunity to try out the major softwares in the market. How the hell did i managed to accumulate this many photos do edit? Just before the virus attack, me and my wife did a crazy travel. 100 days in Europe. 11 countries. 39 cities. We returned home 3 days before the Airport closure. No, we didn’t know that we were about face a global shutdown. It was pure luck.
WHAT AM I GOING TO TALK ABOUT:
WHY NOT ON1?
I actually bought this software only to return it after editing about 200 fuji files. This software has lot to catch up. It has so many potentials and Editing Options. But sloppy performance. Personally, a big No.
WHY NOT DXO Photolab?
Not only DXO does not support Fuji RAF, but also, DXO Lab has zero intention to support FUJI RAF in near future. I edited about 3500 raw files with DXO Photolab in 30 Days trial. Mostly Panasonic and GoPro files. I almost convinced myself to buy it anyway because of Prime Denoise and Optical sharpness ability. Their HSL Color wheel is juicy! It is an extraordinary software. But, I had to put logic, before my heart.
Why? In a professional world, you should be able to work with ANY raw files comes in Your way. Sony, Canon, Nikon, Fuji ….whatever. You work with anything and everything. Specially when we are seeing the rise of the FUJIFILM .I live in France and saying no to a French product (DXO) IS a big deal. Thankfully, later I found out that Silkypix has the same tools and abilities.
Update: DXO Photolab 4 is released after I wrote this Review. They are heavily marketing the AI capabilities. However, DXO as usual do not support the new big player on the market, FUJIFILM.
WHY NOT Capture ONE PRO?
At first I was using the free Capture One Fuji express version. But I had other raw files to work with. So I downloaded their 30 days trial version. This software is a monster. You can do anything with it. It is fast, efficient etc etc. This time i had no excuse not to buy it.
But… Aha! You knew it was coming.
Problem NO 1: This is personal. I DO NOT like catalogue method. Nope. I am simple. I am old school. All the photos and videos I organise them manually. FOLDER (Year) > SUBFOLDER (Month) > SUBFOLDER inside SUBFOLDER (DAYS or OCCASIONS). This is how I organise my life. And if I have to edit on the go, I edit directly from the folder. Professionally, I make another copy to my another SSD and work from there. Easy Peasy. Their ‘Session method’ needs lot of work. So, Nein!
Problem No 2: Color. Wait, WHAT! Yes. It is true Capture One is excellent in color control and manipulation. But Fuji JPEGS by the “RAW FILE CONVERTER EX powered by SILKYPIX” or IN-CAMERA JPEGS are not the same as CAPTURE ONE versions of FUJI JPEGS. They are not bad. They are different. It disappointed me. Sole reason why I bought a FUJIFILM camera in first place, is to enjoy their beautiful FILM SIMULATIONS.
That is ENOUGH, SOUROV! How do you know that!
Well, I have edited approximately 4000 Fuji RAF files in Capture One Pro. I did local adjustments in each photos. I also made a Black and White and a Color version of each photographs. I also, compared 10% of those photos (that is about 400 minimum) SIDE by SIDE with Fuji Raw files converted by RAW FILE CONVERTER and IN CAMERA JPEGS. I shoot Raw+JPEG. So, I do not think. I know.
Problem No 3: Interface. I work from a laptop a lot. A simple workspace is important to me. Capture One I believe, is made for bigger screens or multiple screens. In my tiny laptop screen, the C1 UI looks really busy.
So, such an incredible software. But I had to put a stone on my chest and had to say no to Capture ONE. I was not ready to spend 350.00 euros with a lot of ‘ifs and buts’ in my head. Their upgrades are not cheap either.
WHY NOY ADOBE LIGHTROOM and PHOTOSHOP?
It was an easy decision. I did not try. Not because their subscription model. 9.99 euro is not far from Spotify or Netflix subscription or about 4 coffees at a coffee shop. I did not try because C1 made the decision easier for me. I DO NOT LIKE CATALOGUE. I do not want a software company to take control of my editing life. Opening an account to run a software is also a big NO! NEIN! NET! Also, I am not going to let a 2nd year intern engineer at the ADOBE decide how my image color should look like. They had issues with FUJI files anyway. Out of curiosity, I went to their website to download the trial version of Lightroom. 7 days Trial! They got to be kidding me, right? If it was 30 days, then I would at least edit a couple of thousands of raw files. And I would learn its strength and weaknesses before I made a move. I guess that was exactly what they do not want. 7 days trial was no way enough to justify a lifetime purchase. They do not need to care. They have established enough user bases.
I should note that I do not use FUJI any more. But I have accumulated more than 20,000 raw photos to go back and re-edit them if I have to.
Enter ‘The Solution was right in front of me all the time!’
RAW FILE CONVERTER EX powered by SILKYPIX. Say What! Yes. Where do I start. We need a software that understands a RAW file properly. We need a software that can get inside soul of the Raw file and can extract the maximum juice (image quality) out of it. We need a software treats the raw files like they are married to each other. I am being sentimental. But isn’t that we all looking for?
So, First choice would be the RAW converter comes with your camera. And that is the best choice. Canon DPP ‘Understands’ Canon raw files, Nikon’s Capture NX-D (Silkypix engine) ‘understands’ Nikon Raw files, Fuji X Converter ‘Understands’ Fuji Raw, same goes for Panasonic’s own Raw converter by Silkypix, Sony Raw converter and so on.
Guess What, All the camera brands that I have mentioned above are all collectively dominating the market. They are all Japanese. Silkypix supports all the Japanese camera brands. They created FUJI, Panasonic and Nikon’s Raw converters. Silkypix themselves is “Made In Japan”! I do not know if DXO, ADOBE, CAPTURE One have worked directly with that many Japanese camera brands or as close as Silkypix did. So, It is logical to believe that, One small Japanese software company of about 40 employees, understand another Japanese companies, share each others philosophy, maintain the same highest standard and know each other extremely well. They are even geographically close to each other. Hence, Silkypix is expected to treat the Raw files as good as respective raw converters does with their own camera brands. So, I downloaded the fully fledged flagship software Silkypix Developer Studio Pro 10 for a trial. This is the final software I tried for 30 days. I bought it on 28th day. Here is why.
Pretty simple, basic and straight forward. When you click SELECT on the top-right, it will load the raw files quicker with the integrated preview jpegs within the raw files. It is useful for those who wants to Tag the photos with Green, Red, Blue etc with the buttons at the bottom right corner. You can also do your picking and culling here. Left column where you navigate to your image folder and Left column shows the metadata.
But I like to do all those directly at the “Adjustments” Interface by clicking “Adjustments” button, next to “Select”.
Section 1: Left column is where you do two tasks. You navigate to you Image folder by clicking section 3. You look and edit Image metadata, when necessary by clicking section 2.
Before I explain Section 4 and Section 6 (Because they are related and your main tools are there), Section 7 is temporary Before/After button, Section 8 is to Tag your Photos with colours, Section 5 is a typical toolbar like almost every other softwares, where you can manually access to all of your tools and settings if needed. Section 9 is your main Viewer
Section 4: Typical toolbar with some important tools and viewer modes. You can Right-click and customize it the way works for you.
From the far left, you have 2 buttons to navigate between photos, different viewer options, Undo, Redo, Display warnings, Other tools : notably Exposure Bias Tool: If you took a photo with a Grey card or if your photo has somewhat grey areas, you can click on that grey spot with this tool. You should have a good base to fine tune from there. With Grey Balance Tool, you click on grey or white spot or on WB card to automatically correct your WB. My another favourite is Film Negative Inversion Tool. Pretty nifty tool if you have your old scanned film negatives and you want to convert them with one click of a button. Make sure you click on the whitest part of the image to get the best result.
You have Develop and batch Develop button to export a single or multiple images (JPEG or TIFF, Compressed or Uncompressed, sRGB or AdobeRGB). You can also watermark your photos. You can add output sharpening for Web or Prints. You have them all. World is your oyster.
In Open in another Application section, you can register Photoshop, InDesign, Affinity Photo or any other plugins where you can do further retouching or to publish your photos. With Perspective Correction you can straighten buildings and architectures with it. It is excellent. You also have tools to Crop and Rotate your photos. Before get to the new fantastic Composite modes, you also have Print button to customize your printing needs.
Composite Modes or Composite Selected Images
The new Composite Modes are impressive. They are like “Easy to Use” version of Stacking in Photoshop. Another reason not to use Photoshop or similar software for stacking. It looks like this
Multiple Exposure and Multiple Exposure (Night view) Both are excellent choices for Noise Reductions. But you also can use Multiple Exposure for HDR
I have not tried it. But it supposed to be good for star-trail and fireworks. I will give that a go one day. Astrophotography is currently not my jam. But it feels good to have that option available if needed.
MOVING OBJECT REMOVAL & STROBOSCOPIC MOTION:
DEPTH OF FIELD COMPOSITES (or Focus Stacking):
These modes are my favourite. Then, I of course ‘fine tune’ a little bit here and there to finish my retouching. Mostly, by adjusting Highlights, Contrast and Sharpening as needed. So, As I said before that these modes with save you some valuable times by not using Photoshop for stacking. Voila! Moving on.
SECTION 6 (THE HQ):
The HQ of the software. This is where all the magic happens. It is divided in to 4 simple part. It is perfect and simple for my style. My workflow goes like this: Pick a Color or Style & WB Correction > Exposure Correction > Back to Color Correction if necessary > Highlight Or Shadow recovery > add Contrast or Depth > Noise Reduction > Sharpening. This method applies for every photos. After that there are other adjustments Depending on Portrait, Landscape, Black & White, Underwater photos or Spots removal. The column is divided in to 4 simple sections. It is almost like the Engineers thought of every angles when they created this software. You can attach or de-attach each options if necessary. Or you can create extra column. Starting with histogram or the digital version of your image. The picture below should explain everything.
Time to show you what tools I find equally good or better than C1, DXO Photolab and I can not talk about Lightroom.
ENTER THE FUJIFILM SIMULATIONs:
This is the next best thing after Fuji’s IN-CAMERA jpegs. Both Jpegs by Fujifilm and Silkypix are same. Period. To add the cherry on top, You can do multiple Local adjustments with the PARTIAL CORRECTION tool. How cool!!
LETS TALK ABOUT COLOR:
Silkypix has plenty of other Tastes and color profiles. You want to start with Faithful (Standard Color) from the Color List, if you desire 100% neutral and true color. Then I use the Fine Color Controller Tool (HSL Slider) to edit Color. I also had a conversation with Silkypix Japan personally about other Picture Profiles. These should help you. Here is the part of this conversation:
> 1. What is the difference between Faithful, Neutral and Standard Color modes?
> Which mode is closest to the true accurate Color?
– 4.6.3. Color profile
“Faithful” maintains the saturation (color) even if the “tone (contrast)” is changed.
It features a color expression with high gradation.
“Natural” is a profile that creates colors, which is the standard of SILKYPIX.
This is the default parameter (initial value) of SILKYPIX.
– Standard Color
It is the standard color making of “SILKYPIX”.
This mode aims for faithful color reproduction.
“Standard color” is the mode closest to the true accurate Color.
> 2. On same color subject, what are the purpose of Memory color and Film color?
– Memory color
This mode has higher saturation than the “standard color” mode.
Vividly exaggerates colors close to the primary colors.
It is a color making suitable for landscape photography.
It is a color expression mode like a positive film.
Film color V1
This mode simulates and reproduces high-saturation regular reversal film.
Film color V2
This mode simulates and reproduces a reversal film with ultra-high saturation and exaggerated primary colors.
Film color P
This mode simulates and reproduces a neutral and vivid reversal film.
Film color A
This mode simulates and reproduces highly saturation reversal film.
Film color K
This mode simulates and reproduces a profound feeling reversal film.
As I mentioned earlier, Faithful + Standard = Your Base. This is my “Go To” profile for my other cameras. You can also Start from there. Or you can just use the other profiles. They are not bad either.
FINE COLOR CONTROLLER (HSL SLIDER) :
This tool I find same as C1 Color Wheel or DXO’s HSL tool. In fact, I will dare to go one step ahead and say that even better then them. Why you ask? You can manually move each white dot inside the circle to change your Color. You can either select the list of color from the top list and use the sliders to correct colors.
But, How do I suppose to know which part of the photo I am changing? Just put your mouse cursor anywhere on the image. A moving dot on the Color Circle will appear. Easy.
WHITE BALANCE CORRECTION:
You have these two tools to perfectly fine tune your WB. First one looks like this.
This is the 2nd one. It is important to get rid of any color cast. You will find something like this even in your camera. Take a look inside your camera menu if you didn’t know. Similar principle. Again, I am in love!
There are 3 ways to control your contrast. Curves, Presets or Sliders. I prefer Good Old school Curves.
SHADOW & HIGHLIGHT RECOVERY:
Another department where Silkypix Developer is superior. This is to me the best software to recover highlights.
Boy Oh Boy ! After seeing the NR capabilities of Silkypix, I do not feel bad not buying DXO Photolab any more. Seriously!
Also, Silkypix will add a recommendation mark in Color Distortion (Color Noise) and Smoothness (Luminance Noise) sliders, by using its algorithm. So that you do not need to spend too much time with NR. It is automatic. I usually Stick to them. There are two modes: Standard and Fine Detail. To me, Fine Details is as good as DXO’s Prime De-Noise.
This is another area where Silkypix is a champion. There are 4 modes.
With the “Bokeh preservation” function, you can reduce sharpness, reduce noise, and smooth blur on backgrounds that you do not want to be sharpened. For subjects that are in focus or slightly out of focus, you can leave sharpness so that the sharpness effect is averaged. It is suitable for photos with smooth texture and photos that want to take advantage of “blurring”. Notably Photos with Bokeh, Night Photos, Photos with High ISO will be benefited with Natural Sharpening. Compared to other sharpness, the resolution in dark areas is also increased, and the details in dark areas can be reproduced.
Sharpening can also be applied to areas where the difference between the R, G, and B color values of adjacent pixels is small. Use “Normal Sharp” when you want to emphasize fine details. If you apply strong sharpness, the RGB balance will be lost so the saturation will increase slightly, and the opposite colors and noise will be noticeable. When to be adjusted, please adjust while watching the balance of the noise. So, this mode is excellent for Low ISO, Low Noise photos, Photos where everything is in focus. This suppose to recover details, meaning that High iso photos are not suitable.
Stronger cousin of Normal Sharpening. So, Use it with caution.
High Pass Filter:
I do not use it as a normal sharpening. Usually i save it for the Export Part.
On top of Effect tab you will Find something called Portrait Beautification. It is an excellent professional level tool to achieve smooth skins by reducing rough edges. Just like any other skin retouching applications on planet, you have to play with modes and sliders a little bit to get the best results. But I still find it super easy to use. Just becareful about one thing that it is easy to overdo with this mode. You can also add Grain/Noise to achieve some filmlook with Add Noise section. With Blur/Sharp Periphery, you can add Bokeh or Background Blur to your subject. You can also Sharpen soft corners with it. But you can not do both. But Why!! Well, I am pretty sure you do not need sharp edges if you are adding Background Blur at the same time. Right?
IMAGE QUALITY :
Excellent! You can create pretty hefty sized JPEG from a 16MP Panasonic Raw files, 20MP Canon CR2 files or 24MP Fuji XT20 raf even after cropping. You can also create 8-bit compressed and 16-bit Uncompressed TIFF file for printings and further retouching in Photoshop if required. I was happy like a child when every time I test my files in 100% zoomed in. So much details! Results are same as DXO and CAPTURE ONE. I wish I could show you some examples. Instead I invite you to download the trial and give this software a go with your own raw files. Did you know that you can achieve pro quality images with the raw files, created with Iphone, Samsung, HTC etc? Even if you have a raw file from a GOPRO, you can convert it to DNG and edit in Silkypix.
La Vida Loca!!
Demosicing, De-noising, Sharpening are very processor heavy tasks. So, I was actually disappointed at first. Because it was taking FOREVER to render photos. Ok, I admit, I was working with 200+ raw files at a time. Then I remembered one thing. DXO Photolab is slow when I was making any micro adjustments. Because every time you are making any change, the software has to redo all the de-noising and sharpening process. Same goes for C1 or Lightroom. As a matter of fact, this issue applies for any editors.
Therefore, there is a simple solution. Turn off automatic Noise Reduction. Turn off Sharpening, Turn off also Demosicing Sharpening at Development Settings. I also would set Faithful + Standard Color profile as my default Color. Save this setting as a Tastes. Make this Tastes as default. Then you will end up with a very boring looking Flat Raw file. This is excellent.
After that you can step by step follow my Workflow below.
ALWAYS start with Color (Saturation, Color Wheel, White Balance, Monochrome etc) > then Exposure ( and Curve, Highlight, Shadow) > Local Adjustments, > Turn on NR > Turn on Demosicing Sharpening > Turn on Other sharpening. And Boom!! You got yourself a great looking picture. Are you happy? I know I am!!
Yes. Silkypix Developer Studio Pro 10 is as good as Capture one Pro, DXO and ‘I can not talk about’ Lightroom. To me, It is better than them because I personally like it. And I have given you enough reasons why. It’s worth your money. It is even the best software for editing if you use Fujifilm. Silkypix produces fantastic color, it possess multitude amount of tools to recover highlights, Noise Reduction is so good that I feel confident enough to use my old camera at 6400 ISO without stress. Silkypix Fine Details = DXO Prime Denoise. Photos are sharp!! It also has a dedicated tools for Monochrome images, Portrait, Underwater photos.
Short Answar: Yes. Go for it. Silkypix deserves your hard working money. Plus I felt good about supporting a small company which is “Made In Japan”.
If you have come this far, then feel free to contact me for further info. And please help me get more coffees via Paypal Donate so that I can stay up at night and write more like this piece.
Tag : 最高の写真編集ソフトウェアの名前はSilkypixDeveloper Studio Pro10です。