Maybe you’ve heard of Fujifilm’s mostly ignored software companion, X Raw Studio. It was released sometime after the X-T2 and advertised to leverage the power of their X-Processor Pro image processing engine, aka onboard CPU, to post process your photos on a desktop or laptop computer. It did this by connecting your X-Pro2, X-T2, X-H1, or X-T3 via USB 3 or USB-C’s superspeed bus and would allow you to edit your RAW files on a computer but would leverage the high speed bus and X-Processor Pro’s power to process the images. Since it’s release, it’s sat collecting dust with only minor bug fix updates since, while Fujifilm has established partnerships with brands like PhaseOne’s CaptureOne and Skylum Luminar to natively support the X-Trans system. All of this seems to be the result of traditionally poor support from Adobe, the long-standing leader in the industry.
But I have a vision.
X Raw Studio was and is a good idea but I think it needs to pivot to adapt to the current landscape. It needs to be mobile, ideally it should work with iPad Pro and the new iPad OS. The use of USB-C in recent X-Trans camera bodies speaks to this. The iPad Pro’s UI and stylus integration would enhance the experience for users. Most importantly, it would allow Fujifilm the chance to leverage the iPad Pro’s integrated neural processing engine and AI foundation to work in tandem with the latest X-Processor 4 image processor to give Fujifilm users a supremely powerful and easy to use tool that works both in the studio and on the road.
For that, Fujifilm would need to invest in a small software design studio in the US, probably in Seattle, where AI research is at the leading edge. A team of 20-25 talented individuals could reinvent X Raw Studio for the iPad OS and allow these three technologies, AI, neural processing and X-Processor 4 to be integrated in the most natural way to give users an image processing platform capable of exceeding the competition in capability, ease of use and add even more value to cameras like the X-T3, X-H1, X-Pro2 and the GFX series, especially the new GFX-100.
Imagine, Fujifilm reproduction and color from a single source that makes it even easier to get the most from your X-Trans or GFX system camera without having to resort to your desktop. X Raw Studio could be so much more but right now they need to find a new raison d’être and I believe it lies in low level integration with iPad Pro.