Sigma releases Photoshop plugin to add X3F raw import

Dec 26, 2018

John Aldred

John Aldred is a photographer with over 20 years of experience in the portrait and commercial worlds. He is based in Scotland and has been an early adopter – and occasional beta tester – of almost every digital imaging technology in that time. As well as his creative visual work, John uses 3D printing, electronics and programming to create his own photography and filmmaking tools and consults for a number of brands across the industry.

Sigma releases Photoshop plugin to add X3F raw import

Dec 26, 2018

John Aldred

John Aldred is a photographer with over 20 years of experience in the portrait and commercial worlds. He is based in Scotland and has been an early adopter – and occasional beta tester – of almost every digital imaging technology in that time. As well as his creative visual work, John uses 3D printing, electronics and programming to create his own photography and filmmaking tools and consults for a number of brands across the industry.

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Sigma has announced a new plugin which adds X3F import support into Adobe Photoshop CC. Sigma camera users have been mostly limited to using Sigma’s own Sigma Photo Pro software to process their camera’s X3F raw files. A few cameras are supported natively by Adobe Camera RAW, but their recent cameras are not.

Now, though, you can bypass the (rather sluggish) Sigma processing software and bring your X3F files straight into Photoshop.

As an X3F importer, it does not support X3I files. Those are Sigma’s “Super-fine detail” mode images. Essentially it’s Sigma’s in-camera answer to HDR where it shoots several raw files and then combines them to create a new file with maximum dynamic range. You’ll still need to use SPP for those. And older Foveon camera users can still use native Adobe Camera Raw.

This Plug-in is available to customers who own the DP Merrill series, dp Quattro series, SD1/SD1 Merrill and/or sd Quattro series cameras and use the digital image editing and post-production software “Adobe® Photoshop® CC” from Adobe Systems Co., Ltd..

X3I files taken with SFD mode are not compatible. Furthermore, X3F files taken with the SIGMA SD9, SD10, SD14, SD15 as well as DP1, DP1s, DP1x, DP2, DP2s, DP2x cannot be developed in the SIGMA X3F Plug-in for Photoshop®. Please use Adobe Camera Raw instead.

The plugin is still quite basic at the moment. It doesn’t support any kind of native editing except for a “fill light” slider. It mostly just brings the images in as they were shot. But, it can handle embedded settings, as well as import those previously set in Sigma Photo Plus. So, if you’re just browsing in SPP to adjust your images, you can then bring them straight into Photoshop with those settings without having to deal with intermediary TIF files.

And, of course, you still have the issue of not being able to see previews of embedded thumbnails within Windows itself, so unless you know the filename, you’re not entirely sure which image you’re bringing into Photoshop.

You can download the new plugin here. Officially it’s for Photoshop CC, although I’ve been told that you can use it with CS6, too, by just dragging into your plugins folder.

Hopefully, Sigma will be able to provide some kind of support for native thumbnails in Windows, and a few more develop options on the import plugin, so you’re not still tied to SPP to process them. But as we get closer to the release of a full frame Foveon, it is possible that will happen.

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John Aldred

John Aldred

John Aldred is a photographer with over 20 years of experience in the portrait and commercial worlds. He is based in Scotland and has been an early adopter – and occasional beta tester – of almost every digital imaging technology in that time. As well as his creative visual work, John uses 3D printing, electronics and programming to create his own photography and filmmaking tools and consults for a number of brands across the industry.

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