At the tail end of last year Fujifilm released new software that enables the use of the image processor of certain cameras to process photos. This functionality works over USB, meaning existing RAW photos can be processed after the fact.
There are two great benefits with this new app. Fujifilm’s new X RAW Studio works in combination with the latest firmware. So, if better image quality is achieved using newer firmware, images can be reprocessed to make use of this. Without this software that would not be in an option.
All of this works great in batches too, which brings me to the second benefit. Speed! Most RAW editors use a combination of the GPU and the CPU in the computer. If you are on a older system, or simply did not go for a high‑end graphics card to save battery, this means slow processing of RAW files.
Or perhaps an attack vector has been found on your CPU microarchitectures, requiring it to be slowed down to prevent an exploit. This would potentially slow your workflow down even further.
But the camera’s built‑in processor is purpose‑built and is therefore faster and more energy‑efficient. I threw a big bile of my RAW files at it, and it flew through them.
It is a first version of the software and at the moment it only works on a Mac, though it will be available for Windows next month. It also only works with four of Fujifilm’s cameras. As it so turns out they are the cameras I find most interesting. But it does what it says on the tin.
Because the camera can be charged over USB, you are also killing two birds with one stone. Hopefully some sort of API or open standard will be made available for third‑party software to use the camera’s processor in a similar way.