X3F Tool features

Camera support

Currently, X3F Tool has basic support for the Sigma SD14 and limited support for the DP series, due to them having a different RAW data format that isn't documented anywhere. The SD15, which is not available yet, will likely have the same file format at the DP series. I have supported reading SD9 and SD10 files in the past and could again but my focus at the moment is on the SD14. On the DP series, viewing the preview and most of the metadata is supported, but nothing that requires the RAW data is supported and those features are automatically disabled on loading such files.

Basic features

Main screen
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The main screen is divided into 3 areas:
• The set of tabs for different processing modes, and different buttons for those modes.
• The image / results screen.
• The "helper" bar, which is intended to be a context sensitive helper, though isn't very complete at the moment.

The tabs and helper bar can both be turned on and off in the preferences / options menu, if you wish. The longer term plan is to be able to access all features in via different kinds of menu, trading off screen area for the image with ease of use.

When an image is being displayed, upon moving the mouse over the image, the 8-bit RGB values for the image are shown above the mouse, and the RAW RGB values (if available) are shown below. If you do a right mouse-click (or ctrl-click) then a little pop-up menu will appear with some options, including going to full screen.

On starting X3F Tool, if you've used it before it will remember most of the previous settings, including: last file you viewed, the tab you were at, whether the window was maximised or not, the image scaling amount and method and more.

Currently, there is no denoising or sharpening of any kind applied to the processed images.

You can load a X3F file simply by drag-and-dropping it from the OS's file browser. You can also drag-and-drop a directory or a specific list of files. In the file menu, there is also a list of recently viewed directories. You can then use the left/right arrow buttons or cursor keys to move between files.

Performance

Nearly all of the image processing code is highly multi-threaded - even the code to load the X3F file itself is multi-threaded. You should definitely expect to see a significant improvement with more cores as well as faster cores. By default, all cores are used (and there's currently no option to disable this) for heavy duty tasks. In testing on my Mac Pro I've gotten a 9-10x performance increase between using a single thread and using all 16 of them. Even on low-end dual-core processors you'll see about a 90% speed increase using the second core.

There's currently two heavy-duty tasks that are single-threaded - the code to load the file list, and the code to save images. JPEGs are fast to save but PNGs with high compression can be quite slow. I should be able to parallelise loading the file list, but I'm not sure if I can parallelise the compression when saving PNGs.

You should also see a performance increase with better Java VMs and some OS upgrades - I see a 10-15% increase going from Mac OS 10.5 to 10.6.

Apart from the "true colour" method, most image processing is very fast, regardless of CPU. The "true colour" mode currently builds up a small data cache, so can be rather slow the first time it is run - and can be 10x faster on later runs.

Options / preferences panel

Options panel
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The Preferences panel can be found in the normal place on Mac OS and File => Options on other systems.

What options are available in the "Look and Feel" tab will depend upon the OS but all should have "Nimbus" and "Metal", which are Java specific styles.

Preview panel

True colour panel

B&W panel

Simple colour panel

Heatmap panel

Metadata panel

File list panel

Export panel