Exposure X5 – My Top 5 Favorite Features for Fujifilm Photographers

Exposure X5 is a solid option for editing RAW Fujifilm files. I shoot JPEGs, but for many years I used RAW. I tried a number of different software options to process my pictures, and by far my favorite was Exposure. This software company, until recently, was called Alien Skin, but with the latest version of Exposure they dropped that brand name, and are now known simply as Exposure. I suppose that it sounds more professional, but the Alien Skin title was fun, while Exposure is a bit bland. Whatever the name, what’s most important is whether or not the editing program is good, and Exposure X5 is indeed good!

Fuji X Weekly is known mostly for my film simulation recipes, which are JPEG settings. I found that oftentimes I can achieve my desired look for a photograph in-camera, and not having to edit my pictures saves me a ton of time. But not everyone is a JPEG shooter, and some of you who follow Fuji X Weekly use RAW, so this article is for those who need a RAW developer.

Below are my top five favorite Exposure X5 features for Fujifilm photographers! 

1. 500+ Presets

Exposure X5 Fujifilm

There are over 500 one-click presets on Exposure X5 to choose from. These presets will quickly give your photographs various looks, mostly based on actual film. Once you’ve discovered which presets you like best, you can “star” those for faster future access. You can heavily customize each preset, and save the customization for use on other pictures. You can make your own presets from scratch. You can batch edit with these presets. The idea is to save you time by speeding up your workflow. In fact, once you’re proficient at this software, it will likely speed up your workflow considerably. Exposure X5 allows you to more quickly achieve your desired look.

2. Retro Film Aesthetic

Fujifilm X-T30 Blog

Vibrant Nature – Salt Lake City, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 – RAW file edited with Exposure X5

What I love most about Exposure X5 are all the fantastic analog-like presets that faithfully mimic the look of many different films, including ones that have been long discontinued. Looking for Kodak Gold 400? They got it. Provia 100F? Got that, too. Neopan 1600? Yep. Polaroid SX-70? Yes sir. The first era of Kodachrome? They have that as well, and many more. They have alternate processes, too, such as push-process, cross-process, split-toning, infrared and others. This goes beyond merely creating a look that more-or-less resembles the different photographic films. The folks at Exposure meticulously studied actual film to ensure they got these settings right, including authentic grain effects. Exposure X5 allows you to more accurately achieve your desired look.

3. Fujifilm Film Simulations

Fujifilm Film Simulation Exposure X5

Fujifilm Film Simulations Exposure X5

All of the Fujifilm film simulations that you know and love, with the exception of Eterna, are found in Exposure X5. That’s not entirely unusual for a RAW editor, but you might notice that these Fujifilm film simulations are the only brand-specific camera looks found in this software. You won’t find any Canon or Nikon or Sony presets, only Fujifilm. That’s because the people behind Exposure X5 love these film simulations and wanted to ensure that you had them as an option, and so you do with this software.

4. They Are Fujifilm Fans

Fujifilm X-T30 Blog

Tree Star – Salt Lake City, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 – RAW file edited with Exposure X5

Finley Lee, the CEO of Exposure, said, “We are fans of Fujifilm cameras and are always keeping an eye out for ways to work with them better. I’m a photography hobbyist, and I love my X-T1 for photographing family and vacations.” It’s no surprise that, since the folks behind Exposure love Fujifilm cameras, they do their best to optimize their software for Fujifilm RAW files. By design, Exposure X5 is an especially good option for post-processing your Fujifilm photographs.

5. Adobe Alternative

Exposure X5 Fujifilm Blog

Exposure X5 can be used as a Lightroom or Photoshop plug-in if you’d like to integrate it into those popular programs that you might already have, allowing you to use the Exposure presets without disrupting your current workflow. However, Exposure X5 is a non-destructive, feature-rich RAW editor that can be used as a stand-alone software, which is how I run it. In other words, you could ditch Lightroom and Photoshop, and use Exposure X5 instead, as this software has many of the tools and options found in those other programs, along with the wonderful presets.


Cactus Fujifilm X-T30

Indoor Cactus – Salt Lake City, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 – RAW file edited with Exposure X5

What I appreciate about Exposure X5 is that it allows me to more quickly and accurately achieve my desired look for a picture. It saves me time, while simultaneously producing a result that I prefer. It’s still not as quick as camera-made JPEGs, but for the RAW shooter this is a great way to speed things up. I almost always use JPEGs, but sporadically RAW is better or necessary for fulling my photographic vision, so I have Exposure X5 on my computer at home for those occasions when it’s necessary.

Download your free 30-day trial of Exposure X5 by clicking here. You only have to supply them with your email address in order to download the software. Exposure X5 is fully-functioning during the trial, so you have unlimited access to all of the features. You can take your time, play around with it, and decide if it works for you or not. If you do decide to buy, it’s only $120 (or $150 if bundled with their other programs), which is a great bargain for what Exposure X5 does.

This post contains an affiliate link, and I will be compensated if you make a purchase after clicking through my link.

Sample Photographs


Field of Bloom – Salt Lake City, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 – RAW file edited with Exposure X5


Summer Blossoms – Salt Lake City, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 – RAW file edited with Exposure X5


Autumn Begins – Salt Lake City, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 – RAW file edited with Exposure X5


Light Thru The Fall Tree – Salt Lake City, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 – RAW file edited with Exposure X5


Golden Forest – Salt Lake City, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 – RAW file edited with Exposure X5


  1. Bart · October 12, 2019

    Nice, i will try this one. Is it heavy on resources for your PC? Mine is becoming somewhat dated and LR and C1 are struggling sometimes.

    Since we’re talking software i’m curious what software u use for organising your jpegs?

    Greetings, Bart

    • Ritchie Roesch · October 12, 2019

      I don’t think it is. I have a two year old Mac and it runs very swiftly. It’s worth downloading to see how it does on your computer, and if it runs too slow, simply uninstall. You can use Exposure to organize your images, but I don’t use it for that. Honestly, I use Flickr to store and organize my pictures, as that works well for me.

  2. chan.kit.sg · October 13, 2019

    Thanks for this write up. I had no idea. Will check them out.

  3. Pingback: Exposure X5 is 20% Off! | Fuji X Weekly
  4. Khürt Williams · February 8, 2020

    Excellent overview of Exposure X5. I still shoot RAW+JEPG and process mostly RAW. SOOC JPEG images rarely look the way I want them to look and importing both RAW, and JPEG into Adobe Lightroom Classic takes time (those darn 24MP files) and disk space (my Lightroom catalog started in 2008 and is now 1.39 TB on disk). My SOOC JPEGs are usually downloaded to my iPhone for just at the moment sharing to social media.

    But I do enjoy using film simulation recipes, and I want to be able to import the RAF file into Adobe Lightroom Classic and THEN apply the film simulation recipe and settings to the RAF image.

    I have no problem sitting in front of the computer editing photos to my liking even it takes hours. The well-known landscape photographer, Ansel Adams and other famous photographers spent hours in the darkroom, dodging and burning. To me, using SOOC JPEG is the digital equivalent of taking the roll to the local shop for development and printing.

    An excellent example is the photograph Schweitzer with lamp at his desk by W. Eugene Smith, from his 1954 photo essay A Man of Mercy on Dr. Albert Schweitzer and his humanitarian work in French Equatorial Africa. The image took 5 days to produce, in order to reproduce the tonal range of the scene, which ranges from a bright lamp (relative to the scene) to dark shadow.

    Ansel Adams elevated dodging and burning to an art form. Many of his famous prints were manipulated in the darkroom with these two techniques. Adams wrote a comprehensive book on producing prints called The Print (Adams 1995), which features dodging and burning prominently, in the context of his Zone System.Wikipedia

    I may not have their skill of composition, lighting etc. but I think I am cut from the same cloth when it comes to developing my images. The press of the shutter is just the beginning.

    • Ritchie Roesch · February 10, 2020

      I used to spend hours in the darkroom. I remember one time going in before sunrise and leaving after sunset, and coming out with one print. For me, I just don’t find much joy sitting at a computer for long periods of time, but if something works for you, that’s great! I think it’s wonderful when people do what they love and find ways that work for them, whether it’s what others are doing or something completely different. As long as you enjoy it and you get the results you want, then it’s the right method for you. Thanks for the thoughtful comment!

  5. Pingback: Alien Skin Exposure is 25% Off | Fuji X Weekly
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  8. Andrea DeMarco · January 23, 2021

    I am tempted to try Exposure (now X6). Like you, I do not wish to spend hours editing photos – to me there’s a fun aspect to photography where a few quick tweaks are enough. However it is always nice to have non-destructive tweaks done on the RAW file before applying a film simulation. I do however absolutely love the SOOC quality, and would not want to sacrifice the film simulation authenticity with a lesser version. How close do you think Exposure is compared to the camera output e.g. grain on the Acros film simulation (which I really really like)? So many other software packages have grain layers, but none are really accurate or faithful to a film look as much as the Fuji Acros is.

    Lovely work on this blog by the way. And great work on the iOS app 🙂 So much to try!

    • Ritchie Roesch · January 24, 2021

      Exposure, like Lightroom and Capture One and others, don’t apply every JPEG setting. I think their version of the film simulations are pretty close, but not perfect (I don’t think any from any software are). So it’s not going to produce identical results to the JPEG. My opinion, where the software works for me, is when I cannot achieve a certain look in-camera, I can achieve it quickly and easily in-software using Exposure. I don’t try to recreate looks that are possible in-camera, but use it create looks not possible in-camera. Honestly, though, it’s been awhile since I have even found the need to use the software. I hope this helps!

      • Andrea DeMarco · January 24, 2021

        Thanks for the tip! I’m leaning to conclude that Exposure might be the closest match as well, but haven’t done a scientific comparison really.

        The only reason why it would be nice to recreate what I can get in-camera is if I need slightly more complicated editing/retouching prior to the film simulation. But I rarely do this, in which case I still prefer the in-camera film simulations or one of the FujiXWeekly recipes 🙂

        Exposure might be the only other software tool I need. I am mostly after the film simulation presets – they have done a great job compiling them. It also makes the workflow a bit easier than using the tethered camera setup with Fuji X Studio. But I still find the in-camera simulation and mods very convenient when traveling without a laptop etc. (not that I’m doing much of that right now!)

        Thanks again, and stay safe 🙂

      • Ritchie Roesch · January 25, 2021

        I actually attempted to recreate a couple of the recipes in Capture One (make presets that matches the recipes), and it took a lot of work to get it close, and I didn’t feel that I got it close-enough to my liking. Unfortunately it’s just difficult to faithfully recreate in-software, but I think that the makers of the software could do more to better read and interpret the JPEG settings on the RAW file, that would be great!

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