Helpful Posts Helpful Posts:  0
Results 1 to 16 of 16

Thread: Adobe Camera Raw

  1. #1

    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Location
    South Carolina
    Posts
    95
    Real Name
    Joe Watterson

    Adobe Camera Raw

    Hello ladies and gentlemen - I haven't been seen in these parts for quite some time; nonetheless it has been reassuring to know all along that you are here when I have a question - which I do.

    Although I am not a beginner, many of you are more accomplished than I. So this will look like a dumb question to some. What, exactly, is Adobe Camera Raw? I have been using a stand-alone copy of Lightroom for years, keeping it updated as updates come along. When I use Lightroom to import raw files from my camera am I using Adobe Camera Raw? Is is a part of Lightroom? Or is it a separate program or plug-in. What the heck is it? I've Googled it and searched in CIC, spending maybe two hours trying to figure it out. How does it compare to other programs designed to import raw files? TIA -

  2. #2

    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    northern Virginia suburb of Washington, DC
    Posts
    19,064

    Re: Adobe Camera Raw

    Great question, Joe!

    Adobe Camera Raw is a plug-in to Adobe Photoshop in all its various forms except Adobe Photoshop Lightroom. It automatically loads when the user opens a raw file using one of the Photoshop programs other than Lightroom.

    Adobe Photoshop Lightroom uses the same engine as Adobe Camera Raw. That explains why no plug-in is used when opening raw files in Lightroom. Only the user interface that controls the various settings is different.

    Whether using Photoshop Lightroom or Adobe Camera Raw, the entire point of the software is that it converts raw files. The Adobe engine is the defacto standard for making that happen. Years ago, the proprietary raw converters provided by the various camera manufacturers were often considered to be better than the third-party raw converters. These days, very few people feel that the major manufacturers' proprietary software do a noticeably better job of converting raw files than Adobe's engine. Having said that, there will always be the occasional exception to thinking about that.
    Last edited by Mike Buckley; 24th August 2017 at 06:26 AM.

  3. #3
    Administrator Manfred M's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    Ottawa, Canada
    Posts
    13,650
    Real Name
    Manfred Mueller

    Re: Adobe Camera Raw

    Mike is 100% correct as Adobe Camera Raw is nothing more than Photoshop's Raw converter / parametric editor. The user interface may be different, but as Mike has pointed out, Adobe Camera Raw functionality is identical to Lightroom's Develop Module.

    Because it is part and parcel of the Photoshop package, it is also a very popular raw converter, but is by no means the only one one the market. Up until around 2012, when Adobe re-wrote the engine, Nikon users would use other converters, especially when skin tones were involved as the results were not always that good in critical applications. FujiFilm users are currently not happy with Adobe's raw converters.

    There are a number of other proprietary raw converters that people use. Two very well known and widely used ones are Phase One Capture One (made by the company that builds the high end Phase One medium format cameras) and DxO Labs Optics Pro. I know of a number of FujiFilm shooters that have moved over to Capture One because they feel they are getting better results than with the Adobe products. I started using Optics Pro because of Nikon skin issues with earlier versions of Adobe products and still use it when shooting at high ISO because of superior noise reduction / lens correction versus Adobe.

  4. #4

    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Location
    South Carolina
    Posts
    95
    Real Name
    Joe Watterson

    Re: Adobe Camera Raw

    Thank you Mike and Manfred! You have made it clear so that even I can understand it. It's good to know the major manufacturers' software are not necessarily best or better than ACR/Lightroom. Manfred, I have Optics Pro because I like their amazing camera/lens combination database and its ability to correct for aberrations of particular camera/lens combinations. One of my lenses is the kit lens that came with my Oly PEN-F, which I know is not so great so I figure Optics Pro can get the best out of it. I notice Optics Pro doesn't appear to have the ability to import images, so I guess I can import with Lightroom and do initial processing with Optics Pro when I want to -

    Anyway, thanks so much!

  5. #5
    Administrator Manfred M's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    Ottawa, Canada
    Posts
    13,650
    Real Name
    Manfred Mueller

    Re: Adobe Camera Raw

    Quote Originally Posted by joewatt View Post
    I notice Optics Pro doesn't appear to have the ability to import images, so I guess I can import with Lightroom and do initial processing with Optics Pro when I want to -
    I'm not quite sure what you mean by "Import". If you are referring to the Lightroom catalog import process, where you load the files and store them in the catalog, then you are correct. The cataloging feature is something found in a Digital Asset Management (DAM) tool. Phase One Capture One has this feature as well, whereas Adobe Camera Raw does not.

    Whether you use one or not is a personal choice; but it is not necessary for converting a raw file.



    Quote Originally Posted by joewatt View Post
    It's good to know the major manufacturers' software are not necessarily best or better than ACR/Lightroom.
    Camera manufacturers are not companies that make their money selling a lot of post-processing software. While the quality of the raw conversion is likely as good as, if not better than some of the other products, the other functions are not as easy to use. The problem with all of the third party software is that it usually takes them a period of time AFTER the launch of a new camera to support it. During this period one is stuck using the OEM software for raw conversion as the third party software companies will support the new cameras. I remember I had to use Nikon's NX2 for several months when my D800 was first released, before Adobe, Phase One or DxO supported it.
    Last edited by Manfred M; 24th August 2017 at 08:42 PM.

  6. #6
    davidedric's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Location
    Cheshire, England
    Posts
    3,153
    Real Name
    Dave

    Re: Adobe Camera Raw

    All true, but worth noting that if you have an older version of Adobe software that will not be updated to support your camera, you will have the convert to .dng option, obviously once Adobe have caught up.

    Dave

  7. #7

    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    northern Virginia suburb of Washington, DC
    Posts
    19,064

    Re: Adobe Camera Raw

    To help provide some clarity, Lightroom has several capabilities. Cataloging the images (which requires importing images into the catalog) and editing the image data are just two of the capabilities. Lightroom's image-editing capabilities are more robust than its cataloging capabilities. My point is that it's important to separate those two functions in your mind.

    If you are using Lightroom primarily or entirely for its cataloging capabilities, you might want to evaluate stand-alone cataloging software, meaning software that is designed mostly or entirely to do cataloging. As an example, I use IDimager's Photo Supreme software strictly to catalog my images. Exactly the opposite of Lightroom, it's cataloging capabilities are more robust than its image-editing capability (and also more robust than Lightroom's cataloging capabilities).

    On the other hand, it's possible that a practical system of file folders may be all that you need; you may not need any cataloging software whatsoever.

  8. #8

    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Location
    South Carolina
    Posts
    95
    Real Name
    Joe Watterson

    Re: Adobe Camera Raw

    So, Manfred, I can use the "import" function of Lightroom with Lightroom set to do nothing to the file except put it where I want it, and then open in Optics Pro for prelim editing. Currently I am using Luminar for major editing. Don't want to pay extortionate fees to Adobe for anything. By the same reasoning I use Libre Office for word processing. Just my thing.

  9. #9

    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Location
    South Carolina
    Posts
    95
    Real Name
    Joe Watterson

    Re: Adobe Camera Raw

    Mike, until fairly recently Lightroom has been my go-to program for cataloging and most editing, despite the lack of layers. When I need layers I go to Luminar - and since I have learned layers more fully I increasingly use Luminar. My file system, OTOH, is a disaster of mostly chronological with some subject matter folders, accumulated over decades with a great many duplicates in numerous different places. I have gotten bogged down in duplicate-finding programs, unable to decide what to do with an image that is filed in a folder under that person's name, another for the event at which it was taken another for the date it was taken, etc. By now I have some 38,000 images, most of which are trash.

  10. #10

    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    northern Virginia suburb of Washington, DC
    Posts
    19,064

    Re: Adobe Camera Raw

    If Lightroom meets your cataloging needs, Joe, there's no reason to make a change.

  11. #11
    davidedric's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Location
    Cheshire, England
    Posts
    3,153
    Real Name
    Dave

    Re: Adobe Camera Raw

    A further response to Joe's last post. File systems are a pretty hopeless way of managing images, as many of us have found out, though I do still use them more than I should.

    What I wanted to say is that if you are starting with Lightroom, its cataloguing tools are there to prevent your mess growing (I'm sure this is true of any DAM tool). "Collections" allow one physical image to be stored in many virtual locations (such as Joe's name / event / date dilemma) and are usually recommended as the basis for image management, whether populated manually or automatically as "Smart Collections".

    Other capabilities, I'm thinking in particular of Virtual Copies, need to be understood by both the DAM and the Editor, which I imagine must be much harder to implement with a standalone DAM.

    Dave

  12. #12

    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    northern Virginia suburb of Washington, DC
    Posts
    19,064

    Re: Adobe Camera Raw

    Quote Originally Posted by davidedric View Post
    File systems are a pretty hopeless way of managing images
    That depends on two factors: the needs of the users and whether the file system is carefully designed and diligently maintained to meet those needs. As an example, though I always use the catalog to find my and my wife's images, the file system makes it very easy for my wife to find whatever images she wants to find. Indeed, if my needs were the same as hers, I wouldn't use a catalog.

    Other capabilities, I'm thinking in particular of Virtual Copies, need to be understood by both the DAM and the Editor, which I imagine must be much harder to implement with a standalone DAM.
    I can't think of any DAM capability of Lightroom that my standalone DAM doesn't easily do yet I can instantly think of capabilities of my standalone DAM that are not possible to do using Lightroom. Indeed, lots of people using the standalone software I use also use Lightroom to edit image data. They do that because they have determined that combining Lightroom's image-editing capabilities and the DAM capabilities of the standalone DAM is the best way of meeting all of their needs.
    Last edited by Mike Buckley; 25th August 2017 at 03:43 PM.

  13. #13
    DanK's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Location
    New England
    Posts
    4,218
    Real Name
    Dan

    Re: Adobe Camera Raw

    So, Manfred, I can use the "import" function of Lightroom with Lightroom set to do nothing to the file except put it where I want it, and then open in Optics Pro for prelim editing.
    No. The Lightroom import function does not put the files anywhere on your disk. Rather, it puts them into the Lightroom catalog, which is organized consistently with the folders/ directories in which you have placed the photos. If you are not going to use the LR catalog or its raw conversion and editing functions, there is no reason to use it. If you just want to convert raw files to some other format, such as TIFF, there are simpler ways to do this than dealing with LR's cataloging interface.

    One additional difference between the ACR interface in photoshop and Lightroom is that there are a large number of plug-ins that are specific (I think) to Lightroom. I use two of them all the time. One is one of Jeffrey Friedl's; it allows me to export directly to any of my Smugmug galleries, creating the required jpeg (to my specifications) on the fly and not storing it on my hard drive. The second exports a series of TIFF files directly in Zerene, which is my focus stacking software, and opens Zerene with these files loaded. These plugins often have considerable flexibiilty. For example, I with the first, I can control file quality, file name, and other attributes. With the latter, I can control file type and color space. And LR allows you to store the settings in some of these plug-ins as presets. So, for example, when I go to the LR export dialog, my Zerene and Smugmug export plug-ins are right there, alongside LR's native export menu choices. There are lots of others out there.

  14. #14
    rpcrowe's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    Southern California, USA
    Posts
    13,585
    Real Name
    Richard

    Re: Adobe Camera Raw

    I love Adobe Camera RAW (ACR) and open my RAW images using ACR via Adobe Bridge. I don't use all of the editing capabilities of ACR such as noise reduction or sharpening because I perform these tasks using the various NIK plug-ins...

    I have no problems filing the images after conversion so I can get back to them at any time.

    However there are two areas in which ACR really meshes with my needs. They are: initial color correction using the white balance eye dropper tool. I try to include a WhiBal target in every series (especially indoor shots under mixed lighting conditions - where I consider it able to do an excellent job) and in straightening an image and the various corrections done to control perspective.

    I also really like being able to pull up the ACR filter in the Photoshop filter menu when I begin editing JPEG's for which I have no RAW files. These include images from my wife's P&S, images from smartphones and images shot by our dog rescue foster volunteers.

  15. #15

    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    northern Virginia suburb of Washington, DC
    Posts
    19,064

    Re: Adobe Camera Raw

    Quote Originally Posted by DanK View Post
    If you are not going to use the LR catalog or its raw conversion and editing functions, there is no reason to use it.
    Someone who already owns the perpetual license might want to use the Book module to create books and automatically send them to Blurb and/or to create PDFs with all the formatting that can be in the book even if they don't use the software for anything else. That module alone, however, wouldn't be worth the cost of a subscription license or a new perpetual license.

  16. #16
    DanK's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Location
    New England
    Posts
    4,218
    Real Name
    Dan

    Re: Adobe Camera Raw

    Quote Originally Posted by Mike Buckley View Post
    Someone who already owns the perpetual license might want to use the Book module to create books and automatically send them to Blurb and/or to create PDFs with all the formatting that can be in the book even if they don't use the software for anything else. That module alone, however, wouldn't be worth the cost of a subscription license or a new perpetual license.
    True. It also has a very good print module, so I should have phrased it more broadly. But I was responding to the idea of just using LR to put put photos where one wants them, and then working in other software.

Tags for this Thread

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •