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Noel Carboni 23,528 posts
Dec 23, 2006
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ETTR People Must Be Happy as Clams with PV2012

Apr 11, 2012 7:54 PM

What this new version (ACR7, part of the PS CS6 beta) can pull out of highlights continues to delight and amaze me...


This is from the JPEG embedded in the raw file, no exposure changes or editing (other than downsizing).  Note the sunny parts.




This is the raw image opened into Photoshop with admittedly extreme adjustments... 




Time was, you couldn't really hope to get much more back from the highlights than what was showing in the JPEG.


Time was, one would have to settle for nasty looking stuff at the fringes of where highlight recovery had to take place... Now you just get... A natural looking shot.



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    Apr 12, 2012 3:23 AM   in reply to Noel Carboni

    That's an interesting comparison, Noel.


    However, I wonder what can be extracted from the raw file even with as old a version as ACR 5.7 hosted by Photoshop 11.0.2 ("CS4").  Here's what that precise combination did with the low-res copy of the JPEG you posted:




    (Please click on thumbnail)


    My point is simply that I've been comparing the results of ACR 7 in the CS6 beta to those of ACR 6.6 hosted by CS5 and ACR 5.7 hosted by CS4, and I have to say that I find that ACR 5.7 was already very, very good, and the improvements I see in the latest iterations, while real, are comparatively less significant.


    Just my point of view so far.  I have in effect already upgraded to CS6, as I took advantage of the offer to upgrade to CS5 this month and get CS6 when it's released, so it's not like I'm trying to say that I can't justify the upgrade. 

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    Apr 12, 2012 5:30 AM   in reply to station_one

    On another forum I asked about the recovery aspect and how it would impact on HDR. To me it looks like HDR would less needed ( if it was "needed" in the first place ). The snootly reply was.


    The changes in the 2012PV are very compelling, yes.  Does it eliminate the need for HDR (or other exposure blending methods)?  No.  You're still limited to what the sensor in your camera can capture.  If you've got a camera like the new Nikon D800 that tests at 14+ stops then your need for exposure blending may be minimised.  But if you're shooting with an old Canon 30D that's got maybe 8 stops of range the new raw engine in LR/ACR isn't going to help you get to 10 or 12 or more.

    Fans of HDR don't seem impressed?

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    Apr 13, 2012 2:23 AM   in reply to Noel Carboni

    Thank you for making that raw file available, Noel.


    Yes, there's a subtle improvement with ACR 7.xBeta compared to ACR 5.7 if one relies on the Auto settings as the default starting point.  On the other hand, I had no trouble at all in arriving at the same results with ACR 5.7 hosted by Photoshop 11.0.2 and with ACR 7 hosted by Photoshop 13.xBeta by manually/visually seeking the optimal setting in both versions of ACR.



    Converted in ACR 5.7 hosted by Photoshop 11.0.2

    (Click on thumbnail)



    Not by any means a scientific experiment, especially since the two versions of ACR are on different machines and monitors.


    As I mentioned in another thread, it would seem that the greatest benefits of the new rendering accrue to Nikon and Canon as opposed to other brands.

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    Apr 13, 2012 6:12 AM   in reply to Noel Carboni

    Noel Carboni wrote:


    Yes, one has always been able to recover highlights with ACR, but I think your image illustrates nicely how much farther ACR 7 goes.


    I reopened the raw file, chose a different color balance so as to be able to more easily compare with your image, and this time dragged all the pertinent sliders even farther to the extremes...  Consider this result and comparisons of parts of the images...




    Point well taken.




    ACR 7 has an edge.

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    Apr 13, 2012 3:14 PM   in reply to Noel Carboni

    ACR 7 is amazing: images that I hadn't bothered with before because the DR was simply too extreme (but fortunately had not trashed!) are suddenly becoming golden nuggets!


    ACR 7 means that I am finding that I want to re-convert all of my existing RAW .nefs before using them.

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