It's an amazing recovery of virtually invisible data.
While Camera Raw 7 is indeed very impressive, are you seeing different behavior in underexposure recovery or noise reduction between earlier 7.x versions and 7.2 RC? I'm not sure I'm sensing a difference.
Here's a similar success story to yours, with a view inside a dimly lit solar observatory dome where the exposure was influenced by outside light coming through a portal.
Conversion of raw file via Camera Raw with extreme settings:
Your example says it all, Noel! Most impressive recovery from the blown highlights as well as from the blocked shadows!
You're welcome, and thanks for the feedback.
Here's another amazing result from an image shot in impossible lighting conditions (deep shadows and shot into sun reflections):
The JPEG the camera produced:
The finished result after converting with Camera Raw with extreme recovery settings and some additional Adjustment Brush work:
On the other hand, this exchange has led me to re-test just the Shadows/Highlights image adjustment in Photoshop proper, which I had neglected for some time because of ACR, and it is also amazing how much detail it can recover from the two in-camera JPEGs you have posted, especially from the blocked shadows.
Adobe had already done a fine job with that adjustment. Of course, ACR is superior, above all in the recovery of blown highlights.
Yeah ... but the bug with the Color Detail slider (known and reported since 7.0 Beta) still isn't fixed
…the bug with the Color Detail slider… still isn't fixed
Would you be so kind to refresh my memory with a link that describes it, please?
When the Color slider (in the Detail — Noise Reduction panel) is set to a non-zero value then the Color Detail slider will default to 50 (on a scale from 0 to 100). When grabbing the Color Detail slider with the mouse and pushing it to a value greater or less than 50 then the Camera Raw preview window will properly reflect the new value—until you release the mouse button. Then it will fall back to the 50 default even though the slider is now elsewhere. So effectively it's impossible to choose any Color Detail value other than 50 ... well, or actually you can but the effect will always be that of the 50 default.
Thanks for elaborating.
I see it now.
2007 MacBook2,1 Intel Core 2 Duo, Snow Leopard 10.6.8
Please note that I edited my previous message to reflect that I do see the bug now.
So effectively it's impossible to choose any Color Detail value other than 50 ... well, or actually you can but the effect will always be that of the 50 default.
No wait—I just noticed that the bug affects the Camera Raw preview only. However when you export the same image with different Color Detail settings then the colour noise (or the reduction thereof) actually will be different in the resulting files, even though their previews in Camera Raw were equal.
So the bug is not as severe as I originally thought ... but annoying nonetheless.