10 Replies Latest reply on Apr 28, 2009 6:22 AM by Steve Kale

    New Features of  ACR 5.x versus 4.6

    Steve Kale Level 1

      Last night I waded through this 40 minute overview of ACR 5.x:

       

      http://tv.adobe.com/#vi+f1483v1647

       

      While helpful in overviewing the new editing features, it didn't answer my basic question.

       

      Firstly, I am not a retouch house or a commercial photographer.  I am an amateur enthusiast (albeit with good kit).  I typically edit photos one at a time and so many of the workflow enhancements that have been introduced in recent years, while useful, aren't critical to me.

       

      I have investigated the benefits of capture sharpening in RAW and buy the arguments.  I understand from this discussion, though, that these benefits are already available to me with CS3:

       

      http://forums.adobe.com/thread/424966?tstart=0

       

      My first question relates to the new editing features in 5.x versus 4.6.  Are there materials benefits to image quality as a result of using these editing features in RAW rather than editing in PS?  (Again, I am only asking in respect of the new features and in relation to image quailty rather than workflow benefits.)

       

      My second question relates to benefits, if any, related to the new RAW conversion engine.  I have installed the camera "profiles" from the latest 5.x version and have these available for use in 4.6 (albeit I think this may be somewhat flawed in that the profiles will have been made using the new RAW conversion engine rather than the old one).  I used to profile my 1Ds II using AcrCalibrator but I now understand I can use DNG Profile Editor to do the same thing.

       

      What benefits could I expect from the RAW conversion in 5.x?  (I recognise that I likely have to invest some time with the trial version but it would be greatly helpful to first have an overview of what to expect.)

       

      Regards

       

      Steve

        • 1. Re: New Features of  ACR 5.x versus 4.6
          John Joslin Level 6

          1. If, as you imply, you have CS3, you can't use ACR 5.x anyway!


          2. If you did get CS4, the advantages of ACR 5.x are considerable over 4.x and you have the advantage that edit techniques now available are non-destructive, as opposed to many in the main PS program.


          3. Photoshop CS4 itself is a big step forward from CS3, although it has some features that are not popular.


          • 2. Re: New Features of  ACR 5.x versus 4.6
            Steve Kale Level 1

            I think you should read my post again.  I am obviously trying to assess the benefits of any that come from 5.x versus 4.6 with the cost $200 of upgrading from CS3 to CS4. Can you be more specific with respect to your 2nd point?  I can (effectively) edit non-destructively in CS3 with layers.

            • 3. Re: New Features of  ACR 5.x versus 4.6
              John Joslin Level 6

              Steve Kale wrote:

               

              I think you should read my post again.

               

               

              Well it was a lot of words to ask a simple question and I thought I'd got your implication but couldn't be sure.


              The advantages of ACR 5x over previous versions are comprehensively covered in various Adobe papers available on the web site and I haven't time to write it all out again!

              • 4. Re: New Features of  ACR 5.x versus 4.6
                Dennis 1111 Level 2

                Steve Kale wrote:

                My first question relates to the new editing features in 5.x versus 4.6.  Are there materials benefits to image quality as a result of using these editing features in RAW rather than editing in PS?  (Again, I am only asking in respect of the new features and in relation to image quailty rather than workflow benefits.)

                 

                 

                I would say that the new editing tools, such as Gradutaed Filter and Localized Brush, MAY improve quality in some situations (compared to doing it in PS) but in most situations the improvement would be primarily to work flow and convenience.  The reason I say "MAY" is that these features are all bundled into the raw conversion process so in theory there may be some benefits in terms of working with the raw data.

                 

                Here is a link to an active thread at Luminous Landscape on how these features are integrated.  You might find it interesting.

                 

                http://luminous-landscape.com/forum/index.php?showtopic=31695

                 

                One thing that the thread started me thinking about is the fact that the Localized Brush and Graduated Filter can actually recover detail that has been clipped on the Basic tab of ACR.

                 

                 

                Steve Kale wrote:

                 

                My second question relates to benefits, if any, related to the new RAW conversion engine.  I have installed the camera "profiles" from the latest 5.x version and have these available for use in 4.6 (albeit I think this may be somewhat flawed in that the profiles will have been made using the new RAW conversion engine rather than the old one).  I used to profile my 1Ds II using AcrCalibrator but I now understand I can use DNG Profile Editor to do the same thing.

                 


                 

                My understanding is that they may have tweaked the engine a bit but I don't think you will notice major differences in pure rendering quality between 4.6 and 5.3.  You can use the DNG Profile Editor with 4.6.  I find it works MUCH better than the calibration scripts that we used previously.

                 

                Keep in mind that if you decide to purchase a new camera, then 4.6 may not support it and you will need to either uprgrade or begin using the DNG Converter.

                 

                Also, here is a PDF that sums up the major changes.  I think you got most of this with the video but here it is in black and white:

                 

                http://jkost.com/pdf/photoshop/cs4/CR5.pdf

                 

                In summary, if your question in general is "Should I shell out $200 for the CS4 upgrade based on ACR raw rendering quality alone?", I think the answer is probably "No".  You may want to make the upgrade based on other considerations, however.

                • 5. Re: New Features of  ACR 5.x versus 4.6
                  Ramón G Castañeda Level 4

                  Dennis 1111 wrote:

                   

                  My understanding is that they may have tweaked the engine a bit but I don't think you will notice major differences in pure rendering quality between 4.6 and 5.3.

                   

                  Depending on your camera, the new profiles in 5.3 will make a difference that can be classified from subtle to tremendous, terrific and amazing.

                  1 person found this helpful
                  • 6. Re: New Features of  ACR 5.x versus 4.6
                    Steve Kale Level 1

                    Thanks.  This is very helpful.

                     

                    I just noticed one thing - it appears the Canon G10 is not supported by ACR 4.6.  Lovely. That puts the effective cost of that camera into the stratosphere (camera cost plus $200 to upgrade PS).

                     

                    (I have had all sorts of problems trying to get DPP to work on my computer.  Canon Professional Support have not been able to help.  DPP won't display any images from either my 1Ds II or the G10.  I have tried everything except a complete rebuild of my computer.  If anyone has a suggestion as to where to look for help on this I would appreciate it. Mac OS-X displays them fine eg in Finder.)

                    • 7. Re: New Features of  ACR 5.x versus 4.6
                      Steve Kale Level 1

                      Ramón G Castañeda wrote:


                      Depending on your camera, the new profiles in 5.3 will make a difference that can be classified from subtle to tremendous, terrific and amazing.

                       

                      Canon 1Ds II ?

                       

                      (Sounds like the improvement with the G10 is infinite...)

                      • 8. Re: New Features of  ACR 5.x versus 4.6
                        Ramón G Castañeda Level 4

                        Steve Kale wrote:


                        it appears the Canon G10 is not supported by ACR 4.6.  Lovely. That puts the effective cost of that camera into the stratosphere (camera cost plus $200 to upgrade PS).

                         

                        You can use the free stand-alone Adobe DNG Converter 5.3 to convert the raw files from that camera to raw DNGs you can then open in ACR 4.6.

                        1 person found this helpful
                        • 9. Re: New Features of  ACR 5.x versus 4.6
                          Steve Kale Level 1

                          Ramón G Castañeda wrote:

                           

                          You can use the free stand-alone Adobe DNG Converter 5.3 to convert the raw files from that camera to raw DNGs you can then open in ACR 4.6.

                           

                          Ah, thanks.  That's very helpful.  I will take a look at that.  Cheers.

                          • 10. Re: New Features of  ACR 5.x versus 4.6
                            Ramón G Castañeda Level 4

                            Steve Kale wrote:

                             

                            Ramón G Castañeda wrote:


                            Depending on your camera, the new profiles in 5.3 will make a difference that can be classified from subtle to tremendous, terrific and amazing.

                             

                            Canon 1Ds II ?

                             

                            Absolutely!