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Please see here:
In short, it is for backwards compatibility for photos edited earlier in earlier versions of Camera Raw.
New photos (i.e., ones without previous edits) will default to using the new process version.
I appreciate that the new process produces a sharper image, and comes with new detail controls, but I still don't understand why you'd want to select the old 2003 Process. What practical purpose would this serve?
Will an older version of Camera Raw (<5.6) not understand the XMP data from a 2010 Process file? Would it revert to defaults?
What confuses me further is that although CR 5.7 is said to include the new process, it doesn't have the new controls, and it has no process version adjustment either. So, what DO we get? Is it the ability to understand 2010P XMP, or a cut-down version of the CR6 demosaicing?
Sorry, if I'm being a bit thick!
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Yammer P, the option is not provided with the expectation that users will want to select PV 2003 deliberately. In fact, it is expected that users will want to use PV 2010, which is why PV 2010 is the default option for new images.
The issue is backwards compatibility for older images. For example, the noise reduction method has changed quite a bit. The older Luminance & Color strengths no longer apply to the new method (e.g., for a high ISO image, previously you might have used very strong Luminance & Color settings - those would be way too strong with the new method). A process version switch is provided that will (1) enable users to update images selectively to the new process version, and (2) go back to PV 2003 in case of a mistake. You may have a large set of older images for which PV 2003 did a fine job, so there's no point updating to PV 2010 and then have to retweak the sliders to get basically the same results.
Camera Raw version 5.6 and earlier do not implement PV 2010, in the same way they don't implement new rendering controls (e.g., Grain). Similar to how Camera Raw version 2 doesn't implement Fill Light. Basically, if you edit an image in a recent version of ACR, then try to view that edited image in an older version of ACR - all bets are off.
Camera Raw version 5.7 is special in that it offers a compatibility mode with LR 3 beta 2. It is intended to allow Photoshop-Lightroom interop features to work properly, such as Lightroom's Edit-In-Photoshop feature.
Right, I think the penny is dropping. Please correct me if I'm wrong in summarising your response...
CR6 has a new interpretation of the old Detail controls which produces different results to CR<6. Therefore, the option to stay with PV 2003 is provided, to avoid any nasty surprises with old images.
CR5.7 is unique in that it uses the demosaicing part of CR6, but not the new interpretation of Detail controls in PV 2010. Hence there is no need to provide a PV choice.
Was my problem in equating PV 2010 with the new demosaicing process? Are they in fact two separate (overlapping) things?
You got it, Yammer P. Demosaic is separate and independent of process version. The only things that fall under the 2003-2010 process version distinction are sharpening, noise reduction, and fill light.
Phew. Thanks for sticking with me, Eric.
I've been working with CR6 for the last hour on some photos I took in an old cathedral yesterday, mostly handheld at ISO 3200. The photos clean up brilliantly. I also love the way Bridge previews PV 2010 at less than 100% You've done a great job!
I'm unlear on how the luminance/colour sliders differ between 5.7 and 6.0. I'm sure I read somewhere that I could almost set and forget the Luminance slider, as its effect would scale with increasing ISO. Does this apply to 5.7, 6.0 or both? I ask because I'm using quite high values of Luminance in 6.0 at ISO 3200.
Hi Yammer P,
Glad to hear you're getting nice results so far. Yes, the Luminance and Color sliders do scale with ISO (in all recent versions of Camera Raw, including 5.x and 6). They should scale more consistently across camera models with CR 6. Even so, noise is subjective (depends on both user, and image content). Consequently, even though the controls scale by ISO, you may still need to tweak them on a per-image basis, if the ISO varies widely within the set of images you're working on.
The main reason for scaling the range by ISO is to make sure you have enough range to work with. For example, the useful noise reduction range for an ISO 200 image is usually not the same noise reduction range for an ISO 3200 image.
Thanks, Eric. You can get back to work now!