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As a photographer, I am beyond excited at the new Adobe® Photoshop® CS5 release. While there are tons of things that Photoshop gives me, at its core, I am looking to be able to speed up any work that I do repetitively. In that, I rely heavily on Adobe Camera Raw to take care of the majority of problems before I start any touch up editing in Photoshop. Thankfully, Adobe has included some new features inside of Camera Raw that take the processing of images and make them even easier.
Process Version 2010
When you take a picture with your camera, the camera takes the picture, performs some sharpening to it, makes some color adjustments, compresses it, then creates a JPG from it. When you are shooting in Raw, none of this occurs in the camera — the camera assumes that you want to do this stuff later — letting you conserve a lot of detail in an image. Because of this, Adobe Camera Raw had a specific way of processing those Raw images inside of its program. Now let's fast forward to 2010. Adobe has had some time to take a look at that recipe of processing those images and has come up with better ways of processing those Raw files. This is where Process Version comes from. Process Version 2010 is Adobe’s new way of working with those Raw files, which can result in better colors and clarity in an image. The problem here is that as photographers, we have probably made a lot of adjustments in our own images already. If Adobe implemented their new recipe on top of your already existing images, you could wake up one morning, look at your images, and think something was wrong.
To that, Camera Raw now has an exclamation point on the lower right of the image window. Basically it’s letting you know “Hey, you are using the old way of doing things (Process Version 2003). If you click on the exclamation point, I will convert the file to the new way of doing things (Process version 2010).” You also have the ability to change this in the Camera Calibration section. This change can be a major timesaver.
Many lenses suffer from distortion at specific focal lengths – it’s something that people either deal with or work into a specific style. Adobe Camera Raw has taken correction and completely automated it with the Lens Correction panel. Simply opening a file in Camera Raw will have the program scour your EXIF data and load a pre-built distortion correction for the type of camera and lens you used. The picture’s automatically adjusted, and you can quickly move on to other corrective tasks in your picture. Keep in mind that with the large amount of Camera and Lens combinations, this list is sure to grow, and Adobe is going to lean a lot on the community to keep these profiles coming. I think this is an awesome first step though!
Noise is one of those big things inside of images that we’ve
spent tons of money trying to fix. Now
inside of Camera Raw you have a luminance slider that should be called the
“Awesome” Slider. Slide it to the right,
and you can see noise virtually disappear in your images!
When you’re working on hundreds of images, the most basic of corrections can sap most of your time. Camera Raw makes a big leap in automating and fixing key problems so you can focus on the fun part of Photoshop!