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From the author of Reviewing How Process Version 2010 Changes Your Image

Reviewing How Process Version 2010 Changes Your Image

When you update the process version for an image, the Update Process Version dialog box in Lightroom provides the Review Changes Via Before/After option so that you can see the 2003 and 2010 process versions side by side (see Figures 4 and 5).

Figure 4 The Update Process Version dialog box in Lightroom 3

Figure 5 Viewing the process version update in Before and After view in Lightroom 3

Because Camera Raw doesn’t have a Before/After view, it simply applies the update without presenting any options. Fortunately, you can still compare the before and after versions in Camera Raw by pressing the P key, which is a shortcut for toggling the Preview checkbox.

After updating the process version, in general you should see less noise and more detail, although the degree depends on each individual image and camera. In Figure 1, notice how the background of the flower image became smoother, while at the same time you now see more detail in the veins of the flower petals.

Don’t expect every update to be an easy win; some images may need additional adjustment. Between Camera Raw 4.1 and Camera Raw 6, a small amount of luminance noise reduction was always applied as the raw data was converted to RGB pixels. This sometimes obscured desirable detail, but the noise reduction at this stage was something you couldn’t control. Camera Raw 6 doesn’t apply any noise reduction during the raw conversion, putting all of that control in your hands. When you combine that change with the fact that noise reduction itself works quite differently (and much better) in Camera Raw 6 and Lightroom 3, it’s natural that an image may need to use different sharpness and noise reduction adjustments after a process version update. I’ll cover that next.

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