Adobe release Camera Raw 5.3 and Lightroom 2.3 updates

Adobe has released final versions of the Camera raw 5.3 and Lightroom 2.3 updates, now including support for

  • Nikon D3X
  • Olympus E-30
  • Links:

    Camera Raw 5.3 for Windows
    Camera Raw 5.3 for Mac
    Lightroom 2.3 for Windows
    Lightroom 2.3 for Mac

    Advertisements

    Lightroom 2.2 now available

    The anticipated Lightroom 2.2 update is now available.

    The release includes new camera support for the following models:

  • Canon EOS 5D Mark II
  • Canon PowerShot G10
  • Panasonic DMC-G1
  • Panasonic DMC-FX150
  • Panasonic DMC-FZ28
  • Panasonic DMC-LX3
  • Leica D-LUX 4
  • The update also includes the aforementioned new ‘camara color profiles’ found in the calibration panel, as well as some bug fixes and improvements.

    Download update:

    for Windows

    for Mac

    Expanding the dynamic range of a single RAW file

    This tutorial will focus on a technique tailored to expand the visible dynamic range of a single RAW file (as opposed to creating a HDR file or masking a bracketed sequence).

    Most RAW editors has several tools to do just that built-in, but often you can not achieve your desired end result without complicated Photoshop work and masking techniques. In this tutorial, I’ll share some of my secrets for expanding the dynamic range of a single RAW file.

    Observe the following photograph:

    Single RAW file - developing for the shadows blow the highlights.

    'Say cheese' Single RAW file - developing for the shadows blow the highlights.

    This image is from a Canon 40D RAW file developed with Adobe’s Camera RAW 5.2. As the original image was underexposed, out of necessity to keep the highlights in range, I’ve added a positive exposure compensation to brighten the shadows, in turn leading to a clipping of the highlights. Even with tricks like Curves, Fill Light and Highlight Recovery, I cannot both expose the shadows as I want them, and also get great highlights – at least not without an unintentional hit in contrast in the process. My opinion is that neither Fill Light or Highlight Recovery are perfect in ACR, as by affecting the left or right third of the histogram respectively, they are both too broad, and don’t go far enough. – And they don’t give you precise control over the tonalities you effect.

    Let’s look at my technique for dealing with this problem. For this tutorial we will be using ACR 5.2 as our RAW developer on a PC, as well as Photoshop CS4. The beauty of this technique is that it offers a more or less automated, lets call it ‘intuitive’, way of expanding your dynamic range without delving into Curves and complicated masking for every problem shot.

    1 ) Develop your RAW image in ACR only for the shadows (left side of histogram). That is, concentrate on getting good shadow separation, and let the highlights blow for now (that means do not even try to recover the highlights, don’t touch the Recovery slider, better to let them blow out).

    2 ) When satisfied, hold Shift key, and click ‘Open Object’ in ACR to open the image in Photoshop as a Smart Object.

    3 ) In Photoshop, right-click the SO layer, and select ‘New Smart Object via Copy’.

    4 ) Double-click the thumbnail of your new SO layer, to bring up the ACR dialog again.

    5 ) This time, develop for the highlights (right side of histogram), and ignore the shadows (left side of histogram). Typically for this technique, there’ll be around 2 stops of difference between the two versions. Essentially this is just a matter of dragging the Exposure slider to the left.

    6 ) Click ‘Done’ when satisfied that all highlights are recovered.

    7 ) In Photoshop, now hide the top layer, then go to the Channels Palette and Ctrl-click the RGB channel thumbnail to select the highlights of your lower, lighter layer. What you’ve got now is a so-called Luminosity Mask.

    8 ) Go back to the Layer Palette, turn on your top darker layer (select it if it isn’t selected), and click the ‘Add layer mask’ icon.

    9 ) You should now see a composite of the two layers that will have expanded dynamic range, but also will look a bit lifeless and with poor contrast.

    10 ) To add local contrast, you need to select your Layer Mask, and add Filter>Blur>Gaussian Blur. How much depends on a number of factors, including file size and detail frequency in your image. Typical key figures for Amount are in the 90-127 range. However, for some images, such as the sunset example in the end of this article, you may need to go as low as 1! This is up to your best judgement, and needs some experimentation and careful examination to set right for every image. You’ll want to achieve natural contrast and at the same time avoid visible halos and artifacts. Note that what you are doing here is essentially how Unsharp Mask worked in the dark rooms of yore. Only this digital equivalent is much, MUCH easier.

    11 ) Finally, you may need to adjust the tonalities affected. You can do this by adding a Curves adjustment (Image>Adjustments>Curves) to the Layer Mask. Typically, you want to darken the mask a bit, by creating a point in the middle of the curve and dragging down about 2/5th of the way. You may also use other tools and adjustments on the mask to localize the effect – all non-destructively.

    12 ) For a final kicker, now press Ctrl-Alt-Shift-e to create a new composite layer on top of the others, then add Filter>Sharpen>Unsharp Mask, Amount: 6-12, Radius: 90-127, Threshold: 0, to add a bit of extra local contrast. Typically I overdo this a little, then immediately go Edit>Fade to 66%. Alternatively, you can set the layer opacity of this composited contrast layer as you like.

    End result:

    The final result - highlights have now been smoothly recovered.

    The final result - highlights have now been smoothly recovered.

    Disclaimer: What you see above is no miracle cure for blown highlights. You will still need to expose your photo in a way so that all data can be recovered, and you might have to take care of increased shadow noise from pushing the shadow end.

    Here’s another example comparing ACR’s Highlight Recovery to this method:

    my method

    Dynamic Range expansion - top: image developed for the shadows, middle: Recovery at maximum in ACR*, bottom: my method

    * Recovery at 100, with positive exposure compensation of +2. A closer approximation of ‘my method’ could be achieved by maxing out both Recovery and Fill Light in ACR, leaving Exposure slider at 0, but doing so introduces nasty edge artifacts and very low contrast.

    Enjoy!

    I’ve compiled this technique into a Photoshop action, which you may download and study here.

    Copyright 2008 Mathias Vejerslev

    Camera RAW 5.2 released

    Adobe’s Camera RAW 5.2 contains new support for the following cameras:

  • Canon EOS 5D Mark II
  • Canon PowerShot G10
  • Panasonic DMC-G1
  • Panasonic DMC-FX150
  • Panasonic DMC-FZ28
  • Panasonic DMC-LX3
  • Leica D-LUX 4
  • Plus these new features:

  • Targeted Adjustment Tool (TAT), for intuitive local adjustments of Curves, Hue, saturation for example.
  • Output sharpening for print or web
  • Snaphots feature, to save image-specific versions of your RAW image
  • Camera profiles – the previously mentioned camera specific profiles are now included
  • Download: For Mac For Windows

    Camera Raw 5.1, Lightroom 2.1 released

    They’re spitting them out faster than I can type…

    Adobe has just made Camera Raw 5.1 (Photoshop CS4 only) and Lightroom 2.1 available with added support for the following cameras:

    • Canon 1000D (Digital Rebel XS/EOS Kiss F)
    • Canon 50D
    • Fuji FinePix IS Pro
    • Kodak EasyShare Kodak Z1015 IS
    • Leaf AFi II 6
    • Leaf AFi II 7
    • Leaf Aptus II 6
    • Leaf Aptus II 7
    • Nikon D700
    • Nikon D90
    • Nikon Coolpix P6000
    • Olympus SP-565 UZ
    • Pentax K2000 (K-m)
    • Sigma DP1
    • Sony A900

    You’ll notice that this camera list is the same as the one I posted for camera Raw 4.6 for CS3, but these cameras did not make it into CR 5.0 for CS4 before shipping. Now they’re supported.

    Go to adobes download page.

    The DNG profile editor and the beta color profiles previously mentioned has also been updated.

    Beta camera profiles for Camera Raw

    This is kind of old news, but maybe you did not know.

    Adobe provides new and improved beta color profiles for all cameras over at Adobe Labs. Adobes new standard profile improves color rendering all over, but particularly in the red / yellow spectrum – where red were kind of orange with previous profiles, you can now get deep red.

    But there’s more! Adobe now also offers camera specific profiles that closely mimic the otherwise proprietary color renderings of cameras, for instance Canons ‘Picture Styles’.

    You must be using Camera Raw 4.5 or later, or Lightroom 2 Final to utilize these profiles. They will likely be standard in CR5.

    There’s also a new DNG spec and a DNG profile editor available on the same page.

    UPDATE: With CS4 now shipping, it turns out the new profiles are available, but not standard in CR5 (standard remains the CR 4.4 profile). Its fine that the beta period is prolonged a bit to find any errors. Maybe they will be standard in CR 5.1 due very shortly.

    Adobe releases Camera Raw 4.6

    Adobe has today released Camera Raw 4.6 with added support for the following cameras:

  • Canon 1000D (Digital Rebel XS/EOS Kiss F)
  • Canon 50D
  • Fuji FinePix IS Pro
  • Kodak EasyShare Kodak Z1015 IS
  • Leaf AFi II 6
  • Leaf AFi II 7
  • Leaf Aptus II 6
  • Leaf Aptus II 7
  • Nikon D700
  • Nikon D90
  • Nikon Coolpix P6000
  • Olympus SP-565 UZ
  • Pentax K2000 (K-m)
  • Sigma DP1
  • Sony A900
  • Download page:
    Windows
    Mac

    Adobe Configurator for Photoshop CS4

    John Nack, the Photoshop product manager with a background in web design, has always (as long as he’s been in office) pushed for more extensibility and custom configuration of the Photoshop interface.

    As a result, in Photoshop CS4 we now have flash-based panels that can be built from scratch by third party developers.

    But it gets better. Very soon now, you can ‘roll your own’ Panel in a snap with Adobe Configurator.

    Adobe Configurator

    Adobe Configurator

    The application lets you pick and choose (literally drag and drop) among Photoshop tools, menu items, scripts and actions, and it even lets you include stuff like instructional videos, before it ‘bakes’ a new Panel that you can import into Photoshop CS4, and share with the world. Presto! All of your most used tools in one customized Panel. Pretty damn cool.

    Adobe announces Creative Suite 4

    Adobe has announced Creative Suite 4 on September 23!

    New features in Photoshop CS4 of interest to photographers include:

    Completely revamped interface
    The Photoshop interface has had a major overhaul this time. Palettes has been replaced by tabs and panels, which you can group as you like. The GUI is accelerated by modern GPUs in a number of ways, and non-destructive adjustments now has its own panel. Flash-based panels are possible, among the included examples are the Kuler application for color harmonies. Image zooms at odd intervals, such as 66,6% and 33,3% are now sharper and less ‘pixelized’.

    Photoshop CS4 interface

    Photoshop CS4 interface

    Content Aware Scaling
    You can now scale an image, and intelligent code will ‘invent’ new data for enlargement or remove data intelligently for reductions, without altering important elements of your photo.

    Camera RAW 5.0
    Camera RAW 5.0 has many improvements. Of most importance are the new and improved color profiles for all cameras. It is now possible to choose color profiles that closely match that of your camera vendors, such as Canons ‘picture styles’. Adobes own color profiles has been updated to give more accurate and pleasing color. Local corrections are now possible via brushes or gradient masks, and most of the image editing options of Lightroom has now made its way into ACR.

    Non destructive masking
    PSCS4 has a new Mask panel for non-destructive masking. You can control feathering and density, and use the Refine Edge technology of CS3, all non-destructively.

    Improved stitching and blending
    Photomerge has been further developed, and now also feature lens distortion correction. A new feature is focus blending for extended depth of field from several source images.

    64bit support
    On the Windows platform, you can take advantage of the larger RAM address space in 64bit.

    Bridge CS4
    Bridge is now faster and more useful than ever. Task-based workspaces increases efficiency, and new web galleries and PDF contact sheets are welcome additions. Auto-stacking analyzes and sorts your images in sequences for HDR or panoramas.

    … And much more. Visit Adobes website for more juicy details.