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<p><a href="../photodb/user?user_id=5007969">Richard</a>,<br /> ACR 6 is getting there regarding detail, but color profiles and details in shadows and hightlights are better than excellent in NX2. Pictures from my new Nikon camera look great in Lightroom 3 beta, but even better in NX2. I think Active D-lighting is the magic at work. On an older Nikon camera I could apply some default tone curves that all sucked, now the contrast applied is D-lighting and I was really impressed. I believed that I could do that better in Photoshop after opening the RAW file in ACR with the highlight-shadow tool, but the defaults in NX2 were great. One thing is certain and that is that versions of ACR older than v6 are no good or too much work.<br /> What I like about NX2 is that it makes me understand the settings on the camera very well, and I can now use them both for in-camera processed JPGs and RAW processing though NX2 -> Photoshop. It IS a waste of time to change settings on a camera only to see the image opened in ACR with some not too good default settings every time.<br>

A shame Nikon did not make a light version of CNX as a ACR like plugin for Photoshop. </p>

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<p>"The new 3beta has some impressive new demosaicing algorithms so I do need to revisit how it compares to RD."</p>

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<p>As far as I understand the new demosaicing algorithms have been incorporated in LR 2.7, and telling from the few comparisions I've made, it seems that LR's rendering has cought up with Raw Developer's. Especially the "wormy" artifacts of previous LR versions in high-frequency areas seem to be a thing of the past.</p>

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<p>Well, I was pretty excited to read that Lightroom 2.7 had caught up to Raw Developer. However, I just did a comparison test processing the same DNG file from my Leica M9 in both programs. There is no comparison: the amount of detail and sharpness is considerably higher in the file from Raw Developer. This was a big disappointment as I was looking forward to using the controls in LR that RD lacks but, alas, it is not to be: the sacrifice in detail is too great.</p>
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<p>Well, I was pretty excited to read that Lightroom 2.7 had caught up to Raw Developer. </p>

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<p>3.0. Not 2.7 at least as far as I’m concerned. The new demosaicing algorithms are in 3b, not 2.7.</p>

Author “Color Management for Photographers" & "Photoshop CC Color Management" (pluralsight.com)
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<p>http://blogs.adobe.com/lightroomjournal/2010/03/lightroom_3_beta_2_now_availab.html:</p>

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<p>The raw processing engine also received an overhaul right down to the fundamental demosaic algorithms that now allows unprecedented sharpening and noise reduction results.</p>

 

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<p>Beta 2 allows you to know work with the full noise reduction tools as well.</p>

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Author “Color Management for Photographers" & "Photoshop CC Color Management" (pluralsight.com)
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  • 4 months later...

<blockquote>

<p>Andrew Rodney wrote:<br /><em>I agree about Raw Developer*. The rendering is lovely. But I still do all my work in Lightroom due to the functionality of the various modules. The new 3beta has some impressive new demosaicing algorithms so I do need to revisit how it compares to RD.<br /></em><br>

Andrew Borowiec wrote:<br /><em>now I will have to make the comparison between RD and LR3; I downloaded the LR beta a while ago but haven't had time to try it. Will post here when I have done so.</em></p>

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<p>Hi Andrew & Andrew,<br>

Have you guys had a chance to review the RD vs LR3/ACR6 performance? -- if so, what's the verdict: still decidedly in favor of RD or not any longer?</p>

<p>Interesting no-one has mentioned <a href="http://silkypix.shortcutinc.com/">SilkyPix</a>; though it was one of the best (e.g., Michael Ezra is advocating it in his <a href="../learn/digital-photography-workflow/overview/fine-art-photography/#editing"><em>Fine Art Photography Workflow</em></a> and he seems like someone for whom achieving the highest possible quality is of the utmost importance.)</p>

<p> </p>

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<p>I did do the comparison, I was just too busy to post about it and wanted to avoid getting into a prolonged online discussion. For what it's worth, here is what I found: Lightroom 3 is almost as good as Raw Developer at rendering detail and preserving sharpness. For very large prints (27"x40" from Leica M9 files) Raw Developer still holds a slight advantage but for any smaller size there is no visible difference.</p>

<p>I ended up buying Lightroom 3 for one particular feature: the ability to correct perspective (Lens Correction) in the RAW file before burning pixels. If you do it in Photoshop instead, you introduce a degree of softness (again, I'm talking about things that are only visible in large prints). In the end I only use Lightroom when I need that particular feature as it still lags behind Raw Developer in one crucial area, the ability to recover highlight detail.</p>

<p>Obviously, Lightroom has much greater functionality and more features than RD, but for me little of that matters. Raw Developer allows me to recover detail in very contrasty situations that are beyond the ability of Lightroom, so it remains the converter that I use 99% of the time. Of course, others will have different preferences and priorities. Download the trial version of Raw Developer and see if it's for you.</p>

<p>http://www.andrewborowiec.com/</p>

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<p>Cheers Andrews!<br>

Highlight recovery definitely sounds like something of interest to me, and as for sharpness and detail, I'm still on ACR5 (PS CS4), so that's an additional reason for me to trial the RD :)</p>

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<p>Robert K wrote:<br /><em>My suggestion is to get the most out of RD and save as psd. Open the psd as raw in PS, and apply the ACR features missing in RD as appropriate.<br /></em><br>

Andrew Rodney wrote:<br /><em>A PSD is not a raw, its a rendered image. So you can’t use the raw converter as a raw converter any more. You’ve got baked RGB pixels at this point. You have to move to Photoshop (the pixel editor). The advantage of raw processing is now over.<br /></em><br>

Andrew Borowiec<br /><em>Even though one is no longer working with the raw file, it is possible to use Camera Raw to open a tiff or psd file that was processed in Raw Developer and then use some of the controls that Raw Developer lacks, such as defringing.<br /></em><br>

Andrew Rodney wrote:<br /><em>Yes but again, its not raw data you are dealing with. And you’ve got another color space and bit depth conversion (every edit in ACR/LR has to be converted first into Linear ProPhoto RGB). There are some compelling reasons to edit pixels in this engine compared to Photoshop but its not the same as processing the original raw data there. Ideally you’d do all the raw processing possible in a single raw converter.</em></p>

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<p>While it's merely my speculation, I think there might be a way to harness the raw power (pun intended ;) of two different RAW converters. Simply run the same RAW image twice, or even thrice, as if you were doing a comparative side-by-side test to determine which one performs better, however each time targeting different aspects of the image by focusing on particular converter's strengths. Then blend the results DRI style, i.e., picking and choosing the bits that you like more from each independently rendered image. It surely won't work on all images (especially difficult would be those where spacial relationship between pixels/object was altered, like after performing Lens Correction, or where "problem areas" such as fringing and highlights are close to one another), but reckon it could be an option worth exploring for <em>some</em> 'emergency situations'. Effectively, it'd be no different from multiple RAW processing of the same image on the same converter.</p>

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<p>@ Richard Vernon and Nick: "One possibility to consider is that capture nx applies the in-camera settings,..." <br>

Whether or not Nx2 applies the in-camera settings is a user choice, not a flat fact. The user may or may not choose to use in-camera choices for white balance, tone curve, saturation or sharpening. Noise reduction Im not sure about .... I <em>believe</em> that if used in the camera, it is baked in to the NEF, but stand to be corrected.<br>

@ Andrews Rodney and Borowiec: Although the lens correction and fringing features you mention are contained in ACR are you sure they are being applied to raw data and not pixels that are already rendered by the demosaicing process? eg the case of lens corrections involves moving pixels. If so, the process is really not a part of raw development, but pixel editing.<br>

For what it's worth, I use NX2 for convering raw files and usually continue with NX2 modules past the deveop stage, but sometimes use CS2 for further pixel editing. </p>

 

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