New Camera Raw has arrived!

I’ve been trying out LightRoom Beta 3 (now 3.2) and been slightly frustrated by the fact that it has a dependancy on Camera Raw 5.7, which seems to be the CS5 release version.   I had been cynically assuming that it would not be released for PhotoShop CS4 users, but last night Adobe came through and Updater popped up to offer me the download. — Thanks!

The features have been fairly well covered in the CS5 pre-publicity, see the videos on the PhotoShopUser website, and I was eager to try the noise reduction on some marginal shots taken back in the 1990s on a Minolta DimageV (640×480 pixels) and I have to say the handling of colour noise is spectacular (no pun intended).  Here is a sunset taken through a bus window near Montreal in 1997 which really belongs in the discard pile.  The sky on the right has really gross colour noise:

As Shot no processing whatsoever

The photo is otherwise extremely poor, and can of course be developed considerably, but with the dreadful colour noise, illustrates the improvement well.  The slider only has to be slightly engaged to clear the colour noise, and moving further doesn’t benefit one at all.  I’ve deliberately left the photo ‘as shot’ otherwise, so as to only illustrate the noise reduction.

Camera Raw Colour noise reduction

Of course there are some shots that just can’t be fixed — a nighttime ariel shot of Chicago on the same camere remains a pattern of sensor noise, rather than cris-crossing streets

It’s all somewhat less of an issue with my more recent cameras, but still interesting to see the improvements available.  Strange to think that back then one thought of a digital camera only as something for illustrating websites.

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