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Old Mar 2, 2010, 8:56 PM   #11
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If all you want to do is batch process I'd suggest Studio 2 which while not perfect is an Oly product. I find it most usefull for batch work or just to tweak a setting or 2 and then finish in something else (in my case Elements 2 with the Hidden power tools installed. Old and out of date but still does everything I need). I imaging ACR is much better but I've never felt the need to spend the $$$ for full photshop. If the image needs that much work it's not worth keeping.

John
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Old Mar 3, 2010, 9:04 AM   #12
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I have owned Studio since version 1.0 and currently have version 2.3 on my machine. It does do batches very well, assuming your intent is to output JPEG's a do nothing else to them. It even runs fast enough for me, which is a typical complaint from most who have tried it. You really need a fast processor and plenty of RAM or it will creep. The major issues I have with Studio are:

1. No overexposure recovery tool. If you have any blown highlights, recovery is impossible with Studio. The only real option you have using Studio to try and recover blown highlights, dialing exposure compensation back, only turns a blown area from white to gray, where the Recovery slider in Adobe Camera RAW will actually retrieve detail.

When I upgraded from what was by then an ancient version of ACR in Photoshop CS2 to Photoshop CS4, Adobe Camera RAW was like an all-new program with tons of new toys to play with that made real differences. The Recovery Slider alone puts ACR miles ahead of Studio. Add the Target Adjustment tool, fill light, sharpening masking and the vibrance slider (Kelby really showed the great attributes of this adjustment), you don't necessarily use any or all of these every shot, but when you need them, they can really make a difference compared to the spartan adjustments in Studio, as they should for the difference in cost of the two programs.

2. When you convert a RAW file and save a JPEG in Studio, the highest quality file you can save is only equal to something like a FINE in-camera JPEG. As far as I can see, it will not save a JPEG at the minimal compression levels of an in-camera Large Superfine JPEG. I have shot RAW + Large Superfine JPEG with both my E620 and E30 and have attempted to imitate the JPEG in Studio and, using the same in-camera parameters in Studio settings, have never been able to save a JPEG that turned out the same size as the in-camera Large Superfine JPEG. Highest quality JPEG's I have converted in Studio using the best possible quality settings are consistently 2-3 MB smaller in size than the exact same image that was created in-camera using the Large Superfine setting.

3. When you convert a file in Studio it is saved and subsequently doing anything else in another program requires a second save and I prefer to not have to do that since you are already dealing with a lower quality file due to the limits on quality you can initially assign a converted file in Studio. When you convert a file in ACR, it automatically opens in Photoshop and is not saved until you do so in Photoshop, so if, for instance, you need to use a third-party noise reduction program in the case of a high ISO shot, the file does not get saved the first time until after you do whatever it is you need or want to do in Photoshop, and Photoshop's save-as window allows for much higher quality, lower compression levels.
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Old Mar 3, 2010, 11:33 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by Greg Chappell View Post
I have owned Studio since version 1.0 and currently have version 2.3 on my machine. It does do batches very well, assuming your intent is to output JPEG's a do nothing else to them. It even runs fast enough for me, which is a typical complaint from most who have tried it. You really need a fast processor and plenty of RAM or it will creep. The major issues I have with Studio are:

1. No overexposure recovery tool. If you have any blown highlights, recovery is impossible with Studio. The only real option you have using Studio to try and recover blown highlights, dialing exposure compensation back, only turns a blown area from white to gray, where the Recovery slider in Adobe Camera RAW will actually retrieve detail.

When I upgraded from what was by then an ancient version of ACR in Photoshop CS2 to Photoshop CS4, Adobe Camera RAW was like an all-new program with tons of new toys to play with that made real differences. The Recovery Slider alone puts ACR miles ahead of Studio. Add the Target Adjustment tool, fill light, sharpening masking and the vibrance slider (Kelby really showed the great attributes of this adjustment), you don't necessarily use any or all of these every shot, but when you need them, they can really make a difference compared to the spartan adjustments in Studio, as they should for the difference in cost of the two programs.

2. When you convert a RAW file and save a JPEG in Studio, the highest quality file you can save is only equal to something like a FINE in-camera JPEG. As far as I can see, it will not save a JPEG at the minimal compression levels of an in-camera Large Superfine JPEG. I have shot RAW + Large Superfine JPEG with both my E620 and E30 and have attempted to imitate the JPEG in Studio and, using the same in-camera parameters in Studio settings, have never been able to save a JPEG that turned out the same size as the in-camera Large Superfine JPEG. Highest quality JPEG's I have converted in Studio using the best possible quality settings are consistently 2-3 MB smaller in size than the exact same image that was created in-camera using the Large Superfine setting.

3. When you convert a file in Studio it is saved and subsequently doing anything else in another program requires a second save and I prefer to not have to do that since you are already dealing with a lower quality file due to the limits on quality you can initially assign a converted file in Studio. When you convert a file in ACR, it automatically opens in Photoshop and is not saved until you do so in Photoshop, so if, for instance, you need to use a third-party noise reduction program in the case of a high ISO shot, the file does not get saved the first time until after you do whatever it is you need or want to do in Photoshop, and Photoshop's save-as window allows for much higher quality, lower compression levels.
Sounds like I'm missing some nice tools by not having CS4 and ACR. Maybe someday... As for the JPEG issue with Studio I totally agree, I've noticed that they never seem as sharp as they should. I just save everything as a TIFF instead, though like you say, since that means reopening to tweak I have to save everything twice. Looking at it that way it's not a very efficient workflow. Maybe that's why I never seem to get on top of things pictures wise

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Old Mar 3, 2010, 12:17 PM   #14
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I have saved a file or two from Studio in the TIFF format, but would not want to do that for an infinite number of files. One RAW file from an E30 saved as TIFF in Studio comes out at a 34.9MB size!
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Old Mar 3, 2010, 8:18 PM   #15
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I have saved a file or two from Studio in the TIFF format, but would not want to do that for an infinite number of files. One RAW file from an E30 saved as TIFF in Studio comes out at a 34.9MB size!
It's slightly better with the e-500, only 23MB per image. Uses up disk space fast so in the long run I'm probably better off doing something else.

John
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Old Mar 4, 2010, 7:19 AM   #16
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You can file this in the "for what it's worth file" but the latest Photoshop Elements 8.0 has the CS4 bridge feature that enables the user to edit both Jpegs and RAW files in Adobe Camera RAW 5.6.

When I bought the Mac 21.5, I also installed PSE8. Then downloaded the ACR5.6 from Adobe. While PSE8 certainly isn't as powerful as CS4, I find that I can take advantage of all of the various slider features found in ACR5.6 as described by Greg.

Truth be told, I find that I'm doing very little in PSE8, other than cropping and some noise reduction. ACR 5.6 seems to take care of the bulk of PP.

One other point, I shoot primarily in Superfine Jpeg. I just don't seem to find much of a difference between jpegs coming out of the E-30 vs RAW.

Zig
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Old Mar 4, 2010, 11:31 AM   #17
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You can file this in the "for what it's worth file" but the latest Photoshop Elements 8.0 has the CS4 bridge feature that enables the user to edit both Jpegs and RAW files in Adobe Camera RAW 5.6.

When I bought the Mac 21.5, I also installed PSE8. Then downloaded the ACR5.6 from Adobe. While PSE8 certainly isn't as powerful as CS4, I find that I can take advantage of all of the various slider features found in ACR5.6 as described by Greg.

Truth be told, I find that I'm doing very little in PSE8, other than cropping and some noise reduction. ACR 5.6 seems to take care of the bulk of PP.

One other point, I shoot primarily in Superfine Jpeg. I just don't seem to find much of a difference between jpegs coming out of the E-30 vs RAW.

Zig
Thanks Zig, good to know about that since PSE8 is about the same cost as Studio was. It's probably about time I upgraded my software a bit.

John
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Old Mar 4, 2010, 4:47 PM   #18
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These days I use ACR more to tweek JPEG's myself than to convert RAW files. Even with the digital level in the E30 I manage to sometimes shoot images that are off-balance, mainly when shooting action where trying to stay perfectly level is not at the top of the priorities list for me, and the level tool in ACR is loads better than using the ruler tool in Photoshop.
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