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Old May 21, 2006, 8:35 PM   #1
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If you are using an older version (say, 3.2 or older) of ACR and CS2 update- I highly recommend downloading them. I was using ACR 3.2 (I had downloaded it for the Panasonic) and never bothered to update to 3.3 when it came out - just thought it added newer cameras. So a little while ago, I downloaded 3.4 and took a look at some of the pictures I had converted Friday - the difference in the way the 2 versions handle color is significantly better. I have to thank Steve's Digicams breaking news item for alerting me to the updates.
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Old May 25, 2006, 10:20 PM   #2
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I appreciate the info on the new ACR update, but I compared the new 3.4 to my existing 3.3, and there's no difference in color rendering on my DS2 RAW files. I even checked with Difference blending mode, and as far as I can tell, they're identical.

So, it seems mtngal's improvements got made between versions 3.2 and 3.3, but no further changes between 3.3 and 3.4.

Which is a shame, because I personally dislike ACR's handling of the reds in my DS2 files. SilkyPix is much better, though I lean toward Pentax PhotoLab (natural image mode). Maybe not the best detail, but I like the colors.

For comparison, here are 100% crops of a test I did with these converters.

Dan
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Old May 26, 2006, 4:31 AM   #3
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Just out of curiosity, when you look at the 'Calibrate' Tab on ACR does it actually state 3.4 - on my system even having deleted the original Camera Raw.8bi file, & replaced it with the latest version, it states the version as 3.1.

My preference is still for Pentax PhotoLab v2 -it produces sharper images with a more vibrant image than PPL v2 - however, ACR does produce images with better detail albeit slightly bland (or is that more natural).
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Old May 26, 2006, 9:19 AM   #4
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Catbells, good question. I use PS Elements 3 on a Mac, so I don't see a Calibrate tab, but I made sure to check the About Camera Raw menu item to confirm I was using 3.3 and 3.4 respectively. I'm no expert, but as far as I can tell, no difference between 3.3 and 3.4.

And, I should probably give more details about my little comparison. I tried to keep everything "as-shot." The Pentax Photo Lab conversions were done with zero settings for contrast, saturation, and sharpness, and no adjustments to color or exposure...the only change was from Natural to Bright. The ACR conversions were done with all the Auto boxes unchecked (default settings for everything), and As-Shot (Camera Setting) white balance. Same for SilkyPix -- Camera Setting color balance, default everything else.

ACR's rendering of the red dinosaur toy as less saturated and more orange is typical of what it does to my other photos. I like converting with PPL Natural and doing my own sharpening and color adjustments. YMMV, and it's all personal preference, of course. I'm looking forward to the new PPL software with the SilkyPix engine.

Dan
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