Big Adobe Updates October 2021

Am about to take myself to the library so I can download the new versions of Lightroom and Photoshop and the TK8 panel plug in. My home internet access won’t cut it for this!

If I hadn’t dove into the Ps pool quite so deeply, I might be more excited about the masking and other tools in Lightroom, but I still am. Keeping the processing time and workflow down is a bonus IMO. Especially now that it’s crept up quite a bit.

Seems like there’s new view options in the filter selection in Grid view. And you can customize the Default metadata section which is also appealing since I cut and paste that info for photos I post here on NPN.

If anyone has anything interesting to report about their upgrade experience, feel free to chime in. Also if you find any hidden treasures, share those, too.

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Just upgraded LR… Getting somewhat annoyed with the need to upgrade my catalogs, but the changes seem to justify the trouble. I fiddled with the new masking panel. It is interesting and I think it has a lot of potentials and will probably save me from going into PS most of the time.

I had a successful upgrade. So far no bugs encountered, after a few hours of editing. My catalog conversion was VERY fast for a large catalogue. Note there is now a “lrcat-data” file in addition to the standard catalog file… Does anyone know what is saved to this new file? I assume it is related to the new mask features. Just make sure that your catalog backup procedures include this file.

BTW there are numerous YouTube videos now posted which detail the new masking features. The new interface has enough nuances to make it worth while watching a few.

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After a busy day I’m finally getting back to this. Updating the catalog now. 4 minutes and it’s done. That was fast!

Adobe seems to imply that the new Canons , such as the R5 and R6 are now compatible with ACR. Has anyone been able to verify this. I don’t have either, but contemplating getting the R5. I know there were issues in the past with people going to DXO . Are they now fixed? Thanks for any info.

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I just tried opening a couple files after updating ACR and PhotoShop… the files look as noisy as they did before, so I’m not sure what they’re referring to.

I’ve had the R5 for a year and it’s been compatible with ACR and LR from almost the beginning. It always takes a while to catch up with new cameras, and you need to download new versions after a camera has been included.

I don’t own the R5, but this is what’s new in the October 2021 release for the R5, R6, R3, and 1DX Mark III

I typically use the camera matching profiles as a starting place for my cameras, rather than more generic Adobe Color, Adobe Standard, etc.

I’m not sure everyone picked up on this. I believe this reference (DXO over ACR) points to the fact that some photographers are citing the excessive noise that appears in R5 and R6 files when processed with ACR. Some folks have been championing the DXO Raw software because they’ve been able to get cleaner files out of it before importing into their processing workflow.

So it’s not a question of basic compatibility (as Diane stated, ACR has been compatible with these camera files for some time), but whether there have been any improvements made in how ACR handles the files.

I have not used DXO’s software, so I can’t tell you whether the method folks are employing with it simply involves extra noise reduction (something one can do in ACR), or if it’s actually creating a less-noisy image by default thanks to more accurate profiles. But as I stated, my Raw files look more or less the same out of ACR when it comes to noise, even after this latest update.

Now I understand your question about compatibility – LR/ACR now has “matching” (as best as possible) profiles for the in-camera profiles that you choose for JPEG shooting and for the appearance of the previews in the camera (which are JPEGs, not an accurate representation of the raw file, which is not possible . The camera-matching profiles are often better than the Adobe profiles, but not always.

These profiles shouldn’t do anything in the way of NR. The best solution for that remains with the current version of Topaz DeNoise. Go into PS with no changes to NR in ACR/LR and use it the first thing you do. Compare the various “algorithms” at a 100% view but the Auto choice is usually the best by far.

If your workflow is only DxO I can’t answer your question but I can say that I looked at their denoise thing when it came out (PureRAW or something like that?) and found it sadly lacking.

I’ve found that often the best strategy is to use the TK linear profile, which removes a canned curve and gives you the leeway to adjust tonalities to each image. It starts out looking very flat, but you can usually create a wonderful look with a few slider moves, and you have more leeway to recover highlights. If there is not a linear profile for your camera, you can send a raw file to Tony and he will create one and add it to the growing list.

My results with DXO Pure RAW are far superior to anything I ever got with Topaz. I know your results were different. The only issue that I ever saw complaints about were the apparent over sharpening. The current version has the option to turn off the sharpening. It was only apparent when using lower ISO images anyway, which just isn’t necessary.

Not trying to have a debate, just adding my opinion that for me, Topaz is slow, inconsistent in it’s application of noise reduction and not a tool that I use. Each person gets to make up their own mind about what works and doesn’t.

@Keith, I certainly respect your opinion and results, and I’m not trying to argue or sound all-knowing. The sharpening thing with Pure RAW might have been the problem I saw, but I’m puzzled that it was released with an issue that you can now turn off. There is really very little that can be done to an image to sharpen it more than 2-3 pixels.

Topaz is slow, but I have never seen inconsistencies using the newest algorithm of Low Light. Some of the legacy ones that are still there (Standard, Clear and Severe Noise) definitely leave areas where they don’t reach around details like small branches or give small oversharpened areas. Low LIght is always the auto choice whenever I use it and I leave it at the Auto settings, and it has always worked excellently for me, with all ISOs up to hideous. Inspecting at 100% is the only way to be sure of the results.

Ummm… EVERY software vendor updates software and adds / removes functionality. If there was a company that could ever release the perfect answer in one try, they’d own the entire market. We’ll never see that because humans write software. I should know, I was in the industry for 34 years.

I don’t use LR because I prefer to manage my images manually through Bridge and I can say Bridge’s performance is improved on a Mac. Photoshop updated nicely and migrated my plugins over nicely. I do 99% of my processing in Capture One these days, only moving to PS for the occasional step. I really should find a cheaper alternative to Bridge so I could drop the entire Adobe subscription. But I know I would miss PS and Bridge so…there you go. :smirk:

I really should find a cheaper alternative to Bridge so I could drop the entire Adobe subscription.

If you need something for organizing (renaming, captioning, keywording, etc.), have you considered Photo Mechanic? As long as you’re not on a networked NAS drive it’s pretty fast and effective. I’ve been using PM for over fifteen years(?) at this point, dating back to when it was the go-to organizational tool among pro sports photographers.

I mention the NAS thing because I made the mistake of switching to a Synology drive system earlier this year—connected via ethernet—and it slowed everything down, including PM. Bridge was actually slightly faster, but I didn’t like the preview functionality. Now that I’ve switched to a different drive setup that plugs directly into my computer (via Thunderbolt), I’m back to PM and happy again.

Thanks Max, I will check out PM. The last time I looked at it, it seemed a bit antiquated in its interface. But it was a fast little demon.

@Kris_Smith , does the installation of the new version of LR automatically “update” my current catalog? Or is updating my current catalog a separate step I’ll need to take?

For some reason I’ve been hesitant to download the new version of LR …don’t know why…I’ve updated prior version upgrades before. But maybe the talk about the catalog being updated, and the idea of a new workflow with the new Mask panel is holding me back.

When you open Lr for the first time with the new version, it will pop a dialog box up for you to rename the catalog, when you do that it will go through and update the ‘hooks’ for the new tools so to speak. I just named mine something like 2021Rename. It was done in minutes.

Don’t let the new tools throw you off. Although they are organized differently than they are now, they work exactly the same if you want them to. Even if you never use any of the luminance, color or intersection bits, you will LOVE being able to name each of those edits. So if you use a brush to bring up a section, you can call it that. When you use a gradient for sky saturation and then another one for clarity, you can call them by those things. Coming back to an image after a while is so much easier with this labeling instead of a scattering of pins you have to turn on and off to see what they do. Oh and there are different kinds of pins now, too, so that makes selecting them easier once you know what each type is.

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Thanks @Kris_Smith, this helps a lot!

You’re very welcome, @Mark_Muller. Here are some links to a couple videos I found helpful -

The first one is almost an hour long and the second about half that.

Also, when you’re in the Mask Mode or Panel in Lr, hovering over any pin shows the overlay so you can see what area is being affected. There are lots of other subtle improvements as well. I like it even though I’ve been using Photoshop pretty intensely over the last 10 months or so and diving deep into the TK8 panels. I think they both have their place in my workflow.

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