If your workflow requires that you edit individual images, or that you batch-process images with identical settings, Photoshop Camera Raw may be for you. It offers an elegant way to bring the images into Photoshop. However, this plug-in isn't a substitute for an industrial-strength converter, such as the considerably more expensive CaptureOne, from PhaseOne.
Price when reviewed
Best prices today
Price comparison from over 24,000 stores worldwide
Photoshop Camera Raw
Adobe's new Photoshop Camera Raw plug-in is an ambitious effort on Adobe's part to add support for raw image data captured by a number of popular professional-level digital cameras to Photoshop 7.0. The plug-in's advantage over other formats is its ability to reinterpret white balance and default tone curves, and to override the in-camera settings for sharpening, smoothing, and artifact removal. However, while Photoshop Camera Raw offers much faster conversions than a camera's native software, its batch processing is limited to applying the same settings to every image. This product provides a simple but powerful user interface for massaging a raw image, and it then delivers the image in either 8- or 16-bits-per-channel form, converted into any of the standard Photoshop work spaces. The plug-in also offers a new resizing algorithm that delivers noticeably better results than Photoshop's Bicubic interpolation. Photoshop Camera Raw's colour conversions have already been debated heatedly online. For each supported camera, the plug-in uses two generic profiles: one for D65 illumination and the other for tungsten. The white-balance slider interpolates between the two. On the cameras we used, a Canon EOS-1Ds and a Kodak DCS 460, we obtained better results from Photoshop Camera Raw than from custom profiles, but owners of other cameras, notably the Nikon D1X, have reported less-satisfactory results.