Camera Raw 5.2 packs enhancements, compatibility

The newest rev of Camera Raw for Photoshop CS4 (Mac|Win) adds some much-requested improvements


  • Targeted Adjustment Tool (TAT) for on-image adjustments (i.e. click and drag on a certain color or tonal range to adjust the corresponding values)
  • Output sharpening for print or screen output
  • "Snapshots" for saving multiple sets of settings per file
  • Camera Profiles for enhanced raw file interpretation now available in the Calibration panel


Newly supported camera models:

  • Canon EOS 5D Mark II
  • Canon PowerShot G10
  • Panasonic DMC-G1
  • Panasonic DMC-FX150
  • Panasonic DMC-FZ28
  • Panasonic DMC-LX3
  • Leica D-LUX 4

Lightroom/Camera Raw PM Tom Hogarty provides additional details about the Panasonic/Leica support on the Lightroom Journal blog.  I imagine other Camera Raw/photography-oriented sites and blogs will offer more in-depth coverage of the TAT and other functional improvements soon.

13 thoughts on “Camera Raw 5.2 packs enhancements, compatibility

  1. These are some useful improvements, indeed. Do the ‘snapshots’ correspond to Lightroom’s virtual copies?
    [No, though that was my first thought as well. LR supports both snapshots & virtual copies. Snapshots are sort of waypoints within a file (and only one can be displayed/active at a time), whereas virtual copies show up as separate objects in the Library. Each virtual copy can contain its own set of snapshots.
    Anyway, snapshots in ACR = snapshots in LR. There’s no equivalent of virtual copies in Bridge/ACR. –J.]
    In other words, will it be possible to save all snapshots/virtual copies into the XMP data?
    [Snapshots yes, virtual copies no. –J.]
    This would be useful, as you currently need to set a virtual copy as the master file before the XMP data can be exported. Also, with multiple snapshots, the XMP data could fully back up the Lightroom database.

  2. Given that Lightroom now has a following of its own, I would have thought that rather than go for identical functionality a case could be made for streamlining Camera Raw for input into Photoshop for the real editing work. I’m not a fan of the death-by-a-thousand-sliders interface as you can probably gather.
    [We’re certainly open to suggestions. –J.]
    Still the same limited choices of output spaces I note … maybe 5.3!
    [We don’t expect to make further feature changes to ACR5. Camera compatibility updates will of course continue throughout the lifetime of CS4. –J.]

  3. [Snapshots yes, virtual copies no. –J.]
    That’s a shame. Virtual copies are (IMO) infinitely more useful than snapshots. I often have separate color, b&w and print versions of an image, and currently there’s no way to have these renderings available directly from Photoshop – I need to either open them from Lightroom or do the ‘set as master’ dance. I had hoped this would be addressed.
    Oh well, maybe someone will write a tool that copies the Virtual copies into the snapshots when saving the XMP data.

  4. Hey John,
    Any word on when LR2 is going to get these updated CR bits?
    [I’m told it’s due in November. –J.]
    I’ll have a 5D Mk II in my hands within a day, and would really like to be able to use RAW mode from the get-go.
    [In the short term you can use the free DNG Converter to make your images LR-compatible (not to mention smaller, more portable, etc.). –J.]
    – Will

  5. We’re certainly open to suggestions. –J.
    It boils down to what you think a raw converter is for. To me, this is for setting white-point, exposure etc, selecting the “look” of the image (for which the new profiles are great) and correcting sensor/lens artifacts (noise, CA etc). (There’s lots more that Adobe could do with the last.) The above gets me 95% of the way to where I want the image to be. Then it’s off to Photoshop with its more sophisticated tools for final tonality and colour correction, any local changes, rendering the image for output etc. So anything that can streamline this, the better. This means a focus on the settings that are most relevant to the above conversion, either a reorganization or simply tossing the other 90% of controls (something I admit isn’t likely to happen). The advantages of doing absolutely everything in RAW space are theoretical at best.
    For those people however more comfortable with Lightroom’s interface and after a full featured editor, there’s always Lightroom! Differentiating the two more would also help Adobe’s bottom line.

  6. Jack,
    I downloaded from adobe all the new updates last night.
    Today, CS4 is like a snail….Bridge is crashing repeatably and when I try to crop a small file, CS4 photoshop is freezing.
    You guys have any idea what is happening???
    Before the download, adobe was running like fast ball…
    Help in KY

  7. Just a note, you linked to the ACR download that didn’t have the free DNG Converter. Although the page itself says:
    Adobe Camera Raw and DNG Converter
    I realize now that doesn’t necessarily mean the free stand-alone program. Could be a bit clearer for people downloading, no? I had to download twice to get the stand-alone converter.
    Well, better than last time when the link on Adobe’s download page lead Mac users to download the Windows version and visa versa (and wasn’t fixed for days.) 😀

  8. John,
    I know this has nothing to do with the topic, but I couldn’t think of anywhere else to post it. I saw this today on the USA Today site and wondered if you had gotten a promotion. If so congratulations! [Quote:] “A good graphics card will now blow away other computers that don’t have them,” says John Nack, Adobe senior vice president. [/Quote]
    [Hah! No such luck, I’m afraid. (Well, I don’t know if I’m afraid. Every time I see my boss’s boss shuffle out of Adobe at 9pm or see him sending email after midnight, I’m reminded of a scene in Vonnegut’s “Cat’s Cradle.” The wealthy industrialist who’s given up everything to work with the poor is surveying a leper colony, clasps his hand on his son’s shoulder and says, “Son, someday all this will be yours…” ;-P) –J.]

  9. Hello John,
    Is TAT something like Nik’s U Points? If so, it’s a feature that might make CS4 attractive for me.
    Enabling TAT for each paramter (NR, Levels, Color Balance etc…) Just like the control points in Capture NX would be amazing!
    [It’s not as full-featured an approach as what Nik offers. The TAT in both Camera Raw and Lightroom lets you click and drag on the image to adjust values directly, but it works globally instead of in specified regions. (U Points let you specify things like radius & falloff for the effect.) –J.]

  10. Hi John
    Do you know how long before we see an update for Lightroom to mirror the new ACR?
    [It should arrive this month. –J.]
    Hi John
    Have just got my hands on Canon 5D Mark II.
    If I just make adjustments in ACR will the adjustments transfer over to an updated Lightroom when it does arrive?
    [You bet. You could also convert the files to DNG to make them LR-compatible right now. –J.]

  11. Hi John,
    Thanks for responding to my message.
    I have downloaded the upto date DNG converter, however it won’t convert the images. I have tried different settings but still no joy. If I put the images through Bridge CS4 I am able to use ACR to convert fine.
    Any ideas what I might be doing wrong?

  12. I am taking a class using Photoshop Elements 6 and will also use Adobe Camera Raw plugin? what is the program I will need to install on my computer. I know for Photo 6 but never hear of the other. thanks.

  13. So I have just spent weeks scanning my photos and some, as you might expect are mirrored. Horror of horror, I now have to flip in and out of photoshop to correct this simple problem, unless someone can enlighten me how to achive the same result in bridge.

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