Following up on the announcement that Adobe is acquiring Pixmantec, we’ve posted an FAQ document (60KB PDF). A couple of key points:
- Registered customers who purchased RawShooter Premium will be able to download the shipping version of Lightroom 1.0 for free
- Although RawShooter Essentials & RawShooter Premium are being discontinued, there will still be an update to add support for the Canon 30D.
For convenience, I’ve included the text of the FAQ below:
Q: Why has Adobe acquired Pixmantec?
A: One of the great advantages of working with raw images is that, as the technology for raw processing continues to improve, the quality you can bring out of even your older images continues to improve as well. It is for this reason that Adobe continues to invest in our own raw processing technology. The acquisition of Pixmantec will allow Adobe to accelerate our rate of improvement and sets us up to deliver the world’s best raw processing solutions. Combining the best of Adobe’s existing raw technology with the best of Pixmantec’s technology will deliver noticeable improvements to photographers. More importantly, the expertise of Pixmantec founders Kenneth Tang Laerke and Michael Jonsson—developed through their work creating the RawShooter products as well as through their work on Capture One software—will be a great complement to our own expertise and promises substantial technology advances in the future.
Q: What are the plans for the RawShooter line of products?
A: The RawShooter | Premium product has been discontinued and is no longer available for sale. The free RawShooter | Essentials product will remain available as a download from the Adobe Web site until shortly after Lightroom 1.0 is released as a shipping product. The RawShooter | Color Engine will be taken off the market as soon as existing obligations to partners are fulfilled.
Q: Will there be special pricing for those who have invested in RawShooter | Premium?
A: We have listened closely to the opinions shared by customers on the Pixmantec forums and although Lightroom will provide a much broader range of functionality than RawShooter | Premium and will be offered at a higher price point, we will be offering a free downloadable version of Lightroom 1.0 to all customers who have purchased RawShooter | Premium.
Q: Why does Adobe plan to discontinue the RawShooter products?
A: Pixmantec has strong technology which has significant value for making Adobe’s own raw processing solutions better. Adobe already offers multiple workflows for processing raw images. Adobe Bridge and Adobe Camera Raw—both included with Adobe Photoshop® CS2—allow for efficient processing of images within an environment that supports a wide range of graphics file formats. The new Lightroom software—currently in public beta for Mac and soon available for Windows—provides a photography-centric environment that will handle the full workflow from import, sorting, developing, and storage, through to presentation and output. In addition, some level of raw support is also available in Adobe Photoshop Elements and in the free Photoshop Album Starter Edition. The Raw Shooter products do not offer any significant functionality that is not already, or will not be shortly, offered in these other products, so continuing this product line would only cause confusion for our customers.
Q: What level of support will Adobe provide for existing RawShooter customers?
A: Pixmantec’s primary customer support offering has been an online forum where customers can post questions to be answered by other customers or by Pixmantec staff. We will support these forums for the foreseeable future.
Q: Lightroom is currently available only for the Mac platform, and RawShooter is available on Windows. Do you plan to turn RawShooter into your Windows version of Lightroom?
A: No. Our Windows version of Lightroom is already well under development and will be available as a public beta shortly. We will be taking the best technology in RawShooter and incorporating it into both the Mac and Windows versions of Lightroom, as well as into Adobe Camera Raw as it appears in Photoshop and other products. Incorporating RawShooter technology will take development time and may not be available within immediate versions of Lightroom. Customers who would like to be notified when the Windows beta of Lightroom becomes available should visit http://labs.adobe.com/technologies/lightroom/ and click on the “sign up” link.
Q: Will Adobe continue to provide camera compatibility updates for the RawShooter products?
A: No. Because these products will be discontinued, we will not be focusing our efforts on any updates. Based on strong feedback from the community, Adobe will make an exception for the Canon EOS 30D and will add support for this model to the RawShooter | Essentials product this summer.
Q: After the discontinuation of the RawShooter products, which Adobe product will be the right choice for RawShooter customers?
A: Of course, customers can continue to use the existing RawShooter products for as long as they like, but they may want to move to another product to gain compatibility with raw formats from future cameras. The most appropriate Adobe product for RawShooter users will be Adobe Lightroom, because it provides efficient raw processing within a photography-centric environment. With its image management and flexible print and Web output options, Lightroom provides a more complete workflow than what is currently offered by RawShooter, and its modular architecture will allow it to expand to do even more in the future. Current RawShooter customers are encouraged to participate in the free Project:Lightroom beta program, so that they can make sure that the features they like most about RawShooter are included in the shipping version of Lightroom. Though only the Macintosh beta is currently available for download, the Windows beta will be available soon, and Windows customers are already encouraged to participate in the online forums to have their wishes known. To participate in the beta, customers can visit http://labs.adobe.com/technologies/lightroom/.
Q: Will Adobe support the effort I’ve put into editing images in RawShooter Premium with their current line of raw processing software?
A: Adobe is investigating the technical possibility of providing a conversion of RawShooter | Premium settings to match those of Adobe Camera Raw and Adobe Lightroom as closely as possible. Because the controls are different between applications, the results may not produce an exact match to the original.