As most of you probably know by now, a few days ago Adobe released ACR 4.3.1. In the release notes it mentioned that there was an update for the new Nikon D300 and Nikon D3 cameras (among other things). I was kind of surprised at this because I thought that the Nikon D300 and Nikon D3 had already been included in the 4.3 update. (You have to excuse my present slightly disoriented state, I seem to have caught some kind of flu a few days ago, that is making it difficult for me to think clearly).
Anyway the appearance of a new ACR gives me an opportunity to run some more comparison tests, this time between Lightroom 1.3 (with the old 4.3 ACR) and Adobe Photoshop CS3 with the new and improved ACR 4.3.1.
I realize that to get the most out of an image in either application, I actually need to push some buttons, slide some sliders and use my brain, but the only way to make a head to head comparison is to let the programs work on auto-pilot and accept their default output.
In Lightroom I just chose Export straight out of the Library, reduced the image and saved to the maximum JPEG quality. In Photoshop CS3 I opened the image in Bridge (which applied the ACR 4.3.1 RAW conversion) with the default setting, reduced the size, applied the USM filter, and saved to JPEG at maximum quality.
Not surprisingly the results are actually quite similar, the only difference I see using Apple Preview (on my Mac) is a very slightly lighter image from Lightroom 1.3 (the preview of this blog actually shows me the opposite in a Mozzila browser), as usual the results will vary on different computers, monitors and browsers.
Update: I checked the results in Safari browser after publishing the Blog posting and the colors are more saturated and the best result (in my opinion) are from Lightroom 1.3 but the Photoshop CS3 images could easily be adjusted to be the same.
The images are of a temple very near my house and were taken on my morning bicycle ride a few days ago. The camera is the Nikon D300 and the lens used for these images is the 60mm f/2.8 AF Micro Nikkor.
Lightroom 1.3 - New temple construction.
PS CS3 & ACR 4.3.1 - New temple construction.
Lightroom 1.3 - Detail of a shrine residing on the side of a tree.
PS CS3 & ACR 4.3.1 - Detail of a shrine residing on the side of a tree.