Algorithmic Differences in ACR and Lightroom


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Jul 10, 2013
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I can't seem to find people on the net noticing this, but... I have noticed that Camera Raw seems much more finely tuned to correcting chromatic aberrations. Also, the grain to my eyes is of a much higher quality in Camera Raw.

And this I find quite plainly despite reading that ACR and LR are basically the same under the hood? There must be some sort of algorithmic differences where these apps are concerned. And I find it quite unfortunate because obviously the workflow in LR is... well there is a workflow and ACR is kinda just there.

Am I missing something?
ACR first appeared for use with Photoshop 7. Photoshop CS 6 would be Photoshop 13 had they not adopted the CS nomenclature calling Photoshop 8, CS.
Lightoom 4 and CS 6 both use ACR 7.
Lightoom 3 and CS 5 both use ACR 6.
Lightoom 2 and CS 4 both use ACR 5.
Lightoom and CS 3 both use ACR 4.

Lightroom's Develop module and Photoshop's Camera Raw are the same software - Adobe Camera Raw (ACR), though there are some slight feature differences.

For instance, in Camera Raw you can choose the working bit-depth and color space Camera Raw uses. You don't have those choices in Lightroom's Develop module.
In the Lightroom Develop module you have some Crop tool guide options that Camera Raw does not have.

Digital images don't have 'grain'. They have image noise.

The author of these books, Jeff Schewe, has been involved with Lightroom's development (Codename - Shadowland) from the beginning back in 2002.
Real World Camera Raw with Adobe Photoshop CS5
The Digital Negative: Raw Image Processing in Lightroom, Camera Raw, and Photoshop
Real World Image Sharpening with Adobe Photoshop, Camera Raw, and Lightroom (2nd Edition)

PhotoshopNews: Photoshop News and Information » Archive » The Shadowland/Lightroom Development Story
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Digital images don't have 'grain'. They have image noise.

Right. I meant the FX grain. It just looks better in ACR to me. And the chromatic aberration correction actually works in ACR. Well. But in LR it is essentially useless half the time.

I am using Creative Cloud, if that makes a difference.

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