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Gear & Apps

What Adobe’s Big News About CS6 & ACR Means For You

By Kishore Sawh on July 30th 2015

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In what will undoubtedly cause quite a ruckus within our community, Adobe has finally announced that those who own Adobe Photoshop CS6 will now have their last update of ACR. Wording here, is quite important, as this effectively affects those who have purchased Photoshop CS6 outright, and this latest ACR 9.1.1 will bring with it the last updates and profiles to this time. The next iteration of Camera Raw, ACR 9.2, likely, will not be able to work with CS6. You’ll have to be a member of Adobe Creative Cloud, the subscription plan, for that.

This shouldn’t really come as a surprise, given the broad success of the Creative Cloud, which has enabled a legion of people to get to use Photoshop and Lightroom whom otherwise wouldn’t necessarily have, whilst cutting down on piracy.

Here’s what Adobe had to say:

In order to pursue further innovations in image processing and workflow technology, the next release of Adobe Camera Raw (v 9.1.1) will be the final version available for use with CS6. Customers can utilize the free Adobe DNG Converter utility to receive the very latest camera support for CS6 and older versions of our software going all the way back to Photoshop CS2 and Lightroom 1.0.

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That’s the short of it, but there’s more to it.

The subscription cloud plan has allowed for many updates to be rolled out quickly and effectively, and we all benefit from that. No doubt Adobe envisions this as a push towards furthering a heightened experience and their profit margins. All understandable. But what if you have CS6?

Well, if you just got a camera, and so far all your cameras are supported by 9.1.1, then you’re somewhat ok for now, but once you change cameras or get one that’s not supported, and then you’re going to run into the wall. This wall has a way around it, but it’s just not going to do much for efficiency. What you’ll end up having to do for your RAW images to work in Photoshop CS6 is to convert them to a digital negative, otherwise known as the DNG format.

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You could always use the DNG format within Photoshop, but it wasn’t always necessary as it will be for you now (in reference to those who fall into the category above). Those who may still be using older versions of Photoshop and Lightroom will be acquainted with this workaround.

It’s important to understand that, natively, Photoshop doesn’t open RAW files in its own right, but rather they must first be filtered/processed through Camera Raw then into Photoshop. The DNG converter essentially takes the camera model’s/brand’s proprietary RAW format and magics them into a file that any version of Camera Raw is then able to get along with, and then, into Photoshop. The DNG converter will continually be updated, I believe, at no cost, so this workaround should work for some time, if not always. So you may be thinking then that this workaround is all there is to it, but it’s not.

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If you’re used to having and using your Lens Profile Corrections option in Camera Raw, know that they are not available in DNG Converter, so this means that if you do need this workaround and have a camera supported by ACR 9.1.1, any new lens profile corrections included from now on will be out of reach for you.

This is actually something I can’t live with, since I’m in love with ACR, and you can see this link on getting perfect skin tones with it, and how to make the most of graduated filters with it, as two small reasons why.

[REWIND: Render Impeccable Skin Tone Easily, Using Camera Raw & A Slider You Didn’t Know Existed]

ACR 9.1.1 – What It Brings

As is the usual, this latest version of ACR brings with it a hefty list of new camera and lens profile support and some bug fixes for both Photoshop and Lightroom. Each has its own respective page to tell about updates, but here is the lion’s share of it:

Photoshop:

* Please note the following limitations specific to camera support for the Pentax K-3 II

  •  Pixel Shift Resolution (PSR) mode was added in this release. It is recommended to use a tripod and use a 2-second timer to minimize motion artifacts when in PSR mode.
  • Images created with the In-camera HDR mode are not supported in ACR and Lightroom.  Users who wish to shoot multi-capture HDR in raw mode should shoot separate files and merge to HDR using ACR/Lr’s Merge feature.

Fixed Bugs:

  • Fixed an issue with occasional visual artifacts in Photoshop after running Camera Raw in GPU mode.
  • Fixed an issue where automatic lens profile matching did not work for the Schneider LS 150mm f/3.5 lens.
  • Fixed an issue with distortion correction for some images captured with the Canon EF 8-15mm f4L Fisheye USM lens.
  • Improved quality of lens profiles for Nikon COOLPIX P330 and Nikon COOLPIX P340 cameras.
  • Improved speed of loading Fujifilm X-Trans raw images.
  • Fixed an issue where the slider knob would “jump back to its starting position” when the cursor moves beyond the slider interface.

Lightroom:

Bug Fixes:

    • Unable to merge files to HDR. Please note that this only occurred with DNG files taken with a Leica Monochrom camera.
    • Enterprise customers were unable to access functionality only available in the Creative Cloud version of Lightroom, such as Dehaze.
    • People keywords export when they shouldn’t if “Write Keywords as Lightroom Hierarchy” is selected.
    • Preview generation and export were slower in LrCC/Lr6 than Lr5.
    • Customers reported that they could not exit full screen after invoking it while spot heal tool is selected.
    • D810 NEF Files could not select Adobe Standard Profile.
    • Size adjustment bar moving when clicked, but the value listed was not updating accordingly.
    • Metadata Export setting not working for Track, Square and Grid galleries in the Web Module.
    • Collection name changes were not properly reflected in other Lightroom clients (such as mobile or web). This only impacted collections enabled for sync.
    • Incorrect metadata timestamp in a Panorama created in Lr.
    • Some files in exported batch are Blank with Watermark only.
    • LR was not properly exporting all photos. Please note that this typically only occurred when the customer was running Bridge at the same time as the export.
    • Customers reported seeing a “Waiting for connection” message inside Lightroom when Internet is available.

For the full list of cameras and lenses updates, Like the Sony a7RII, and other updates within the new ACR, see here for Photoshop, and here for Lightroom.

Download the DNG Converter here for MAC and PC.

About

A photographer and writer based in Miami, he can often be found at dog parks, and airports in London and Toronto. He is also a tremendous fan of flossing and the happiest guy around when the company’s good.

Q&A Discussions

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  1. Bob Rebecca

    To prevent Adobe Photoshop CS6 Extended raw for your new camera not working in the future, you can use something even better which are DxO Optics and OnOne Photoshop Plugins. They do not cost much and just about anyone will find using these Photoshop Plugins will like them because with them you will be able to do things that would be impossible or very difficult or very time consuming with just Photoshop alone. Also you need more than just Photoshop so having other Adobe software like Illustrator, Indesign, Acrobat, Dreamweaver etc that comes with the Adobe CS6 Master Collection will be very useful. Check this out.
    http://perfect-shareware.com/adobecs6masterspecialoffer.htm

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  2. Herm Tjioe

    Another passing of an era

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  3. Jerry Jackson

    As several others have said, there are quite a few quality RAW converters and editing suites on the market. Adobe seems to not only want to ignore the fact that Capture One, DXO, AfterShot and others exist (and do some things better than Adobe) but Adobe also keeps giving customers reasons to look at alternatives thanks to a continuous stream of unpopular decisions.

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  5. David Hall

    Well, I knew I couldn’t stay stand alone forever.

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    • Dustin Baugh

      Well you can, just don’t get a new camera made after this month (or if you do, just use DNG converter).

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  6. Paul Empson

    When Adobe first launched their subscription model… I looked around at other software, then they did a reasonably priced PS & LR bundle and I’ve been with that from the start and find it excellent…

    However if I was not doing this for a living I think I’d be using different SW as the on going cost for an amateur or hobbyist would not appeal…

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  7. Timothy Linn

    This seems like a worthwhile post, Kishore, but I could have done without the shilling for Adobe’s software rental scheme. No doubt it is an advantage for some and a legitimate screw job for others. The only thing that isn’t really debatable is that it has proven to be a boon for Adobe shareholders.

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    • Kishore Sawh

      Timothy, hi there. It’s certainly no secret that the subscription model isn’t for everyone, but I truly believe this is just the software industry trying to stay ahead and even IN business. Just as film and music industries have evolved, so has to everything else, no matter how much we may want certain things to stay the same. I feel it pertinent to interject here, however, I would also like for there to be an option to purchase the SW outright, and I get no kickback from Adobe to promote their stuff – I just think that for those who use the program continually, $10 a month is not a bad deal for updated software. My opinion, anyway. Cheers.

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    • Dustin Baugh

      I didn’t really read anything in there that was “shilling” for CC other than a line where he liked that method.

      Why does the subscription plan bring up such vitriol with some people? If you support it you’re a traitor to the cause, The revolution will not be subscribed!

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    • Jerry Jackson

      I can’t (and won’t) speak for everyone who dislikes Adobe’s implementation of the subscription model, but my “vitriol” was the direct result of Adobe dropping the ball within the first 12 months of starting the subscription model with Creative Cloud. My credit card information and the credit card information of many others was compromised and I had to get a new credit card and start a fraud monitoring service. Too many consumers blindly sign up for subscription services that store credit information and have weak security. The reality is that there are MANY ways to implement a subscription model that wouldn’t involve Adobe keeping subscribers’ personal financial information on file as a target for hackers.

      Adobe recently added a “prepaid card” solution, so you can obtain a year’s worth of access to CC without leaving your credit information vulnerable, but that should be the PRIMARY way it’s handled … not a distant second option.

      Don’t get me wrong; I don’t hate Adobe … but I do hate that so many businesses jump at the idea of getting and keeping customer credit card data and then do such a pathetic job of protecting it.

      If you are reading this and dismissing it as paranoia and a problem that will never happen to you when you let companies store your credit card data online then you have been very lucky so far … but luck eventually runs out.

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    • Mark Romine

      In additional to what Jerry has written and I totally agree with him. I personally don’t like subscriptions because they can simply eat your business alive. They add up faster than you think. They never seem like much at the time you sign up for them, $9.99 here, $19.99 there a month etc. You feel like, oh that’s not much money, I can handle another $10, $20 or whatever it is because it’s such a small amount. Man can that sneak up on you.

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  8. Colin Woods

    I don’t use LR (I am a DxO Optics fan) but I use Bridge all the time as my browser. I use CS5 and since ACR support was dropped from CS5 Bridge no longer gives thumbnails of my RAW files from my D750, just little NEF icons. This is a real pain as I can no longer use Bridge as my browser. I’ll use this space to give a plug for OnOne’s software; their Perfect Browse is excellent, blazingly fast with big thumbnails and sharp previews.

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