Last night we released the Camera Raw 4.1 update that includes support for new sharpening and noise reduction functionality as well as support for 13 additional cameras. I’d like to discuss the timing of Camera Raw and Lightroom updates. One of my goals as product manager of both Camera Raw and Lightroom is to have the camera support update of these two applications coincide as closely as possible. However, many have noticed that the official statement from the Camera Raw 4.1 update is that Lightroom will be updated in the “near future.” Why can’t we be more specific? To be honest, it’s driven by the nature of software development. The camera raw plug-in is a discrete portion of code that has quietly matured and delivered numerous incremental updates over the last three years. So when a Camera Raw and DNG Converter update is ready to be released, customers expect Adobe to deliver the solution in the same timely manner that we’ve always provided. Lightroom on the other hand is a brand new product and the team has taken the opportunity to address a number of critiques on Lightroom 1.0 similar to the way the beta program was managed. Testing and qualifying all those improvements is taking more time than it takes us to get the Camera Raw update tested and out the door. I believe that you’ll find it worth the wait. Not only are all the additional raw processing controls found in Camera Raw 4.1 included in the next Lightroom update but we’ve added a few other features that should further streamline your workflow.
For those just looking for the updated camera support, you can use the free DNG Converter to convert your proprietary raw files to a standard that can be read by Lightroom 1.0 as well as prior versions of Adobe’s Camera Raw plug-in. I realize that for many photographers this extra step may not be a viable solution for their high volume workflow. It’s clearly a workaround until the Lightroom 1.1 update is available, something we’re working hard to provide as soon as possible.
Lets keep the dialog going and I look forward to hearing your feedback.