Raw processing

I've been making quite a big thing out of the fact that there is no support as yet for the Olympus E-P3 in either Photoshop or Lightroom. Indeed, at the moment Adobe is a little slow in releasing ACR 6.5. There is a beta version normally available of new updates and Dpreview have already mentioned that they are using it. However for some reason Adobe have chosen to keep this one secret. 

The Panasonic G3 and Sony NEX-C3, cameras which have been released a while are also unsupported. 

This does make a difference to me, as I always get my best results using Adobe Camera Raw. Quite simply I find the parameters for the adjustments are more sophisticated, enable greater control and work much quicker than the fairly ordinary software that is bundled with cameras.

Here are some examples of what I'm currently using for the Nikon D7000.

These are the basic settings I will use. Most are determined by the information within the file, but if shot outdoors I always make sure the white balance is set to daylight and recovery is full on to give the highlights as much protection as possible.

As a further aid to highlight protection I use the above tone curve.

In terms of sharpening I add quite a lot but keep the radius setting quite slow. This does add some luminance noise to the image and I generally select all the sky in Photoshop and "smooth" it out. My benchmark as to how a file should look is my Leica M9. By using this amount of sharpening I'm able to get the look of an image shot with a sensor that has no anti-aliasing filter. 

The D7000 files are actually quite soft due to the AA filter and as far as I'm concerned need more sharpening than say my Olympus or Leica cameras. I have different settings for them.

After a bit of straightening and tidying up in Photoshop, I then make sure I'm happy with all the colours and contrast, adjust them if I'm not, and I end up with a finished file.

I do very little batch processing and work on the files on an individual basis, which takes time but ensures good results. I've never been able to get this level of control and speed in any other software, including Lightroom, and this explains my impatience for Adobe to release their new version of ACR.