Adobe Camera RAW – big (ish) changes


I sat down to edit a set of pictures this morning and went through my normal routine before actually touching the RAW files:

  1. Calibrate monitor
  2. Check for application updates
  3. Restart the computer

All went well, I had a cup of coffee and then opened the set of pictures as a contact sheet in Photo Mechanic. I went through, added the relevant IPTC captions and then imported the selected images into Adobe Camera RAW and then I noticed that a new icon had appeared in the tools on the right hand side of the screen. A small ‘film strip’ had appeared in Camera RAW 10.3 and below that a new ‘treatment’ option was sitting there offering me the choice between Color (surely they mean Colour?) and Black & White with the choice of profile sitting there in a much more convenient place than it ever has been before.

Change is good. Isn’t it?

So before I got on with my actual job (don’t worry, the deadline was 24 hours away at this point) I decided to explore all of the changes that I could find in my most use programme and that meant a quick visit to one of Adobe’s better help sites. I’m not going to go into the details of every single change but I think that it’s worth quoting this from the Adobe Blog on the topic:

“In this release, we’re making Profiles more discoverable by changing how you access them. In Lightroom Classic CC and Adobe Camera Raw, we’ve moved profiles from the Camera Calibration panel to the Basic panel and we’re now adding them into Lightroom CC (on Macintosh, Windows, iOS, Android, and ChromeOS) at the top of the edit panel.

We’ve also greatly expanded their capabilities with six brand new Adobe Raw profiles, over 40 new Creative profiles, and an all new Profile Browser that lets you quickly compare and select the best profile for your photo. Camera Matching profiles, which were previously available in Adobe Camera Raw and Lightroom Classic, are now available in Lightroom CC. Furthermore, we’ve also started working with a number of top preset creators to enable them to create their own unique profiles, some of which are available today.”

In practice these changes are pretty positive and it only took me a few minutes to realise that you can easily hide all of the options in Profiles that you aren’t interested in. All of the old options are still there – just in a slightly different place – and within five minutes I’d hidden what I wasn’t interested in whilst noting that it was a very simple task to restore the defaults and show all of the options again. The big advantage is that you no longer have to go via the ‘Calibration’ icon to find what are now called profiles. Adobe’s YouTube Channel has a simple video explaining how to make the most of Profiles and I’d strongly advise you to watch it – although the audio is very poor. For the record I really like Adobe Vivid as a starting point for those images that will mostly be used for the web and/or social media by my clients but I’m pretty sure that the bulk of the rest of my work will rely on my old user presets.

When I moved to the ‘Presets’ icon I found lots of interesting changes there too and I was equally happy when I realised that it was a simple task to hide most of those. Simply by right-clicking (or ctrl+click on a Mac) you can choose to hide an option and so things like ‘Creative’, ‘Grain’ and ‘Black & White’ were gone in seconds to help keep my workspace as un-cluttered as it can be. The update had kept my own user presets intact and in their own sub-section called ‘User Presets’.

Once I finally got down to editing the set of pictures it was the tiniest bit faster than before and that’s never a bad thing. In just under two hours the job was finished and delivered to the client and an hour further on I had written the first draft of this blog post.


I have yet to explore these changes in the various Lightroom versions that run on my Macs and on my iOS devices but, if this is anything to go by, I’ll be happy with them there too. In the meantime the Adobe blog explains it all.


  1. This is Photoshop CC? Right? I ask because I am still using CS6 stand-alone version because I don’t like subscription-based models where IF I stop subscribing, I would no longer be able to open RAW files. That said, I am looking at moving to CC because my version of Adobe Camera RAW would not open the files of the cameras I am looking at (possibly) buying. I know (think) I could open them in Affinity Photo and convert to PSDs and work forward from there – but that seems a struggle. What are your thoughts about the Adobe stranglehold on files? (Maybe ‘stranglehold’s is too emotive a word for a rational discussion – but that’s what it feels like.)


    1. I’ve been with CC since the very beginning and I find that it costs about the same to pay monthly than it did to upgrade when new versions came out. My cameras are not supported by CS6 anyway and because I shoot with Canon I have the luxury of having their own (free) Digital Photo Professional application should Photoshop ever desert me. The latest Camera RAW really is an improvement and you will also find that the “Save” options on CC are way better than CS6 ever was.

      Liked by 1 person

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