April 23rd, 2015
New HDR Processing Is In ACR: A feature of Lightroom CC/Lightroom 6/ACR that is probably getting the most attention is the HDR feature (at least from real estate photographer). First of all, as Julieanne’s video shows this HDR feature is not in Lightroom at all, it’s in Adobe Camera RAW (ACR) 9. This means this feature is available to Lightroom, Photoshop, Bridge and probably Photoshop Elements users that have Adobe Camera Raw 9.
Image Rendering Looks Good: I’m not a big user of traditional HDR software but I like the concept of this new HDR feature makes more sense to me than other HDR processing software. The thing I like is that you don’t have a bunch of strange, unintuitive sliders in the tone mapping process that you use to try and tame the tone mapping process. Rather you use standard, well understood tools (the sliders in Lightroom or ACR) to control the visual aspects of the image AFTER the bracket processing in a RAW file. To me this process doesn’t even seem like HDR processing because it doesn’t create wild and crazy, radioactive images which you have to work like crazy make look normal. The image rendering looks to me more like what you get out of Enfuse processing.
What’s Missing Is Batch Processing: It appears to me that even though the image rendering looks good and can quickly and easily be tailored to your personal taste after after bracket processing the feature that is missing for professional real estate photographers is batch processing. LR/Enfuse and Photomatix both have this and it is essential for high volume work. Maybe I’m missing something but I don’t see a way to match the the missing batch processing feature with the new ACR. I still recall Dan Achatz telling me back in 2008 that he processed all his HDR images from a shoot with Photomatix while he was driving to the next shoot. At first I thought he was pulling my leg, but he was serious! The batch processing feature has a lot to do with Dan being one of the most prolific real estate photographers in the Seattle area.
So what do all you hardcore HDR/Enfuse people think of this new HDR processing?