Reflections 'On RawShooter+Lightroom'

There were a lot of reactions in many forums when it was announced that Adobe is buying Pixmantec RawShooter and incorporating it's technology into Lightroom and Photoshop.
However I was surprised by the amount of negative reactions to this news, especially when I myself think it is a good idea.

I am a RawShooter Premium user because I like the quality it produces, it's workflow and speed. However since I first read about Lightroom I have secretly been wishing that Pixmantec would have a sneak peak at it and incorporate some of the same ideas, or better yet, come up with something even better. Well my wishes sort of came true!

Now, migrating to a new RAW converter has some problems. All of your previously corrected/adjusted raw files will need to be reworked in the new software. However, because you start using a new software doesn't mean that the old one just stops working, so there might not be a need to re-adjust all your old pictures. Also, one of the points of changing to a new and better (remains to be seen though!) RAW converter is that it let's you re-use the RAW 'negative' and create an even better picture.

Adobe/Pixmantec has updated their FAQ and it shows that they have listened to the reactions of what has been written in the forums. The three main points being:

1. Adobe will offer a free download version of Lightroom 1.0 for customers who bought RawShooter | premium

My first thought is 'Thank you!', it shows that Adobe cares for the current customers of RawShooter and that they listen to what is written in the forums. However I think people should be aware that they will not have time to incorporate much, if anything, of the RawShooter technology into the first release.

2. Adobe will investigate to what extent your image corrections made within RawShooter can be transferred to Lightroom.
It is impossible to make a perfect conversion of the settings so that the generated output from Lightroom will be identical to RawShooter, however getting the white balance and color corrections close plus maybe some adjustment of contrast settings would save a lot of time.

3. They will deliver support for Canon EOS 30D in RawShooter | essentials this summer.

This is good news for those who bought this camera and it shows they are trying to make a smooth transition for their existing users.

Another issue that people have reacted over is that of a monopoly or lesser competition between different RAW converters. Well, I think the people behind Pixmantec have a good product and obviously care for both quality and making money. Joining the Adobe team will insure that these people can continue to contribute with their ideas and knowledge, without doing so their future might have been insecure in competition with the bigger companies (the best products do not always win).

Meanwhile I will continue using my copy of RawShooter Premium and hope that Adobe soon releases a beta of Lightroom for Windows so that I can hopefully contribute with some feedback on it's features before it's release.


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