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Go back and reprocess your old pictures!

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(click for full-size version)

I was assembling a collection of underwater images tonight and decided to see what Adobe Lightroom’s 2012 processing engine would do to an old image I took at Roca Partida (Revillagigedos Islands, Mexico) back in 2006. Back then, I used Adobe Photoshop to quickly process the picture from raw to a 2000-pixel JPG image for screen viewing. Tonight, I pulled up the raw file in Adobe Lightroom, chose the 2012 processing engine, and did a few minor tweaks using the Develop module. WOW. It’s like a different picture.

Have you had pictures take on new life when you’ve gone back and reprocessed old raw files using new image-processing software? If you haven’t, it’s time to get started!

Los Altos Hills, CA | link | trackb | no comments » | Jun 4, 2013 06:45:53

Adobe Lightroom 4 DNG performance increase test

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Earlier this month, Adobe announced that there would be three upcoming improvements to the DNG camera raw “standard” that would improve performance. I’ve not historically converted my RAW files to DNG, but performance improvements would certainly be a big factor in a decision to move to that workflow.

I don’t know whether any of the announced improvements have actually made it into Adobe Lightroom 4, but I the upgrade from version 3 to 4 last night ($79), converted some files to DNG, and ran tests. Navigation and editing was as sluggish as ever on my 12-core Mac Pro (with plenty of RAM)—I couldn’t tell if there were improvements when working with DNGs. Then, I did some exports to 1920-pixel JPG files:

Test 1: 28 ARW raw files from Sony NEX-5N
ARW->JPG, 2010 Process: 52 seconds
[ARW/DNG]->JPG, 2010 Process: 40 seconds
DNG export 23% faster

Test 2: 28 CR2 raw files from Canon 7D
CR2->JPG, 2012 Process: 62 seconds
[CR2/DNG]->JPG, 2012 Process: 43 seconds
DNG export 30.6% faster

Here’s the CPU graph for the export process. You can see the clear improvement in CPU utilization in the DNG export.


CR2->JPG export (green), DNG->JPG export (orange)
24 virtual cores in 12-core Mac Pro

It does seem that there are real reasons to convert raw files to Adobe’s DNG raw format. If Adobe continues to improve DNG performance, I’ll likely move my workflow over to DNG conversion upon import.

I love Lightroom—it is my photo organization and processing app of choice—but in general, Adobe Lightroom 4 feels sluggish, and it took as many as 6 seconds to move between Library and Develop modes (inconsistent, presumably due to caching). No interface move should take 6 seconds on this computer. I hope there is a performance update in the near future that deals with the poor performance.1


  1. To be clear, Adobe Lightroom 3 also feels sluggish. 

San Francisco, CA | link | trackb | 3 comments » | Mar 6, 2012 19:14:23

My email workflow (evolved)

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I’ve been struggling with email workflow since selling my MacBook Pro. My notebook computer used to be communication central — the (somewhat) mobile device that held my master email archives and the most current version of projects in process. My more powerful Mac Pro was used for heavier projects (media-related), and occasionally received a sync of working files from the MacBook Pro.

I’m more “local” now, but strangely, it has also made me more mobile. At the same time, I’ve lost access to my main email archive when I’m away from my Mac Pro (which has become the new central repository). (read more »)

San Francisco, CA | link | trackb | 2 comments » | Feb 10, 2011 12:11:26

Transcode war: MPEG Streamclip vs Compressor

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A rather unscientific comparison of MPEG Streamclip and Compressor speed during transcoding shows that MPG Streamclip is about 2x the speed of Compressor during transcode of H.264 to ProRes. I’ve not tested against Compressor with a virtual cluster on my quad-core Mac Pro because I have had problems with Compressor jobs hanging every once in awhile when I target clusters.

Source clips are 1080p clips from a GoPro camera. Video is sped up 20x.

Compressor is rather disappointing these days. I feel like it hasn’t changed for years.

San Francisco, CA | link | trackb | 1 comment » | Aug 14, 2010 23:26:03
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