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Subject: Re: Camera Raw Post-Conversion Features

Paul, there is still ambiguity over the term "non-destructive". It isn't simply about whether the conversion towards TIFF can be reversed. It is also to do with whether the ACR editing operation itself prior to getting near PS can be reversed.

For example, cropping in ACR, then saving the ACR settings, is non-destructive. It doesn't throw away any sensor data. It stores the coordinated of the corners as metadata, and this can be cleared in future. But cropping in PS is typically destructive, and throws stuff away. Similarly alignment / rotation.

This distinction is important, because other products such as Nikon Capture and Apple Aperture talk about the non-destructive nature of what they do. And they do extra things, not yet in ACR, such as red-eye reduction, and in Aperture, spot & patch. If/when ACR provides red-eye reduction, it will presumably be a non-destructive edit in ACR, but opening the image in PS would result in a different image that could not easily be converted back to an identical red-eye without going back to ACR. (Ditto spot and patch).

As a result, I struggle to understand what the later questions in this thread actually mean. I think they may be the wrong questions. Instead of "is X non-destructive?", perhaps it should be "should X be done in ACR or PS for best results?"


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