Subject: Re: Camera Raw Post-Conversion Features
-->is there any empirical advantage to curves adjustments or saturation in ACR,
Camera Raw's curve edits the conversion from gamma 1.0 camera space to the gamma-encoded output space of your choice, where Photoshop's curve simpy redistributes the bits in the gamma-encoded space. Using Camera Raw's curve makes better use of the captured bits than does making the curve moves post-conversion.
Camera Raw's curve and saturation adjustments are much less prone to cause hue shifts than their Photoshop counterparts.
If you output to 8 bits/channel, Camera Raws controls also offer the advantage that they work on the high-bit data.
And of course, the workflow advantage is that once you've made the edits in Camera Raw, you can quickly produce different versions of the image for different outputs without having to open and edit a larger layered file.
In general, Camera Raw offers controls that do things that are better done on the raw data, with the possible exception, for most cameras, of upsizing. IOW, if you can do it in Camera Raw, you probably should do it in Camera Raw.
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