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Adobe updating raw-image converter for CS3

Adobe's latest raw-image converter, due this week, will support newer SLRs and improve sharpening, but only for Photoshop CS3 users.

Adobe plans this week to update Photoshop's plug-in for importing and editing raw images from higher-end digital cameras, adding support for several new digital SLR cameras and improving noise-reduction and sharpening tools. Raw images are taken directly from a camera's image sensor without any in-camera processing, preserving more detail but requiring processing by a person into a more portable format such as JPEG; raw support is typically only available on higher-end cameras.

Adobe Photoshop CS3
Adobe Photoshop CS3 Adobe

But the new version 4.1 of the Adobe Camera Raw plug-in tool works only with Photoshop CS3, the San Jose, Calif.-based company's brand-new version of the image-editing software. Those with the earlier CS2 version must use version 3.7, said Tom Hogarty, Photoshop Lightroom product manager, or upgrade to the newer version of Photoshop.

And though the company announced Monday the plug-in was available on the company's Web site immediately, it said on Tuesday there was a "slight delay" and that the software would arrive by the end of the week.

Among the newer cameras the new raw plug-in supports are the Canon EOS-1D Mark III, Fuji FinePix S5 Pro, Nikon D40x, Olympus E-410, Olympus SP-550 UZ and the Sigma SD14.

In addition, the upgrade supports many higher-end medium- and large-format camera backs from Phase One: the H 20, H 25, P 20, P 21, P 25, P 30 and P 45.

Adobe said it would support the new camera and camera backs in an update of Adobe Lightroom due in the "near future."

Adobe would prefer to replace the scads of raw camera formats with its own Digital Negative specification, called DNG. Pentax's newer high-end K10D SLR supports DNG, and Adobe offers free software that can convert raw files it supports into DNG files.