Thursday, July 13, 2006

Adobe purchases Pixmantec...discontinues RawShooter

In the few years since I've been shooting digital, I've shot almost exclusively in RAW mode. Initially I used my favorite tool of the time, Adobe Photoshop, to convert each raw image. However that's a bit poorly designed from a raw workflow aspect. It was at that time that I learned about (and soon purchased) the C1 raw converter. It was a really nice tool, which made it VERY quick to browse through raw files, pick out your favorites, adjust them, and then convert them to TIFFs. It worked well, however it had some definite room for improvement. Unfortunately, the manufacturer never cared much to push any major updates (just bug fixes and compatibility for new hardware), and then half the product line was consolidated, many people were upset about support packages they bought that were more or less useless, etc.

It was not long after that when I heard about Pixmantec's Raw Shooter. Apparently several of the C1 developers were dismayed at the company's lack of interest in further developing the product and their angering of many customers, so they broke off and wrote their own product...Raw Shooter. This was exactly what the next iteration of C1 should have been. A bit better adjustment controls, MUCH better workflow (flagging, prioritizing, etc), MUCH faster conversion processing times, and several other features. This became my second raw workflow purchase and before long C1 was little more than an unused icon on my start menu.

Well, I just received an email today alerting me that Adobe has purchased Pixmantec and is going to be incorporating their technology into Adobe Lightroom. On the down side, this means they will be discontinuing RawShooter. Yet another product I purchased which was then abandoned. However, the good news is that Adobe will be offering RawShooter premium owners a free copy of Lightroom 1.0 when it becomes available. At least I'm not being left out in the cold on this one. That's very generous and thoughtful of Adobe. It makes me quite happy because Lightroom (from my casual readings every now and them) is turning out to be quite an interesting product...hopefully a much better product than RawShooter. If it maintains the same ease of workflow but provides better integration into Photoshop, I'll be one very happy camper.

So, I'm initially disappointed about the news, but I'm hopeful that the eventual reward will be much greater.


Chris said...

Now that Lightroom Windows Beta is out, I'm curious if you have given it a try and if so, what your thoughts are?

I have downloaded both the Windows and Mac version. The Windows version seems to run better for me and I really like how LR is shaping up.

Ron Frazier said...

Yes, I've tried it and I just posted my initial impressions. Check it out here:
Initial Impressions of Adobe Lightroom