Faking a polarizer using RAW

Here’s a question which came in to my email just now:

“Could I process a RAW file in Photoshop to achieve a similar effect as if I had used a Polaroid lens filter?
Or would I be better just using the Polaroid filter?”

The answer is that you can never imitate the effect of polarizing light (which changes the way reflective surfaces look, and deepens or lightens the sky blue according to the zone of the sky relative to the sun’s position. But you can use Adobe Camera Raw (CS3 versions) to deepen skies you never thought could be rescued.

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A700, 6400 ISO, seven raw processors

There’s a lot of controversy right now about whether or not the image structure of the Alpha 700 files at very high ISO – mainly 3200 and 6400 – is as clean as raw processed results from other comparable cameras like the Canon 40D (does not offer ISO 6400), the Olympus E-3 (does not offer ISO 6400) or the Nikon D300. At the heart of this is the way different raw processors handle file conversion, and most specifically, the current performance of Adobe Camera Raw 4.3.1. Continue reading »