Is there really a discussion about going Auto in ACR and LR?
The answer is yes! Adobe recently updated the entire Lightroom Ecosystem as well as Adobe Camera Raw. Among the usual camera model updates, Adobe added a new algorithm for the Auto button. Per Adobe’s announcement blog post, this new Auto button uses the Sensei Artificial Intelligence:
Using an advanced neural network powered by Adobe Sensei, our artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning platform, the new Auto Settings creates a better photo by analyzing your photo and comparing to tens of thousands of professionally edited photos to create a beautiful, pleasing image.
As soon as I read this, I just had to put it to the test!
Contrary to popular belief, I have been a long time fan of the auto button. I will often press it before editing my images to see what Adobe thinks my photo should look like before I begin editing. Do I leave it on Auto? Heck no, I usually throw the sliders around until the image matches my vision and further process it in Photoshop. In past version of Photoshop, the auto button would yield a decent result about 50% of the time.
Now, with the new update, is Auto better?
In short yes, it is awesome
Does it use AI to access a database of tens of thousands of images?
The jury is still out on this one until Adobe can give me some more proof.
The Auto Button Test
Question: Is the new auto button any better than it was in the past, and if so, how is it better?
The variables: Images edited using the Auto button from CS6, the past version of ACR (10.0.0.827) and the new version of ACR (10.1.0.864)
The Constants: Four images from varying genres with challenging RAW file characteristics
Using the above Question and stacking it against some variables with a few constants, I came to determine that the new Auto button is much better, but I am not entirely sure if it is using some form of AI or just a new and improved algorithm. To test my hypothesis, I unplugged my PC from the internet and turned off all Wireless capabilities. Either way, connected or not, the Auto button produced the same results. So where is the Sensei AI gathering its intelligence if my internet is off?
Either way, I am not concerned about that as much as I am excited about the new Auto button. I never thought I’d say this, but after my findings, the new Auto button is an incredible starting point for any Raw file.