Articles, Blog

Enhance Details in Lightroom – Does it work?

October 16, 2019

today I want to talk to you about
something called enhance details this is a new feature in Lightroom classic
that was released in February of this year in version 8.2 the reason I’m
telling you about this is because it’s actually the follow-up to my last video
in that video I compared the performance of Lightroom with some other raw
converters the RAW files are used in the video were taken from a Fuji XT 2 camera
Lightroom’s always had a problem processing RAW files from the Fuji
x-trans sensor but now they fixed it or at least they have if you’re using
version 8.2 and if you’re a Photoshop Camera Raw user Adobe’s also added the
feature to that in the February release but it’s not just Fuji raw files that
this feature is supposed to improve if you read the information about enhance
detail on the Adobe site it says powered by Adobe sensei enhance details
produces crisp detail improved color rendering more accurate renditions of
edges and fewer artifacts enhanced details is particular useful for making
large prints where find details are more visible this feature applies to raw
mosaic files from cameras with baya sensors Canon Nikon Sony and others and
Fuji x-trans sensors so let’s see how it really performs with some actual
examples the first image I want to show you that’s on screen now is one shot
with a Fuji XT one using an 18 to 135 lens it’s significant for me because
this was the first time I’d used a Fuji camera the results of processing this
image using Lightroom at the time made me think the camera was actually faulty
a two-to-one magnification you can see that the fine grass here just takes on
the smeared appearance no let’s use the enhanced detail feature at Lightroom
you can select enhance detail from either the photo menu or I right
clicking on the image this is important because it’s not something that you can
turn on and off to use enhance detail you need to process each raw file that
you want to use it on separately if I click on this image you can see the
enhanced detail option this displays a dialog showing a magnified preview of
the raw file you can also zoom the preview out by clicking this magnifying
glass icon in the bottom right corner it’s then possible to zoom into another
area as well as this you can click and drag using the mouse when zoomed in the
preview appears to be about four to one magnification or that’s about 400% so
keep this in mind if you’re going to be using it to judge the results if I click
the enhance button Lightroom will generate an enhanced version of the
image this is created as a new raw file and
it’s in the DNG format it’s also got exactly the same settings at the raw
file that we processed I’m not sure how well it will show on the video but the
detail is definitely clearer in the new raw file having experimented a little
with the new DNG files they appear to respond differently to the original
files in terms of sharpening and noise reduction so don’t just rely on your old
settings to get the best from the new file though the image I’m showing here
isn’t really a good example because the lens I used did turn out to be faulty
instead let’s have a look at a different example from my Fuji XT 2 camera that
uses a different 18 to 135 lens here I’m zoomed into an area of the
image you can see that the details in the fern and the Bracken here look to be
artificial in some way an almost like a drawing now I’ve also got a version of
the file process using enhanced details feature when we look at the new enhanced
DNG file we find the details that caused a problem in the original file now look
much better I’ve also processed both versions of
this image and taken them into Photoshop so we can make a better comparison if
you watch the distant details you can see the enhanced version improves a
standard version so I’ve got the standard version on screen at the moment
zoomed in at 200% if I turn on the enhanced version you should be able to
tell that these areas here in the distance now appear to have a much more
natural-looking detail than the original it’s only a subtle change but it is
actually quite clear when you’re looking at it on your own monitor and it’s the
same story when we look at the images I processed in my previous video the
standard version just appears to look false in the detail
turn on the enhanced version and all of a sudden it appears natural but where
things get really impressive is when we process an image from a high quality
lens this image was shot using my ten to twenty four lens which is much better
quality than the 18 to 135 in terms of what it can resolve if we zoom into the
detail here and we take that up to 200% this image was processed with the
standard Lightroom processing and now this image was shot with the enhanced
detail and you can see that there’s a little bit more detail being resolved in
the image and the same happens out in these mid distant regions here
it also looks really natural now if I turn this off and you look at the old
version it just looks a little bit more smeared and a little unnatural having
made some comparisons I’m reasonably confident the enhanced detail version
now matches what I was achieving before using iridium text transformer but there
may be some bad news as well the feature is supposed to improve RAW files from
lots of different cameras personally I’ve seen very little difference except
from when processing Fuji raw files I’m hoping that if you can try the enhanced
details feature on your own RAW files you’ll let me know your faults in the
comments it’ll be interesting to see if there are other cameras where the new
processing makes such a large improvement as with the Fuji x-trans I
hope you found today’s video useful I’m Robin Whalley you’ve been watching Lenscraft I’ll see you next time for another video


  • Reply Robin Glaze March 28, 2019 at 3:18 pm

    Whilst I'm glad to have enhanced details for my Fuji files, the feature is so slow, and the new DNG files so huge, that I just use Capture One Pro for my Fujifilm image processing. I could not see a difference with my Nikon files.

  • Reply Old Grumpy Jim March 28, 2019 at 3:51 pm

    Doesn’t work on my two year old iMac but works on my five year old MacBook Pro but takes about twelve minutes per image so it’s still iridient for me just now 🤔

  • Reply ARILD THINGVOLL March 28, 2019 at 4:49 pm

    I can’t see any improvments at all. This is fake news from Adobe:)

  • Reply Karsten Bruun Qvist March 28, 2019 at 4:55 pm

    Thanks Robin! Aside from the slowness and file size, how do you feel the quality of the results stacks up compared to the lightroom alternatives you have explored recently?

  • Reply Jeremy Whigham March 28, 2019 at 7:51 pm

    I don't use Fuji but following this video on a high def 24 inch screen, I must confess that I see no difference.

  • Reply Gino Rigucci March 29, 2019 at 2:34 am

    Hello Robin Whalley, I know this video is about details but regardless I was looking at the whole image and I do like your compositions and the very natural processing of your images, great job cheers.

  • Reply Gordon Macgregor March 29, 2019 at 10:34 am

    It sounds very like your experience with the XT1 and XT2 parrallel my own, as I too thought my camera was faulty. I think it is fair to say that updates to Lightroom since version 6 (non-suscribed) have improved when working with Fuji RAF files. However, I have tested the enhance details and agree that there is an improvement but it still retains the painterly look in some areas and I have found it less tolerant of sharpening. Overall I find that Iridient X-Transformer is more consistent in finding both near and far detail without any painterly effects.

  • Reply Steve O'Nions March 30, 2019 at 8:08 am

    Quite a big difference in the Fuji results Robin, I wonder what it will look like with Micro 4/3 sensors? I’ll need to give this a go.

  • Reply Tel Kirton April 5, 2019 at 3:18 pm

    It will only work for camera raw files not RGB tiff, Tiff files

  • Reply Leonard Stanton April 12, 2019 at 2:46 am

    Tried it on Olympus EM-5, EM-5 MkII, EM-1, EM-1 MkII, Nikon D7000, D500, D750 and D810 files and could see no visible improvements in any of them. It did manage to emphasize the "graininess" of one higher ISO image which really was not an improvement. Don't see the point.

  • Reply Steve Howland April 24, 2019 at 1:06 pm

    Couldn’t see the differences in the video but then I wouldn’t expect to really for this feature. Seems to me the clue is in the Adobe notes – useful for large prints where fine detail is more visible. As a Fuji user I can for most of my needs cope with Lightroom tweaks, but if i needed to get really big prints or crop then this feature seems useful. But as it generates a large extra file each time it is only for occasional use. Roll on the day when Lightroom can handle RAF files better as a norm.

  • Reply AZREDFERN June 6, 2019 at 7:37 am

    It doesn't do much for my 5DmkII.

    Like you said, it's best for large prints because i REALLY have to pixel peep to see the subtle noise reduction in the darkest areas. It also seems to detect edges, sharpen them ever so slightly, then apply an anti-aliasing and anisotropic filtering like you find in video games. This might explain why you get a warning the first time that it requires a decent GPU. The few photos I tested it on it also seemed to sharpen Christmas lights (not sure if that's a good thing), and its biggest strength was reducing the Moiré effect on a black crowd control fence in the distance.

    No matter how good these improvements are, I see no difference on a 27" 4K art monitor, so I doubt the differences would show up on every day social media mediums.
    But it is a nice thing to have available if I plan on making a large print.

    The downside is it's not compatible with small RAWs like sRAW or sRAW2. But again, you're not making a large print from a reduced RAW.

  • Reply Sumit Aggarwal July 24, 2019 at 1:45 am

    When did you switch to fuji?

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