I’m a little disappointed to learn today that Adobe has bought the RAW processing technology assets from Pixmantec. That means that you won’t be able to buy Raw Shooter Premium any more, and the free program Raw Shooter Essentials won’t be available after Adobe’s Lightroom comes out.

I haven’t used Raw Shooter Premium much, but it was nice to have it around. It was inexpensive, often on sale for $99 compared to several hundred for any of the competing products. Not only that, but the results were good and the workflow was fast and easy. I like it far more than both Bibble and Adobe’s Camera Raw plugin for Photoshop CS2.

Raw Shooter Premium’s technology will be rolled into Adobe Lightroom, whenever it comes out. I’m sure Lightroom is going to sell for much more than $99. It seems strange to me that Adobe would be making this purchase so late in the development of Lightroom. They’ve already released a public beta version of Lightroom for the Mac, and they’ve had their own raw processing software for years. I really wonder how much effort they will put into using Pixmantec’s technology in a product that’s probably pretty close to market already. I think the reason for the purchase was mainly to snuff out a competitor.

Even worse is the fact that Raw Shooter Essentials is going to disappear from the landscape. It’s been an amazing free tool for years, and a perfect introduction to RAW file processing for beginners. Not only that, it was good enough to satisfy most photographers in the long run. I reviewed Raw Shooter Essentials a while ago, and liked the program quite a lot.
I guess in the end, Pixmantec wasn’t making enough money to turn down an offer from Adobe. It’s just a shame to lose these feisty, upstart competitors.