Lightroom/Camera Raw: Enhance not really effective

  • 2
  • Question
  • Updated 1 year ago
  • (Edited)
I'm just wondering how much effect we should be seeing with the enhance feature?

I gave it a try on one image, so far, but I couldn't really see any difference between the result and the original image. All I got was a 76MB DNG from a 15MB NEF.

I didn't really see much there to make me want to delve much further into that as an editing tool.

I didn't seem to experience any issues with the actual process, speed wasn't bad for an aged iMac, and there were no glitches, just very little effect.

Photo of Andy Hewitt

Andy Hewitt

  • 107 Posts
  • 16 Reply Likes

Posted 1 year ago

  • 2
Photo of Cristen Gillespie

Cristen Gillespie

  • 2022 Posts
  • 701 Reply Likes
Nice to hear you didn't find too much of a problem with speed. Look at it at 100% and with images that should have a lot of fine detail. But from what I can get from what they're saying,  I don't imagine if you're not printing at a fair size, it's ability to resolve fine detail will have a lot of impact for most images. I think when you are printing large, you don't want big sharpen artifacts in the fine detail, but do want the finer detail to be resolved without gumming up together the way it looks. So it has to be both subtle (not a clarity type of contrast enhancer), and yet actually resolve the detail.

At least it seems worth trying on a variety of images. It's easy enough to ditch the big DNG file if it isn't doing anything for it. Just your time experimenting is all you don't get back. It will be interesting to hear what folk think of it after using it for awhile. Maybe they'll want to increase the range of the effect a bit more, if they could do that without ruining it with overkill.
Photo of Rikk Flohr

Rikk Flohr, Official Rep

  • 7302 Posts
  • 1661 Reply Likes
Have you read the new article?: 

Mileage will vary depending upon image content, camera used, quality of technique and intended output. Fuji X-Trans users will see a more obvious visual benefit than will a different camera user. Large prints will show detail difference.  Certain types of content will be revealed in more detail. 
Photo of seanhoyt-dot-art


  • 391 Posts
  • 64 Reply Likes
The conversion process here seems to be serial, one at a time, one thread at a time. My 6-core CPU is underutilized. Can't it be similar to the 3-at-a-time exports?
Photo of dwbmb


  • 245 Posts
  • 54 Reply Likes
I am using Fuji with x-trans and I can see improvement on pictures very easily. But not that much for five times bigger file. Original has 22MB, slightly sharper Enhanced image has 109MBs. That is huge!
Photo of Christian Fürst

Christian Fürst

  • 31 Posts
  • 6 Reply Likes
if you have loads of detail in your RAW-file or DNG you can see improvements easily. Obviously I wouldn't necessarily use the tool for images I want to share on the net but could be great for printing

I am quoting yr article mentioned above:
Enhance Details uses machine learning—an extensively trained convolutional neural network (CNN)—to provide state-of-the-art quality for the images that really matter.
Photo of Andy Hewitt

Andy Hewitt

  • 107 Posts
  • 16 Reply Likes
Thanks for the replies.

I've tried another few images now, some older Olympus ORF files, and some more NEFs. Looking at ones with lots of detail, foliage and buildings for example. My Fuji files are unsupported (being from EXR sensors)

In all cases I can see the pixels shifting about a bit in the preview of the Enhance dialogue, but when viewed in Lightroom, at screen size, 100% and 200%, absolutely no differences can be detected. Certainly nothing like is visible in the examples in the blog that Rikk linked to.

Strange, but not particularly deal breaking. It's not a feature I thought was missing, and the fact that you need to go though a process of extra menu, create huge extra file (and maybe convert to JPEG if you need to save space), in order to use the function, probably means I'd not use it much anyway.