After using the Adobe RAW -> DNG converter and drag/dropping it into PhotoShop CS3, I discovered a new (to me) feature called Camera Raw that seems to offer everything I might ever want from LightRoom, but inside PhotoShop. It's fantastic. It gives me all those things I see Tony and Chelsea doing in their videos, but without LR. It seems now that really the only benefit of LR as a standalone program, is the image management and ability to apply changes en-masse to a group of images at once. Maybe I'll need that one day, but it isn't yet.
So, who's using Camera Raw rather than Lightroom. Anyone ? What's your typical workflow in terms of starting out with a camera raw file. Do you use the standalone RAW -> DNG converter program and then "play lightroom" in Camera Raw and save back to DNG and keep it in DNG until you finally want to publish/deliver it as JPEG
Also, while I'm here, I've observed something quite weird about the only RAW image I've ever shot. I see some mysterious blue dots in the DNG image in Camera Raw but they're not there in the JPEG created by the camera. More mysterious than them existing, is that as I zoom in and in and in, they move around and eventually at very high zoom they disappear.
Also strange, as you can see in this screenshot, is that the JPEG in the background is RGB/8 (8 bits per color) but this DNG also appears to be 8 bit. Where are my 12 or 14 bits I was expecting?
If your suggestion is to upgrade to PhotoShop CC and/or Lightroom 6/CC, if I really have to, I will, but I'm not a pro. I don't have the high volume of images you guys have and some months I don't shoot any (for example the last 3 months I never shot a single image, knee fracture). I got this PS-CS3 free and it still seems to do all the things I need it to. I think. Maybe someone will tell me I'm missing out on some fantastic things upgrading from 3 to the latest, but nobody did yet.
That 128GB SD card isn't starting to look so crazy big now ...