MetaRaw extends the functionality of the Adobe Camera Raw plugin in Photoshop and Photoshop Elements. It lets you open camera raw files with Adobe Camera Raw, which are normally not supported by it, and allows applying Adobe Camera Raw as a filter to image layers. In Photoshop Elements MetaRaw provides automatic lens correction and chromatic aberration removal features for Adobe Camera Raw. Additionally MetaRaw includes its own raw converter, which has several advantages over Adobe Camera Raw.
With MetaRaw you do not have to upgrade to the latest version of Photoshop or Photoshop Elements if you only need support for a new camera raw file type or want to apply Adobe Camera Raw as a filter to image layers and smart objects.
Before MetaRaw became available, Photoshop users had to upgrade to a newer version of Photoshop, Photoshop Elements or the Creative Cloud if they wanted to open a new kind of camera raw file. MetaRaw solves this dilemma by empowering users to open the latest variety of raw files with Adobe Camera Raw, even if they use such old applications as Photoshop CS1 and Photoshop Elements 3.
MetaRaw also applies the Camera Raw effects to image layers and smart objects. This provides users of older Photoshop versions and Photoshop Elements with a similar functionality as the new Camera Raw filter in Photoshop CC.
But there is even more ...
MetaRaw seamlessly runs three different raw converters directly within Photoshop and Photoshop Elements: Adobe Camera Raw, Adobe DNG Converter and MetaRaw's built-in raw converter. If one of them does not support a certain raw file, one of the others is automatically used. No matter which raw converter you choose, its output can be processed with Adobe Camera Raw.
The built-in MetaRaw Converter produces images that are up to 0.4 megapixel larger than those of Adobe Camera Raw. It is able to open camera raw files from unknown future cameras and supports 160 camera models and 13 raw file extensions that are not supported with the latest version of Adobe Camera Raw. The output of the MetaRaw Converter looks quite similar to Adobe Camera Raw and can be further processed with Adobe Camera Raw. MetaRaw Converter produces images with better details and less moire, preserves more shadow and highlight details at default settings than Adobe Camera Raw and produces a more natural look for certain raw files.
Additonally you can also use the JPEG Extractor option to open the JPEG data that is embedded inside almost every raw file. This way you can have a look at the original conversion of the camera or use it as an alternative if none of the three raw converters support a certain raw file.
In Photoshop Elements the Adobe Camera Raw window offers a limited number of controls. MetaRaw provides two additional features in Photoshop Elements 10 and higher: automatic lens correction and chromatic aberration removal. This avoid two additional image processing steps, which otherwise have to be done manually.
MetaRaw lets you open raw images without displaying the Camera Raw dialog, which can be handy at times. You can also choose to open a raw file as smart object for readjusting the Camera Raw settings without reopening the raw file again. For archival purposes MetaRaw is able to automatically save a DNG or TIFF file while opening a raw file.