But it's not just sharpening that the guy can help us with. He also explains how most Raw converters have got it seriously wrong:
This was actually the first tutorial (if you can call it that) I saw from Guy...and Guy has it seriously wrong. He doesn't know how to use Camera Raw (nor Lightroom). Which is not atypical behavior coming from so called Photoshop Experts. When all you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail.
Guy seems to know Photoshop (at least to a degree) but he doesn't know Camera Raw. He gets a lot wrong in this video...but the major disconnect is he doesn't really understand raw linear captures. The curve he drew on his whiteboard was more like a D Log H curve, not a raw capture curve–which is linear or a gamma curve of 1.0 or actually a 45º line from the lower left to upper right.
I'm not really sure Guy actually knows what "highlight recovery" actually is–recovery in ACR is extracting textural information from the highlights when 1 or 2 of the channels are clipped. Recovery interpolates the missing 1 or 2 channels of color data that are clipped and provides useful texture (not useless as Guy claims). Yes, recovery is an interpolation...and in PV 2003 and 2010 it could produce color problems. That was pretty much eliminated in PV 2012.
Process Version 2012 doesn't actually apply any "recovery" by default–recovery only kicks in with minus Exposure, Highlights and Whites adjustments and recovery is much improved. What PV 2012 does do is an image adaptive auto-ranging that keeps near clipping from clipping. If all three channels clip, it indicates total sensor saturation and there's nothing one can do to "recover" from that. What PV 2012 does is more a tone mapping function and not a recovery operation. Yes it has an impact on the tone mapping of highlights (and shadows BTW) and yes, PV 2012 is much less likely to clip highlight data–which is actually a good thing, not a bad thing. How you handle the mapping is up to you. Not only do you have the Basic panel for tone mapping but you have the point curve editor which give very fine control over the highlights–if you know how to use it.
The example image of the house he showed could very, very easily be controlled in PV 2012 if he bothered to touch any of the other controls than Exposure...same deal on the wedding dress shot. He makes zero effort to actually use and of the vast array of tone mapping controls that ACR provides. Well, if you don't use the controls, yeah, well, your stuff will look like Guy's. Rather poor and he does a really good job of under-selling the ACR raw processing capability. Note, the demo of the girl and violin was processed in PV 2010 in ACR (with bad recovery, but note he didn't use PV 2012 with better recovery) and compared PV 2010 in ACR to Aperture...hum, one wonders why? Ah, of course, to make ACR look as bad as he can and promote Aperture as the best raw processor on the planet.
But the worst part of Guy's approach is that he is so dismissive and disrespectful of the tools he uses and the people who develop them. If he knows so much, why isn't he more involved in the development of the tools he uses? He claims he was a "consultant" to Adobe...but I've been involved with Adobe since Photoshop version 4 (that's PS 4, not CS4) and I had never heard about Guy until this year. So, I seriously doubt that Guy has had any direct involvement in the development of Photoshop nor Camera Raw/Lightroom. In light of his dismissive attitude, I would be very surprised that Adobe would want Guy's input...
But hey, don't take my word for it...go ahead and see what Guy has to say...if you are predisposed to dislike Camera Raw or Lightroom as a raw processor, Guy is talking your language...if you are a Photoshop "expert" and you want to ignore all the research and development of smart guys like Thomas Knoll and Eric Chan, by all means, do all your work in Photoshop and buy Guy's magic actions...go right ahead...I'll keep using ACR/LR on my work followed by a touch of Photoshop when needed.