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I opened JPEG in Photoshop and it showed me the Camera Raw window, instead of just opening the file.

After searching on the internet I found that Camera Raw can handle JPEG and TIFF. I also found how to disable this feature.

My question is what is the difference between a JPEG that Photoshop will open directly vs. using Camera Raw.
I also noticed that if I "save as…" the file that triggered Camera Raw, the new file opens directly.
I found no obvious option in the Save dialog, so what is it?

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JPGs have also non-image data which reveal used equipment, applied software, used settings and many other technical things. That's called metadata. If you have made adjustments in Camera Raw to a JPG, the adjustments are listed in metadata.

If you have selected Camera Raw preference "Open JPGs with settings", Photoshop check the metadata and opens in CR those JPGs which have already got something in CR.

You do not need to save the image in CR, the adjustments are inserted to its metadata automatically if the file isn't write protected. You can see its "last modified" -timestamp changes. The metadata is updated when you exit CR. Exit by Cancel does not cause metadata update.

If you in Photoshop save your file with File > Save As, a totally new file is generated and it naturally hasn't CR adjustment list. That's because those adjustments are applied to the image data irreversibly when the new file is created. CR adjustments listed in metadata are only a receipe, the original image data stays intact in CR.

  • Ok, I see… but how the CR metadata came in the JPEG in the first place? My workflow is develop in Lightroom > edit in PS > save as JPEG. And I never had CR metadata in my JPEG. Do you have an idea how it happened? – gregseth Nov 21 '18 at 9:14
  • @gregseth I have not Lightroom. But it can do quite the same as Camera Raw among the advanced functions. I believe it adds metadata, too. I watched with GIMP's Image > Metadata > View the XMP metadata fields in JPGs and it showed a list of CR adjustments. Check a JPG which is got from Lightroom. – user287001 Nov 21 '18 at 9:54

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