Adobe Lightroom CC / Lightroom 6 Released

Adobe has released a new version of Lightroom today in the form of Lightroom CC and Lightroom 6. As the name suggests, Lightroom CC is for the subscribers of the Adobe Creative Cloud, while Lightroom 6 is the standalone version.

According to Adobe, the update is said to bring performance improvements of “up to 10x” by utilising your CPU.

Other new features include:-

1. HDR merge / panoramic stitching

You can now merge several shots into a single HDR image, or stitch them into a panorama without having to open Photoshop or any other software. Expectedly, this is based on the HDR Merge / Photo Merge functions already present in Photoshop, but this sure made things more convenient.

Lightroom CC / Lightroom 6 HDR Merge
Lightroom CC / Lightroom 6 HDR Merge
Lightroom CC / Lightroom 6 Panoramic Merge
Lightroom CC / Lightroom 6 Panoramic Merge

2. Facial Recognition

Lightroom CC/Lightroom 6 can now automatically find and tag photos of your friends and family in your library, so now you can find all the photos of your significant other in just one click.

3. Filter Brush

You can now use the filter brush to modify the gradients created by the Graduated Neutral Density Filter and Radial Filter by erasing parts that you don’t want to be affected, or apply the effect to other areas not covered by the filters.

I reckon this will be useful in situations when your Graduated ND filter in Lightroom obscures a subject, inadvertently affecting the exposure in that area.

First Impressions

Since I have the Adobe Creative Cloud Photography Plan, I downloaded and installed Lightroom CC from there, installed it and played around a bit with my existing photos. Luckily for me, the installation and catalog upgrade went quickly and smoothly. I’ve read there are several people whose Lightroom CC crashes upon startup.

Unfortunately since I am still on OS X Mountain Lion (10.8.5), I am unable to take advantage of GPU acceleration, which requires Mavericks (10.9) and above.

Lightroom CC / Lightroom 6 GPU Mode
Lightroom CC / Lightroom 6 GPU Mode

However, Lightroom CC still felt faster to me. Not sure if it’s placebo, but flipping between the Library and Develop modules, toggling between 100% and “Fit to Window” views, moving between photos felt quite snappy.

HDR Merge / Panoramic Stitching is useful and convenient and good enough for most people, but experts will probably still want to keep using software like Oloneo PhotoEngine or AutoPano Giga, which offers far more control.

I have not played with a lot with it, nor imported any new photos but so far the update looks good.

YS: The very first thing I did was to check if there were any performance improvements with the main annoyance I have in Lightroom: 1:1 Preview generation. Unfortunately after timing both a batch of 10 images and the usual on-next photo view in browsing mode, there is no discernible difference. The hate portion of my love-hate relationship with Lightroom stems from there, as it is really hard to use it to parse through images when there is so much minute waiting in-between each image.

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Adobe’s Black Friday Sale For Photoshop CC is Almost Too Good…

Adobe Photoshop CC Sale Header

Well, it is actually very good. US$10 per month for Photoshop CC and Lightroom is an excellent price. As we mentioned before, the initial pricing was not so hot, given many of us who actually buy the thing don’t upgrade every cycle, even for pros (keeping an eye on costs is a part of business after all). Then Adobe announced the cheaper plan for those who had Photoshop CS3 and above, which we thought was pretty good, unless you were just starting out and did not have an earlier copy of Photoshop. Well, now Adobe is opening that offer to everyone till 2nd December, so you nearly have no excuses.

Nearly, because there is that small matter of Adobe’s compromised security. You think they would know better than to leave users’ passwords and password hints unhashed and unsalted.

I am still taking a chance though, but with a different credit card from my usual. Just in case.

David: Looks like an awesome deal, but upon reflection, Lightroom does so much of the heavy lifting for me nowadays that I hardly need Photoshop, and I can still get the latest standalone copy of Lightroom (and I did) without paying the monthly “Adobe tax”, so I’ll pass unless I find a reason to use Photoshop more often. If this offer was available earlier before I bought my copy of Lightroom, I might have taken it up.

CK: Excellent deal. I am taking this up! It’s quite a no brainer considering how much the standalone Photoshop used to cost. And this  also guarantees me “free” Lightroom 6 and all ACR updates.

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Adobe Introduces Lower Cost Subscription for Photoshop Creative Cloud

Adobe_deal_equation_650px_proof6

I will let Adobe fill in the blanks with their own blog post, but this is actually a good deal. The only thing I lament is, that they missed a chance to snag a bunch of new photographers who never had Photoshop before, but are interested in it. Limited time offer might sound bad, but the timeline is generous (31st December 2013), and this will get people to actually start subscribing soon. Since the price is for life, it’s actually a really good deal.

CK: The requirement to be at least a Photoshop CS3 user is a big bummer. Otherwise, this is a damn good deal. I just paid US$130 not too long ago for Photoshop Lightroom 5, and assuming I want to upgrade every year, this costs less and comes with Photoshop!

(Image credit: Adobe Blog)

 

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The Mob Wants Their Money: Adobe Switches Over to Creative Cloud, Demands Monthly Payments in Perpetuity

Adobe Creative Cloud Splash Image

Adobe has basically killed Creative Suite and is now positioning their main products as a “software as a service” offering instead. Photoshop users are can get away with paying US$20 a month, but if you want more than that, it will be US$50 a month for the whole suite. For those of us who upgrade every other version, or just stick with whatever we have until it’s time to change cameras (thanks to Adobe tying the ACR plugin to the latest version of Photoshop), this is going to be a lot more expensive. Basically this is the equivalent of upgrading on every cycle, so do your own math. Personally, since the main reason to upgrade Photoshop was to keep up with ACR version, maybe it is time to seek alternatives. Anyone has any ideas? (cue crickets chirping)

CK: Basically this effectively means that Adobe has put in measures to stop you from pirating Photoshop (possibly the most pirated in the Adobe product line.) But I am sure it’ll be circumvented in no time. But on a more serious note, let’s try to do some math. Photoshop CS 6 standalone (used to) have a list price of US$699. That same amount of money gets you 35 months or roughly 3 years of Creative Cloud. By that time, there would be at least 1-2 upgrade versions, so overall it would be more worth it to go this route. Obviously if you don’t upgrade to every version, then your break-even point is 3 years. By then, you probably would have gotten a new camera, and you’ll find that your existing Photoshop’s Adobe Camera Raw no longer supports your camera, and if you want to go the legal route, you’d have to pony up another US$699 if your old version is no longer eligible for an upgrade.

YS: I think a lot of photographers don’t upgrade every version. In fact, if not for ACR, I think many will still be on CS1 or CS2!

(Image Credit: Adobe Press Image)

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Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 4.3 and Camera Raw 7.3 Now Available

Adobe has just released version 4.3 of Photoshop Lightroom 4.3. The new version adds support for several new cameras, listed below:

  • Canon EOS 6D
  • Canon PowerShot S110
  • Canon PowerShot G15
  • Canon PowerShot SX50 HS
  • Casio Exilim EX-ZR1000
  • Casio Exilim EX-FC300S
  • Leica M-E
  • Nikon 1 V2
  • Nikon D5200
  • Nikon D600
  • Olympus PEN E-PL5
  • Olympus PEN E-PM2
  • Olympus STYLUS XZ-2 iHS
  • Panasonic DMC-GH3
  • Pentax K-5 II
  • Pentax K-5 IIs
  • Pentax Q10
  • Sony DSC-RX1
  • Sony NEX-VG30
  • Sony NEX-VG900

The Mac version of Lightroom 4.3 also supports the HiDPI mode in the Develop and Library modules on retina-enabled Macs.

Download now for Mac and/or Windows.

Also available for download is Adobe Camera Raw 7.3, which can be downloaded using Photoshop CS 6’s updater.

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