Lightroom 5 Public Beta: What's New

With the release of the Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 5 public beta, new and current users have the opportunity not only to explore the latest additions to the company's database-driven image editing and workflow tool, but to provide feedback to Adobe and help shape the final release. Adobe also has a dedicated user forum to share thoughts with and hear opinions from the Lightroom community.

The Lightroom 5 public beta has come to light surprisingly quickly, just 13 months after the final release of Lightroom 4. And while Lightroom 4 brought sweeping changes to working methodologies along with two brand new modules, the headline features in the Lightroom 5 public beta are devoted almost exclusively to image editing.

The Lightroom 5 public beta introduces a refined healing tool that can be used to paint on an image, much like the Spot Healing Brush found in Photoshop. A new Radial Gradient tool offers a more flexible way to apply selective location-based edits. Also making its debut is a perspective correction tool that uses image analysis to automatically straighten images and eliminate keystoning. The feature that will potentially have the most wide-reaching impact on every photographer's workflow is the ability to edit images while they are offline, by enabling what Adobe calls 'Smart Previews'.

I'm going to briefly take you through these and some of the other more significant additions to the Lightroom 5 public beta so that you can jump in and start experimenting with these tools on your own. As always, bear in mind that this is a beta version, whose release is aimed at generating feedback and bug reports from a diverse user base. Tools, features and performance may change significantly before a final shipping version is released. You'll need to create a new Lightroom catalog to use version 5 and I'd never recommend performing mission critical work on an early beta release.

With that said, let's get started and take a look at the following:

System requirements

Users of older machines should note that the minimum operating system requirements for Lightroom have changed. Support for Windows Vista has been dropped. Lightroom now requires a version of Windows Windows 7, Service Pack 1 or higher. Mac users must be running OS 10.7 or higher.

Advanced Healing Brush

The Spot Removal tool is now more versatile, with the ability to use it as a brush... ...to remove unwanted scene elements.

While Lightroom's Spot Removal Tool is effective at hiding dust and small blemishes - one click at a time -  users have long been requesting a faster and more flexible retouching option. In response, Adobe has introduced significantly more advanced functionality to the Spot Removal Tool in the Lightroom 5 public beta. In addition to the regular click-a-circle approach, you can now paint on an image area to apply cloning and healing adjustments that can remove large, irregularly-shaped objects from the scene entirely.

If you're a user of Photoshop CS5 or later and use the Content-Aware mode in the Healing brush or Fill menu, start drooling now, because the ability to clone/heal irregular shapes - whether retouching crow's feet or removing scene elements - inside Lightroom eliminates perhaps the most common reason Lightroom users still head to Photoshop. Here's how it works.

With the Spot Removal tool (Q) selected (highlighted here in red), simply paint in one continuous stroke over the portion of the scene you want to remove. You'll now see a white overlay masking out the parking sign.
Release the mouse and you'll see two thin white outlines. Here, the one on the right is the area I painted, the outline on the left is Lightroom's best guess for a suitable location from which to fill that area. You're free to move this 'clone from' area at will to find the most natural-looking match. Here Lightroom did a very good job on its own, but more times than not, you'll need to manually adjust the positioning.
The next thing you'll invariably need to do is to examine your image carefully for any unnatural seams along the fill. The Spot Removal tool can seem like magic, but look closely and it usually needs a bit of help. I've made a couple of secondary fills, including the one shown here, to better blend some edges around the original fill.
Et voilĂ . Here's the final image. The result here is very believable and the whole process took about three minutes, including time spent hunting for imperfections.

The Spot Removal results won't always be this good when eliminating large objects. I'd bet that nearly all of the demos you're going to see of this tool involve large areas of grass, sand or other repeating textures. Like Photoshop's Content-Aware Fill option, this technique requires large patches of consistent color and tone to work well. Patterns like grass, sand and masonry are very helpful for hiding seams.

This new Spot Removal capability is something you'll definitely want to experiment with to get the most out of, so we've provided the full size images used in the above example so you can try out the Spot Removal tool's new functionality for yourself. Click to download the before image and the after image.

As I mentioned earlier, you can still use the Spot Removal tool just as you always have, one click at a time. And that's still the best way to handle the dust-spotting of your images. And for those instances, Lightroom 5 public beta offers a Visualize Spots option (shown below), that when checked, provides a 'Threshold' view to more easily identify spots.

The Visualize Spots option gives a Photoshop-like Threshold preview to help you find even that one single dust spot (highlighted in red) that's going to keep you up at night. You control the intensity of the Threshold view with the slider. This Threshold view is only for preview purposes and your image colors remain untouched.

Radial Gradient

Photoshop users who've tried the Blur Gallery tools in CS6 will recognize the interface of Lightroom 5 public beta's new Radial Gradient Tool (Shift+M). This newest addition to Lightroom's group of selective editing tools features the same slider options for white balance, exposure, sharpening, noise and moiré removal as the Adjustment Brush and Graduated Filter. The difference here is that you draw an oval shape around the area where you want to direct the viewer's attention. Here are three examples of how this can be put to use.

In this animal portrait, it's clear through use of depth of field and composition where the viewer's attention should be directed - to the dog's eye. Yet the overall image is a bit dull.
With the Radial Gradient Filter (shown here in green) activated, you click-drag to draw an oval shape - in this case a circle - around the point of interest. Here I've brought down exposure and shadows (sliders are highlighted in red). It's important to note that these changes are made to the area surrounding the circle I've drawn. By default, the Radial Gradient Filter masks out, or protects the area you've selected.

In the example above, you could certainly achieve this result by painting with the Adjustment Brush, but using the new Radial Gradient Filter is much faster precisely because you're selecting the relatively small area that you want to protect from the edits. With the Adjustment Brush I would have had to paint everywhere except the oval area around the eye.

The Radial Gradient Filter has additional functional benefits as well. In the example below, I've drawn an oval shape and adjusted the feathering of the exposure edits.

In this image I wanted to produce greater tonal separation between the flower at left and the background. Because my subject is in the far left corner, the standard Gradient Filter, while great for linear adjustments, is of limited use. After drawing an oval around the flower I lowered exposure, boosted contrast and darkend shadows of the area around the subject. By default, Lightroom sets a Feather amount of 100 to reduce the appearence of hard edges. At such a high value, though it does allow the adjustments to bleed well into the protected area. So I reduced the Feather amount (highlighted in green) to 42. So far, I've found that for more conservative edits you can go as low as 35-40 without introducing a hard edge.

If the previous examples are a bit too dramatic for your tastes, you can use the Radial Gradient Filter for very subtle results, as shown below.

In this original image I felt that my subject could benefit from standing out just a bit more from the background.
By using the Radial Gradient Filter, I was able to give him greater separation without calling undue attention to the edit.

As with any of Lightroom's selective edit tools you can apply multiple pins to achieve different results on separate areas of the image. That's what I've done to get the result shown above. Here's how.

I drew an oval around my subject and made exposure and sharpness adjustments to the background. I was pleased with the results save for the sickly greenish-yellow tones in his face.
After making a second selection around just his face, I clicked the Invert Mask box (highlighted in green). This changes the gradient behavior so adjustments I make now apply to the area I've selected, not the background. A small change to the WB Temp and Tint sliders gave a more pleasing result.

The new Radial Gradient Filter is intuitive and provides a lot of flexibility for precisely targeted edits. It's very easy to go overboard into the realm of smartphone filters, but equally you can use it to more subtle effect for natural-looking, yet still dramatic results.

Upright tool

Lightroom 5 public beta introduces an automated perspective correction and leveling tool. It's called, appropriately enough, Upright, and is an important addition for both architectural pros using wide angle lenses and vacationing photographers who often find themselves pointing their camera up at tourist attractions.

Located in the Basic tab of the Lens Corrections panel, Upright offers four options, all of which adapt intelligently by analyzing the scene. 'Level' searches for horizontal lines that are slanted and straightens them. 'Vertical' duplicates this effect but corrects for off-axis vertical lines as well. 'Full', as its name suggests, attempts to correct for any perspective or alignment issues and is easily the most aggressive of the options here. The Auto button similarly corrects for these, but takes a much more conservative approach, striking a balance between corrections and aspect ratio. For most images this is an optimal starting point.

Upright works most effectively when used after checking the Enable Profile Corrections box. This allows its algorithms to take into account the lens characteristics contained in a Lightroom lens profile. You can still use Upright on unsupported lenses, but it's best to enable these profile corrections where possible. Below we'll take a look at a couple examples.

In this image I titled the camera up to include the second floor patios. The result is noticeable keystoning where the vertical lines appear to lean back away from the camera.
A simple click on Upright's Full button automatically corrects the perspective.

 Here's another example of perspective distortion that required more drastic correction.

At left is the original image. In the center is the result when I clicked Auto. You'll notice white edges along the sides near the bottom. That's because the perspective correction was severe enough that Lightroom ran out of image to fill in the gaps. When I clicked the Constrain Crop box, however, Lightroom automatically cropped the image to remove the white areas.

It's important to note that after performing its corrections, Upright is cropping your image. It's not creating new pixels to fill in blank image areas. This means you end up with a file of smaller dimensions, just as you would with a manual crop. But it greatly minimizes the possibility of compromised image quality along the edges of your image.

Below is an example of just how much image area can be lost after the correction, something to be aware of when shooting detailed interior scenes such as this one.

This is the image result after applying Upright. Correcting for the skewing you see in this original version of the image means cropping off a significant portion from the bottom (indicated here by the shaded area).

Smart Previews

Okay, here's the update that may get overlooked, but one that has serious workflow implications for nearly every Lightroom user. Lightroom 5 public beta now lets you edit images that are offline. That's right, you're no longer prevented by the '?' icon from making Develop module adjustments to files on drives that are not plugged in.

This is made possible by Smart Previews. Built on the lossy DNG file format Adobe introduced back in Lightroom 4, a Smart Preview is a lower resolution (2540 pixels in the long dimension) DNG file that takes up only a small fraction of a full-size DNG file. When available, Lightroom will use this Smart Preview to provide an image preview in the Develop module. Best of all, any edits you make to the photo are re-associated with to the original raw file and its 1:1 preview once the file is brought back online.

In the Library module you can selectively generate Smart Previews by clicking on the Original Photo box underneath the histogram. That brings up a dialog window explaining the rationale behind Smart Previews along with a confirmation button.

The only catch here is that you must proactively generate a Smart Preview with the image still online. You can do this to a single or multiple images by checking the Original Photo box shown above. You can also turn on an option to create Smart Previews upon each new Import session.

While this may just seem like a boon to those who don't want the hassle of plugging in missing drives, what's really valuable is the ability to export your Lightroom catalog, using only Smart Previews, to a laptop with smaller storage capacity than your desktop machine when traveling. This makes it feasible to not only add metadata but to edit any images in your existing catalog while on the road without lugging around numerous external hard drives for storage.

How much space do you save? We're still running comparisons, but in a Lightroom 5 public beta test catalog containing 1100 raw files, the standard Previews.lrdata file (which contained 1:1 previews) took up 3.65GB of storage. We exported this same catalog of images using only Smart Previews and the resulting Smart Preview.lrdata file weighed in at a meager 420MB. The size of each Lightroom catalog (.lrcat) itself was essentially identical.

Click here to continue reading our Lightroom 5 public beta preview...

The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions held by dpreview.com or any affiliated companies.

Comments

Total comments: 90
Moto Fotoe
By Moto Fotoe (8 months ago)

..To bad LR5 release is riddled with show stopping bugs. Its been over 2 months with no update to address any of them. Not to mention how much slower it is in comparison with version 3 or even 4. I wouldn't buy just yet, but by the time LR6 release I'm sure they will be fixed some of them.

1 upvote
Clint009
By Clint009 (10 months ago)

Suggestion on the title "Lightroom 5" only . "Beta" word should be removed since the real version is out.

0 upvotes
Jim Evidon
By Jim Evidon (10 months ago)

When Adobe's press release said that PS was going to the cloud and anyone wanting the updates had to subscribe, I thought, how great for the professionals who have been paying a kings ransom to upgrade their suites every year or so, and how sad for amateurs who buy only a single program for a few hundred dollars and get several years use out of it. Adobe also said that Lightroom would continue as a stand-alone application.

As a long time PS user who, in the past two years has moved to LR, going back to PS for some of the tools like content aware, this latest move by Adobe comes as a real blessing. Adobe hasn't forgotten about the lowly amateur market after all. Three cheers for Adobe, and I will be downloading the latest version in the next few days. Hoorah!

1 upvote
Jim Evidon
By Jim Evidon (10 months ago)

When Adobe's press release said that PS was going to the cloud and anyone wanting the updates had to subscribe, I thought, how great for the professionals who have been paying a kings ransom to upgrade their suites every year or so, and how sad for amateurs who buy only a single program for a few hundred dollars and get several years use out of it. Adobe also said that Lightroom would continue as a stand-alone application.

As a long time PS user who, in the past two years has moved to LR, going back to PS for some of the tools like content aware, this latest move by Adobe comes as a real blessing. Adobe hasn't forgotten about the lowly amateur market after all. Three cheers for Adobe, and I will be downloading the latest version in the next few days. Hoorah!

0 upvotes
Frederik Paul
By Frederik Paul (10 months ago)

Basically, even more PS in LR. So what do we get here, what do we want? Raw development or picture retouching? Let's see how far this goes and there won't be too much of a difference between the two. It's the same as with cars: entry level cars are getting bigger and bigger, and at some point a new model below gets introduced and it starts anew.

0 upvotes
Spectro
By Spectro (10 months ago)

Radial Gradient seam like nik captureNX u-point. Actually it is like an expanded paintbrush tool too. this is quite useful to have both. If LR5 has a speed increase then it is a worthy upgrade, if not LR4 is good enough. Both use the same raw converter engine for most of the newer cameras unlike LR3.

Comment edited 2 times, last edit 2 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
Radders
By Radders (10 months ago)

Looks like Apple have alot of catching up to do. I've never thought about switching to Lightroom before until now.

2 upvotes
Clint009
By Clint009 (10 months ago)

No hesitation. Do it. Since Lightroom 4 I didn't touch at the iPhoto at all. I'll upgrade soon to 5

0 upvotes
KW Phua
By KW Phua (10 months ago)

I am waiting to see what Apple bring to Aperture.

4 upvotes
SeeRoy
By SeeRoy (10 months ago)

Good to know that by adding perspective correction we'll now be seeing far more top-heavy buildings in holiday snaps.

1 upvote
HubertChen
By HubertChen (10 months ago)

How is this cynical comment helping ? Do you want to motivate Adobe to take this useful feature out ? Do you want to discourage new photographer to use this nice tool to clean up their pics? What is going through your mind to make a good thing sour for others ?

16 upvotes
TFergus
By TFergus (9 months ago)

The problem is that the feature "over-corrects".
I don't see a problem with SeeRoy's comment.

And if Adobe were oversensitive enough to remove things due to complaints, Photoshop would be a pretty empty program.

Acrobat wouldn't even exist.

1 upvote
thejohnnerparty
By thejohnnerparty (9 months ago)

LOL ;-)

0 upvotes
Epizentrum
By Epizentrum (10 months ago)

dpreview, thank you for the excellent review - aka tutorial!

Why all the booing and bashing, peeps? I use Lightroom a lot and think Adobe made a good step forward with this release. Sure, there can always be more. Personally, I prefer well focused tools over big feature monsters that get slower and more resource hungry with each release.

2 upvotes
Clint009
By Clint009 (10 months ago)

I need that version 5, I will be able to move my mother-in-law out and easy. :)

2 upvotes
HubertChen
By HubertChen (10 months ago)

Thanks for adding some humor here!

0 upvotes
carpe177
By carpe177 (7 months ago)

What a great joke. Made me laugh aloud! But don't be too cruel. Clone her out into the garden. Oh, into the sunshine - not a Typhoon!

0 upvotes
p12
By p12 (11 months ago)

if you don't like to import your pictures first, try out this editor

http://www.acdsee.com/en/products/acdsee-pro-6

it is faster than lightroom!

1 upvote
Vince P
By Vince P (11 months ago)

Smart previews could be a huge part of Adobe's future. They could enable remote and collaborative editing of images on any device.

2 upvotes
GabrielZ
By GabrielZ (11 months ago)

Those new editing module features are really what I've been waiting for.

1 upvote
String
By String (11 months ago)

Any word if the Nik plugins are working okay with the beta?

0 upvotes
Les Freed
By Les Freed (10 months ago)

The seem to be OK with the beta and the release version as well.

0 upvotes
kcccc
By kcccc (11 months ago)

Why nobody here mentions inclusion of anti-blur function, which has attracted lots of rumors in PS, in LR5? That alone is worth the upgrade.

0 upvotes
Oli4D
By Oli4D (11 months ago)

You mean the new Photoshop Filter "shake reduction"?
As far as I know, that is only included in the upcomming Photoshop CC.
What makes you think it is also included in Lightroom? Did you test? Is it there?
I don't have the beta... so I don't know. But I thought that it's a PS only feature.
Or do you have other information?
Does anyone have?

0 upvotes
dblues
By dblues (Apr 21, 2013)

You can already do most of this in Sagelight for a fraction of what the cost of LR5 will be.

0 upvotes
dblues
By dblues (Apr 21, 2013)

Well, not exactly, but pretty close.

0 upvotes
Elliven
By Elliven (Apr 21, 2013)

I have Windows 8 (32) on my computer and have recently downloaded and installed the Lightroom 5 beta. My problem is that in importing images into Lightroom 5, they just show up as gray tiles in the library and develop areas.

A friend suggested that my display driver may need to be upgraded but I have checked and it is the most up to date driver for my system. ATI Mobility Radeon HD 3650 (Microsoft Corporation- WDDM v1.1)

Every other photographic program I have installed, including Photoshop elements 9 and Picasa, all display perfect images.

Help!! please.

Comment edited 26 seconds after posting
0 upvotes
dblues
By dblues (Apr 21, 2013)

Don't you need a 64 bit OS?

Comment edited 50 seconds after posting
0 upvotes
rogerstpierre
By rogerstpierre (11 months ago)

Grey tiles happened to me with V4 and Win 7, and it has to do with your screen color profile. Go to control panel, Color Management, and set the screen ICC profile to sRGB.

0 upvotes
ptodd
By ptodd (Apr 19, 2013)

No GPU acceleration?

1 upvote
HubertChen
By HubertChen (11 months ago)

No GPU acceleration. In an interview an Adobe Developer commented that this would be a cool feature and to be considered in the future. We have used Premiere with and without GPU acceleration and it is a difference as in day and night.

0 upvotes
fivetonsflax
By fivetonsflax (10 months ago)

Good question. If LR5 had faster processing, my wallet would be just leaping out of my pocket.

0 upvotes
h2k
By h2k (Apr 17, 2013)

I also find the catalog annoying and partly confusing. You have to remember to save your adjustments and metadata within the image file (i think you can tell LR to always write everything straight into the image file).

0 upvotes
BaldCol
By BaldCol (Apr 29, 2013)

If you convert to DNG then the adjustments can be saved in the file. Otherwise LR can save to associated XMP files.

0 upvotes
John Motts
By John Motts (10 months ago)

The adjustments are always there in LR for when you come back to it. You don't need to manually save them. They are then used when the image is finally exported.

If you want to use the adjustments for a RAW file to be later opened by ACR then you can instruct Lightroom to save XMP files with the RAW files.

0 upvotes
Jay Jenner
By Jay Jenner (Apr 17, 2013)

This actually looks good and I shall probably buy iy. I am using 3.6 at the moment. I wonder how performance is? I use an i7 PC with 12 gb of ram with an SSD for boot drive and a separate SSD just for Lightroom and Bridge catalogues, and its still not a nippy as I would like it to be.
Also, I would love to see a facility for adding a simple border to an image. I know you can do it in print module but its clunky.

0 upvotes
Graham Hilling
By Graham Hilling (Apr 20, 2013)

You should check out the Mogrify plugin (http://www.photographers-toolbox.com/products/lrmogrify2.php)
This will allow you to add borders and a whole lot more....

0 upvotes
Kwik-E-Mart
By Kwik-E-Mart (Apr 17, 2013)

Come on... I know you guys can do it!
Still waiting for Facial Recognition!

4 upvotes
JWest
By JWest (Apr 17, 2013)

It seems like a lot of people are. I won't be upgrading until it arrives.

0 upvotes
ptodd
By ptodd (Apr 19, 2013)

They're probably sensitive to some misplaced snobbery from self-important users who think such a feature is 'too consumer-y' for pros like them. I've definitely read such comments on their forums. Never mind that a) many users are not pros and there is nothing wrong with that (some of us amateurs don't want a separate Picasa or iPhoto catalog) b) surely many types of pros would also benefit: photo-journalists, event / sport photographers etc. c) time spent implementing one feature isn't necessarily at the cost of others; seems to me that if it is profitable then it would more than pay for the extra developer manpower...

1 upvote
BaldCol
By BaldCol (Apr 29, 2013)

Why is Facial Recognition so important?

4 upvotes
VidJa
By VidJa (11 months ago)

My first thought as well...on second thought. If I'm taking pictures of a wedding, lets say 2000, I would only have to tag the images in a few photos with the right name and voila, I can instantly find all the other images in the set with aunt Ellis and uncle Joe. Now, one of my friends is a sports photographer, about 15-20K images a year, sometimes more. He sure wants face recognition to find all the shots of a particular player.

1 upvote
paul simon king
By paul simon king (10 months ago)

easy solution - just upload them all to Facebook!
:p

1 upvote
Dylan Borgman
By Dylan Borgman (Apr 16, 2013)

Can anyone clarify if the LAB color readout is simply a color inspector or it allows us to manipulate curves in LAB space?

0 upvotes
Kwik-E-Mart
By Kwik-E-Mart (Apr 17, 2013)

Curves in LAB would be a great improvement.

0 upvotes
richardplondon
By richardplondon (Apr 19, 2013)

Using LAB curves instead of the usual RGB curves, is a common Photoshop technique to overcome some issues with RGB mode Curves. Few people use Lab for deliberately changing hues - altering a / b instead of R G B - they usually want Lab because they want to manipulate L in isolation. Alternatively, a Curves adjustment layer can be set to Luminance blending mode and achieve much the same effect on-the-fly without converting your whole image's colour mode.

Lightroom's tonal adjustments, just like those in ACR, have always worked in Luminance ANYWAY - one of the nicer aspects of working there rather than in PS. The separated RGB options of LR's Tone Curve are provided specifically for when you DO want to affect hue; as an exceptional matter, and in combination with many other hue controls such as WB and HSL. I don't see how Lab would add greatly to LR; its lack is no deficiency, anyway, IMO.

Comment edited 1 minute after posting
2 upvotes
paul simon king
By paul simon king (10 months ago)

not ccntesting your LR observations in the slightest but is LAB in Ps not used a lot more for a/b changes since Dan Marguilis Book? A lot of people I know seem to use itt for that

0 upvotes
uhligfd
By uhligfd (Apr 16, 2013)

I would like to see an enlargeable histogram window that would make white balance easier to figure out for me, maybe at least for the top half of the zones.

0 upvotes
Erik Korte
By Erik Korte (Apr 16, 2013)

I shoot Kitchen & Bath interiors (with an EF-S 10-22mm) and may I say the Upright Tool is a huge time saver.
The subtle changes to the other tools are nice too.
I wonder what else may sneak into version 5?

Bravo.

Comment edited 19 seconds after posting
0 upvotes
RonHendriks
By RonHendriks (Apr 16, 2013)

Looks good, is going to replace my Lightroom 3 version.

0 upvotes
elixer
By elixer (Apr 16, 2013)

Seems all good however, for years lightroom has been making upgrades and giving us new versions without addressing the issue of "logo placement" being more versatile. One would love to be able to complete photo-processing by placing 'a' logo at different points on each photo(and logo placement is important) before exporting. It'll be so much easier to edit logo placement in one smooth flow towards the end of our processing compared to the current time consuming method available.

5 upvotes
Dan Ortego
By Dan Ortego (Apr 17, 2013)

+1 for sure!

0 upvotes
Kusie
By Kusie (Apr 16, 2013)

"True Full Screen Mode" - AT LAST, after 4 major releases...
That was long overdue!

3 upvotes
MagnusN
By MagnusN (Apr 16, 2013)

Nice new features! Going to love that spot healing brush and automatic perspective corrections. In fact, last week when I was editing pictures of my apartment that I was putting up for sale, the perspective corrections drove me mad and I wished for a button to correct these things automatically. Now it's here. I'll say as Ken Rockwell: Wohoooo!

The only drawback is that I seem to have to update from using Snow Leopard before being able to use LR5.

Jylppy's suggestion for Automatic ranking based on sharpness and focus would be on my wish list, too. That would save me a lot of time when comparing similar shots. Hopefully there's a possibility to use the comparison tool with 100% magnification in this version, don't seem possible in the current one (4.4). Please, correct me if I'm wrong here.

0 upvotes
Carsten Saager
By Carsten Saager (Apr 16, 2013)

Played with it a bit under Vista x64 - at least so far it continues to work on this older OS

0 upvotes
Dan Ortego
By Dan Ortego (Apr 17, 2013)

That's encouraging news, because if it works on Vista it will work on anything.

2 upvotes
ihv
By ihv (Apr 16, 2013)

Very happy about focussing on editing. The healing brush alone makes me very happy.

1 upvote
Jan_Shim
By Jan_Shim (Apr 16, 2013)

Would be nice if Adobe releases a version without its cataloging engine. Not every photographer, pro or otherwise, want or need to catalog their pictures. I come from Corel Paintshop Pro, ACDsee camp where you would just browse to the folder containing the images and edit away. Paintshop Pro saves image thumbs in each folder so loading those hundreds or even a thousand images is really fast - very effective without a cataloging engine hogging computing resources or risk database corruption. The PSP way has been very effective unfortunately Corel still hasn't released a 64-bit version so I'm contemplating LR5 especially now it has a one-stop photo editing capability.

8 upvotes
LIMD
By LIMD (Apr 16, 2013)

You did not understand what Lightroom is about - undestructive image editing - changes live in the DB and not in the file. That is why db is required.
And - if you have 50000 images, would you like that on each start of application they are read, so their metadata (say keywords) are read in order that you can filter by metadata?

10 upvotes
Mongkul
By Mongkul (Apr 16, 2013)

I don't like its catalog too. I find it annoying. We should be able to just browse to the folder containing the RAW files and process them there.

6 upvotes
SeeRoy
By SeeRoy (Apr 16, 2013)

+1

0 upvotes
Amadou Diallo
By Amadou Diallo (Apr 16, 2013)

@Mongkul, what you're asking for is called Adobe Bridge.

10 upvotes
MikeSUtah
By MikeSUtah (Apr 16, 2013)

Agree. The cataloging approach sends me back to using Bridge each time I give Lightroom a try.

0 upvotes
HubertChen
By HubertChen (Apr 16, 2013)

I am combining the best of both using Lightroom:
a) Make Imports into folders. I am naming the folders as per my shoot topic, so they are easy to find even when simply browsing folders in the OS. All my edits and developments are done on images in the folders. So in case something happen to the database, my images ares still reasonably organized in folders I am familiar with and can browse without Lightroom ( also making backups of the catalog data base can be done automatic and increases safety )
b) Once Editing and developing is done, the keepers are associated to catalogs. This has the advantage, that one image can show up in several catalogs. Say you took a trip with the family to the zoo, you could have the same image show up in catalogs for say: ( Family | Zoo | Animals ). Really useful!

In short you can live with folders just as with ACDsee or you can use Catalogs or both.

Comment edited 2 minutes after posting
1 upvote
Glen Barrington
By Glen Barrington (Apr 17, 2013)

Then Lightroom is not for you. The database is the key component around which Lr is built (the raw engine is NOT the key component from an application design perspective). If you want software like ACDSee, then you should BUY ACDSee. The whole point of competition is to give consumers a choice. I, for one LIKE how Lr works.

3 upvotes
Renard DellaFave
By Renard DellaFave (Apr 21, 2013)

It's built around it, but clearly I"m not the only one who would like the "it" without the forced "workflow". It's as annoying as iPhoto. I end up importing a folder, doing my edits, then deleting the catalog entirely. What good is a database that can't keep track of little things like moving files using the filesystem or other apps? You're not supposed to touch anything w/o running it by LR first? Bah.

0 upvotes
Gregm61
By Gregm61 (10 months ago)

Lightroom's catalog feature sux, sux, sux. You should be able to open a file wherever the heck you put it in your computer. I refuse to start having to "import" images "into" a program before it can see them.

0 upvotes
goanna
By goanna (10 months ago)

Simple - if you don't want the cataloguing feature use other software and forget LR ever existed. There is plenty available.
To request LR without a Catalogue suggests to me you don't "GET" LR

0 upvotes
luchs
By luchs (Apr 16, 2013)

>> Aspect slider added to Manual Lens Corrections
That is what I was waiting for.

I also hope for a better Auto Tone/Auto Contrast tool.

The new gradient is neat for an off center vignette.

The healing brush would benefit from the ability to scale, rotate and skew the source to better match the destination. Maybe Adobe can put this in.

0 upvotes
Octane
By Octane (Apr 16, 2013)

Great features!

1 upvote
arscii
By arscii (Apr 16, 2013)

Call me when Lightroom supports layers. Until that time it's being deliberately crippled by Adobe to protect Photoshop revenues.

3 upvotes
jase
By jase (Apr 16, 2013)

Anything that I would have used layers for in the past, I now do in Silver Efex Pro or Color Efex Pro. I don't miss layers at all.

2 upvotes
HubertChen
By HubertChen (Apr 16, 2013)

To me the separation into two program makes sense. One is for Photography workflow offering all features you need, the other one is for intensive image manipulation, which most photographers do not need. Splitting these functions into two programs allows Lightroom to keep its price low and its learning curve still manageable. Since I have Lightroom I rarely use Photoshop anymore. If an image requires such massive manipulation I rather prefer to toss or re-shoot it. If I need Photoshop, I almost exclusively use it for product photography. As such integration between LR and PS is OK. However, I am not happy that once being in Photoshop the file size explodes. Is there any way around that ?

4 upvotes
ClickJohnClick
By ClickJohnClick (Apr 18, 2013)

Lightroom is a product for photographers. Photoshop (with its layers and other image-manipulation trickery) is a tool for graphic designers. There's no conspiracy here, only a misunderstanding of target markets.

5 upvotes
nathansmith
By nathansmith (Apr 19, 2013)

Lightroom doesn't need Layers. It's non-destructive. You can use the brush tool, and by clicking on the checkbox in the lower left, you SEE the mask. It has quite excellent edge detection, and one brush can do a multitude of things. The one huge feature that 5 has is now a retouching brush, whereas 4 and under only did spot retouching. You can start in Lightroom, do all the Adobe Camera Raw adjustments, most retouching now, and if you need to do more, or use levels, then move it to Photoshop. I use Lightroom with PS6, but 85% of what I need to do I can do in Lightroom.

Comment edited 40 seconds after posting
5 upvotes
mikew5163
By mikew5163 (Apr 22, 2013)

One place where layers would be useful in Lightroom would be to blend two exposures of the same scene together. I'm thinking in particular of landscape scenarios where one would shoot two exposures - one for the foreground and one for the sky. This avoids the need for ND grad filters and allows more freedom over the blending but at the moment using this technique requires a trip to PS to merge the two images together. If this could be done in LR I would probably never need to use PS again!

2 upvotes
goanna
By goanna (10 months ago)

NO Layers for Lightroom Please - It is not a pixel editing program.

0 upvotes
Jylppy
By Jylppy (Apr 16, 2013)

Smart Previews sound definitely good one, but otherwise I am not in hurry to upgrade from LR 4.4.

Here is my wish-list for improvement:
- Performance improvement. Quad-core 64bit Win7 with 8GB RAM seem not to be fast enough... Maybe I need to go for SSD next
- Super-fast previews without/before/during import for photo selection (aka FastPictureViewer).
- Focus Peaking in Library/development modules: Automatic highlight of areas that are in focus
- Automatic photo ranking based on photo quality (focus/blurriness, 2. exposure) . LR could run face recognition to the images and then check whether eyes are in focus
- Noise reduction can still be improved
- Auto level options could have some AI added. Auto Level constantly fails on certain type of images. The tool could learn from users settings and adapt its behavior.
- Better / easier sync/merge between catalogs to facilitate Desktop/laptop catalog sharing and editing on multiple computers.

5 upvotes
Glen Barrington
By Glen Barrington (Apr 17, 2013)

I'm in the skip every other upgrade camp. With the release of Lr 3, it was obvious that Lightroom is a mature product. As a result, I skipped Lr 4, I didn't think it offered enough improvements to make the upgrade worth the cost to me. V5, on the other hand, seems like a significant improvement to me that I can give up on that elusive search for the perfect companion editor to Lr. Why? Lr keeps making an editor ever more redundant.

I've been looking for software that would allow me to move to Linux, but I'm afraid if v5 is any good at all, this will keep me in the Windows camp a bit longer (Unless Adobe smartens up and offers a Linux version)

Comment edited 1 minute after posting
1 upvote
nathansmith
By nathansmith (Apr 19, 2013)

Lightroom 4 was so much better than 3 in its control, and it's color engine. The Adobe Camera Raw is the same as PS6. But 5, with it's healing brush, full screen view, and Upright tool, rocks. If you're a pro at all, the upgrade was and is worth $79.

3 upvotes
gonzalu
By gonzalu (Apr 16, 2013)

Still waiting for TRUE Auto Contrast/Color/Tone like in Photoshop. Just Auto Contrast alone would be awesome.

2 upvotes
theoschela
By theoschela (Apr 16, 2013)

I tried running it and had a Catalog issue and now after a reinstall it still tells me it cannot launch from source blah blah... glad my Lr4.4 still works fine...

0 upvotes
Tony Bonanno
By Tony Bonanno (Apr 16, 2013)

"BETA" versions of LR cannot import your existing catalog (for your own protection :-). You have to create a new LR 5 catalog. When LR 5 is more refined, it will be released as a RC or as a final version and then you can import your existing catalog(s). You will also notice that downloading and installing the Beta of LR 5 does not over-write your Version 4.4.

Comment edited 1 minute after posting
4 upvotes
dparsons
By dparsons (Apr 16, 2013)

I'm surprised there is no HDR, Image stacking and Focus Stacking .. I guess that would imply the use of Layers and Lightroom is very much single image .. So kinda makes sense .. I love Lightroom and I like these updates anyway ..

5 upvotes
jase
By jase (Apr 16, 2013)

There is HDR in LR4, I'm sure it's carried over.

0 upvotes
dcmackintosh
By dcmackintosh (Apr 16, 2013)

There is no merging of multiple images in LR4 for either HDR or panoramas. Both would be nice additions.

0 upvotes
John Swenson
By John Swenson (Apr 16, 2013)

Still no HDR and panorama stitching even in LR5! Looks like Adobe is still trying to protect sales of Photoshop.

It sure would be simpler (and save spending lots of $$$ on Photoshop) to be able to stitch panoramas and merge images for HDR directly in Lightroom.

0 upvotes
pauljcoles
By pauljcoles (Apr 17, 2013)

I use http://www.photographers-toolbox.com/products/lrenfuse.php. It lives in the Plug-in Extras menu, when it's complete it plops the combined image into the selected stack.

0 upvotes
graybalanced
By graybalanced (Apr 17, 2013)

I'm not surprised at all. This isn't Photoshop,..LR works nondestructively with raw images primarily. That means any edits to your multi-image photos, whether they be HDR, pano, or focus stack, need to be recalculated from the raws all the way through the previews.

People already complain about LR4 being slow, I shudder to think how long you would have to wait for edits to propagate through a 12-image pano or a 5-image HDR made up entirely of raw files when you also include the merging calculations.

In Photoshop you avoid all those problems because the images get merged down into one. It's destructive editing, but it sure cuts down on recalc times.

1 upvote
mikiev
By mikiev (Apr 15, 2013)

Thanks for the preview.

I skipped LR4 because my software path was LR Beta, LR1, LR2, A2, LR3, and then A3... but I'm liking what I see in LR5. :)

0 upvotes
Total comments: 90