Lightroom 4 Review

Enhanced video support

Lightroom 4 expands significantly on the range of options available with video files. You can playback and scrub video in the Library module. You can trim video clips non-destructively as well as apply a subset of Lightroom's image editing tools. Common video formats like .mov and .mp4 are supported along with .mts files generated from AVCHD output.

You can drag the trim handles (circled in red) to remove unwanted frames from both the beginning and end of the video clip. A time marker below the thumbnails shows the location of the playback head.

You can apply image enhancing edits by using the Library module's Quick Develop buttons. Note that the Crop, Highlights, Shadows and Clarity options are disabled for video files.

You have access to a number of image editing tools in the Quick Develop panel.
You can correct the WB of a video clip with a Lightroom Auto WB setting and/or by adjusting Temperature and Tint values manually.
In addition to making exposure and contrast adjustments you can also convert the video clip to Black & White by selecting the option in the Quick Develop panel's Treatment menu.

While video files cannot be opened in the Develop module, you can apply a subset of the Develop module tools by selecting a saved preset.

The Saved Preset option at the top of the Quick Develop panel includes video-compatible presets. If you choose a non-video preset containing settings that cannot be applied, the dialog box shown above appears.

You can export video directly from Lightroom in either DPX, H.264 or the file's existing format. Video files can be included in collections that are published to Facebook and Flickr via their Lightroom-supplied plug-ins.

A popup menu in the playback bar allows you to select the poster frame for a clip - the thumbnail that appears in Grid view. Additionally you can extract a single video frame as a JPEG file.

Other goodies

We've now looked at the headline features and additions to Lightroom 4. Here are some other noteworthy changes that have been included in the new release.

  • DNG lossy compression option and the ability to export reduced resolution raw files
  • New zoom ratios of 1:8 and 1:16 in the Library and Develop modules
  • NR effects are now rendered in image previews other than 1:1 view
  • One-click Chromatic Aberration (CA) removal in Lens Corrections panel
  • Ability to filter searches by saved versus unsaved metadata status
  • Ability to hide modules by right-clicking on the module picker
  • Crop tool supports four digit aspect ratios (facilitates using screen resolutions as aspect ratios)
  • Global flag status (regardless of image location)
  • Color managed Flash galleries
  • Email images directly from Lightroom (using desktop client or AOL, Yahoo, Hotmail and Gmail accounts)
  • Language options (Mac only)
  • Ability to simultaneously move multiple folders between volumes
  • Hierarchical presets display
  • Disk burning available on Windows 64-bit systems

Changes since the public beta

If you've already explored the public beta you'll find very little has changed with the final release. Here's a list of the differences that you will see in the shipping version.

  • Lightroom 3 (and earlier) catalogs can now be converted
  • Blurb books can now contain up to 240 pages
  • Reverse geocoding has been enabled in the Maps module
  • Video compatible presets have been added and Develop module presets have been updated
  • Auto tone settings in the Develop module have been updated
  • The range of temperature and tint WB adjustments in the localized tools have been expanded
  • Process Version (PV) is now an option in the copy/sync dialog
  • The Clarity slider has a gentler effect on overall image brightness when moved in a positive direction
  • The chromatic aberration (CA) algorithm has been adjusted

Conclusion

Lightroom 4 is a substantial upgrade and for many users will represent a significant change from their current Lightroom workflow. Yet it does not take long to get the hang of the changes to the Develop module, for instance, and after processing dozens of images in PV2012, I find I am consistently getting pleasing results in fewer discrete steps.

Users who are importing video from their cameras will be pleased with Adobe's decision for greater video support. It's clear that Lightroom is not aiming to compete with Adobe Premiere, or even iMovie for that matter. Yet the tools that are on offer represent a commitment to video and make a strong case for using Lightroom to manage your video content as well.

With GPS support clearly on the rise from camera makers, the Maps module may soon become a much more essential part of many photographers' workflow. The Books module still feels rather un-Lightroom-like at this point. It's not as intuitive to use as it could be, but to be fair does offer quite a number of options for tailoring content to your needs.

For many (myself included), the use of Lightroom is based first and foremost around image quality. Adobe can add all the bells and whistles they want in order to keep pace with the competition, but I have to be able to get great looking results from my raw files. With version 4 it's clear that the Lightroom team has kept its eye on the prize, so to speak.

The raw conversion engine introduced with PV2012 strikes a better balance between image sharpness, detail rendition and noise reduction. A new, automated CA correction tool works impressively well on a range of images. And the addition of more localized adjustment parameters saves some trips to Photoshop. Put simply, you can get superior results from raw files compared to previous versions. It's hard to think of a more compelling reason to upgrade than that.

And while the changes to Lightroom 4 are significant, keep in mind that Adobe traditionally saves at least another feature or two for their famed '.1' releases. So stay tuned.


Amadou Diallo is a technical writer at dpreview, a photographer and author who has taught Lightroom in seminars and workshops throughout the U.S. His fine art work can be seen at diallophotography.com.

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: 480
1234
Azimuth46
By Azimuth46 (Mar 6, 2012)

Develop module - I have a really BIG concern ... can all my develop presets (more than 300 now!) be converted correctly so that the changes that one of them applied to one pic in the 2010 PV are the _same_ changes the same preset applies in the 2012 PV?

Comment edited 35 seconds after posting
1 upvote
Haelstrom
By Haelstrom (Mar 6, 2012)

Generally speaking Adobe has been good in the past at making sure that presets are not changed with a new version. However, they have had their share of debacles. I would like to know this as well. Would hate to have to go thru all my photos and retouch them. At the same time though I would like the ability to take specific photos and retouch them to see if I can make any improvements. But this should be optional and not required.

0 upvotes
Lee Jay
By Lee Jay (Mar 6, 2012)

Not precisely. The upgrade can be very accurate, or quite inaccurate depending on how extreme the adjustments are.

0 upvotes
Azimuth46
By Azimuth46 (Mar 6, 2012)

I'm not talking of Adobe LR presets (those that are installed by default and that come along with the LR itself) ... I'm quite sure Adobe has made a good job keeping them coherent with those of LR 3.x . I'm talking about of the huge numbers of largely available (on the net) presets .
I'd like to know if they will be converted _CORRECTLY_ with the 2012 PV so that they will work applying the _SAME_ _VISUAL_ changes as they did in LR 3.x . Then I know I'll have larger room to retouch any single photo by the way of the new improvements. But I sitll need the old presets working as usually they did as the steady coherent base for the retouch workflow.

Comment edited 56 seconds after posting
0 upvotes
NetMage
By NetMage (Mar 6, 2012)

I don't think that is possible - logically, there would not need to be a new process version if all they did was put a new UI on the same controls the old process version contained.

The new controls set values for new algorithms (fill light apparently the most obvious) that don't work like the old algorithms, and can't produce the same results.

You have to develop new presets for PV2012 that apply the same type of changes, hopefully with better results.

0 upvotes
Azimuth46
By Azimuth46 (Mar 7, 2012)

fantastic! How?

0 upvotes
Azimuth46
By Azimuth46 (Mar 7, 2012)

I mean ... how do you develop all the new presets for PV2012 based on the old presets?

0 upvotes
rogdp
By rogdp (Mar 6, 2012)

Slideshow - still cannot mix videos with stills. This is both disappointing and strange. Given that videos can be played in Library, which accountant decided that the budget wouldn't run to Slideshow?

2 upvotes
bernd ott
By bernd ott (Mar 6, 2012)

All good so far but still no multi user option. Capture is with the Capture Pilot a big step ahead of the game. All they need to do is port that little piece of software for a mac or pc and you can properly edit a shoot while another digital operator is working on it.
At the moment i'm using both programs depending on the job but the day phase one comes out with this solution it sadly is bye bye lightroom.

0 upvotes
slimandy
By slimandy (Mar 6, 2012)

If I hadn't already ordered this a few hours ago I would definately order it now! Can't wait!

1 upvote
LiSkynden
By LiSkynden (Mar 6, 2012)

"support for Windows XP has been dropped" thats that for me then. Stupid Adobe, i bet there are still million people who use XP.
My wife works at school and all the school's computers have XP ... what does that tell you Adobe?

... i wonder if it still installs tho. :/

5 upvotes
Artistico
By Artistico (Mar 6, 2012)

If you still use XP, that says more about you than about Adobe. Also, there is no reason you can't keep using LR3. It didn't suddenly become a terrible program just because there is a new version out...

15 upvotes
StevenN
By StevenN (Mar 6, 2012)

Windows XP is the second most widely used operating system in the world. There are still millions of users out there who don't find it necessary or want to upgrade to Windows 7. That was very short-sighted of Adobe to not support XP.

5 upvotes
VirtualMirage
By VirtualMirage (Mar 6, 2012)

It tells me that the schools need to upgrade their machines soon. Windows XP is over 10 years old, hasn't been sold in retail for 4 years, hasn't been option on prebuilt PCs for almost 2 years, and Microsoft has been phasing Windows XP into EOL over the past few years. Support for XP was supposed to stop all together about 2 years ago but Microsoft decided to extend the limited "Extended Support" out to 2014 due to the large user base and demand. Essentially, everyone has had at least a 2 years notice.

If Adobe continued to offer support for every past operating system out there, then there would be no progress with the application. It would bloat, performance increases would be minimal, etc. all for the sake of expanded compatibility.

As Artistico said, you can continue to use LR3. It still works.

Or with LR4 being cheaper now, you could by a copy of Windows 7 64-bit and an upgrade of LR4 for the same price or less than a full version of LR3 would have cost when it first came out.

9 upvotes
Photog23
By Photog23 (Mar 6, 2012)

So somehow magically schools and corps will have the money to upgrade their Windows with all the required support headaches, just because VirtualaMirage says the should? Me, I'd rather they spend money on jobs and minimize further levies.

No, the smart idea is just don't upgrade lightroom....or buy it at all.

9 upvotes
mikiev
By mikiev (Mar 6, 2012)

Yeah,

Like the company I work for, which is still running XP and Office 2003 - because its been working fine for years, and we have IT staff to support it.

It would be "nice" if they could afford to upgrade to the latest & greatest, but it isn't critical for what we do.

5 upvotes
Edward Crim
By Edward Crim (Mar 6, 2012)

"...it isn't critical for what we do." Exactly. To run my large format printer RIP, I use Windows XP and Onyx Poster Shop. For email, accounting and calendar and basic photoshop work, I use a G5 with Mac OS10.4. For downloading, sorting and editing 2000 or so images after an assignment, I use the latest and the greatest.
Task appropriate tools are one of the keys to smooth workflow and high quality product. LR just got a heck of a lot better, and if that requires a new computer, then that's the price of quality.

0 upvotes
VirtualMirage
By VirtualMirage (Mar 6, 2012)

I work in IT with well over 1,000 servers in my environment with 50x that in client machines that are still on XP that will be upgraded to 7 in the next year.

My statement wasn't meant to be crude, it's just a fact. Support for XP is going away. When support ends, you're screwed.

Us techs can't create our own patches for the OS. Sometimes, we need to call MS for support. In an environment where IA is breathing down our necks for increased security, this is not an option.

Yes, XP has one of the largest user bases. Why is that? Is it superior to all other OS's out there? No. Is it more secure? Nope. Is it because of how long it has been out with no refresh and how easy it was to pirate? Ding, ding...I think we have a winner.

MS would not be doing itself any favors by continuing support of XP. The longer XP is supported, the larger the user base will get. That makes it harder to innovate and convince other to upgrade to a superior, more secure product.

Change is inevitable.

0 upvotes
VirtualMirage
By VirtualMirage (Mar 6, 2012)

And just an addendum since I ran out of space:

Why does it matter if your schools or corporate environment are still using XP? Do they need Lightroom 4 on all their PCs as well? And if so, why would the need for a newer version of Lightroom outweigh the need to upgrade their OS, where the cost between the two would essentially be about the same?

I've never seen a school or corporate environment have such a desire for a product that they need on all their machines where their existing hardware doesn't support it. If so, then their priorities are out of order. Usually, they will have a few dedicated machines that are capable for this tasking, especially for editing.

If XP is still suiting their needs, great. There are still several products out there that run fine on XP. They are just going to find that more and more software developers will be doing the same thing soon and fewer and fewer new programs will be supported on the antiquated OS. Just be aware support is ending soon.

0 upvotes
Antony John
By Antony John (Mar 6, 2012)

With MS it's more like "Resistance is futile" than "Change is inevitable".

2 upvotes
mjoshi
By mjoshi (Mar 6, 2012)

Does this thing have a capability to display focus point in RAW file same as Digital Photo Professional does for RAW files created from Canon camera ? It is important and comes handy when editing to see what was point of focus.

1 upvote
Amadou Diallo
By Amadou Diallo (Mar 6, 2012)

No. The focus point display is a subset of Canon's proprietary marker notes. They do not allow 3rd party raw convter access to features like this. But keep in mind converting to dng does not delete this info. It just cannot use it.

0 upvotes
lamah
By lamah (Mar 6, 2012)

I doubt it, since this is extremely manufacturer-specific. Not to mention silently wrong if you've focus-recomposed.

EDI: Amadou Diallo bet me to it.

Comment edited 34 seconds after posting
0 upvotes
HopeSpringsEternal
By HopeSpringsEternal (Mar 6, 2012)

Actually the information for focus points is available. I have PhotoME free application for Windows and it has no problem displaying the focus points in Canon images -- even JPGs.

Also, there are many EXIF and makernotes that have already been decoded and implemented in EXIF Tool however Adobe chooses not to use any of this knowledge.

For example for Sony DSLRs, Adobe does nothing to support new lens identification information in the JPG files.

1 upvote
Henry M. Hertz
By Henry M. Hertz (Mar 6, 2012)

there is some software who shows the active focus point for canon cameras. i think the breeze viewer is doing it.

0 upvotes
Najinsky
By Najinsky (Mar 6, 2012)

Aperture interprets Maker Notes and incorporates the data into various features, for example it can display the Canon Focus Points and it can interpret the DR200% & DR400% in Fuji X100 raws and then expose them correctly. Perhaps taking a little longer for more thorough support has its benefits.

0 upvotes
Amadou Diallo
By Amadou Diallo (Mar 6, 2012)

Undocumented marker notes are not supported by Adobe. Canon does not provide the info to 3rd party converters. Some converters, as others have mentioned will indeed use this data. Adobe's policy has been to simply pass along markernotes when converting to dng but otherwise ignore it.

0 upvotes
mjoshi
By mjoshi (Mar 7, 2012)

I know there are other softwares that will display it just like Digital Photo Professional does, I'd love to see focus points inside LR4 while editing in my pictures.

0 upvotes
zzapamiga
By zzapamiga (Mar 6, 2012)

Is it just me or does that box art look grotesque?

0 upvotes
M Jesper
By M Jesper (Mar 6, 2012)

Not just that, but it is clearly a photoshop job with layers. Something Lightroom cannot do !

2 upvotes
Archer66
By Archer66 (Mar 6, 2012)

Only first link at "We'll take a look at the following features:" works correctly.

EDIT: DStudio already reported this earlier.

Comment edited 3 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
Amadou Diallo
By Amadou Diallo (Mar 6, 2012)

Fixed. Links are working properly now.

0 upvotes
increments
By increments (Mar 6, 2012)

A good read that's informative. I'm not sure you could call it a review though. "Walk Through" would be more apt IMO it's a very different entity to the kind of rigorous testing that you see in the camera reviews.

0 upvotes
zodiacfml
By zodiacfml (Mar 6, 2012)

To me, the content is just right for me, not too short or long.

0 upvotes
increments
By increments (Mar 6, 2012)

Wasn't really talking about length. More that it's a demonstration rather than a critique of strengths and weaknesses. The tone was these are the improvements from LR3. Which is fine, I enjoyed reading it, but I don't see how you could call it a review is all.

0 upvotes
Amadou Diallo
By Amadou Diallo (Mar 6, 2012)

At dpreview we offer camera reviews, phone app reviews, software reviews and book reviews. Each of these have distinct formats, purposes and levels of detail.

0 upvotes
increments
By increments (Mar 6, 2012)

I know you do different reviews. I've explained quite clearly why this isn't a review. I enjoyed it though, thank you for writing it.

EDIT: just so you know what I mean a review would have covered things like this question from tesch posted above.

"Was there a huge performance upgrade from the beta? My beta would have long pauses between slider changes which was really annoying. There were many complaints about this from other people and the response was "it's a beta and this will be corrected". So my queation is, was it?"

Stuff like that is needed in a review. i.e. How much power you need to run it effectively? Does is offer enough potential image quality improvement to be worthwhile as an upgrade (if you don't need the bells and whistles)? Where does it stack up against other manufacturers' products? etc.

Comment edited 6 minutes after posting
1 upvote
thx1138
By thx1138 (Mar 6, 2012)

Great write up, many thanks.

With the new pricing, LR4 will be a hard act to follow for competitors (are you listening Phase One). I'll be upgrading ASAP. Now please cut the PS price in half :D

0 upvotes
Samuel Dilworth
By Samuel Dilworth (Mar 6, 2012)

I found this review useful and highly readable. Thanks, Amadou and DPReview.

One thing wasn't perfectly clear to me. The section on the RGB Point Curves feature shows an example with two points added to each curve (plus the endpoints). Can more than two points be added? And can the endpoints be moved?

0 upvotes
pauljcoles
By pauljcoles (Mar 6, 2012)

Yes to both questions.

0 upvotes
Samuel Dilworth
By Samuel Dilworth (Mar 6, 2012)

Thanks.

I'm tempted then. Always missed a useful Curves tool in Lightroom...

0 upvotes
Hugo600si
By Hugo600si (Mar 6, 2012)

Finally at a European price that makes sense for non pro consumers and does not debilitate the non US people with insane prices, bought it straightaway (127,- euro), now do the same for PS please!

2 upvotes
Bruce Ward
By Bruce Ward (Mar 6, 2012)

Unable to get access from Australia at this stage. Australian web site passes you to US website which then complains that you should login to the Asutralian store! Sadly this is not the first time I have problems with the Adobe sites. To add insult to injury I anticipate that the upgrade price in Australia will be much higher than the US price.

Frankly, while I have used LR3 as a baseline I am seriously considering washing my hands with Adobe products and looking elsewhere.

1 upvote
ZinZun
By ZinZun (Mar 6, 2012)

Nikon users - It doesn't really matter isn't it??
still as long as Adobe uses its own algorithm rather than the official Nikon one to convert RAW files, photos will always convert much better (in terms of IQ) in NX2 regardless the nice features of Lightroom, I'm using D7000 and the difference is so huge that it's really a no briner but to use NX2 as much as I hate the workflow and the poor photo management capabilities.

I suggest to all Nikon users to just try and open a RAW image in NX2 and in Lightroom - you'll see what I mean, not mentioning the results of pushing the histogram...

sad - but true...

Comment edited 2 minutes after posting
2 upvotes
goldaccess
By goldaccess (Mar 6, 2012)

I respectfully disagree.

0 upvotes
Hoddo
By Hoddo (Mar 6, 2012)

To each there own for sure. I think LR has a better noise reduction facility and is superior to NX2 for managing my images but I still come back to NX2.

Nikon or Nik, if you're reading this improve ViewNX2 and/or NX2 for a quicker workflow and a better DAM type tool.

0 upvotes
instamatic
By instamatic (Mar 6, 2012)

Apple Aperture renders Nikon files very nicely and quickly. If you look at the Automator API for Aperture, you will also see that it has some Nikon specific functions, which tells me that they went out of their way to accommodate Nikon RAW files. If you're on a Mac, give it a try. I think you will like how your photos look.

0 upvotes
ir Bob
By ir Bob (Mar 6, 2012)

@instamatic, where would one be able to find those Nikon specific options?

0 upvotes
instamatic
By instamatic (Mar 6, 2012)

@ir Bob, Take a look at the "Aperture 3 AppleScript Reference". Search the web for this title, and it's the first thing that comes up.

Comment edited 3 times, last edit 2 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
Dafffid
By Dafffid (Mar 6, 2012)

And have they addressed any of its major UI failings present since its first incarnation? No. The incredibly wasteful use of screen space, the ludicrously unhelpful access to controls etc. Typical Adobe release, add things but don't fix. Such a shame. The software boys certainly know what they're doing but the designers screw it up.

1 upvote
Michael_13
By Michael_13 (Mar 6, 2012)

So true. I dislike file access, too.
Some functions are really good, but the GUI ruins everything.

0 upvotes
viking79
By viking79 (Mar 6, 2012)

The GUI is my favorite part of Lightroom.

3 upvotes
Mark Alan Thomas
By Mark Alan Thomas (Mar 6, 2012)

What do you like so much about it? I find Lightroom cluttered with too many shades of gray and black, and too many boxes and lines and strange GUI elements. Plus the way that file management and image adjustments are split into different modes gets in my way (I often find that I want to add a keyword when I'm in Develop).

0 upvotes
kadarpik
By kadarpik (Mar 6, 2012)

Local adjustments are now ok - like that.

Detected new marvelous feature, when I want to copy a book it takes (50 pages) 5 minutes to shoot RAW-s from it, then little tone curve adjustment and export pdf directly from book module and then straight away to iPad. This workflow is fast to save some old paper books and saves time and is green.

0 upvotes
munro harrap
By munro harrap (Mar 6, 2012)

I have consistently used beta versions of Lightroom, but until now, would not buy due to its failure to make the interface easily useable. I found Aperture could reduce shadow noise as it allowed the user to lower the black point to -5 which opens up the shadows and reduces noise in a direct way- a way that Lightroom did not.

The new controls at last allow you to do this, and you will find that additionally the dynamic range of a flat image (aren't they all?!) can significantly improved as the article describes.

The one lack is SOME necessary lens correction modules for the many OLDER lenses we all have and use, but which Canon, for example, have removed corrections for from DPP.

There are a lot of these lenses-24-85 f3.5-4.5mm USM Canon for example (use 24-120 f4 Nikkor profile), and excellent 28-70mm f3.5-4.5 old AF EOS lens. I'm sure others can name lots more.

But Aperture hasn't ANY, and its colour profiles give innacurate results in Windows.

I shall buy L4 for sure

1 upvote
Jacques Cornell
By Jacques Cornell (Mar 6, 2012)

What do you mean by "its colour profiles give innacurate results in Windows"?

0 upvotes
zos xavius
By zos xavius (Mar 6, 2012)

I think he is referring to pro photo. The pro photo colorspace is not rendered properly in windows. I have also had problems printing with windows drivers and pro photo. It just doesn't like it. I always switch to sRGB which has unfortunately less gamut.

0 upvotes
Mark Alan Thomas
By Mark Alan Thomas (Mar 6, 2012)

You can use Lightroom's curves tool to override the black point limitation. Just grab the lower left point of the curve and drag it straight up.

0 upvotes
NetMage
By NetMage (Mar 6, 2012)

Hopefully more users will create (or you can) the correction profiles for LR4 for the less popular/older lenses in time.

What device can output anything close to the prophoto colorspace?

0 upvotes
Dave Peters
By Dave Peters (Mar 6, 2012)

Not compatible with Lightroom 3 ? So I can't load my existing catalogues and even if I re-import the photos to a new catalogue they will appear different and require reprocessing. I think forward compatibility is an essential feature. They should have kept all the old processing routines so that the program could detect old files and show the images correctly.

0 upvotes
Causio
By Causio (Mar 6, 2012)

The release version can now import LR3 (and older) catalogs.

1 upvote
Dave Peters
By Dave Peters (Mar 6, 2012)

Thanks, thats good to a point but if I used controls that are no longer available then I assume my photos look different in version 4 to they did when I processed them in V3. I don't want to have to check every image when I want to re-export at a differeent resolution and have a customer complain it doesn't match the sample. So I would have to keep separate V3 and V4 catalogs and lose the ability to search across them or reprocess every image, update samples, website etc. Much more likely to stay with V3.

0 upvotes
wublili
By wublili (Mar 6, 2012)

LR4 supports every settting in LR3. Your photos will be fully compatible with LR4 when the database is converted. You can even choose to process them the old way if you wish.

Comment edited 1 minute after posting
0 upvotes
Amadou Diallo
By Amadou Diallo (Mar 6, 2012)

Dave, to get the results you want, all you have to do is refrain from updating your photos to PV2012. LR 4 will then behave exactly as LR 3 in the Develop module. And if you update a photo by accident you can always undo.

0 upvotes
Dave Peters
By Dave Peters (Mar 6, 2012)

Thank you all for the information, thats great news - I will upgrade.

0 upvotes
theoschela
By theoschela (Mar 6, 2012)

downloaded and purchased the upgrade tonight - never had an issue with the beta... - and what...? potential of maybe one or 2 more goodies in a 4.1 release? oh boy!

0 upvotes
gnewsch
By gnewsch (Mar 6, 2012)

Does it also do distortion correction natively, or do you still have to resort to plugins like PTlens etc?

0 upvotes
andersf
By andersf (Mar 6, 2012)

Lens profile corrections (with a large library of lense profiles) has been available in LR since Version 2 I believe. It corrects distortion and vignetting, I'm unsure if it also tries to correct CA but I'd think so.

0 upvotes
Fixx
By Fixx (Mar 6, 2012)

Is Tokina 11-16 profile included? Also Samyang 14mm would be nice (though it is so complicated distortion that LR may not be able to do dislocations like that?).

0 upvotes
Mark Alan Thomas
By Mark Alan Thomas (Mar 6, 2012)

Even if a specific lens doesn't have a profile in Lightroom, it's easy to create your own. Profiles are only good to a point anyway, since not every copy of every lens needs to be corrected in exactly the same way.

0 upvotes
gnewsch
By gnewsch (Mar 6, 2012)

I use Aperture at the moment and without plugins, it has zero possibility to correct geometrical distortions. And PTlens is rather limited, to say the least.

0 upvotes
tkpenalty
By tkpenalty (Mar 6, 2012)

Its good adobe dropped the prices for this; its nothing more than ACR repackaged...

0 upvotes
rfk101
By rfk101 (Mar 6, 2012)

a) It's a hell of a lot more than that, and..
b) It's a lot cheaper than that (assuming you mean purchasing ACR as part of Photoshop).

I for one can't wait to install the upgrade.

Comment edited 47 seconds after posting
3 upvotes
Rdefen
By Rdefen (Mar 6, 2012)

My vote so far for most bizarre comment but it's still very early. I almost gave it to the doesn't work with LR3 files but I figured that's just reading comprehension.

2 upvotes
Michael Foran
By Michael Foran (Mar 6, 2012)

For years I was an exclusive ACR user (having Photoshop already) and shared your sentiment. But I was convinced to give it another try this year and realized the program has many significant advantages over plain ACR. I will not go back.

0 upvotes
DStudio
By DStudio (Mar 6, 2012)

The links just above 'System Requirements' on page 1 are broken.

1 upvote
vk5la
By vk5la (Mar 6, 2012)

I decided to bite the bullet and learn LR, especially since the Beta was a free download. With the help of some internet tutorials I found it quite quick to master and very intuitive. I have processed well over 2000 photo's with it and to say I'm impressed is an understatement. The ease in which I'm able to get fantastic results from RAW files is brilliant, and I know the newspaper I shoot for appreciates the huge step up in the image quality of the sport photo's I now submit to them! The seamless integration with Facebook and flickr is very welcome as well. The soft proofing feature is worth the price of admission alone and the prints I get from it are far superior to anything I've used before.I'm definitely buying this!!!

1 upvote
Reg Natarajan
By Reg Natarajan (Mar 6, 2012)

I love the software reviews. Please keep those coming. They're every bit as useful as camera reviews.

10 upvotes
RoelHendrickx
By RoelHendrickx (Mar 4, 2012)

I will have to update my computer for it, but it looks like some aspects may be worth it.
However, I am still perfectly happy with LR3.6 so I am in no hurry.
Roel

5 upvotes
Fixx
By Fixx (Mar 6, 2012)

Is LR4 slower than 3.6? If computer needs updating?

0 upvotes
mfj197
By mfj197 (Mar 6, 2012)

LR4 doesn't support Windows XP.

0 upvotes
KRJC
By KRJC (Mar 3, 2012)

LR is Fantastic, I just love it. I have never had problems with the catalogs after the first few days and getting to understand how it works. Can't wait for LR4, but don't have time to play with the Beta.

1 upvote
Neodp
By Neodp (Feb 29, 2012)

Wow, fancy. Now go get the Gimp(and family), and do some real work. Avoid Lr catalog nightmares. Learn, and don't expect Lr, or any other program, to make you good.

0 upvotes
Mark Alan Thomas
By Mark Alan Thomas (Mar 6, 2012)

The Gimp and Lightroom are not comparable. They serve different purposes, as do a rake and a shovel.

3 upvotes
alfredo_tomato
By alfredo_tomato (Mar 6, 2012)

I'm a long time GIMP user. I am still hoping for something that can lure me away. I'd like to try Lr, but I'm not sure if it is suitable for my Mac Mini. What will I gain with Lr?

I was a PS user until an OSX update killed my PS7, and forced retirement killed my bank account.

0 upvotes
Neodp
By Neodp (Mar 6, 2012)

Photoshop, and Lr, are comparable. I'm aware Lr attempts to do other things (Photoshop, or Gimp can do more), but these things are superfluous, and fully covered in other programs (tagging, file management, face recognition, and exporting, for examples); that are not more difficult to utilize, in practice. My point was, to get real work done, without all the extra poo, get The Gimp, and all it's free brothers. If you're into Raw, for example, know that ufraw is more of a universal developer, and includes a bunch of settings you may not even need to tweak, after your one-time (per camera) color profile setup. It's worth the effort, in the end. The look of it, is completely dependent on the theme you choose, and so irrelevant. You can make it look like Lr, if you wish. The menu arrangement, is different. So what? Everything has a purpose, and isn't the point, maximizing your photos? There's nothing you can't do, with open software, so don't fall for these "discounted" pricing tricks.

0 upvotes
NetMage
By NetMage (Mar 6, 2012)

You seem to have an axe to grind. Some people prefer using commercially developed and company supported software, and gain real benefits from doing so.

I've used Gimp, (and GimpShop) and I prefer Corel PhotoPaint or PSP Pro Photo or PhotoShop Express. I develop open source software, but it isn't always the best solution.

I find LightRoom an excellent program for the features it bundles together, and the new pricing makes it an easier choice for lots of users who would benefit from a single program, common design solution.

0 upvotes
Slynky
By Slynky (Feb 23, 2012)

Wow! Thanks for the nice information. :)

0 upvotes
Daniel1977
By Daniel1977 (Feb 18, 2012)

I started using LR 4 as soon as has been published.
Now I am delighted with Selective White Balance.
I have not seen the need to apply this tool until I tried it in this picture.

Developed with Day Light, Direct Positive and General Auto
http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7034/6831067361_5674b22047.jpg
http://www.flickr.com/photos/didmyself/6831067361/

Developed with Direct Positive, General Auto and Selective WB.
http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7048/6888074179_00631cccb0.jpg
http://www.flickr.com/photos/didmyself/6888074179/

1 upvote
jabilson007
By jabilson007 (Mar 6, 2012)

That is a good example of the selective white balance capability. Thanks.

0 upvotes
treepop
By treepop (Feb 16, 2012)

#1 fav is the NR visible above 1:1 ratio!

I am also interested in the book module....depending on how flexible it is.

1 upvote
Peter KT Lim
By Peter KT Lim (Jan 30, 2012)

Thank you !

0 upvotes
Art Guertin
By Art Guertin (Jan 29, 2012)

Amadou,

Very well presented article. Appreciate the time and effort you put into this. I was mulling the decision to upgrade/or not..Your article has made that decision so much easier..I will!

Thank you.
Art

0 upvotes
boyzo
By boyzo (Jan 27, 2012)

I have a calibrated IPS LCD and my printer is calibrated for my Photo Paper
When I print the print is always a touch darker than the screen image.

When I use the soft proofing and select simlutate ink/paper the VC copy image appears a bit washed out. Is this normal ?? in LR4

0 upvotes
echelon2004
By echelon2004 (Mar 6, 2012)

The first part of your question. It will always look darker than a glowing screen. However, you can predict the final result better if you use a darker profiling target for the monitor. Also make sure you have sufficient amount of light of the correct kind when viewing the prints.
And yes, it is normal that the prints have less contrast than a computer monitor.

0 upvotes
sterooney
By sterooney (Jan 24, 2012)

Great review, looks useful. Does anyone know if Lightroom offers relative adjustments for a series of images? Ie Can i ask it to increase all images by 1 stop regardless of starting exposure value? cheers

0 upvotes
amipal
By amipal (Feb 5, 2012)

With LR3, you can save presets. So, for instance, you could edit one image to have a 1.0 exposure, save that as a "1 Stop" preset, then apply that to multiple-selected images in your Library. Hopefully this function still remains in LR4!

0 upvotes
Lee Jay
By Lee Jay (Mar 6, 2012)

Quick Develop has always been relative, so you just select all your images and one click on the far right exposure arrow is +1 on exposure for all the images.

1 upvote
cactusklaw5schel
By cactusklaw5schel (Jan 20, 2012)

Thank you for a precise ,concise presentation of Lightroom Beta.It is most helpful as I try to sort out if it pays to use it as a "Stand Alone" program for developing files rather than as a catalogue -storage medium.I use Aperture 3 for storage but have lately been reviewing some of my latest editions a more and more feel that the skin tones are too "Plasticy".Any thoughts.Best Alan New Mexico USA where dry heat is given new meanings.

1 upvote
Jacques Cornell
By Jacques Cornell (Mar 6, 2012)

"Plasticy"? Perhaps you're applying overly-strong noise reduction? Sounds like an issue with your chosen adjustments. I'm an event & portrait pro who's used Aperture since 1.0 with various Canon cameras. No plastic.

0 upvotes
Hawki557
By Hawki557 (Jan 19, 2012)

An excellent view of what LR4 has to offer. I've been using it for a few days now and have had very good results so far. After reading this, I have even a better understanding of some of the new controls and look forward to taking things a step further.
Thanks for the information and insight.

0 upvotes
PhotoMT
By PhotoMT (Jan 18, 2012)

Thanks for a well written preview. I have just one question and I may have missed it but is an image merge (panorama) process available in LR4?

0 upvotes
Amadou Diallo
By Amadou Diallo (Jan 20, 2012)

No. Like other types of composite imaging, that's still a Photoshop task.

1 upvote
temacelest
By temacelest (Jan 18, 2012)

Is it possible to "preview" images
for color print accuracy in the book module?

0 upvotes
Gabegal
By Gabegal (Jan 18, 2012)

I've probably missed this on your great review, but in the Slideshow module, is it now possible to EASILY add more than one piece of music to a show? In L3 you could only have one track to go with your photos. Has this changed?

1 upvote
kcf955
By kcf955 (Jan 18, 2012)

Nope you did not miss it, not there. I am disappointed the slideshow module continues to languish....

0 upvotes
Gabegal
By Gabegal (Jan 19, 2012)

That is really annoying!! Lightroom is lagging badly in this area. It would be nice if someone in their development area was reading the stuff we write!!

0 upvotes
G Davidson
By G Davidson (Jan 18, 2012)

Being able to adjust the video files so easily is a huge boon. Nowadays, I might want to capture the scene with a piece of 1080p video, which might suffer as much as my photos from poor levels or too cool a white balance. Now without too much effort they can be fixed.

Hopefully at some point, even if it is slow, we have the option of deploying the whole collection of develop tools to video, including noise reduction and camera profiles.

0 upvotes
Tabaplar
By Tabaplar (Jan 18, 2012)

In the exposure adjustment image showing three variation's of a woman's portrait, it looks like there is a floating palette in the bottom right corner.

What is this? How does one enable floating palettes over a full screen image in Lightroom?

0 upvotes
Amadou Diallo
By Amadou Diallo (Jan 18, 2012)

Tabaplar, it's simply a composite screenshot to show you the settings I used.

0 upvotes
jerome18
By jerome18 (Jan 17, 2012)

It would be useful to be able to give the Ordnance Survey grid reference that can be obtained from a GPS unit in the map module.

0 upvotes
Buchan-Grant
By Buchan-Grant (Jan 17, 2012)

I would like to see a facility to filter showing only files which have had ammendments made in the develop module

0 upvotes
Greensteak
By Greensteak (Jan 17, 2012)

Haven't tried Beta 4, but a smart collection in LR3 did this. The filter was created in the Library module, and afterwards was available in Develop.

0 upvotes
SageCoyote
By SageCoyote (Jan 17, 2012)

Overall a decent upgrade even if I'm not very interested fotobooking. My main criticism concerns the elimination of the fill light.

0 upvotes
A Owens
By A Owens (Jan 17, 2012)

Such a thing is simply done in LR a number of ways and of course, unlike doing it in-camera, it can be done to a raw file. Why one would want to a more difficult question to answer.

0 upvotes
Lofi
By Lofi (Jan 17, 2012)

In such a powerful tool I miss simple effects which cameras have built in. Like e. g. the Nex-5N's Partial Color effect where you can turn a picture to grayscale while keeping one color (e. g. red).

0 upvotes
Artistico
By Artistico (Feb 2, 2012)

As far as I can tell, this has been possible with all versions of Lightroom. You go to the color controls, HSL, select Saturation and desaturate the colours you don't want.

0 upvotes
Leo
By Leo (Jan 17, 2012)

The LR3 Brightness was very useful for me. I have used Brightness/Exposure to keep highlights and brighten the mid-tones. Transferring the images processes as 2010 to 2012 may dramatically change my images end results. How I can brighten mid-tones without Brightness adjustment? :-(

Also, I do agree with zeroing the defaults values. I always set Brightness, Contrast and Black lever to zeros at the very beginning. The set Brightness=50%, Contrast=25% and Black lever 5% is equivalent to +1EV. The opened image would be always shown overexposed when opened with 50-25-5.

The added soft-proofing with Before and After is great!

Looking forward to upgrade!
Leo
PS Thank you for the update!!! - very helpful!

Comment edited 2 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
MichaelEchos
By MichaelEchos (Mar 6, 2012)

Increasing exposure and decreasing highlights has a similar effect, you could try that.

0 upvotes
Earthlight
By Earthlight (Jan 16, 2012)

Now this is a quality article! Thanks, very helpful. Dpreview at its best.

One question, have the noise suppression tools been developed further? I would love a better pattern noise suppression tool. Raw Shooter Essentials used to have it, Adobe bought them, where is the slider these days?

0 upvotes
Aaron Shepard
By Aaron Shepard (Jan 16, 2012)

It makes no sense to merge the Exposure and Brightness controls. Leave Exposure as it was and add a Midtones control to replace Brightness.

0 upvotes
ila-ali
By ila-ali (Jan 16, 2012)

Superb article thanks

0 upvotes
biggles267
By biggles267 (Jan 16, 2012)

I thought the quality of this article was fantastic, thank you very much. I have been using the trial version of LR 3.5 waiting for 4 to come out before buying, and it is very helpful to see all these updates so clearly examined. Well done!

3 upvotes
Total comments: 480
1234