Lightroom 4 & PS CS6 User. Also have DxO. Longtime Canon user switching to M4/3
Neodp: Assuming one starts with a great photo (technique), and a good JPEG(embedded in the Raw), and right out of the camera, anyone can then edit it for more potential quality, and also then, for styles/treatments/presets. However, not many can actually improve them, overall! Thus, we have Light-room, and still, its not necessarily an improvement, due to subjectivity. You might like your creation. It is art, after-all. However, you may find, that unbiased viewers prefer the (good) original; after all your work. The point is, there's something much deeper, than your choice of editor. You can mess up, difficult to define realism, for one example. Much like the camera, these are just your preferred brushes. That doesn’t say, that they are all the same, however.
If you like limits, and false promises, then envoy your Lightroom. If you want state of the art (freely upgradable, to tomorrows), then you would prefer ufraw, the Gimp, an open file-manager, and all the export options.
@Neodp - Dude, give it a rest. You've stated your preferences and informed everyone ad-nausium about how wonderful you think ufraw, etal is and how Lightroom (it's one word, BTW) stinks. Got it. Enough. No Flame war, just STOP already! I'm sure it's wonderful for you, happy to hear it, this is an article about a Lightroom feature, not a place for you to force feed everyone YOUR preference. Two posts was enough. Oh- and please do everyone here a favor and don't start some Flame war over my requesting you stay on subject, OK? I'm sure ufraw is the Cat's meow. Enjoy it.
Martin Datzinger: I tried the new controlls in the Beta from a few months ago - can't say I found them more intuitive at all. There are blacks/shadows/highlights/whites sliders in the basic panel (god knows what they do, tone mapping, tone curve, combination of both?) plus there are 4 (almost) identical sliders in the tone curve panel. BTW I even found the hightlights slider to be very non-linear, with a very visible jump in end result below or above a certain point - but maybe this has been sorted out already.
But the bigger problem is that the exposure slider isn't a pure exposure slider anymore. How are you supposed to correct exposure differences in post to achieve the same look between 2 files with PV2012? E.g. if auto exposure has been thrown off by some flashing light between a rapid image sequence?
This is of course strongly balanced by IQ improvements. I'm really looking forward to seeing less halos from the tonemapping algorithm.
Hi Martin! Yes, the Curves panel does have those controls, but in there you can move the little arrows at the bottom of the Curves panel and therefore change the ~operational point~ of those controls, something you can't do on the upper set of controls.I think this also answers what someone said earlier about Aperture being able to change the amount or control point of Highlights and Shadows, saying LR couldn't. Not true, you can on the Curves panel.
Ivanaker: Maybe its just me, but the original photos have better looks then the edited ones. This is nice option, but, in my opinion, not yet mature enough.
@Ivanaker - I hear you, but I think the point was to display the POSSIBILITIES and to show how the new controls work rather than to create a work of art. Some people love the "HDR" look, and some, not so much - they think it looks over-processed, and I get that. The article DOES show the differences between the 2010 & 2012 Processes, and for that, it's a winner. IMHO I don't believe the Author was submitting it to a Juried Art Show as many seem to think from reading the posts. Lighten up People! (pun intended) @ProfHankD - Yeah, that handles a lot of the harshness complained about so much!