acidic: It should be noted that just because the LR Catalog file is backed up does not mean the image files are backed up. Someone will undoubtedly confuse the two and will lose their image files as a result.
My biggest gripe with LR is that it lacks metadata import/export functionality. It would be nice to be able to export IPTC/EXIF data form a catalog (or subset of the catalog) as a .csv file, as well as import that data back in. Many image databases allow this, so I'm sure Adobe is more than capable of adding such a feature.
Imagine creating an iTunes Library, importing your music, and categorizing it all (dinner party, love-making, workout, relaxing, road trip, etc). If you lost your Library file, you still have your mp3s, but your categories will be lost forever. LR catalog file is sort of like that. If you lose the catalog file, your images can still be safe, but much of the data that you associated with it is lost.
Now if you lose your images files, LR will still have a record of that image, but the image itself will be gone (except for the 'preview' and thumbnail). So it's important to back those up as well.
During the import process, LR offers the option of making a backup of that photo . If you're doing this, it makes sense to put the backup copy on a separate drive (in case the main drive crashes). Alternatively, you can backup the image via other methods, including burning to a disk, copying to a different drive, etc.
When you import an image into LR, LR notes it's location (e.g. C:/Photos/2012-12-28), and makes a preview.
When you make adjustments to an image within Lightroom (tonal adjustments, caption, keywords, catalogs, etc), those adjustments get stored in the LR catalog file. So when you look at an image in LR, it knows what information is associated with that image and it presents it to you (adjustments, captions, etc).
By default, all of this additional information is stored in the LR catalog file, and will not be embedded in the image.
The reason why the LR catalog file is so important is because it contains all of the instructions about where your images are, how they should be displayed, and what other information is associated with it.
davidstock: I'm not convinced. If we are relying on metadata tags anyway, isn't it possible to search just as well in Bridge as in Lightroom? Personally, I like having a logical file folder system. But if for whatever reason I don't know where one of my files is, I simply do a metadata search in Bridge--just like in Lightroom.
The only downside of Bridge seems to be slightly longer backups, which I find to be a non-issue. I've never had it slow me down. (I use continuous automated backups, as well as late-night automated backups.)
The minor backup issue seems like a small trade-off for the security of having all the image data saved in the file itself. The internet is full of confused or desperate people who lost or damaged their Lightroom catalog because of a computer problem or even an upgrade to their hardware or software. I'd rather have files, complete with their metadata and processing, that can be opened in a variety of programs.
"...move a lot of photo files from one place to another on your computer - say from ...Drive C: to ...Drive E:. You will then have to re-compile the catalog."
No you won't. When Lightroom can't find the photos, you can just point to the new location. It's just like moving music files in your file browser, and then iTunes not being able to find it (only easier in LR). You can tell then tell it where to find those files.
Or you can just move the files from one drive to another from within LR.
Besides, it's not so often a LR user will move old pictures off of one drive and on to another. And if they have to recompile the catalog, so what? It's not like they're going to move the photos to a new drive routinely.
Bridge is limited to keywords, color codes, and stars. LR can do user-defined categories, hierachical ones at that, as well as manage a controlled vocabulary. If you don't have the need for any of this or don't understand the difference, then Bridge is fine for you.
AlexBakerPhotoz: My problem is that I began storing digital images long before I started using Lightroom. I was for quite awhile a database designer and developer, so I understand the design and agree with it, I just wish I'd started with it at the beginning of my switch to digital photography 10 years ago. Now I have 82,300 images to date and it's like the plant in little shop of Horrors. I do have a semi-efficient folder system that I created when I was using Bridge, that works OK for me in Lightroom too, but the effort to go back and apply more data to all those old images in the catalog and also the xmp and xmp sidecars is daunting.
No problem. Just import those images in their exisitng folders into your LR catalog. No need to move those photos into new folders. Since you have them category folders, jut select one and add a bunch of broad keywords that represent each folder, and create a new category for it and apply that as well. As you have time, just go back and keyword/categorize in LR. No need to do it all at once. Doing in batches means that 82K images is probably more like 10K metadata edits (due to similar content).
This is a project that can take years. I've been using LR since v1, and I am still setting aside a couple hours a month to do just that for my old film scans. I still have lots of film to scan, and I don't anticipate finishing that until 2016 or so!
adhall: I thing Apple Aperture is a much better implementation for library management. It's faster, you can import/export metadata and splitting/merging libraries is much simpler.
Still waiting for Aperture 4 though...
Yeah, but LR does better raw conversions and plays nicer with Photoshop.
Still waiting for Adobe to add metadata import/export though... :-)
gaiaswill: (I am not a pro.)
I am currently storing all my images on my main hard drive. I will be getting a NAS in the near future and would like to move all my images there. How can I preserve the validity of my catalog when I move the photos?
Another way to do this is to move the folders and images to its new location from Lightroom rather than Windows Explorer. Either way is fine.
GoremanX: None of this explains why I can't just use some other cataloging software and use Lightroom solely for image processing. I find the Lightroom catalog features to be sorely lacking, my preferred catalog software does a much better job of organizing and retrieving my images (yes, even different versions of the same image). But every time I want to process a photo in Lightroom, I have to trudge through the tedious import process, even for ONE STUPID PICTURE.
This forced Adobe cataloging crap is merely a means to lock users into a purely-Adobe workflow. Nothing more, nothing less. And it's insulting.
You can always use Bridge instead of LR. That's what I used to do when I used a different cataloging application. But then the purely Adobe workflow won me over, despite LR's cataloging shortcomings. Sometimes it sucks, but overall I work far more efficiently and consistently than ever before.
" I'd rather have files, complete with their metadata and processing, that can be opened in a variety of programs."
LR doesn't prevent you from doing so for jpeg/tiff/psd. For raw files, you can have LR create sidecar xmp files with your changes, either by default or manually. If you don't like sidecar files, well, good luck with your other programs. With LR, you can at least convert your raw files to dng files on import, allowing you to embed your changes directly into the file. This is no different than Bridge, which WILL NOT embed changes into native raw files.
But if you prefer using Bridge and an outdated hierarchical filing system, feel free. Think of your mp3 collection, and finding your music by metadata searching instead of using a database driven media player like itunes :-)
It should be noted that just because the LR Catalog file is backed up does not mean the image files are backed up. Someone will undoubtedly confuse the two and will lose their image files as a result.
Jan Toude: Similar method: field camera + DSLR, no parallax issues:http://shadrin.rudtp.ru/Personal/Shadrin_Canon-VS-4x5Film_frame.htm
The problem with that is that large format lenses don't resolve nearly as much lp/mm, which can be a problem for 20MP+ dSLRs. It can be solved by stitching more images and reducing the final image size (and still end up with a huge file). Problem with that is time shooting, and time post processing.
malabraxis: -'full size' professional DSLRs won't fit comfortably with a lens attached-oops.. that does not bode too well. Never understood why most backpacks lack proper interior design. The pouch at the bottom holding the lenses, flash and DSLR looks like its ready to fall out when opened!If you really going outdoors and need to connect, why carry a laptop? Surely a tablet makes more sense, so why sew one one. And as any outdoor photographer knows, a proper, decent tripod is a must, but this model cannot carry one?On the plus side, love the colours; makes it easier to find afterwards when lions chased you round the bush!
1. First sentence in the article: "...geared towards the 'on-the-go amateur' photographer" so no it won't fit a pro dslr.
2. Nowhere does this say that this is specifically for "going outdoors" to connect.
3. Tablets are useful, in fact I don't bother taking my laptop all the time on trips anymore. But some still work on the road or in the air: selecting, captioning, editing, post-processing, etc. Not to mention storage and backing up.
4. Tripods are NOT a must. Sure they're a very useful tool, but continually imrpoving high ISO IQ and fast lenses reduce the need to always have one. This bag is not specific for "outdoor photographers."
5. Have a happy new year.
Roland Karlsson: For far away subjects you can use an ordinary lens and a modern stitching software without any problems. There is no need for a shift lens for this, nor is it any advantage.
If things are near, you need to rotate around the input aperture of the lens. That true for both an ordinary lens and a shift lens. So .. for the ordinary lens you need a tripod and panoramic head. But ... for the shift lens you need a tripod and a tripod thread on the lens. If you move the lens you only can use it for far away subjects.
If you have a tripod thread on the lens, then the only advantage is that you get a consistent focus plane. If you torn the entire camera, then you also turn the focus plane, which might be problematic.
So - except for the focus plane stuff - I see no advantage of getting any shift lens.
I actually think a shift lens is easier to deal with than a nodal bracket, which must be adjusted for each and every lens (or zoom focal length). At least with a shift lens, it's guaranteed that all static objects will line up. Of course the shift lens is more limited in the number of frames you can stitch. It's also limited to stitching in one dimension.
Back in my pano head days, I used to carry two. One setup for my 50mm and another for my 85mm. Nowadays, I don't bother.
I've been using T/S lenses for quite some time, mostly for landscapes and studio stills to increase DOF. But today's photographer don't care about such nonsense. The only reason why they'd want a T/S is so they can selectively throw a scene out of focus, which they no longer need a T/S for. Instead, they use the built-in fuctions of their cameras/apps/photoshop to do what they think is the same.
I've also used my 90mm TSE extensively for stitched panos, especially in the 6MP (10D, 300D), 8MP (1D2, 20D) and 12MP (5D) days, but nowadays, 21MP (5D2) is more than enough for most of my needs so I don't bother. I also used pano heads quite a bit, which most newbies don't realize is essential for truly accurate stitching, especially when foreground objects are present. These days, I feel that pano head=too much gear to lug.
Today, most are content with handholding their shots and stitching together in PS, cloning in anything that doesn't line up that nicely. Hell, I'm guilty of it myself.
This would be a dream come true (for hipsters).
Analog is coming back for various media, not because its practical, not because of functionality, and certainly not for quality. But because it's cool.
For the bearded guy who wears women's jeans while riding a fixie: Too bad that you won't be able to pretend to be shooting film. You'll actually have to shoot film.
valentin_neda: This is how a digital back would look on a Nikon Fm3a:
Just get an Olympus OMD. Purpose buit, smaller, and less buggy I'm sure.
Ivan Lietaert: "a top notch fast 35mm autofocus prime without breaking the bank"Priced £900, the author obviously must be making a fortune writing for DPreview! This lens is priced at a working man's monthly income. I wouldn't call that cheap! Please think twice before you write this kind of thing!
@Kodachrome200There is no free lunch anywhere but at least you have 1 pound fish.
Don't be so quick with your top ten; there's still a bit over two weeks left in 2012, and I still have a few hundred photos to shoot this year!
Erik van den Elsen: I find this an awkward new Canon lens; I own the 24-105 F/4 L lens myself and find it very good, at least I have a very sharp copy. The current price of this 24-105 is now around 900 Euro.
So, why spend 600 euro more on a lens that has a much shorter range (24-70) but the same speed? Just because it has a Macro feature that you use every now and then? If you're really into macro, you will buy a dedicated Macro lens.
This lens sounds superfluous to me already from the beginning seen the rest of the Canon lens line-up and the range it offers... And this price is really rediculous! Much too expensive just like all other Canon lenses.
"See how many simple steps you have to take to make up a measly 35mm."
Please tell me... how many steps are required to make up this difference?
Sometimes I like to shoot city skylines from a kilometer away at 105mm. To get the same frame filling effects, I'd need to be 1/3 km closer. So we're probably talking about 400 steps. Oh wait... there's a body of water between me and my subject. Oh screw it... I'll just go for a swim. At least this is a sealed L lens.
Also, since most subjects I shoot are three dimensional, shooting at 70mm vs 105mm can yield quite different perspectives. It's not as simple as getting closer. 105mm can unclutter an otherwise cluttered background significantly more than 70mm can.
I actually think this new lens is a winner due to size/weight. No complaints from me about the 70mm max focal range. But I did want to point out that your argument is a poor one.
DavesMan: Canon is crazy! Nearly same price (in numbers) i Dollars, Pounds and Euros??? These three currencies are not equal value! If US price i 1500 Dollars, then i should cost roughly 1200 Euros and 900 Pounds.
The US don't do VAT. We have sales tax, which varies from state to state (and sometimes city to city). And no, it's not included in suggested retail prices since sales tax can range from 0% to 10%, depending on locale.
Robert Eckerlin: A Question (of somebody who has not a lot of experience) about "contrast".
On the amazon.com Website, I have read a user-review by "Naftade" of this Tamron zoom lense. Naftade was making comments on the "contrast". From that user-review I got the impression that zoom-lenses (and also other lenses?) where not all equal when it comes to their contrast behavior.
Is that impression correct? Can the difference between lenses on the subject of "contrast" be sufficiently significant to influence a buying decision? If this is the case, could future lense review also rate the contrast?
Thanks in advsance for an answeer and explanations.
Some lenses are more contrasty than others. Whether it would factor into a buying decision depends on your shooting and post-processing style and how demanding you are. Personally, I might be willing to compromise and accept a slightly flat lens (depending what the benefits are), since it's pretty easy to make contrast corrections in post.