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Dear Adobe, Please Fix Lightroom

By Pye Jirsa on January 25th 2017

Dear Adobe,

First, let me start with “I love you”. You have been one of my best friends and partners for nearly the past decade of my life. When I think of all your beautiful application splashes and wonderful tools that allow me to be a creative, I am ecstatic. It wouldn’t be a stretch to say I think about your curvaceous béziers all day long.

[LEARN: 4 Lightroom CC Features You Should Be Using]

That being said, our marriage has a serious problem. Actually, you might remember this problem, because I’ve been talking about it for quite a while:

You’ve slowed down.

With every new wonderful feature over the years, you’ve gotten just a little bit slower. You don’t remember me speaking about this? Do you remember way back in 2012 when I wrote to you about my speed and optimization wish list? I just had a few simple requests to improve CPU and RAM utilization, yet you just ignored me.

Or how about when we taught photographers module hacks way back on LR4 to disable unnecessary modules from even loading? We’ve even shown users how to use Smart Previews to edit by manually disconnecting folders before you allowed us to do it officially.

All along the way we’ve built $4,000 and $5,000 machines just to figure out the ideal computer configurations for running Lightroom efficiently. In fact, that process led us to one simple conclusion: The only thing that really mattered, in the end, was clock speed.

[Lightroom 4 and 5 Hardware Performance Test: Single vs Dual CPUs, Hard Drive Configurations, Previews and More!]

We’ve done everything we possibly could to keep this marriage alive, including testing out whether an open marriage between Mac and Windows would be better for overall efficiency in our Mac vs PC testing.

In the end, no matter the operating system, you remain painfully slow. In fact, as I write you this letter, here’s what I am staring at from my $5,000 computer:

You know for a while now that we have been seeing other people. We have been teaching people how to use Photo Mechanic to review and cull.

If you don’t get help, if you don’t do something, I’m afraid this marriage is going to fail. Capture One doesn’t have the most attractive and efficient user layout, but its tools are quite beautiful and at least she doesn’t require me to purchase $5,000 computers every couple of years.

Yours truly,

 – Post Production Pye

Readers, if you are struggling with Lightroom performance, please comment below and share this article on Social Media! Let’s wake Adobe up together!

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Founding Partner of Lin and Jirsa Photography and SLR Lounge.

Follow my updates on Facebook and my latest work on Instagram both under username @pyejirsa.

Q&A Discussions

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  1. Joel Bedford

    It’s 2019 and this software is still complete garbage. I have no hope that it will ever get better. The only chance we all have is another company releasing something better, then it’ll be ‘bye’.

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  2. Jas Bat

    I experience lag unlike anything else on any other software, ever.  It start out fine, and then suddenly it lags when I zoom (seriously)… it lags so much when retouching that I cannot see my strokes in real time! 

    At this point you know what? I gonna work with one solid and simple piece of software : Camera Raw Editor. First, this thing is 98% similar to lightroom, and it’s not like we weren’t all shooting in RAW in the first place. You even have sub-menus that allow you to go more in details than lightroom; and for any tedious retouching task, the only option is still Photoshop.

    Loading pictures and accessing metadata it’s even easier than in lightroom. Yes it’s ugly, but so what? It’s about how my picture look, not my software layout. 

    It’s 99.9% Lightroom with an ugly layout but as light on your CPU as a plug-in in Photoshop. At this point Lightroom should be Heavyroom! 

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  3. Randall Huleva

    Okay everyone, let’s all take a deep breath and wait a little bit longer. The Adobe Max conference is scheduled for next week and during the keynote address they will be announcing the new products/upgrades coming to Creative Cloud!

    Given that it hasn’t been upgraded in quite a while and that a new version has been in beta for a few months, I am FULLY expecting them to announce a new version of Lightroom at the conference!

    Adobe knows the chief complaint among all users has been lack of speed! Reportedly, the top three features they have been working on are speed, speed and speed! Therefore, I don’t know how many cool new features we will see, but I am expecting this new version to run pretty well. I don’t want to set my hopes super high – but as long as I can get my work done without the endless delays we have all experienced, I will be a satisfied user!

    Interestingly though, in the conversation about alternatives, take a look at both MacPhun’s Luminar or AlienSkin’s Exposure X3. These are two phenomenal programs that are very robust. Luminar is currently in beta for Windows but is due to be released very soon. Exposure is very full featured with a RAW editor, organizer, layered workflow and all! I love this program but it gets little mention in these discussions! ACDSee Photo Studio 2018 Ultimate is another really awesome alternative for the PC crowd, but they are being slow about producing a similar offering for Mac. They have had a Mac version in beta for over a year but I still haven’t heard when they may finally ship it. Keep your eye peeled for that as well if you are a Mac user.

    Capture One is a great product however it is more complex to use than Lightroom in my opinion. If you don’t mind the learning curve and you can leverage its robust professional features, it may be worth a look. Personally, it was too much for me. I’d rather go with On1, Exposure, Luminar or another similar application that is a bit more user friendly.

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  4. Joe Federer

    The ironic thing is that I was loathe to come to Lightroom (due to it’s terrible file-management and session-based workflow problems as well as it’s lack of absolute quality) but was forced to because it was so, so much faster than the alternatives at the time.

    …. and now it’s a dog, even on this 4.5k beast of a desktop computer.    Seems to work reasonably fine if I hook up to a 1080p monitor but as soon as I am using more than 1080p-worth of pixels, the thing just dies.

    Luckily, the alternatives have done the opposite — they’ve gotten better and faster in the intervening years.  So my searches for a full alternative workflow are actually coming up with a lot of good options (though the all end up at Photoshop for direct pixel manipulation… so I’ll still end up paying for lightroom just to get that).

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  5. Vadim H

    I just hope Adobe is listening.  It is time to update LR code / platform to make it run like it is 2017.  It is running like Windows 95 on x386 and i think that was faster.  :-) 

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  6. Randall Huleva

    The LR performance issue is perhaps one of the great ironies in modern day life. On the one hand, longtime users and CC members want to love it and so they continue ignoring the issues and hoping one day a magical Creative Cloud update will resolve all of their issues. On the other hand, they complain about it continually – and apparently to little avail with Adobe!

    I hate to say this, and even more so, I hate to DO this, however It seems Adobe has made their position clear – ad long as people only complain, but continue to pay for the service, they are not going to be motivated to address this issue! We the users are going to be forced to take action by using alternative software to do our work – at least temporarily – and cancel CC memberships letting them know it is due solely to the fact that they will not address these issues.

    I guarantee that if a sufficient number off CC cancellations due to poor LR performance reaches the executive offices, you will see action.

    It’s difficult to do though because unlike other editing applications, LR is by it’s nature the very center of our digital photography workflow. If we don’t use it, we don’t just need to find a different editing program, we need an entirely new workflow.  For the working pros, this means a less productive and less profitable adjustment to their business practices.

    Is it THAT BIG OF AN ISSUE where photographers are willing to step up and put their profits where their complaints are? I guess time will tell – but if I was Adobe, I would want to resolve this BEFORE my customer leaves. Once a customer is lost, it is extremely difficult to get them back.

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    • Lenzy Ruffin

      This article and the comment thread motivated me to take a serious look at Capture One. I’ve watched a number of their training videos over the last couple of weeks and I have to say that not only does the change in workflow not look too bad, it looks like there is an opportunity to create a better workflow without much of a learning curve. 

      I haven’t used the software yet, but it looks like learning Capture One when you already know Lightroom is much simpler than learning Lightroom from scratch. I’m confident that it won’t take me long to be as fast or faster at processing a set of images in Capture One. 

      One of the things I really liked was the ability to modify the interface. There are no Library or Develop modules, etc. All the tools are available all the time and you can choose which ones are displayed and in which order within the tool panel. You can move the tool panels anywhere you want, unlike Lightroom. 

      I’m really excited about building custom workspaces. Capture One lets you create multiple workspaces with the tools of your choice arranged however you want them. So you can have workspaces specific to color grading or portrait retouching  or editing landscapes, etc. 

      Capture One does a lot of stuff that Lightroom just doesn’t do and it “looks” like the learning curve won’t be too bad and may ultimately yield a more efficient workflow (for me) than is possible in Lightroom. Massive caveat, however, for those heavily leveraging Lightroom presets. But for non preset-based editing, I’m confident I’ll be faster in Capture One than I am in Lightroom. And they do have some type of support for interpreting/converting presets. I encourage everyone to go to the Capture One learning center and watch some of the videos. 

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  7. Damien Parish

    I was so tired of waiting on Lightroom, I switched entirely to a Capture One 10 and Photoshop  workflow. What solidified my decision after shooting 112 portraits at a School.

     I adjusted the first one (shot in RAW), then fired off the remaining 111. I had all my export settings set with uncompressed tiff images and all adjustments, it took 8 seconds!!!!! 

    The best part was after I took the picture, I had the kid go up to their photo and type their name. I could even shoot while they were typing and nothing was adversely effected.

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  8. Nick Dantonio

    Could not agree more! Thanks for saying this, Pye. Don’t get lazy Adobe, we will leave you! We shouldn’t have to have insane computers for Lr to work fast…and it turns out even that’s not enough. I want to work with a company (hopefully Adobe) that strives to be the best, not “just good enough that it’s too much of a pain to leave.” BE BETTER!

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  9. Erica Mendenhall

    Totally Agree! LR has been running so SLOW the majority of the times, despite all the tips and tricks we do to make it run more efficiently. As of late, I keep getting error messages when closing saying I need to use a third party, that my catalog is full or exceeds 4GB, which I don’t understand since I create a new catalog for each shoot. Yesterday, I opened lightroom and for the first time in over 10 years of editing my “missing files” were not in their folder. Poof, gone. HOw this happened, where they went, I have NO idea. Reimported from card to the same folder, and then of course LR “found” my missing files. I’m not sure what caused this, or how to prevent that again. I am pulling images from en external – I don’t know why that would all of a sudden cause a problem. If anyone has any insight into that error message or why my images went “poof” gone, I would REALLY appreciate it.

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  10. Dave Lyons

    And for those who loved Aperture there’s a new photos plugin (and stand alone app) thats been developed by the main developer of aperture called Raw Power and uses the apple raw processor and doesn’t look to bad for just starting out and right now is only $9.99 on app store.

    Here’s their web site

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  11. Dave Lyons

    adobe products have always been built like crap and when adobe bought macromedia many of us mourned knowing adobe would screw up macromedia apps as well. I remember how much better fireworks saved images over ps, uggg a waste.

    My days with adobe are almost done, photo shop and lightroom are being replaced by capture one and affinity photo and I’ve been using coldfusion since before even macromedia owned it and now moving on to other languages and it feels good.

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    • Lenzy Ruffin

      That’s exactly the path I’m taking. I was using On1 instead of Photoshop, but I’m done waiting for them to address the stability issues. Capture One and Affinity Photo are the path forward for me.

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  12. Ralph Jr

    I agree 100%! 

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  13. John Mendez

    SLR Presets for Capture One? 

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  14. Travis Hausler

    Sorry adobe but I have signed the divorce papers. I very been faithfully long enough and its time to tell you I met someone else. If you ever do fix the many issues…. ahem… I’ll be down the street with CAPTURE ONE.  I guess I should just say it now…. I’ve been cheating on you for the last 6 months. Feels so good to finally say it.

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  15. Darryl Brooks

    Constantly freezes on export. I process between 50 and 200 images a week. All are in RAW so I export all as JPG. 10% of the time, the export never completes. I have to quit LR, and stop running tasks in task manager, then go back in and start over. Wish I had just stayed with v6.

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  16. Bill Thomas

    You can try this: 

    go to preferences> performance and turn off the gpu to see if it speeds up.

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  17. Bill Thomas

    I’d second the slowness. It was fast and now its slowed considerably. Went to a full SSD with the same issue in LR. No change. Its not my hardware at all! I also ” increase your cache [that is probably your problem]”. Which did nothing different, still slow……….I’d switch software but I’m not a rich as other folks that can just switch software on a whim. Paid into and purchased. Just fix it! It worked before make it work again!  I’m with Pye on this one! Here is a whole group having slowness issues…

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  18. Matt Hysz

    WOW, too many people having way to over the top hardware and still not being able to optimize the workflow… Think about smart previews, increase your cache [that is probably your problem], and work in a catalog that has less than 20.000 pics, you can create new one, edit your stuff and just add it to your main catalog afterwards. There you go, at least 10x boost in speed just from doing this. With smart previews culling is faster than with JPGs… with GPU acc you can add hundreds of different pins and it is super smooth all the time [even with IGP, it’s about OpenGL, not CUDA cores].

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    • Richard Trainor

      Not when your fan is whirring like a 747 taking off on the runway Matt… It’s not a simple as changing a few settings… We all wish it were.

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  19. Scott Viney

    I have just gotten back from holidays with a truckload of photos to process. But Iam stuck at the develop part of my workflow. I dont have a powerful computer. Its a macbook air from 2013. Yesterday I tried to normalise 300 photos and only got through 12. Every adjustment, be it exposure, whites. blacks…takes more than a couple of minutes. It used to work well enough for me, with 10-12Mb Nikon files….could it be that now with 24Mb Sony files its too much work. I have tried changing settings as suggested online. I have tried smart previews. Nothing works.

    The thing that bites is that Iam on subscription paying monthly for the lightroom and photoshop. If I move to another raw processor I still need photoshop, so I still need to pay for the photographers subscription right? Or can I get photoshop on the cloud only?

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    • Konrad Sarnowski

      AFAIK Photography program is cheaper than subscription of Photoshop itself. I just found out Capture One pro can be subscribed for similar money, and I’m going to try this combo, as I don’t believe LR will handle smoothly 24Mpix files after I’ll upgrade my gear next month…

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    • Lenzy Ruffin

      Maybe consider leaving Adobe altogether, Scott. After researching the alternatives that others have suggested in this thread as well as others, I think I’m going to switch to Capture One to replace Lightroom and Affinity Photo to replace On1, which I’ve been using instead of Photoshop.

      It’s also possible, depending on which Lightroom alternative you choose and what exactly you used Photoshop for, you might not need Photoshop. I’ve watched a few Capture One videos as a result of this article and it looks like Capture One has some implementation of a layer-based workflow. It may well have enough additional capability beyond Lightroom that, for some people, Photoshop (or an alternative) becomes unnecessary.

      Having to learn new tools is going to be a chore, but the impact on productivity is limited to the time it takes to get proficient. Lightroom, on the other hand, takes way too long every single time and it seems to keep getting worse.

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  20. Lee Rushby

    I’ve been moaning about this with my local photographers for years. I’m running an HP Z series workstation with 6x SSD’s in RAID0, 64GB Ram and 2x Intel Xeon 6 core processors and it is still painfully slow!

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  21. Chris Brocoff

    So glad I’m not the only one… Brand new iMac with all the upgrades, specifically for Lightroom. And it runs so slow. Super disappointing. I’d be willing to switch.

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  22. Elliott Parfitt

    $120/year to run just Lr and Ps is a good way for Adobe to garner bitterness from die-hard fans who are reminiscent about the days of CS instead of CC. I’ve use Lightroom on both platforms, and found the same hair-greying lag. Am I using Windows ME or is this a quad core with 8gb ddr3? As much as I hate learning new systems, I may have to find something that will turn my trickle back into a workflow.

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  23. Florian Frey

    So true even on a 8k€ hardware

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  24. Brandon Wallace

    I’ve already switched to Capture One Pro two years ago. When Adobe fixes Lightroom, I will consider coming back.

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  25. Nico Morgan

    Hear hear! It’s not just th eperformance it’s the bugs. There are more and more with each update. Editing metadata is a nightmare too.

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  26. Black Z Eddie

    Man, I pity a lot of you guys with super high-end systems and LR is still crippling you.

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  27. Dean Whitling

    Amen to this. My sorting and culling isnt too bad, but the develop module is sooooo slow. This is a majpr problem for me as I do this professionally and often have many hundreds or thousands of images to process each week. Right now I estimate that it’s taking 2-3 times as long as what it did a few years ago. over multiple jobs and many images, that’s a whole lot of wasted time. I agree – pretty please Adobe, let’s fix the marriage.

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    • Kenny Halstead

      Totally! Especially when you have to use the healing tool a lot. I’ve noticed when doing newborn photos and retouching skin, by the time I finish the set it’s taking forever just to switch between photos. It seems like the more healing points I add, the more it bogs down. We’re talking several second delays between when I click, and light room actually takes the action. It’s maddening when something that should take me just a couple of minutes ends up taking me the better part of 20.

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  28. James Kent

    As a Lightroom 5 user that didnt need 6 until Mac updates gave me trouble, I had the choice of waiting till 7 or ponying up for the end of life 6 because I didn’t want to re-learn on capture one. I was definitely not interested in subscription pricing because Affinity Photo completely sold me over photoshop. I ended up doing the capture one trial and I’m so glad I did. It’s faster in all aspects. It uses a “persona” system with tabs at the top for different areas of editing, but for me they work in order. I HIGHLY suggest giving it a try and leaving the overpriced subscription based adobe world. It’s been great for me.

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  29. Graeme Finlayson

    Lightroom is so easy to use and fully featured that I’ve grown to love it in the 6 years I’ve been using it. However speed, or to be more precise lack of it, is an ever growing concern. My couple of year old AMD FX8350 with 32GB of RAM is about to be retired for a Broadwell 6850K and 128GB of RAM with Nvidia GTX 1070. No Kabylake here – the 6850 all but keeps up with it on everything and spanks it properly on export performance. Why oh why do I need one of the most powerful PCs on the planet to edit photos? Lightroom hoovers up clock cycles and haemorrhages memory with such applomb that I feel like I’ve been time-warped back to 1988. I swear my MS-DOS 5 1/4″ floppy booted 8086 PC was faster. I’m growing tired of shutting Lightroom down and having to restart it every dozen images just to make it workable. Without this my Wacom tablet pen traverses the screen slower than a geriatric snail. Radiation levels in Chernobyl are falling faster than I can scroll through images in the library module and I could age a fine vintage Port in the time it takes to back up and optimise the catalog. Unless Adobe wakes up, realises that working ‘togs form most of Lightroom’s user base and sorts out the terrible coding, they’ll soon be history. The first vendor that can come up with a serious, well thought out and implemented alternative will be able to retire on the first year revenues. I’d love to run 4k monitors, but my dual qHD monitors tax my system so hard, I daren’t consider the upgrade.

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  30. rima berzin

    Lovely Adobe Lightroom, you’re def. slow slow, but even more frustrating is how you freeze or crash. I’ve tried all the precautions you and others recommend to prevent this. I’m getting ready for Capture One myself. Please – we don’t need new features. We need what you have to be more stable and efficient.

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  31. Steve Ginter

    Just signed up to comment and agree. I love photography. I love taking pictures as much as I love editing, but not so much the latter these days. It is so painstakingly slow, I loathe coming home after a trip to edit them. It almost justifies buying a 2nd computer to run other tasks while Lightroom chokes away doing whatever it needs to do…but it shouldn’t. I can’t imagine doing this full time with that type of time wasting away.

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  32. Brian Zinchuk

    In recent weeks I have noticed a significant memory leak. I’m running the most recent version of Lightroom CC. Even without doing anything, if I leave LR open, the computer will go from 40-60-80-100% ram usage over the space of about six hours, then give me error messages to close programs. At that point, if I close lightroom, the memory usage drops to about 40%, but I really need to reboot. Now, I built my own ~$4000 computer four years ago, and it’s still better spec’d than most PCs I see on the market – I7 processor, 32 GB ram, 500 GB SSD, and now a Nvida 1060 card. I generally run 3 catalogs per year, one for my newspaper, one for my commercial photography, and one for family. I don’t let my catalogs exceed 40,000 frames or so. This memory leak even happens on brand new catalogs with just 2500 pictures. Suggestions as to what I should do, anyone?

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  33. Jeff B

    if only

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  34. Jenny Fritz

    Well said. The spinning beach ball is terrible and even the login is soooo slow.

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  35. Don Risi

    I find it hard to believe that Adobe is not aware of the problem, and is aware, but doesn’t care. It’s been going on since version 1.

    I will say, though, that it runs better on my 2010 MacPro desktop than on any Windows machine I’ve owned.

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  36. Lenzy Ruffin

    I’ve read the first 130 or so comments. I wonder if there’s a way to leverage the prominence of SLR Lounge to get us the software we want. I’m thinking something like a software comparison that presents the pros and cons of Lightroom alternatives, using Lightroom as the baseline.

    Just here in the comments, I’ve learned a little about how Capture One and Affinity Photo compare to Lightroom…ways they’re different, ways they surpass Lightroom, ways they doesn’t match Lightroom’s capabilities.

    It’s pretty clear that Adobe doesn’t care, but these other vendors who want to gain market share might very well pay attention to a software roundup that had some kind of “I’d switch to XYZ software if…” summary. That’s the sentiment I see in a number of the comments here. We can all point to specific things in Lightroom that if XYZ software had some implementation of that functionality, we’d happily switch.

    I used to really want to move over to On1, but it’s clear they don’t care about stability. The absurd crash frequency of their software is a huge white elephant that they just act like real world users aren’t experiencing. Maybe getting put on blast in a software roundup by a reputable photography portal would provide some useful guidance to the various vendors. If done the right way, such a roundup would basically be a roadmap to increased market share for companies that took heed.

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  37. Paul Moquin

    100% agree! Thanks for being a voice for us Pye.

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  38. Ken Tannenbaum

    Completely agree: Adobe you heard the users when you made major changes to the import module, please listen now.

    I have added video cards and SSD’s with no luck in increased speed. I use a 4K monitor which is close to becoming a standard in our world. Lightroom drags on slowly. There is some great Raw processing competition out there now in addition to Phase One. There is; On 1 Photo Raw and Photo Director 8.

    I love Lightroom for over six years now please increase it’s efficiency.

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  39. Rogan Thomson

    They also need to address the Automatic Graphic Switching on 15″ MacBook Pro laptop’s which have both an integrated and discreet graphics card. Lightroom used to use the integrated graphics unless you turned on Graphics card acceleration, but now it uses the discreet graphics all the time which drastically reduces battery life. It’s completely unnecessary too as the software seems to run the same on the lesser laptop models which only have the integrated graphics chip. We should at least have the choice. Some of use use LR away from the mains a lot and a slight performance drop might be preferable to the battery life being more than halved.

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  40. Karl Austin

    Getting fed up of it as well. It shouldn’t be this slow. You get the impression Adobe are neglecting it – just look at the thread on their forums about GPU acceleration that’s been running for years now with no solution in sight to making it work properly, just excuses. Yes, I create new catalogs for each import.

    I’m seriously reconsidering my subscription right now.

    It’s a shame that Serif aren’t further down the road, I already use Affinity Designer instead of Illustrator and when they launch their InDesign competitor I’ll be buying. Although the 1.5 of Photo does look like a big improvement (not looked for a while)

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  41. Alex Potemkin

    Same here. LR is painfully slow at the really fast machine, and the latest update give me some new experience: after cople of dozen exited pictures LR going not even slow but superslow (Zootopia?) till restart.

    The only real thing keeping me from swithing away is midi controller integration via MIDI2LR which is to great to loose it :/ but my pain threshold is very close.

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  42. Bryan Rapoza

    Easy, make different catalogs for different shoots. The issue isnt software speed, its catalog size. Do you really need to have access to every image you shot last year?

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  43. Joshua McKenna

    SLR Lounge and Pye: You should customize the text here as tweetable or change the article title to tag @Adobe when people tweet from their browsers!

    Totally agree.

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  44. Thomas Zorichak

    Absolutely !!! I’m a PC user – LR hangs routinely when keywording and in develop mode as well as always taking an age to import. Have a couple of smallish mixed video/stills catalogs but LR creates 80-100+ GB caches even if I only look at still images – why? In 50 years of computing I’ve never experienced worse support than Adobe or any software with such lousy installation packages. My new loves – I’ve recently bought Capture One 10 and it is great for my Nikon D7000 and Panasonic GH4 raw files – couple of cons are their apparent reluctance/refusal to allow/encourage plugins and they are not speedy or comprehensive with camera/lens correction options. Also have ON1 RAW 2017 which still has lots of issues but may be great later this year and Affinity which is similarly showing promise. Can’t see me renewing Adobe products next year unless they do something spectacular very soon

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  45. Kelly Newton

    I couldn’t have said it better myself! 100% agree!!! Please fix it!

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  46. Steve Day

    Agree 100%. Please fix this. I too was just looking at switching to Capture One!

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  47. Robert Smits

    I absolutely LOVE Lightroom too and I use it daily, but, as suggested by SLR lounge, I now also use Photo Mechanic to cull my images. LR has been slowing down the last couple of years and I too, keep buying new computer systems to avoid the substantial slowdown in later editions of LR…
    And although having tried everything with Smart previews, 1:1 previews, it still is slow and very frustrating to work with. Like the clone tool slowing everything down too much, or the adjustment brush and of course.. The loading… Please please please do something about this soon, so I can keep working with your program for many years to come!
    If not, I’d be open to changing software too!

    Desktop : WIN10, i7 4930K CPU@3.70GHz, 32GB RAM, GeForce GTX 770 GPU and EIZO screens
    Laptop : XPS15, UHD touch display, i7-6700HQ Quad Core @3.5GHz, 16GB RAM, GeForce GTX 960M – 2GB GDDR5.

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  48. Jim Kurovsky

    I have been using Lightroom for many years. I liked it very much when file sizes were smaller and I shot fewer photos. I have become increasing unhappy with the time it takes to move between photos to select the ‘keepers’ and the time it takes to build thumbnails when importing. I have started to look at alternatives like ON1 RAW that is extremely quick and does almost all of the same things as Lightroom. It, too, organizes photos without the massive database required in Lightroom and works with Photoshop when you need tools beyond what’s in this program. I still primarily use Lightroom but my frustration is growing. If Lightroom doesn’t rethink their program, it won’t be long before I change away from them and to the competition.

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  49. Gethin Coles

    I too have been bitching about this for many years. I call it hardware agnostic unusability. On1 raw has promise but isn’t there yet. Weirdly camera raw is faster, but still suffers from the memory leak issue

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  50. Kenny Goldberg

    As a professional photographer who has used Lightroom for many years and on a daily basis, I appreciate the growing number of tools. They help me from having to use Photoshop and do the majority of my editing in Lightroom. Needless to say, I love Lightroom. However, with that said, there is no doubt it is getting too slow and since I was practically forced to use the CC cloud based option it is worse than ever, Plus I Have had to have Adobe techs help me with issues I never had before that caused the program to not even load. PLEASE find a way to speed it up and stop the glitches or I will have to find an alternative ;(

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  51. Ricardo Szekely

    As a daily user of LR for many years, I’m very interested in alternative options to a photo editing software . This article sounds to me like a telepathic understanding of my daily frustration.. I would like to see an end to Adobe ‘s indifference to our feedbacks and a final solution to this issue. (stop loading and get going)

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  52. Jennifer Sitter

    I’ve wondered why my effects intensive video editing runs better than lightroom on the same machine. Not sure if I’m glad to know I didn’t screw up the settings, it’s actually software lagging. Please Adobe, for the love of sleep, speed up!

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  53. Wallace Ferguson


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  54. Laurie Haughton

    I’ve been a devote adobe user since PS3 that’s 20 plus years of creating with Adobe tools. But after buying a new Mac system because I thought my old one was just not robust enough to handle all adobe’s great additions, and upgrading that Mac, I still find that in order to use my time efficiently I must multitask (i.e check emails while files are loading.) This does not make for an optimal workflow. I now own On1 tools and am considering upgrading my Alien skin now that they have file management built in just so I can minimize my time loading files into Lightroom or even exporting into Photoshop. Currently as I type this, I’m downloading the latest update to Lightroom CC (2015) and am cringing wondering if this was the right decision, is this finally a fix to the speed issue or will this slow it down even more!? Adobe please please fix this, I don’t want to leave you, but you are making my editing workflow inefficient and I can’t have that!

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  55. Dan Donovan

    Pye, you mentioned Capture One’s interface is not very efficient. However, I have found it to be very customizable. For instance, you can create a custom Tool Tab with just your favorite tools. It is fantastic having just the tools you use accessible together in one panel.

    And by the way, I’m running Capture One on a 5 year old iMac!

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  56. Ian Brodie

    I agree completely. I have been using LR now since it first appeared for professional work. I have over $5000 worth of computer equipment that just totally struggles with this software. It’s time to fix it NOW Adobe.

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  57. Steven Kamradt

    Since my LR subscription is coming to an end soon, I think I will take a closer look at capture one. Only question remains….what about my existing LR edits? can they be imported?

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  58. Ryan Longnecker

    hey @adobe we love you, but seriously… … loading … …

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  59. Jimmy Karlsen

    Lightroom is slow ? But the best trick for getting way better speed is to enter bios and turn ON contiounus turbo mode for the cpu. Try it out!

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  60. William Graves

    Truth. I’m sitting here editing on my $3000 XPS 15, and the speed is ridiculously slow. I did try Capture One, but it didn’t do it for me.

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    • Aziz Garuba

      I have the XPS 15 which I bought specifically to do editing on the fly. Lightroom is pathetically slow on it and makes my laptop run hot. Frustrating beyond belief!!

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  61. Marek Kunicki

    And please, profile adobe standard the way you used to, instead of the new, super desaturated and and contrastless way you’ve started to with newer cameras. *cough D750

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    • Chris Rockstroh

      I spent months trying to get a decent RAW export out of Adobe’s profiles, now I use NX-D to export my RAWs as 16-bit tiffs (I delete them after use), then work on them in things like LR and PS.

      The difference between a RAW from Nikon’s own software and Adobe’s is amazing. I don’t understand how people can be happy with the odd tones that Adobe’s profiles output.

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  62. Chris Harth

    Going to counseling this year because of increased *RAGE QUIT* episodes due to LR’s poorformance…

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  63. Michael Bondanza

    HOLY COW!!!! YES!!!! I have seriously thought about switching to Capture One… I can count to 20 before the images load. I’ve upgraded EVERYTHING just short of getting a 12 core cpu server to run LR. It’s no longer enjoyable to edit photos. It’s like trying to load 100 raw files in photoshop 6 on a windows 98 machine… where’s the TURBO BUTTON?????

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  64. Matt Siler

    Listen up ADOBE – LOTS of us out there looking for alternatives with your monthly price plan and slow platform almost everyone I know is always on the prowl for a better alternative. Lots of new and mighty alternatives out there now and they are getting better and better. I just purchased on1 Raw and am looking forward to getting to know it really and just possibly dump the lightroom/photoshop suite.

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  65. Angelsea Urban

    YES. THIS. 100%

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  66. Carrie Holbo

    I have my share of LR frustrations, but my current disappointment with Adobe stems from the fact that they advertise on You know, the site with headlines like ‘The solution to online ‘harassment’ is simple: Women should log off’ and ‘Gay rights have made us dumber, it’s time to get back in the closet’. I, along with others, have written and tweeted to ask them to stop supporting this hate speech, but to date have received no response. I’m hoping others in the creative community will also step up and denounce this. (And yes, please, fix LR!)

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    • Trevor Dayley

      Hi Carrie, one thing to keep in mind is that many companies do their marketing through the Google Network. So what that means is that after you visited Adobe or bought something from them, then they “remarket” to you and show you ads through the Google Network on whichever sites you visit. So while you might see an Adobe ad on one site, someone else might see an ad for paint supplies, books, tools, games etc. It’s not that Adobe is paying Breitbart or any site directly to specifically market there. I might be wrong but that is typically how the majority of ads online are done these days.

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  67. Luke Strothman

    PREACH!!!! God, I’ve been saying this for years!!!!!

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  68. Mario Salerno

    I already have dropped LR and went for Capture One. Not the fanciest interface perhaps but what a great job it does. Fast and reliable. Easy and not too expensive to upgrade. Adobe should think twice before imposing its “dominant” position. We have seen many editors loose ground because of similar reasons.

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  69. Spencer Johnson

    Suggestion for another way of getting the message to Adobe. They’ve started doing livestreaming with chats on and they’re really good about responding to questions/concerns. Everyone should get on there (especially because the theme right now is Compositing Photos) and express your concern. Ask when Lightroom is getting the necessary updates!

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  70. Palle Schultz

    Many moons ago – back in the early days, there was a trick that made any adobe app run much faster and smoother. We bought the full design packs, and left them in their boxes. Then we downloaded hacked pirate versions and ran them instead. We had much less freezes and non responding computers with those versions. Part of adobes slowness today, is its online connection. If you get rid of that in some hacky fashion, LR will run much smoother and less painfully slow. But it might not run as good as you’d wish. That would require Adobe to think less of features and more time on optimising – and that is somehow not as sexy as new features.

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    • Dave Lyons

      funny you bring this up as I was just thinking about it. Years ago I bought a PS upgrade thru the adobe store and but it wouldn’t register. After literally 30hrs+ on the phone with them over 3 days and after being hung up on several times and accused of being so stupid for obviously trying to license a pirated copy even though it was in my account and bought thru their store. I finally told them to shove it and and i’d just go get a pirated copy since they couldn’t do anything to me as I owned the software. 

      But the main thing I noticed is how much better it ran and that it wasn’t phoning home every 5 minutes. It’s still ridiculous that their software “needs” to connect to like 13 sources on startup still

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  71. Thomas Chamberlain

    Ugh, I am with you. I love LR and no matter which computer I’m using it’s still so slow. That said, I rely on the workflow I’ve built. Capture One raw processing is every bit as good, but I just couldn’t get into the UI.
    I would love for Adobe to address the speed issues. I fear they will have to rebuild from the ground up.

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  72. Trent Preston

    Agreed! So Slow…

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  73. Tom Robak


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  74. Lester Lefton

    capture one pro 10. I want to like LR as I know it well, but there is no doubt c1 is a significantly better product. Give it a try. Resistance is futile.

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  75. Tom Marvel

    I’ve contemplated switching to Capture 1 many times except C1 does not support DNG files from a Pentax 645z. C1 does not even recognize the files let alone open them. I’ve been told in person by a Phase One rep that P1 doesn’t have & never will have plans to allow Pentax 645z files to be processed in Capture One. So Lightroom it is. Or until I pony up the bucks for a Phase One. (Yes I know about the work arounds that strip out the EXIF data from the Pentax DNGs but that defeats the purpose of C1’s fast tethering)

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  76. Ryan Johnson

    Yes, this. Adobe never listens. Screw them.

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  77. Robert Anderson

    Let’s help this along, here’s the capture one link:

    Downloading it now…

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  78. Nick LaPalomento

    I actually tried to make the switch, but come to find out, Capture One doesn’t allow you to make local adjustment develop presets. So the wonderfully amazing SLR Lounge brush presets aren’t possible. This means when I edit a wedding I have to recreate my teeth whitening, or burn and dodge, or iris enhance every..single..time I want to apply them….. how is this not something they support yet? It’s the only thing keeping me from switching!!!

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  79. Robert Anderson

    Seeing all the comments on capture one, I’m going to download it and give it a look. Thanks. PS Adobe: this is how you go out of business, slowly one customer at a time and then in an avalanche all of the sudden. Yes yes I know, corporate bonuses and all that must come first….

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  80. Robert Anderson

    Ditto to all the comments. So slow now on state of the art iMac its maddening…but ya know, they need profits for corporate exec bonuses and all first priority of course…

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  81. Andy Moore

    I can’t see where the comments about Capture one are coming from in terms of user interface. Thats the first reason I left lightroom only weeks ago now. You can build the interface you want and not what adobe wants. It has mega powerful workspaces and that is such a blessing. The RAW files are simply rendered better, there is less to do and to my eye they just look better. Culling is not perfect but this is the mad thing its still way way better than Lightroom. Using my scroll wheel to make adjustments was unexpected and great for speeding up editing. You can assign any key you want to do anything you want and after 3 weeks and 5 weddings I only slightly miss two elements of Lightroom…. vibrance and radius tool. Even then I can achieve the same with a couple of sliders anyway so not really a concern. The exporting is better, the sharpness and clarity are indescribably better and the support is….. well need I say more, it couldn’t be worse could it. still keep light room as I occasionally need to outsource a wedding at busy times and image salon don’t use capture one but thats only here and there. The sessions are great and its changed the way I manage my files for the better. You can use presets in Capture one and I would like that workflow improved slightly but its similar to lightroom. The last point …. lightroom slows down my mega powerful maxed out iMac to a crawl when exporting and takes ages, capture one does it with a breeze and I see little to no effect on other programs. I can work on and render a 20 min film in FCPX while exporting from capture one and I struggle to open FCPX while lightroom is exporting. Culling in Lightroom…… pointless. Not sure how or why but thats what happens. Capture one is not perfect but I could not go back to lightroom now just because of the image quality alone. Also just got pallet so we will see how that goes.

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  82. Ben Toomey

    Shooting tethered is proving to be so problematic now that my Macbook will often crash 2-3 times a day if i’m shooting with enthusiasm. Never used to be that way. Let alone the slow running issues you’ve already talked about

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  83. Kostas Ord

    I have a 9000 euro pc made for retouch and still Lightfoot runs so slow that many times I want to crash it. Had many times support from adobe but did nothing finally. They will loose lots of clients. If the did not had PhotoShop I thing they would had serious problems already since new software are started to be quick and good

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  84. Scott Walter

    If there was a viable alternative I would switch from Lightroom in a heart beat. I tried the new ON1 Raw but its not quite up to the task yet.

    I’ve looked at Capture One and its great but I’m concerned about camera support. They don’t seem to want to support cameras which compete with Phase One. Not that I’m planning on buying a Hassleblad or Fuji medium format in the future its still concerning. I wish CaptureOne was run independently of Phase One.

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    • Black Z Eddie

      “They don’t seem to want to support cameras which compete with Phase One”

      This is false.

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  85. Jean-Francois Perreault

    Culling in Lr is so slow that it started to affect my shooting when shooting sports in burst mode. It shouldn’t but it does. I always have that little Lightroom voice in the back of my head saying “man you’re gonna pay for this later” ;) haha I shouldn’t laugh it’s not funny.

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  86. James Ogden

    I don’t use LR much, when I do, I am always switching right back to Photoshop. I can do much more with PS anyways so LR mainly stays installed since it’s a part of my subscription.

    I should give CaptureOne a try.

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  87. Darbi Hebrank

    Yes! I have to wait 2 to 5 seconds after each individual edit. I can’t do that. I’m starting to use Photoshop more and more again and that makes it exceedingly hard to turn around galleries like I’m used to.

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  88. Viktor Wågman

    Hi Pye! If Adobe fucks this all up and not fixing Lightroom. it is possible to do a PRESETS SYSTEM for Capture One ? I’ve never used Capture Onet that is why I ask. :)

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  89. Santino Holnagel

    I have been using Photoshop since 3.1 and finally moved over to Lightroom about 6 years ago to edit weddings. It was great at first but now I even going through my flagged images to crop and straighten images takes forever as I have to wait for the next picture to load before I can even start to adjust the crop. I can’t afford seconds for each image to load when you are going through 700 images. I have an i7 processor, 32 gb of ram and its slow at heck. I finally uninstalled and did a fresh install a couple months ago after clearing the cache and preferences didn’t do much. The fresh install made things faster but only for a week or so. I love Lightroom but its killing me in time. I can runs Photoshop, Adobe Premier and After Effects with no delays but I get into Lightroom and it just dogs down. I would think turning certain parts of Lightroom off might help as I only use it to do global edits, not sure what the answer is but it needs to be faster.

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  90. Sven Larsson

    Can only agree with you all. I do a lot of sport photography and importing and editing photos have become painful. Using a bit of swearing when editing because LR just isn’t keeping up with what I’m doing. Sliders change long after I have left because it is “thinking” (or something) in the back ground. Think I will have to give Capture One another run and see if that should be my new tool for photo editing.

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  91. Emilio Savov

    Capture One! Not only it is fast, but it also show pictures better than Lightroom. I do like the user interface of Lightroom, the presets and all that, but Capture One does seem to have a way of showing images way better than Lightroom, handles the RAW files in a much better way, the color grading tools are amazing…. and is faster than Lightroom to what I have tested. So … I think Adobe have already lost tons of users by being sooooooooooo concerned about the mobile apps, instead of looking at professionals too.

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  92. Differentiator The

    Glad it’s not just me…the interface is clunky and slow as hell…I am now questioning the worth of the CC photography subscription.

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  93. Jacob Jexmark

    i7 12 cores, 128GB DDR4, PCI-E SSD (3.2GB/s read / 1.9GB/s write) and I still find Lightroom slow as hell.

    Then again I made the switch to Capture One and won’t look back. I find Capture One wonderful, both in speed, features (tethering, focus preview) and especially the way it renders my Nikon and Fuji files. Skin tones and sharpening algorithms alone was enough for me to switch.

    I use every other Adobe appliaction in my work (well not ALL) but Photoshop, Illustrator, Premiere, After Effects, Acrobat, InDesign. Would love to use Lightroom but would not consider it at it’s current state.

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  94. Nuno Ferreira

    I agree that Lightroom is getting slower with every release and that Adobe must fix this issue fast, but there are ways to work faster in Lr. I come to the conclusion that most photographers tend to rely more in specs to solve the speed issues with Lr when they simply could change their workflow. I have a 3 years old iMac and don’t have any issues with the speed of Lr and I use huge catalogs (1 catalog per year with more than 100000 RAW files). I’ve just made some small changes just as upgrading the RAM to 32GB, leaving my catalogs on my internal SSD, optimize them from time to time, having the photos on a fast external hard drive, have a huge cache in Lr settings and most importantly, build smart previews and 1:1 previews while I’m sleeping. Then, when I need to cull, I can browse my photos as fast as in Photo Mechanic and edit the images without any lag in the Develop Mode. Simple as that. Took some time to dial in the right settings and workflow but can’t complain now. The problem is that it shouldn’t be necessary this kind of workaround and Lr should be fast right away.

    For those who complain that Lr is slow when uploading to Smugmug, then that is certainly a problem of Smugmug’s plugin and servers and probably because of the internet speed. I upload around 1000 high resolution photos to Pixieset every time using their plugin in less than 2 hours.

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  95. Julien Miscischia

    Cannot be more agree. Lightroom is a very powerful software to manage plenty photographs, so it’s really nice for wedding or big reportages. But they seems to forget something, big wedding means lots of files so lots of time working on our pictures.

    If we spend to much time in post, we will need to change to Capture One. CO is better in RAW rendering, colors, sharpness, saturation etc. It’s just lack the easy way to manage tons of pictures.

    Adobe, just react ! Make the next update more efficient !

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  96. Jesper Anhede

    +1 on this one from me. The speed is my biggest issue by far. Except for that, this is such a fantastic product!

    Having an interview with CaptureOne today but really do not want to change from Lightroom.

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  97. Krzyś Palacz

    ohhhh dear god! i though it’s something with my PC … but i can see now that everyone is dealing with it … :)

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  98. Phil Lidstone

    Yesssss! I second or 82nd this – Mac Pro Trash Can owner with 64GB of RAM and still Lightroom is too slow. Other Adobe applications are the same. I feel instead of creating lots of useless mobile apps they should at least have one development phase dedicated to bug, stabilising and speed fixing.
    Cheers Pye

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  99. Peter Ortmann

    Slow, yes! A pain if you like to run through the pictures with your model to select the best one. Use the brush and have 2 displays – you do not even see the changes in real time. I use a MIDI controller, but wait to see the results when I fine-tune. I agree – I do not need new functions but speeeeed.

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  100. Alex. Gubariu

    Switched also to Capture One Pro. Much faster, better raw interpretation and output quality, very good color grading tools. It takes a bit to get used to the fully cutomizable interface and setting the shortcut keys similar to LR. Thank you SLRLounge for beeing my daily inspiration and news page.

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  101. Marc Smedley

    Yes, loading….I mean loading anything….previews, tools. Maybe the issue would better be described as rendering instead of loading. How anoying is it when you are mid stroke with a mouse or stylus pen and everything freezes??

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  102. Jorge Herrera

    All of a sudden tethering doesn’t work. Good job I still keep Aperture on my laptop for that and it’s fast and can do a few things I wish I could do on LR

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  103. David Wagelmans

    It just drives me nuts.
    I have a specd out pc and even going from photo to photo takes a time.
    Have purchased photomechanic to cull. Shame on you Adobe. Give us speed

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  104. Tomáš Hudolin

    Don’t worry. The same situation is also with Illustrator. The LR is mystery for me for a long time. I have strong PC and the performance of LR is sad. Maybe they want us to buy Capture Pro :)

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  105. Marius W. Jørgensen

    Yea! Pleas fix Lightroom!

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  106. Joram J

    Lets hope LR7 brings only 1 improvement. Just 1… SPEED!!!!! ;)
    Or is it normal to have you notebook next to you pc to watch some youtube will waiting. ;)
    Thanks Pye!

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  107. Matt Hysz

    8×4.5GHZ and M.2 memory with 1.5GB/s read, 2.5GB/s write and I still work on smart previews… this is really abyssal.

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  108. Michael Turk

    Any thoughts on OnOne Raw or Affinity?

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  109. Benjamin Andrews

    Speaking of splash screens, I’ve seen some of the same names on the Photoshop one for almost 20 years. While I am sure they have a wealth of experience, perhaps they need some more new eyes as well. Looking at the problems from a different perspective might be helpful. I just upgraded for this reason. My 4 year old PC was just abysmal. While 4 years is a long time between upgrades, certain programs in particular (cough Photoshop, cough Lightroom) were just killing it.

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  110. Jonathan Zuck

    +1. Let’s get Lightroom working again.

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  111. Beau Brendon

    There are times where I seriously consider fisting myself with both arms rather than waiting for Lightroom to respond to a module switch or render a bunch of raw files. Eight cores, 4.2ghz, 24 gig of ram, catalog on SSD and it still feels painfully slow. It’s such a joke it’s not even funny.

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  112. Juan Amarillo

    I hope your voice will be heard

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  113. Shabirali Patel

    Correct correct said….. I always keep on investing in upgrading my hardware. N day by day new version getting more n more slower. Its like pain.. Putting a lot of money n efforts. The performance is very very poor…. It has to be done fast….

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  114. Tim Vechik

    As my catalog begins to grow, preview renders from image to image begin to slow more and more. When culling images down from weddings, (when I’m going through 4,500 images from 3 photographers) I need to be able to see the detail to know if my second shooters hit their marks… which means waiting for each image to render. When this takes between 12-26 seconds per image, it means spending 32 hours PER WEDDING just waiting for renders. Often it takes longer to wait for the render than it does to do the initial edit of the image with color, exposure, crop, and leveling tweaks. Killing my productivity ends up costing me money that I can’t afford to lose. I do love Lightroom, but it’s much the same way I love my children: I love it to pieces, but at times I’m really tempted to give it a swift swat or scream in frustration.

    Additionally, it tends to have a fairly significant memory leak. When trying to export a large image set (especially to SmugMug) it will chew through more than 25gb of space, then crash the upload before more than a small handful of images have been exported. After a successful export, I still have to quit out of Lightroom, or at times restart the entire system to purge the cache that was being used to render.

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  115. Vincent Martinez

    Develope module is painfully slow. Export is for some reason now takes for ever. Trying to upload directly to the internet using plugins like smugmug literally takes days to I upload an event. I finally broke down and began testing a few free software trials. I think Adobe knows I don’t want to move my 100,000+ image catalog so they don’t care. But I’m finally tired of it and willing to move. It’s just to time consuming

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  116. Emilio Navas

    I am not sure if Adobe will listen to us, but I am absolutely agree with you and with the rest of the users. Lightroom start to eat my RAM when start to work and 30 min later the program is slow until nonsense.
    Now, even exporting looks slower than before and in long sessions freeze my computer. I have the new iMac 5K plenty of RAM, flash drive and 4Gb video card. (GPU accelerated looks no make any improvement to me) I am afraid that Adobe will kill Lightroom if not listen to us. A lot of photographers I know are waiting like me to Capture One or other software implement a decent database to manage the catalogs to run out of Lightroom and this will happen soon for sure… Sad, because LR could be the perfect tool working lighter.
    What about one LR version focusing for professionals without maps, bad book templates, face recognition, slideshows and this kind of stupid stuff for profesional photographers? Just something focus in the library and development tabs with performance in mind. I think I am asking too much…

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  117. Kevin Frenzel

    Please Adobe, how long do we have to wait until we can batch edit HDR in Lightroom. Please Adobe. Been asking for years.

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  118. Jim Tincher

    LightRoom, what a dog. It was a dog when I was looking at management software in 2012. Back then I went with Aperture because of it’s speed and RAW image conversion being a whole lot better than LR. Just on importing a shoot was significantly faster on Aperture vs LR by almost 50%!

    When Apple dumped Aperture I looked around again, downloading and testing potential replacements….. yep, still a dog. Capture1 is pretty awesome but there’s no plugin support for other tools I use on a daily basis…. so I’m stuck with Aperture for the time being.

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    • Dave Lyons

      just fyi~ somewhere on here i have a link to an app thats being made by the guy who headed Aperture at Apple, so it’s basically the continuation of what Aperture would have been. It’s also stupidly cheap on the app store right now, I forget how much but under $10 I believe

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  119. WillyFoo LiveStudios

    Not only that.. the keyboard shortcuts to directly jump to the sliders and change them are missing for a LONG LONG time

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  120. Colin Woods

    Don’t forget to try DxO Optics when testing alternatives to LR.

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  121. Joshua Pike

    I totally agree, as a concert photographer I do rely on burst mode at times, sorting through quick bursts of images can be a complete nightmare in Lightroom.

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  122. Jordan Spencer

    I agree with you so much I registered on the site just the comment. I have 4 ghz 32gb ram, 2 ssd drives and still it’s slow. I bought an ssd just for the catalog, still it’s slow. I get a 4gb vid card, still it’s slow. I split my catalogs, still it’s slow. I’m very very close to switching Capture One. In fact, I’d say, just as soon as my contract ends.

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  123. Brian Corrigan

    Two things are going to happen this year that I thought would never happen. One….since I need a new laptop I’m heading back to a Windows machine thanks to that awful new MacBook Pro. And two…….I’m moving from Lightroom to Capture One Pro for Sony. Waiting longer than 4 years for Adobe to listen to us is getting a bit insulting.

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  124. Raymond Monk

    What is sad is their refusal to adapt raw coding for all manufacturers equally quickly and for no upgrade cost… I am currently sitting and waiting for all my files to be converted from Nikon raw format to dng format so I can see what photos I shot yesterday then I must import them after conversion….OMG… REALLY?? When I go out to shoot, between two cameras always at least 500 shots… then copy to computer then convert to dng… almost half an hour before I can even preview the images outside the camera…… why… did Nikon not pay you a big enough (gift) for implementation???

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  125. Black Z Eddie

    Capture One is just freakin fast even on a 1.1 GHz machine. I have a MacBook I bought last year and it’s fast with C1. Granted I only use the Mac for culling images while I’m on location or on the road. Seriously, you can hold down the arrow key, release, and the image is rendered immediately! None of this Library vs Develop mode nonsense.

    Haha. I still have LR 5.7.1 and it’s not bad…but, definitely know where close to C1. Sooooooo, with the constant complaints about LR CC’s slowness, I can only image it’s really stinkin’ bad.

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  126. Nick Nieto

    This has been my biggest complaint. It’s slow. The organization tools are stuck in the past. Adobe doesn’tseem interested in providing tools for productivity and workflow. Just random stuff you use once and forget about. Give me enhancements that help me work faster so I have more time for to shoot.

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  127. David Laplante

    The solution is having your files on a samsung 960 pro nvme m.2 drive while doing your edits it will speed up your workflows since files have become giganormous transactions between drives are crucial test that i’ve done it and its fantastic just expensive but worth it even video editing is crazy fast when dealing with 4k footage :)

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  128. Talwin Davis

    It freezes on me constantly. I’ve upgraded RAM, talked to Apple and clocked all other items as I work. Still slow and still freezes

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  129. James Helms

    Total time vampire! Culling and sorting is a serious nightmare, and it’s pretty close to useless when tethered. It’s a real bummer.

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  130. Timothy Going

    Agreed!!! Signed–a guy with a 30 day trial to Capture One Pro that I’m about to renew for a year….

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  131. Jerrick O’Connor

    I love how great of a tool lightroom is but it’s so slow that I can’t stand it at times. I’m working off of a $6,000 custom built PC. Every program on my system works fast and with ease. With the one exception being lightroom. I even edit everything in smart previews and it still can be quite slow. I have tested LR on other computers and I always experience the same lag.

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  132. Hannes Nitzsche

    I wholly agree with you Pie! Its super sloooow!
    Also it often can’t stitch panos, even though I use a pano head and have 40% overlap – and the panorama panel is wayyy too simple anyway, more controls would be neat.
    The HDR blend mode causes horrible patches of artefacts. “Open in Photoshop” causes no reaction unless I open photoshop manually straight after clicking thee command.
    BTW I use the CC bundle of PS and LR.

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  133. Ben Baeb

    There was an update a couple months ago that helped, but it’s still really slow. During the summer, trying to edit weddings was painful. Opening up a 1:1 rendered photo took 14 seconds. What’s the point of rendering previews if it still takes a long time to open? Spread that across an entire wedding session and it adds up to a lot of time just waiting. And that’s with an 8 core 4.0ghz processor, 16gb of ram, SSD, and a decent graphics card.

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  134. Robin Nordmeyer

    Painfully slow!! It takes me so much longer than it should to do even minor editing! I get so frustrated with it.

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  135. Alex Richardson

    Yeah Lightroom you kind of suck! Your a pain in my ass but I still love you. However capture one is flirting with me a bit. Wandering eyes!

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  136. Martin Turner

    Well said and right on! I’ve been using CO 10 and On1 Raw instead (the latter not ready for prime time yet) and others as Lightroom has become quite tedious even on my Mac Pro 32gb RAM, six Xeon core powerhouse. Adope needs to get with the program (pun intended)!

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  137. Alex Valtchev

    Like most people my machine is rock solid, SSDs, 8 core, 32GB Ram and etc… nothing helps to speed it up. I am to the point that even clicking around the interface its lagging and takes few seconds to refresh the screen. WTF, how many millions did Adobe cash out in profit just from Lightroom? WTF WTF WTF… come on…. really? And no engineers in the world can improve the performance and optimize it to work smooth…

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  138. Mark Samuels

    The only thing making me stay with Lightroom is the catalog module. It’s all painfully slow, but it’s still the best way for me to manage my pictures. It literally takes hours to import as DNG files – that’s my standard picture storage format, but the performance is dire.

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  139. Khailesh Khedoe

    Beautiful said Pye, LR is getting a bigger struggle with every update. I’ve recently moved a part of my workflow to Capture One because LR couldn’t keep up with daily demands of professional photographers. The more I’m thinking about it, it seems that Adobe doesn’t care about professionals and just want to make money on every user they can get. Like you are suggesting to move your whole workflow to another software like Capture One is also what I’m thinking about if Adobe doesn’t fix this matter very quick. I really like LR, but if it isn’t growing with the demanding market and my business, I have to look to other alternatives…..

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  140. Denis Protopopov

    Ditto. Lightroom is a pain in the ass now

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  141. Edward Hubert

    The divorce has already happened and Capture One already has my love. For image quality alone but I never have to wait for loading.

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  142. Will Blanton

    Adobe. PLEASE! Fix this… :(

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  143. Grant Galbraith

    I moved to a Capture One/Photoshop workflow a few months ago. I can’t see a return to Lightroom in the near future and am hardly touching Photoshop. The tools in Capture One are beautiful and easy to use once you get used to the different workflow.

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  144. Ivan Boden

    No doubt it’s slow, but slowest when backing-up the catalog. Did you try creating a new catalog? I use a Macbook Pro for studio work, and an iMac for my main workstation. On my Macbook, I create a new catalog for each photoshoot. Speed is acceptable.

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  145. Madeleine Mergenthal

    The amount of nearly unsurmountable list of problems with Lightroom has cost me needing to reshoot a session because of error messages and Lightroom damaging not only one of my session’s nef files but over eight different sessions’ catalogs would become corrupt and images unreadable and corrupt.

    I had to redo all of my work countless times and wasted pissibly a full week of my time this past Fall season.

    Needless to say that these slow loading and other problems have been going on for years now and it is deplorable that you are not rewriting Lightroom from scratch.

    Wake up and smell the roses. If you don’t I’m dumping you.

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    • Bill Wells

      I agree 100% in slow response time. However, I don’t ever see a reason it would destroy files that would require a re-shoot. Since the originals are on the card. But maybe it’s my workflow that’s different. When importing from card Lightroom should “SLOWLY” COPY the files from the disk. Any damage would most likely be caused by the hardware or o/s. I could be very wrong.

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  146. Jeff Poole

    Yes, Agreed 100% Brand new custom built machine 6 months ago. IT looked promising at first, but now it’s back to the same old tricks.

    Adobe….You need an intervention

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  147. Jason Berry

    First off thank you Adobe for creating Lightroom but since it’s creation it’s always been painfully slow. Aperture was and still is way faster but Apple stopped supporting it which is a shame because if they kept making new versions it would probably push you to make Lightroom better/faster. My biggest complaint is having to switch back and forth between Library and Develope module. Just merge the two already! And all the other crap get rid of it. None of us professionals need maps and facial recognition. We need a fast program for importing, renaming, tagging, culling, editing, and exporting that’s it. Please listen to your users we use your software just about everyday for hours and hours.

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  148. Amy Malott

    I have loved Lightroom for a very very long time, but alas, I too and writing this whist watching the ‘loading’ spinny circle of death on my screen. Please…Say something…I’m giving up on you…

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  149. Lee Hawkins

    Adobe, you need to stop coding over a zillion abstraction layers. You need to make your software multi-thread so we can use our multi-core processors to speed you up. You need to gut everything underneath the UI and write it all in C++ and stop using whatever libraries you’ve been patching since 1998. It’s been over 20 years, Adobe! You can definitely do better now that I’m paying you $120 a year! If the Affinity suite gets a sorting and keywording persona to replace the LR Library module, you’re toast! Once we switch to the whole Affinity suite at a cost of $60-80 until the next major version instead of $120/year, you’re gonna have to get creatively sweet to get photographers back to Creative Cloud!

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  150. Scott Dove

    You hit the nail on the HEAD!!! Our studio also had been using LR for the past 10 years and yes great improvement has been accomplished but for the love of God, with all the resources Adobe has why can’t they get a simple database program to work fast. I’m ready to jump ship in our studio!

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  151. Arash Tebbi

    I’m also one who is contemplating leaving Lightroom. I’ve been using it for 8 years, and just upgraded to CC back in September for the Canon 5D MIV compatibility, but the lag is becoming a burden on my workflow. I’m currently editing one wedding through there, and converting other projects to DNGs to edit on my older version of Lightroom since it’s much faster. Adobe- if this problem is not fixed in the coming months, I will cancel my subscription.

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  152. Michael Yuen

    With each year, I had indeed been contemplating Capture One. Lightroom’s crawling speed is ridiculous. It’s rare that it’s fast, and even then, an hour into editing, and it crawls inexplicably. Grass is starting to turn brown…

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  153. Mercia Parimore

    YES Please fix LR

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  154. Caleb Zunino

    Hearing you Pye, my iMac is basically unusable and I pretty much do all my editing on my MacBook Pro and LR5!

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  155. Drew Pluta

    I’ve never been able to figure out why viewing a f*cking JPG in LR takes so much time. Like, an actual amount of time that I can perceive. Especially when the logic is that it creates JPG’s in order to speed up workflow/viewing.

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  156. Mike Lamberti

    Very much this. I love Lightroom, but I can’t stand how sluggish it is. Building smart previews helps, but it shouldn’t have to come to tricks and workarounds to comfortably use a software package.

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  157. Jaques Scheepers

    I thought it was my computer, which is actually a very powerful computer and only a year and a half old.. was actually starting to look online to buy a new very expensive PC. I am pretty sure Lightroom has gotten even slower

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  158. Kim Farrelly

    I enjoy the concept of using a tool that requires me to slow down my shooting, pace out the moment in my mind before I commit to pushing the little button that captures that single fragment of time as an expression of my feelings, my connection with that which surrounds me.

    I much less enjoy the same feeling when I need to catalogue and convert those files into a modern medium of instant news shoved over an internet connection capable of vacuuming the entire contents of a public library in seconds, into a laptop so fast it would shame most fighter jets . Speed and efficiency has a very important place, it leaves us more time to pause over the things that encourage us to grow our art.

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  159. Stephen Leipold

    YES! PLEASE ADOBE! I love Adobe, but LR is just way behind the rest of your software… Slow, and the panels are a drag. Let me customize my work space like I can in all the other Adobe products!

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  160. Harvarinder Singh

    Yes, lately LR is getting slower and slower !

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  161. Konrad Sarnowski

    Oh God, yes! It’s so slow I gave it a badge of The Worst Written Software Ever… And it gets even worse, when you’re playing with X-Trans RAW files (Fuji X system) I’m really looking to others, just because of performance… I can run smoothly every modern game in 1080p, but 16Mpix RAW renders in looong seconds… seriously?!

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  162. Elizabeth Lloyd

    Yes, Yes, Yes!I have a custom built computer with massive Solid state drives and LR is still slow as molasses for me. CC will freeze up on me and really stretches out my processing time. It is beyond frustrating. I have a love hate relationship with Adobe! Thanks so much Pye for your letter, and being a voice for us!

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  163. Aggelos Loukatos

    I actually find it very funny, waiting the same time for Lightroom to load an image, on my 8-core 4.8Ghz OC, 16G RAM, with 3 SSDs for caching and fast HDDs for storage machine, and my 400$ i3 laptop I use for school.

    Of course the difference is obvious whenever I have a big catalog, or open up photoshop, or I have to cull and edit around 800 photos, and certainly during export.

    But still when opening up just a 30 or 50 image folder, the difference in lag, is virtually none.

    And as a student of Software Engineering, I believe the main problem must have to do with optimization, and Lightroom probably has none.

    I truly believe it’s a huge mess.

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    • Lee Hawkins

      Longtime SW developer here, and all I can say is amen! The problem has to be that they’re using bloated APIs and way too many abstraction layers in their code. They need to have their developers curl up with some nice C++ and write brand new libraries that scream like motorcycles rather than flow like glaciers.

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  164. Ruben Blædel

    can’t stand Lightroom – the interface – the folders – I use ACR until I have the time to fully migrate to Capture One

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  165. Amanda Steinbacher

    I agree so much with this article. Pretttty Pleasseee, Adobe, kindly get your shit together with LR.

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  166. Andy Rodriguez

    I’m with you, buddy!

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  167. Aske Martinus

    I hear many good things about capture one, but lightroom gets the job done for me I love the simplicity and workflow that it offers , how ever the overall performance is a drag.. I have tried too make new catalogs for every session I make, and that helped… a bit. Adobe please look in to this !

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  168. Justin Haugen

    Palettes please. No more panels. I’m sick of an interface that I can’t customize like the rest of Adobe’s products (on top of the mismanagement of memory and system resources).

    The panel system is barrier to access. I need to be able to see every slider I use wherever I want. We have multi-monitor setups for palette placement, so let us use them!

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  169. Vaughn Barry

    Not so bad, it allows me to catch up on my inbox, twitter and facebook notifications between image loads.

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  170. Kishore Sawh

    Lightroom has survived through wide adoption, but the failure to address the key issues are no longer acceptable, and their user base is exhausted. If the world right now can teach us anything is that change is in the wind and complacency has no place. Lightroom must be brought up to speed.

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    • Lee Hawkins

      That’s a way of saying it! Maybe we can get Affinity to create a Library persona for their suite and populism can reign throughout the photography world lol!

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  171. Chuck Jaynes

    YES!!!! I’m to the point now where I create an new catalog for every new job to keep the speed acceptable, at least initially… once I’ve edited over 30 or so images it still gets ridiculously slow.

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    • Randall Todd

      Actually, Serif IS creating a LR type program. But, it is a few years down the road. In fact, they plan to create programs that will completely cover the Adobe Suites

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