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Gear & Apps

Lightroom 6 and Lightroom CC Is Finally Here & Finally Faster

By Kishore Sawh on April 21st 2015

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Yesterday, Lightroom was 5, and crumbled under the adult pressure that many photographers put it through. But that was then, and this is now, and at 6, things are looking up. The long awaited update for Adobe Lightroom has finally landed, and from initial tests of my own, and other users, it has emerged from the chrysalis of childhood a broadly better, more mature, and hopefully future-proof and resilient program.

If you have an Adobe Creative Cloud subscription, you can download the new Lightroom CC now, and if you don’t, much to the delight of many, you can purchase Lightroom 6 as a standalone product for $149, though know right now that should you opt that way, it will not include the Creative Cloud features such as syncing with LR Mobile.

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Let us be frank here and address the fact that the new and/or improved features added to this version, like the new filter brush, HDR and Panorama tools, facial recognition, and the slideshow builder are great. But, above all else, heavy users of the program could’ve done without added features and have really been longing for a performance upgrade. I’m happy to say Adobe has delivered.

Performance

To be fair, when we buy a new computer everything seems to run like a Jamaican sprinting team, but after a while, and after some abuse, they can have the performance ability of Nancy Kerrigan circa practice 1994. Lightroom was particularly subject to suffering from a general malaise of a system, and even up to LR 5, the program was handling the business it did in much the way it had before. This is troublesome since the size of both images and libraries have swollen so greatly.

Finally to help combat this, as we reported when news broke, LR 6 and LR CC now uses the GPU of your computer for much of the tasks it handles, relieving the primary processor from shouldering the entire load. This is particularly good for those who have separate GPUs, but even those with integrated GPUs, as found on many popular Intel Processors, will notice the difference.

*Note: minimum OpenGL 3.3 to use the GPU

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Are you suspect of that? Here’s a way to test it out. Go to ‘Preferences’ within Lightroom, and you will find you are able to turn off the option to ‘Use Graphics Processor’ (automatically ON) in the Performance area. Give it a go without, and then with, and you’ll see for yourself just how different the application behaves.

Adobe has claimed that some users will see a 10x performance boost, but I’m not sure exactly how that’s measured nor who they’re speaking about. That said, however, the difference really is easy to see and feel. The Library seems to load faster, though nothing to shout about, and I’m not sure why images, once clicked on, won’t load rather instantly as on other photo apps. Actually, allow me to clarify that they load but still take a second or two to resolve to the point of clarity – this is also linked somewhat to zooming to 100% on large files, though it’s still more rapid.

Here’s what I found to be significantly faster:

Loading images into Lightroom was probably 3 times as fast on the same two machines used as it had been in Lightroom 5, and scrolling even a library of 5 to 10 thousand images was without hiccup or an empty thumbnail. Likewise, there is a notable difference in how immediate using brushes or adding filters or using sliders feels. This is actually huge. What this does then, is make the whole editing process feel more like an extension of your mind and body, and that’s a nice place to be. It harks back to the first times you would’ve opened an image in LR after just getting it without clutter, and just being totally immersed in the process.

Filter Brush

This is something many, many, MANY have wanted in Lightroom, especially those of us who were used to the feature in Camera Raw. Basically, what this allows you to do is drag a graduated filter onto your image however you like, not worrying about what objects you may be covering that you don’t want. The filter brush acts essentially as an eraser for the filter allowing you to brush away the filter from where you don’t want it.

HDR & Panorama Merge

There’s not too much to say about it though Adobe might have you think otherwise. Essentially it’s just a simpler way to use and, therefore, implement HDR imagery into your work using LR6, without having to go to Photoshop and deal with that whole workaround. Lightroom 5 offered the ability to do this, some of you may say, but instead of staying in LR, it would just shift you over to Photoshop’s HDR Pro module.

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Doing it this way may actually be a little faster for processing, and you get the typical options to play around with such as alignment, removing ghosting and even works on RAW files. Oh, and bonus the HDR images are then saved as full-on 16-bit RAW DNG files.

The Panorama feature, again, isn’t anything astonishing, but a convenience for sure. It lets you quickly join photos into a DNG file, and you can use either 1 of 3 projections of spherical, cylindrical, or perspective, and LR can automatically crop your image for you.

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Facial Recognition

As probably most became acquainted with using Apple photo products, facial recognition is really a metadata thing and becomes a different way to view the Library module. Now this is done through recognition software, and no longer would you have to do this by adding your own metadata or assigning keywords or tags. Though a note on that, apparently Adobe says it actually does identify people as keywords, but it’s done a bit differently and that metadata is removed upon exporting for privacy issues – you can include it in export should you want to.

Slideshows

I don’t know many people that really use this module, but Adobe seems to think it’s important enough to make an upgrade and they’ve now included the ability to pan and zoom and ‘Sync Slides to Music.’ You can also change the volume of those tracks and add up to 10 per slideshow – nice.

Thoughts Thus Far

I was about to abandon using Lightroom since I use Photoshop for most of the type of work I do anyway, but these changes are enough now to solidly keep me. What we now have is a broadly upgraded piece of software, that is incorporating more of the hardware you’ve had all along, though that’s something it should’ve done a while ago.

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[REWIND: Unleash Your Workflow By Learning to Use Lightroom & Photoshop Synergistically]

But here we have it. Lightroom 6 is a worthy upgrade, and those with relatively newer machines are really going to see a performance boost. It’s not everything we could’ve hoped for, but what ever is. If you have CC, then clearly you’re just going to upgrade, but for those that don’t, I was really unsure if I should recommend you purchase the stand-alone version, but here’s what I think. If you’ve bought a computer in the last two years, maybe even 3 or planning on buying a new one now, then get it. You’ll see enough performance change to make it worthwhile. Those with older machines really may not benefit that much from it. Lightroom has once again solidified that it’s about the best volume editor out there.

If you want to really get to know Lightroom, and use it with incredible fluency and productivity, then this Lightroom Collection is what you should be looking at.

About

A photographer and writer based in Miami, he can often be found at dog parks, and airports in London and Toronto. He is also a tremendous fan of flossing and the happiest guy around when the company’s good.

Q&A Discussions

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  1. William Emmett

    I found out the hard way Lightroom 6 is only for 64 bit OS. It downloaded on my 32 bit machine, but killed my older version of LR. I had to completely remove all my CC software, and re-install every Adobe software back on the 32 bit Win 7 machine. On my other 64 bit machine all went fine.

    B

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  2. Cristian Corvalán

    Face recognition is slow as hell.
    Not too much difference between 5.7.1 and 6.
    Starts slow, then the magic starts.
    But the famous OpenGL optimizations had a lot of problems in AMD/nVidia Users on PC.
    (Myself Included until I found a answer and posted in adobe forums)

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  3. Suhaana Manhattan

    G00gle pay 78$ per hour my last pay check was $9240 w0rking 98 hours a week online. My y0unger brother friend has been averaging 13k for months now and he works about 22 hours a week. I cant believe h0w easy it was once I tried it out. This is what I do.. click at this go to tech tab for more details…
    +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
    http://www.careertoday-10.com
    ++++++++++++++++++++

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  4. Paul Empson

    Hmm.. went back in and tried again…

    In the Image Sizing area…

    1: untick the Resize to Fit check box (output at image size) and I can enter 300dpi.. no problems..
    2: tick the Resize to fit, Longest or Shortest edges.. and only up to 217 allowed…
    3: tick Resize to Fit, Width & Height… and can set 300 dpi..

    Think I’ll drop Adobe an email..

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  5. Paul Empson

    oh dear… it seems a little buggy…

    Max of 217 dpi when I try and export images…. what happened to the other 83?

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    • Andre Queree

      Not sure what’s going on there Paul. I can type any value into the export DPI and it saves out as expected.

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  6. Rob Harris

    If you purchased the standalone LR 5 within the last 2 weeks, contact Adobe and they will offer a free upgrade to LR 6. You must have proof of purchase and your serial number.

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  7. David Hill

    Hi. I have a pretty old iMac. 2 GHZ Core 2 duo. 4GB 667 mhz DDR2 SDRAM. Using LR5 at the moment. Will my Mac be able to benefit from this upgrade does anyone know? Will it be able to deal with it?! Might be time to upgrade…….Thanks. Dave.

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    • robert garfinkle

      HI Dave –

      I would download the trial first. I think Matthew was having issues with it on his Mac.

      I found it to be sluggish to annoying on my Tablet PC (portable all-in-one Dell XPS 18) w 8gb ram 756gb SSD, i7 ultra portable cpu, Intel HD 4000 graphics.

      But, all that changed, when I changed the preference, turning off the option “Use Graphics Processor” – once I unselected the option and restarted LR 6, the app was ridiculously fast, and I mean way, way fast…

      I’m thinking that as long as you have a killer graphics card you’d be ok, but, I think the problem may lie (not exactly sure) in the fact that if your GPU shares memory with your PC / MAC (and the Intel does) or if the GPU processor is not up to snuff, it’ll be a poor, poor experience for you…

      Rob

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    • Dave Haynie

      There’s a fair chance that any application that’s moved to “64-bit only” has done so because it’s likely to want more than 2GB of application memory. If you only have 4GB on the system, sure, check the minimum specs, but I’d be pretty wary of success on a smaller system.

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  8. Ron Fya

    Did anybody try to shoot tethered with LR6? Has the experience improved? (In previous versions, it was really a PITA).
    Moreover, does .psb files display in the catalog now?

    Cheers

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    • Greg Townsend

      I’ve just completed a product shoot using tethered. However I use ControlMyNikon for that not the Lightroom system. It seemed about the same as before. To be honest if you need to tether I’d suggest ControlMyNikon or the Canon/Sony etc equivalent. The Nikon Tethering software is way too expensive.

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  9. Ant Motton

    I just want to upgrade to LR6, non of this CC stuff is relevant to me, I’m confused, where is the option to just simply upgrade from 5-6….? Have I missed something!!

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    • Dave Haynie

      You can go to the Lightroom page on Adobe.com, and way down in the bottom there’s a “Lightroom 6 for Desktop Only” box. Yesterday it said something like “Does not include mobile support or new features”, but today just says “Does not include mobile support”… I assume that original text was meant to convey some difference between LR5 and the old LRCC, and they just forgot to change the text. But it did get me worried about the stand-alone version… maybe that was intentional?

      I don’t think you get the “Desktop Only” option if you’re logged in to CC, even the free CC. On the other hand, you have to be logged into Adobe itself, I suspect, to get the upgrade price rather than the full $150… didn’t get that far yet.

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  10. robert garfinkle

    Beware – this early edition of LR 6 is a freak of nature…

    It will run your machine out of memory. Also, those who have an intel 4000 graphics processor, watch out, when looking to alter your image the screen may flash, the program will expand temporarily, and then go back to normal size…

    Yes, it exports images fast, really fast
    Yes, it appears to handle raw images differently… processing.

    But, there are some bugs

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    • Matthew Saville

      I have an interestingly configured 2011 Macbook Pro with what appear to be both “Intel HD Graphics 4000” and as well as a “NVIDIA GeForce GT 650M”. I don’t know if this is normal, but I can’t get LR CC to open at all on my computer, despite it having 8 GB of ram, and a 64 bit i7 CPU…. Bah.

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    • robert garfinkle

      Throwing a thought your way –

      It’s working on mine, and it appears, though don’t know this for a fact, that your machine is way beefier than mine. I’m operating an i7 but it is a dual-core i7 meant for tablets ultra-portable etc (because it is one), where yours looks to be an i7 quad-core – more a normal laptop etc. My ram is identical to yours…

      The thought is – LR allows you to target a graphics adapter specifically. Is there a safe mode in LR, where it starts out with minimal settings, enough for you to go to preferences and maybe target an adapter specifically??? just a thought… I would think you want to target the nVidia adapter – maybe lightroom is confused?

      Most definitely they need to get an update to this thing. It is sluggish, wants to work, but is really really “lazy” and seems to have an attitude like “I don’t wanna!!” like it’s really needing video paging or something like that… my screen flickers when opting to edit / modify / adjust / correct etc… and LR 5 was just fine…

      I think it caches differently, I can see differences between LR 6 and LR 5, where LR 5 loading an image for the first time was quicker, but when you went to zoom in closer it then lagged, had to reprocess a bit, then showed you a “focused” image. But in LR 6, it takes longer to load the image initially, yet when you go to zoom in 1:1 (and back to “fit” etc.) it’s instant…

      Here is what I don’t get – I just checked the minimum requirements for windows and apple (mac) – and I don’t believe them, the minimum requirements call for 1/2 or 1/4 of what we got… I just don’t believe it…

      I am running on pure SSD in this tablet (756gb across two drives) in perfect health according to Intel’s SSD toolbox – trimmed. yet this thing is a hog (who developed it, Microsoft?)

      I suspect that optimal working requirements for this thing requires 12GB of ram, as much solid state as you can throw at it, and works better on today’s “current” quad-core architecture (which is not too dissimilar to quads of a couple years back) but may require healthier video for rendering – maybe that’s it right there, did Adobe shift how LR is processing – solely in video ram / cpu vs. pc / mac cpu???

      dunno – thoughts

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    • robert garfinkle

      Matt, got your answer – I think…

      Yup, if there is a way to start LR in safe mode (or equivalent, do so..) and go to preferences / performance and uncheck (or unset) “Use Graphics Processor” – that is unless choosing your graphics processer is an option, which I think it is, and I’d opt to at least see first if the nVidia does a better job…

      In my case, unchecking the “Use Graphics Processor” totally opened up LR 6 – goes way, way faster, caches faster etc.

      this is the fix, seriously – just like the Gotye song “This is the ‘Lightroom’ that I used to know…”

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    • Dave Haynie

      64GB RAM here.. not usually worried about running low on memory. You do expect bugs in any new application… just a shame they need to re-design the database with every upgrade. It’s comforting to have LR5 available as a fallback, but there’s no way I’ll be maintaining both databases.

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  11. desmond chislom

    JUST WENT CC ….

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  12. Kris Cox

    I have a CC subscription, which I love … I haven’t played with the new features in Light Room CC, but I have watched several videos and I can’t wait to try these new features! The ability to do the things that I usually have to go to PS for is exciting all in itself (HDR, Panoramic and the ability to use the brush along with the graduated filter)!

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  13. Brian Stalter

    Looking forward to the Panorama DNG feature the most – will have to see how it does with Brenizer Method work that I’ve normally stitched together with AutoPan Pro.

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    • Dave Haynie

      I use AutoPan Giga… I’ve never found a composite stitcher than gave me that level of control… in particular, the ability to select which features of which images get promoted to the final, completely seamless merges, etc. On the other hand, it’s extra work, and not always needed. Plus, merging it a DNG sounds like I’ll have full raw access to the finished image, so loading it into other tools is still possible, and perhaps better than going the TIFF route (mostly because of the way other applications behave for raw vs. TIFF, not that I expect a DNG to hold more info).

      So I’m really looking forward to this feature. Just have to decided whether its an upgrade or a subscription.

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    • Dustin Baugh

      Havent tried the Panorama yet but I was dissapointed with the HDR merge. I still prefer to have Photoshop do it.

      Both are the CC versions so I would still reccomend the subscription route. Being able to edit the filter masks is really the best part of the new software so far IMO.

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    • Dustin Baugh

      I was disappointed with the built in HDR merge, not enough control over the process. I’m sticking with Merge to HDR Pro in Photoshop.

      But being able to edit the gradated filter is awesome. I never take pictures of perfectly flat landscapes, masking off the sky was always a pain.

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    • Brian Stalter

      Well my laptop is in need of an upgrade before trying the panorama feature more – using 12-18 D800 DNG’s is just too much time/work for my current setup. My computer has to run all night to create a preview and all day to create the final panorama. I’ve lost patience and will stick to AutoPano Pro with full res JPG’s.

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  14. Dave Lyons

    The speed will be nice, hopefully it doesn’t take up every drop of ram too.

    I’m really curious to see if they’ve done a better job of getting Nikon’s colors more accurate, it’s downloading now so we’ll see…

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  15. David Hall

    I’m not sure I understand how all of this works. Currently, I have PS CS6 and LR 5.7 as stand alone programs. If I purchase the “Creative Cloud Photography” package for $9.99/mo, will that simply replace what I currently have on my system with new/different icons for CC? Will all my SLR Lounge Presets go away? I just can’t bear to think those would go away.

    Very scared to do this. I just don’t understand what the steps are to keep everything the same, yet upgrade.

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    • Greg Townsend

      You should be fine. Lightroom CC and Photoshop CC will install alongside your existing copies. Although LR CC will convert you catalog, so keep a back-up. Everything else including presets will get copied across.
      For me – I upgraded from LR 5.7 to CC and everything was exactly the same apart form the new CC features. Once I’m happy that it’s all working fine I will delete 5.7.

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    • David Hall

      Thanks Craig. I appreciate that feedback.

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    • David Hall

      opps… sorry Greg.

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  16. Brandon Dewey

    I just downloaded it!!!

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  17. Vladimir Ladev

    God damn it is noticeably faster as in I open my RAW files like i open a 12mp jpeg on the previous version. It loads previews and zooms in again loading 1:1 preview much much much faster. So I can now use it to cull images acordingly rather than going to Adobe bridge first and then syncing my catalogue for metadata updates. It sure does make for a smoother nicer experience.

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  18. Rafael Steffen

    I Guess I will wait a little longer before upgrading it.

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    • Thomas Horton

      New software like most new technological toys is like a minefield…. always better to let someone else try it first. :)

      I would say that the best time to upgrade is in about 3-6 months after the inevitable patches come out.

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    • Thomas Horton

      It is too bad that from what I heard, the faculty/student version is CC only.

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  19. robert raymer

    SO I just updated it (already subscribed to CC) and can’t get it to open. The Icon just bounces in the dock for a few seconds, the opening screen flashes for a second then disappears, then nothing. Already restarted my computer and did everything i can think of to fix it. Anyone else have this issue? Suggestions?

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    • Nate Woods

      I had the same thing happen. Their Facebook page suggested log out of CC and back in. Worked first time after that.

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    • robert raymer

      @NateWoods I tried that. Signed in/out of CC 3 times so far and still nothing. Guess Ill be contacting Adobe this afternoon.

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  20. Konrad Sarnowski

    I love new features, but I found adjustment brush and zooming to 1:1 a bit laggy, comparing to LR5. Also sometimes photo disappears (only grey background) when cropping or selecting multiple photos on bottom strip – I have i7 4790K, 16GB RAM, SSD and GF GTX 660, so hardware is not a problem… Waiting for 6.1 patch ;)

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    • robert garfinkle

      I took the plunge too –

      Here is my initial take; out of the box…

      Yes, agree with @Konrad that it is laggy, for my workstation, absolutely so. But, it is to be expected. Why. I expect it’s beefier than LR5.

      But, grabbing some raw files I shot recently I can tell you it deals with them a lot better – a lot better (had to say it twice)…

      one night time image that I raised the exposure on, used to be grainy in LR5, and it is completely different in LR6 – seriously…. I don’t see any grain at all. this is good news IMO..

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    • Jean-Francois Perreault

      Is Face Recognition still working? I’ve found that it takes a lot of resource. I was building previews and it was slow as hell but then I paused FR and suddenly everything went blazing fast.

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    • Konrad Sarnowski

      Nope, Face Recognition is off. I’ll try tomorrow with fresh files.

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  21. Jean-Francois Perreault

    How’s the speed improvement for you all? I’m not seeing a big difference but haven’t had time to really play with it.
    So far, zooming 1:1 isn’t really faster for me (yes GPU is detected and enabled).
    I’m rebuilding the 1:1 previews just in case.

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    • Andre Queree

      Some of the develop module stuff seems a bit quicker, but general use (sorting through the Library, etc.) still seems a bit slow.

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    • Andre Queree

      Has anyone had any importing problems with the new version? I imported a bunch of iPhone photos from the last few days and ended up with some extras from last month that were unselected on the import screen (and were already in the catalog). It also still has the timezone problem (adds the photos to a folder with the wrong date) when importing photos from the phone. :(

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  22. Greg Townsend

    I’m sloooooowly grinding through the Face recognition letting LR detect all the faces. Seeing the content of TV screens, portraits a few dog faces etc is one thing but I’m wondering how a tractor tyre can be a face….. I certainly won’t be mentioning that one to the Wife!!!

    For me it will be the speed boost that will have the biggest impact. Until now I have had GTX 770 and two gig of VRAM that has been sitting idly by watching my CPU do all the work. I’ll be interested to see how much of an improvement there will be.

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    • Dustin Baugh

      I always had Picasa run through for my face recognition, google’s tech for it was pretty accurate at suggesting the correct person. I haven’t tried Lightroom’s version yet.

      I’m still thinking of keeping my editing, and social media uploading personal shots seperate.

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  23. Andre Queree

    I just grabbed the update this morning. Looking good so far. Terrible weather here today means it looks like a great day to stay inside and test out the new Lightroom features. :)

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    • robert garfinkle

      did it snow by you??? did us?

      30 mins north of chicago

      :(

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    • Andre Queree

      No snow here (Sydney, Australia) Robert – just a few days of storms bad enough that we got classed as a natural disaster zone. Seems to be clearing up today though. :)

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  24. adam sanford

    A bunch of “it won’t be that bad” Aperture users just tried the new ‘Photos’ from Mac OS that replaced both Aperture and iPhoto. Few were happy, most were unimpressed, and many were furious.

    Full credit to Adobe for dangling a shiny new version of LR to just when Aperture lovers found out they were sitting on a melting iceberg. I imagine many will give LR another look now.

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    • robert garfinkle

      What happened to Aperture?

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    • adam sanford

      Aperture and iPhoto will no longer be supported be Apple. You can keep running the current version, but it will never again be updated.

      Replacing both is the “Photos” app, which appears to be very similar to the iOS app on tablets and phones.

      Serious photographers will feel a bit handcuffed by Photos, but folks who just want to sling their content from iDevice to iDevice might actually like Photos better.

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    • Thomas Major

      I was a serious Aperture user and was quite upset that Apple was abandoning another professional app. Their new Photo app is not anything close to a professional app. I finally bit the bullet and switch to CC. While it has been a learning curve, it hasn’t been bad and I’m happy with the switch.

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    • Dave Haynie

      Apple’s been dumping most of their pro media development software, building replacements that are consumer or, at best, prosumer oriented. It makes sense for them… they’re selling to a hundred million customers a year, and the entire Macintosh business: PCs, OS, applications, etc. amounts to about 10% of Apple’s business these days.

      It’s kind of amazing Apple has a much success with pro applications as they did. Their strategy was pretty clear: they started buying up media applications in the bad old days, when Apple was doing 1.5% of the world’s PC sales, and were rightly worried that professionals would leave the Macintosh platform behind. So building their own in-house applications, usually a bad idea for the company also selling the PC and the OS if they want any 3rd party developers around, was seen as a way to ensure those customers felt save sticking with Apple. And that could only happen if they did a really good job. So they did, and particularly in video, even became kind of an uncomfortable industry standard: MOV files in cameras, ProRes files in high end camcorders (which you can’t even write, outside of MacOS), etc.

      But it’s a different world today. I’ve always stuck with media tools from companies actually dependent on those tools being successful. But even there, you have to back the right horse… just as in any other selection of system gear.

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  25. James O

    Looks like, I’m looking forward to the performance boost. I’ll be waiting for the DVD option.

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  26. Graham Curran

    Now I’m dithering about whether to buy the upgrade or go the CC route. Having stumped up the price for PS and LR CS6 standalones I feel I should get my money’s worth out of them before moving to the next level. For some of us these programs are a significant outlay.

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    • J D

      I’m in the same boat. I just don’t want to have something go wrong when I am out of internet range and not be able to use my programs.

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    • robert garfinkle

      Well, something I did not know, up until recently – Adobe kinda forces you on a year (or 6 month) subscription even if they have two plans. I’m pretty sure it’s an overall year subscription, in which you can pay for at once, or over 12 months, right. But, it’s not like you can just pay for 2 months worth, then stop, then start 3 months later for another 4 etc… Even if you opt to make monthly payments you gotta commit for a year.

      Not that 120.00 / yr is a large payment, especially for two products LR and PS – but it’s the shoddiness of the deal.

      In my case, I had opted to take the upgrade price, for 79.00 + tax, to jump to LR 6, from LR 5 – that way, I am not bound to a subscription.

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    • Victor Zubakin

      JD, you don’t need internet access to use CC.

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    • John Cavan

      I generally had the same premise for a while, but ultimately paid for the subscription. Basically, the deciding factor was general feedback on the behavior and that I realized just how much I used it compared to other services, especially things like television. After that it became really easy for me and I switched over.

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    • Graham Curran

      I had heard that some people had problems with losing their license on the subscription program and having to log in again. As someone who travels a lot and is often in locations with sparse or no internet connection I need to know that I have my software available at all times.

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    • John Cavan

      CS6 doesn’t stop working when you install CC, so it’s still there as a fallback regardless. Nevertheless, loss of Internet doesn’t mean loss of software. If you have an annual subscription it should check that about once a month. If you are disconnected my understanding is that you can still go for 99 additional days offline before it will stop working.

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    • Dave Haynie

      Kinda in the same boat here… I’ve been using Lightroom since the free Rawshooter to Lightroom upgrade — basically, since before it existed. This update looks like a big one. I have a wicked fast PC, so that speedup probably doesn’t sell it. But in-Lightroom multi-photo composites that save out to DNGs… I shoot composites all the time, and while I’m betting this is more like Photoshop CS6’s pan stitching, very limited compared to Autopan Giga, when you don’t need that level of control or smartness, that will save all kinds of time.

      Running the PSCS6 and LR5 stuff today, I was pretty much in the “I won’t pay for ransomware” camp… but the Photo-only monthly price of $10 isn’t insane. And Adobe seems to be on the course they were before, far as innovations go. What’s worrisome is more of what happens going forward. Pretty much every company that’s built it’s income around a guaranteed monthly subscription has found that profits are optimized by, in short, being a dick. They simply assume that a certain number of subscribers will leave every month, those are the most expensive to keep anyway, and they’ll make more money attracting new subscribers. That’s why you see so many, many ads from service companies: insurance, cable/satellite TV, cellphone, etc… unless it’s right before an election, that’s a large part of any ad load on any primetime TV show. And with those 2% or whatever leaving every year, you can be certain that a fairly large number are feeling unhappy, maybe on the fence about it. And of course, they’re captives to price increases.

      Other companies seem to have a better approach. I have a program called Sonar from Cakewalk, a digital audio workstation program, and they just did an Adobe-like move… there’s a subscription, there are some online features for the otherwise off-line application, etc. But with one exception: your subscription lasts a year, but you get to keep anything that subscription gave you during that year forever. Obviously, they hope you’ll re-up next year, but this also puts it on them to perform… if I decide the sub’s not worth it, I don’t lose access to all my projects, etc. by leaving. With the Adobe model — and I don’t think it’s quite as entangling for photography uses as audio or video — you’re kind of stuck with a big problem if you do leave.

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