Lightroom 5: So what’s it about?

Lightroom Updates

Feature lists are one way of looking at what’s going on with a new program, so what’s my feelings about Ligtroom? The biggest thing about Lightroom 5 for me. is performance. Larger catalogs are far less of an issue, and getting files opened in Develop is far faster, especially if you make use of Smart Previews.

Smart Previews are a game changer, albeit only in a limited fashion now. You can absolutely cheat by putting your catalog folder into Dropbox and running it from another machine with Smart Previews. However you need to be really careful never to have it running on 2 machines at once, because it will corrupt and you’ll lose everything. I foresee cloud editing in the future, even via tablet devices.

Advanced Healing is a major plus for retouching. It’s still not as good as techniques like Frequency Splitting/Separation in Photoshop, but it will remove the need for certain photos going into Photoshop at all.

Upright is amazing when it works well. It won’t work all the time though, but more than enough to make it always worth trying when you need these corrections. The other part is sometimes, Vertical may work better than Auto to Full, so try them if you’re not getting the result you expect.

With the change in the underlying engine for Slideshow, you can now add videos into the slideshow. There’s still no timeline, and even worse, the new engine breaks slideshows with high image numbers with sub 1/10 durations. That means that it cannot create Timelapse video. On top of that the output is fixed at 30fps, and it will not use custom video presets created for Lightroom 4. The video addition is nice, but the loss of timelapse ability is too great a loss for me to be happy with and I probably won’t be using Slideshow at all in Lightroom. I can’t not complain about it.

There’s loads of little things I’m really happy about. Import doesn’t need to take focus any longer.. you can go about the work you were doing before import via preference.

Importfocus

Now when you create a new Collection, you can select ‘Set as Target Collection’, so you can start adding to it via shortcut immediately.

Setastarget

I really like the customizable grid- being able to change the size means you have have the lines match lines in the shot to check for straightness.

Gridoptions

I suspect a lot of people will think that the lack of big features make it an update you could skip, but despite the slideshow change, I really think it’s worth the $79 upgrade fee.

Now for the pie in the sky bit? What would I like to see in there? Well a useful timeline in Slideshow with 2-3 audio lines and more transition options. Something like how Screenflow looks, doesn’t need to be like Premiere. And of course proper time-lapse options.

All metadata searchable. If the catalog contains an exif field, it should be searchable.

Sizable layouts in Book. I’ll still be making Blurb books, but I’d like to be able to push out stuff for Magcloud or Lulu from Lightroom. It is good that Standard Paper is an option now for Blurb.

HTML5 Web Galleries. I know I can write HTML5 galleries myself, but really, with all the pushing Adobe is now doing on it, the Lightroom HTML gallery should be HTML5.

Ian Lyons talks about Lightroom’s absurd way of handling keyword searches via the Keyword list. Basically it ignores spaces, and will pull stuff out from the middle of words too.. Fix please.

Right folks, let’s hear what you like-and what you don’t like about Lightroom 5.

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