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Adobe Announces a New Version of Lightroom, Sort Of

Adobe Announces a New Version of Lightroom, Sort Of

Adobe has announced — and then unannounced — a range of updates to Lightroom, bringing a new color wheel, improved tethering, better zoom, and general overall performance improvements. Will you appreciate the difference?

Rather confusingly, the Adobe website suggests that the update has already been released, but it seems that the new version will not be available until later on October 20. From a statement made to DPReview, it seems that Adobe announced that the new version was available for download and then clarified that customers will actually have to wait. Did Adobe spot a bug that needed last-minute tweaking?

Adobe leaked the new Color Grading tool in a video a few weeks ago, bringing a greater level of control when introducing hues into shadows, midtones, and highlights. It had long felt odd that other Adobe software such as Premiere featured this type of interface, leaving Lightroom strangely unsophisticated.

The new version of Lightroom promises improved performance when using Brushes and Gradients, as well as faster scrolling when browsing files.

Shooting tethered with a Canon camera will now offer a real-time view, as well as giving photographers the option to control settings, including autofocus.

Zooming has always felt a little clunky in Lightroom and Adobe promises a better experience that seems more similar to Photoshop.

Other updates include support for new cameras and lenses, and more control in naming upgraded catalogues.

Still missing from Lightroom are layers for more control when making local adjustments, as well as the option to create local adjustments using hue, saturation and luminance. Such changes might require Adobe to rebuild Lightroom from the bottom up, a shift that many see as long overdue.

Are you excited to see these new features? Leave your thoughts in the comments below.

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14 Comments

Eric Segarra's picture

Certainly, every time we hear of a LR capabilities update, it is generally a good thing. But this projected update kind of shows that Adobe is beginning to feel the heat from their more innovative competitors, which in turn speaks well of a competitive environment. But like you mention in the article, the lack of any layer or more control over color at a local level, will continue to hamper LR in light of the onslaught by its competitors. And I haven't heard anything about the poor Cloning tool in LR. We may have to wait for the final release, though, before passing final judgment, but in the aggressive "one stop shop" environment that companies like Luminar, ON1, and Capture One are developing, the "many stop shop" approach by Adobe may find it hard to gain the sympathies of future customers. Think of it, you start in LR Classic, move the file to Photoshop for detailed work, apply ACR filter to fine tune a few things, and all along you have had to deal with three different interfaces. I may be wrong, but I don't think this is the future of image editing in the next decade.

VINICIUS YUZO ZUCARELI's picture

Sometimes i just want to clone something out and having to open photoshop to do it is frustrating.

derek j's picture

seems like much of the ai stuff they announced for photoshop would be better off in lightroom

Viktor Wågman's picture

They need to fix there BAD demosaicing algorithm and not add this crap!

James Madara's picture

I think one of their biggest problems is maintaining Lr and Lr Classic. Based on a couple of surveys I've received from Adobe I wonder how long they will maintain two separate products.

Dave Dundas's picture

Ssshhh... :) Since I think there's zero chance they'll scrap the cloud-based one (which holds no interest for me whatsoever), I'm in no hurry for them to F up my workflow. :)

ocube O's picture

James Madara - Completely agree, also they still have to worry about iOS, Windows and Android form each stream. I for one have stuck with Lr Classic.

James Madara's picture

Same here, but I do like to use my iPad as well.

Josh Haftel's picture

So to clarify all of this, our help articles went live a day early. That's because we've started rolling out our updates slowly and gradually (a pretty normal strategy these days) and we wanted to make sure that folks that were in the early release groups had a place to go and learn about the features. Nothing more than that...

Barry Strawbridges's picture

Around late 2018, I started delving into Capture One for my RAW editor after being an assistant on a shoot. At first, it was a big learning curve after using LR for so many years. I didn't understand the praise around C1 at the time, but the one thing I gravitated towards was the speed and performance. I overcame my knowledge gap and started customizing C1 for my workflow. For me and my style, the combo of C1 and Photoshop work best.

I opened up Lightroom (Classic) for the first time in a couple of months. I wanted to see what updates had been done. While some of the performance had improved, I think C1 has made more significant strides from version 10 to 20 (actually more like 13.whatever). I agree with everyone saying the Lightroom Classic vs. CC doesn't help the situation for Adobe. Either roll the Classic features into CC or do away with the two versions.

Onur Erdagli's picture

One of the long waited feature is local adjustments manager or layers. We need one panel for to see where is the all applied local adjusments masks all together. Especially if you open an old image from archive you have to click all local adjustment elements is it a brush or circle or gradient. I hope to see before 2022

Steve D's picture

Never mind. Downloaded and installed it yesterday. It didn't play well with a couple of my plugins, so disabled them. But aside from that, appreciate the new features.

Don Epp's picture

I just downloaded the update and checked out the new features on an old catalogue, - THEN I opened a different catalogue and made the "mistake" of clicking on something before the catalogue was fully finished loading. That was enough to crash LR and it told me my catalogue was now corrupt and offered to repair it (which it could not do).
Now my Wedding with hours upon hours of editing is GONE! I did have a back-up because this is the 3rd time LR has corrupted one of my catalogues to the point of no repair. I learned I could no longer trust LR with my files and have to be extra careful with back-ups and have to close everything running in the background first.The first time LR corrupted one of my files, their support admitted there was a bug that was corrupting files and they offered to fix it and it took them two weeks to get the files back to me, meanwhile my files were late for my client.
The 2nd time it happened they blamed a program that was running in the background. Apparently you can't have anything accessing your HD when Lightroom is loading or it can crash. I've used LR since version 3, and have never had that issue in the past, so I don't really believe them, plus that should never be an issue anyway.
3 Strikes, I have had enough... I'm moving to On1...

Neu Porabno's picture

You can have many things running in the background. Using Lr since version 1 and this only happened to me once (around v5). And I usually do many things at the same time (dual 4k monitors so Incan split the work).
Now stop whining and just contact Adobe support and they will fix the catalog (remote connection).