(news & commentary)
Adobe today announced and shipped Lightroom 6.0, a major revision of their photography workflow product, as well as Lightroom CC. This US$150 software package (or download) is also available as part of the Photoshop CC US$10/month bundle.
First up—as previously leaked by Adobe—Lightroom 6.0 and CC require 64-bit operating systems. Specifically, the operating system requirements have narrowed for this version: Windows 7 or later, and Mac OS X 10.8 or later. Both with 2GB of RAM minimum. I know that alone will probably provoke a howl from some of you, but living with software is like being a shark: you must keep moving if you want to keep eating.
The big news in the new Lightrrom has to do with performance and multiple-shot scenarios. Lightroom 6/CC use a computer’s GPU for some of its workload, and have other performance tweaks, as well. Lightroom should be noticeably more responsive on a state-of-the-art computer.
HDR and panoramas are now directly supported within Lightroom via a Photo Merge option (just below the Edit In option). No more round trip to Photoshop with stacks of images. I’d have to guess that these things were way up there on the customer demand list, and I’m happy to see Adobe address them, and especially happy that they have keyboard shortcuts, too. It certainly will make Lightroom more of a one-stop program for many of you.
Other new features include facial recognition (automatic tagging), slideshows as video (complete with control over pan-and-zoom effects and timing transitions to the music, plus support for video clips, as well), video clips get basic editing functions, optimized Web galleries were added (for CC subscribers), plus new brush abilities have appeared. Also, the ACR version 8.8 changes are incorporated into the program, so Lightroom once again will be current with Adobe’s camera/lens profiles. Lightroom Mobile also got some updates, as well.
Now, as to the distinction between Lightroom 6 and Lightroom CC: it appears to me that Adobe is just validating something that’s been true for awhile: if you only subscribe to the CC Photography plan (at US$9.99/mo), you don’t really have a standalone version of Lightroom. If you drop your subscription, your Lightroom CC would no longer be fully functional. If you purchase a Lightroom 6 package, you basically have a lifetime use of that product, but you don’t have access to image syncing with mobile products, such as Lightroom Mobile, Slate, or Voice.
Speaking of Lightroom Mobile, it got a bit of an update, too, now allowing you to create a segmented view of photos by date, easier star rating, improvement in the crop tool, plus an easier way of doing copy/paste for adjustments on multiple images.
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