Adobe updated their venerable workflow and cataloguing software to version 2015.7....and I'm underwhelmed.
It's safe to say that photography hobbyists aren't likely to use this application daily, but professionals and serious enthusiasts consider it essential. It's a crying shame that version after version continues to solve problems nobody complains about while ignoring the most glaring issues. How's that for starting a BLOG post?
Send your hate mail to: www.gof#ckyourself.com and remember, say Leigh sent ya.
Ok...to business. I use Adobe Lightroom CC exclusively, in fact I have a monthly subscription. There are other applications I could use such as Capture One, Silkypix RAW Converter etc. but none of them have everything...the cataloguing, editing and publishing all in one. So the real price I pay for the convenience is mediocrity. Not much has changed in Lightroom for many revisions. It's still slow, and "glacially" slow if you are working with RAW files in excess of 24 megapixels. I find it strange in this day and age when personal computers are packing so much power, that Adobe can't figure out a way to speed up this software without gimmicks.
By gimmicks..I'm referring to the "smoking gun" feature they are harping on, SMART PREVIEWS.
Basically when you enable this feature it allows you to work on a lower resolution version of your file. It then applies your edits to the full version source file. Kind of laughable in my opinion. My workstation is a few years behind the curve but pretty darned powerful and it should be making this software hum. Practically speaking I'm still chugging along as if it were that old underpowered computer I started with years ago. Generating 1:1 previews is so slow...so so slow. I'm on and 8-Core machine and the software barely blips all of them to get the job done. A recent wedding shoot with around 1000 images took nearly an hour to render. Sadly this is a bad trend since 2007, the performance has steadily declined as Adobe adds more layers of complexity to the application. The GPU support is an absolute joke and my dual cards do little to lessen the frustrating crawl of editing in Lightroom.
One area which has gotten tolerable is EXPORTING. I used to do several exports simultaneously for large jobs to speed things up but that's no longer the case. I'm sure it;s not using all of the processor's cores but like I said...tolerable now.
At any rate they will continue to develop this software as they see fit and not at all according to what end users care about. I have to limit myself to where the rubber meets the road, and that's my images.
In that regard there have been minor improvements but nothing earth shaking. X-Trans files still don't get a fair shake but there seems to be less color bleeding/smearing. Sharpening is still a big issue but my standard workaround of 25-0.8-100 works well enough. Lately though I've been exporting to Photoshop and using the High Pass Filter tool at a radius of 2 and then using the Overlay feature to finish.
As I did a few years back, we used an X-TRANS RAW file from a Fujifilm X-E2 camera. The image above is a SOOC export with the default setting from Adobe Lightroom CC ver 2015.7. It's a relatively high ISO file(for the time) of ISO 1600 and the image itself was taken through the dirty viewing glass of the terrarium so it's neither pin sharp or properly white balanced. The alternative was to take the snake out and hold it for the picture...which would be a big HELL NO. I love critters but I give them their space where possible.
The second image is my full edit with sharpening done locally in Photoshop. I think this version is far superior to my previous attempts at it but I very much doubt that has anything to do with Lightroom or Photoshop. I'm gonna say that I myself have improved in my post processing skills. The best I can say is that image processing hasn't gotten worse....
There are the usual bug fixes and addition of new camera profiles, otherwise same old software. Personally I'm looking forward to trying out ON1's Photo RAW software when time permits.