Adobe's ears must be burning....
All the talk about Capture One being a better RAW file processor must be messing with their creative minds. It makes me wonder just who they have working on the Lightroom development...and who those people are talking to (end users). They sure aren't taking any advice from the likes of me, and I've been with them since day one, version 1.
Sadly I have to save you time if you're not into reading further.
Very little has changed. In fact I'll go one better...very little that we (professionals) have asked for has been changed and it's frustrating. An Adobe software update announcement is like listening to Donald Trump speak. You never quite know where he's going because of the word salad..at the end you have no idea if he actually answered the question but your safe in thinking...no. The truth is somewhere between Hyperbole and Fact..even that is subject to interpretation.
I've followed the usual suspects for about a week now as they crow about the major improvements made in version 7.3...
Don't blink...you will miss them. The message you see when starting up version 7.3 is really the extent of the "improvements". Basically nothing my many peers have been asking for. It's mostly tidying up "the house" so you won't focus on how ratty it really is. I'm all for neatness. Compared to version 1.0 Adobe has really/slowly organized the interface and while it's still not to my liking, anything is better than nothing.
Frankly though what we asked for was not a clean house but a real improvement to A) Operational Speed and B) RAW Processor Improvement
It's still a slug. That slug has been given a turbocharger but it's still a slug. I see very little difference in terms of speed and we are still not getting the full benefits that modern computers offer. If you have a high-end GPU or Multi-Core CPU it's still for show...this software will not leverage them. To be fair I do see minor improvement in Import/Export but who cares...it's not enough to make an appreciable impact. The flow on the development panel is at least a little more logical...start with the color science and work your way down...would have been good for them to move the Lens and Transform panels up as well. Users who "know" always fix "issues" first before begin the real editing work. Better yet...make the panel configurable so users can arrange the tools in modules according to their liking.
Going back to the color science...Adobe has revamped the color profiles and now "Adobe Standard" is now "Adobe Color"...and so forth. The color interpretation is still off...too saturated in most cases. I give the win to Capture One here as well.
I'm still disappointed as a Fujifilm X-Trans based user. Sharpening is still bad. Continue to undertake your RAW file sharpening in Photoshop using the UNSHARP tool. This was the first thing I tried...and exported a file with the PRINT SHARPENING feature...terrible. The artifacts rendered the file unusable in my opinion. The software does better with Canon, Sony and Nikon files but is still inferior to Capture One straight out of the box. While we are on that...the default sharpening used to be set at 25 (AMOUNT)...now it defaults to 40 without a single bit of explanation as to why this was done.
I'm sure it sounds like I've given the software a big fat F...and I just wish it were that simple.
My relationship with Adobe Lightroom has been mostly complicated. It got even more strained when I began shooting with Fujifilm and Olympus cameras. I've continued to use it because I like it's Swiss Army Knife usefulness. The software is inferior to Capture One as a RAW Processor but is easier to master and for most people, all they will ever need. Those who aren't terribly discerning will likely never notice the shortcomings and for the average mobile device display it won't matter.
For more particular users like myself the key is to develop a set of work-arounds (sharpening) and/or (color-profiling) to please your eyes. Also don't kill yourself upgrading your computer, the software is still many revisions away from leveraging high-end systems significantly. The ideal configuration is still less cores, higher clock speed. The storage subsystem should at least be able to keep up and I recommend a Solid State Drive or a 7200 RPM standard hard disk. If you aren't also working with video forget about RAID...waste of money.
I'm disappointed but not surprised.