First look at Lightroom CC/6

Time has been really short. Really short. Family growth in size and complexity and work evolution (getting also more complex) is not easy.

I have had no time since the release of Lightroom CC/6 to actually test it.

Lightroom CC/6

Lightroom CC/6

I installed it. Converted all my catalogues (backed them up first …). Managed to make my GPU work with it (had to update drivers). Took a quick look at it and nothing else.

There are 4 major features in it, if I got it properly.

1- GPU processing for development module
2- Face recognition.
3- Panorama stitching
4- HDR merge

GPU processing is supposed to speed up the development module, making sliders more “responsive” and specially the adjustment brush work in … let’s say … real time (something I complained a while ago about Lightroom 5). My impression is that it is faster, but could be just me wanting it to be faster. The next step is to convince myself that it’s not fast enough and get a new GPU 😉 (don’t try me hehehehehe).

Face recognition is a nice feature, but I haven’t feel yet the urge to test it. Maybe later.

HDR merge generates a 16-bit raw (DNG), while Photoshop generates a 32-bit TIFF. They both have those “long” sliders and are great to try to get some extra detail. Good for the non-artistic HDR. The one you need when shooting in broad daylight, when harsh light basically gives you two options: part of the scene is too bright and part is too dark. Adobe claims there was no need for 32-bit output, not reasonable difference, that’s why they opted for 16-bit. I believe them, but haven’t tested it yet. Surely not a replacement for Photomatix.

Now comes the part I was having fun the last couple of days. Panoramics!!! I reprocessed a couple of panos I had, new I had to work tweak them after merging and could remember some of the problems.

I does it better than Photoshop and returns me a DNG. That being said, there are caveats, of course.

For moving objects, it falls in most of the same traps as Photoshop, and that’s inevitable, but less often!! Yes. Some movement cases it solved quite well, some had the same kind of result of Photoshop. It’s not fair to judge this way. You’ll always have the case “but I wanted it here and not there”, or some weird looking stuff, like very long boats (it gets the boat from 2 or 3 images and makes a collage out of it).

For static things, like buildings … GREAT! REALLY GREAT!! Some issues that were RIDICULOUS in Photoshop got resolved beautifully! In a couple of cases Photoshop insisted in use half a building from each shot, though it was complete in one of them. There were, of course, a couple of instances where it did something similar to what Photoshop did, but waaaaay fewer.

The problem is that Lightroom gives you no control at all on the final output. Photoshop would give me a layered file with layer masks you could edit and recover things from one layer to the other and so on. Lightroom gives you a stitched pano (wasn’t that what you asked?). For the cases it could not solve I’ll have to go to Photoshop and fix them, but it will take less time, since there are less of them.

The other side of the coin of Photoshop layered output is that, for some unexplainable reason, Photoshop creates the masks and THEN marches the colors of each shot. Meaning that when you change the mask, you have a color mismatch in the newly revealed areas. Good luck matching those colors afterwards.

It was a very preliminary test, but the results were very positive! Very positive! Unless I find some very dark side of Lightroom’s pano stitching, I don’t see myself doing it in photoshop anymore.

I’ll get back to them when I have the chance to test the other features!!!

Off in some short vacations!

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About Cris Da Rocha

Astrophysicist, DB manager, cyclist, musician and, why not, "photographer to be". Back to enjoy photography after many years ... it's cool. Might share something nice and get something new.
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2 Responses to First look at Lightroom CC/6

  1. I just realized it is now out .. time to upgrade even if they are forcing me into a monthly fee.

    • I need Photoshop for a bunch of stuff, so the photography bundle came in very handy.

      I did the math back then and if I would hypothetically live in the old license model and keep Photoshop and Lightroom up to date, it would take around 10 years of subscription match the cost.

      So basically the subscription allowed me in.

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