Photo Talk: Adobe Lightroom 5 Beta


Seems that I’m always looking at upgrading new software.  Photoshop, Premier, anything Windows…. and i think it has been about a year since I’ve been using Lightroom 4, so I guess Adobe decided it was time to put out a public beta of the new version of Lightroom!  Lightroom is my go to software for keeping an inventory of my stuff, keywording and pretty much 90% of my processing.  So yeah, I’m kinda interested. 🙂

I’m iffy when it comes to upgrades, as sometimes, they may offer some people some great added benefits, but they don’t really help me out much (or vice versa!).  I must say though that so far, the Lightroom upgrades have all pretty much been worth it.  So as I did with Lightroom 4, I downloaded the public beta of Lightroom 5.  If you want to give it a whirl, you can click here to download it yourself.  If you do, I would highly suggest making a brand new catalog for your LR5 tests, keeping them very separate from your current LR version catalogs.  This is a beta version.  Not fully working.  May have bugs.  You. Have. Been. Warned.

I looked through some of the enhancements offered and I really don’t care for many of them.

book slideshow

Take for example the Books addition.  I mean, it’s cool that you can now make books with Lightroom (although they seem to have a max of 240 page books), not something I will use much of.  I’ll have a closer look when I am going to make a new book, which should be in a few months after my next European vacation.  Same goes for changes to the Slideshow menu where you can now add video in there.  I currently don’t have a need to make Slideshows so this is not something that would make me pay for an upgrade.  Cool to have, and I might need it in the future, just not now.

There are three items that do have me interested:  Cloning / Healing, Radial Filters and what they call Upright (ie Perspective correction).  Here’s a quick rundown of what I saw:

1- Cloning and Healing


This is probably the biggest one for me.  One of the reasons I open Photoshop is to use the Cloning and Healing in there.  So now that you can do it directly in Lightroom (performance still needs to be fully tested), big big plus for me.  In the past, we could only do the simple spot removal with a standard circle.  Now…. more flexibility.  Seems to work pretty well!  Here’s a before and after quick clone/heal from a Billy Talent image from last weekend.   I’m not huge into doing major mods to show images, but sometimes, there is just that little piece of a mic just sticking out.  Check out the bottom left light.  Took about 10 seconds.

Sure, I know, I chose something easy to work on.  I’ll put it through its paces a bit more later




2- Radial Filters


This is like an added bonus.  I don’t do much vignetting on my images, but seeing this addition gave me a little warm fuzzy.  Looks cool, I dig it, I can see the use of it.  While my initial thought was for the more controlled vignettes, you can actually use it for many other things… or basically, anything in the brush menu (saturation, clarity, exposure, etc…).  In older versions, adding a vignette was always from the center on out.  Well, what if you wanted to add a vignette around something a bit off to the side.  Well, now you can!


3- Upright


Now this is one of those “schweeeeet” features I like.  Lightroom 4 has a perspective correction tool, but it wasn’t that great.  I currently use a software called DxO View Point to correct perspective (pretty much the only third-party I actually use to process… yeah, I’m lazy like that).  DxO is simple and powerful.  Well, now adobe added in the Upright feature which is pretty damn smart I must say.  You still have some funky manual controls, but the AUTO feature works like a dream.

The image below was corrected using only the AUTO button.  I had already posted this image up a while ago, and the processing was a bit more punchy and how I like it, and the perspective correction was done in DxO.  Pretty nifty that I can have some decent control in Lightroom 5!



The actual processing algorithms don’t seem that much different.  From LR 3 to LR4, Clarity was a huge change.  Nothing that immense in LR5… at least, not that I’ve noticed re-processing some of my latest images.

So will I pick up the new 5.0 when it is out?  The new items are not game changers for me.  I do some cloning / healing, and will probably do more if I have the feature built-in to LR.  Perspective correction is something I don’t do much of, but it’s a really cool feature to have.  Radial Filters are funky, but more like icing on a cake that is already amazing to eat without icing.    I’ll wait for more detailed reviews to come out and see what’s up.

Crap, I want cake now…