Lightroom 4 = First Impressions

With the release of Lightroom 4 yesterday, I figured I would share my two cents on the latest offering from Adobe for photographers…

I upgraded my copy today (from version 3.6) and it couldn’t have gone smoother. With previous updates, I found myself having to reload my presets, watermarks and any other “custom” settings I had with previous versions. This upgrade was up and running in about 10 minutes (even with a catalog conversion that contained over 60,000 images) with only one minor issue… My ICC printer profiles didn’t get ported over in the conversion for some reason…

Granted, I’ve only been playing with it for a couple of hours, but I think can safely say that the upgrades are not only plentiful, but amazingly intuitive. And I don’t take well to change! The “re-jigging” of some of the sliders actually came very naturally to me. Apparently it was what I always wanted, without knowing that I wanted it. The biggest improvement that most people will see, however, is the value. Adobe has cut the price in half for a full version of Lr4, which is insane for this caliber of software.

Here are some of the key improvements/highlights, IMHO:

  • Way better control of Shadow/Highlight detail
  • Better Chromatic Aberration reduction/removal (including purple fringing!)
  • You can now control colour/temp and much more with the adjustment brush tool
  • Soft Proofing option that allows you to identify and correct for out of gamut colours prior to printing
  • The new “Book” module surpassed my expectations, with an amazing amount of control for page to page designs, but there is a downside. (see below)
  • The “Map” module is very robust, with a direct connection to google maps for geotagging after the fact (if your camera does not embed it on capture)
  • The print module now has a “Print Adjustment” option to brighten/darken and/or add/remove contrast on output (for those of you who print via Lr, you will love this)
  • Video clip editing allows you to apply quite a bit of adjustment to your movies, but has limitations (again, see below)


  • It seems to be quite a bit slower than version 3, but I haven’t refined any settings yet, so that may (hopefully) change
  • Develop Presets created for/by previous versions do not render the same effect because of the new 2012 process (a small price to pay, if you ask me)
  • Video editing is limited to single clips with no merging/stitching options to assemble complete movies (some would argue that this isn’t such a bad thing)
  • Books can only be published through “Blurb” (or to a .pdf file), although Adobe has said they did their due diligence in choosing them as their provider.

All in all, very minor complaints for all the improvements that Adobe served up. Kudos!

Questions? Comments? Share them below…


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