Impressions of Lightroom 3

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by OreoCookie, Jan 6, 2010.

  1. OreoCookie macrumors 68030

    Apr 14, 2001
    Sendai, Japan
    I'm an avid Aperture user, but as always, I'm also a curious geek, ready to try new things when they come out. Now that I have had a few days off over Xmas and New Year, I have been trying the Lightroom 3 beta. Since I'm in no way an experienced user when it comes to Lightroom, I'm sure I'm missing lots of things here. If you want, fill me in.

    Just to get a few things off my chest: I still find the approach to split the workflow into modules counterintuitive to the way I work. I still like to see an option where Lightroom automatically manages all your photos. And I still miss vaults.

    Anyway, now that this has been said, we can go to the really interesting part.

    Speed: This is a mixed bag. Although many people claim Lightroom runs much faster than Aperture, IMO it's just better at hiding things. E. g. when I work with a picture while zoomed in and I move around, I often see previews that are less than useful for particular edits (e. g. local sharpening). It also takes a while to load pictures at times, although I must admit, my machine is not top notch (2 GHz Core Duo ProBook with 2 GB RAM). In general, it seems a tad zippier, but not by as much as I would have expected.

    The import module is a tad confusing to me and it isn't very fast either. By default it tries to read my hole ~/Pictures folder -- which literally contains tens of thousands of pictures. Bad idea.

    Develop Module: The IQ of the operations here positively surprise me. It's very pleasant that Adobe includes many things that should be standard by now, e. g. lens correction tools. There are plugins for this if you use Aperture, but this should be built in. Some standard operations such as upping exposure work better: subjectively, there is less of a red shift in skin tones, although I have to say, I'm working on an old, crumby lcd that hasn't been calibrated (my ProBook's lcd died two weeks ago and I'm waiting for the replacement).

    Localized edits just rock. This is one feature that is very tempting. I hope Apple includes this in the next revision to Aperture (hello, are you reading this, Cupertino?). I've been able to easily sharpen the eyes and correct my edits. Being able to display and correct the layer mask is just amazing. You can add layers and things.

    What I miss is the ability to not just have a film strip overview of my pictures in the bottom, Aperture allows me to use any view.

    The zoom function was very erratic, I assume this is me not knowing how it works + beta bugs.

    Library Module: I haven't played around too much with this one. But I immediately noticed that the Quick Develop module uses roughly spaced arrows instead of sliders. Why make a different UI? It's as if they want to encourage people to `respect' the module approach.

    Random UI comments: I have the impression Adobe wastes a lot of pixels here and I'm not sure why. Gray positive frames around pictures, gray frames around everything, large fonts everywhere, etc. With some more prudence, I would be able to see my previews a few pixels larger or do other more useful things with the space I have.

    So what am I missing? Do you have anything to add?
  2. mattyb240 macrumors 6502a

    May 11, 2008
    Haven't tried 3, but 2 definitely has the film strip at the bottom, you may have accidentally hid some of the bars!

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