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Wednesday, 15 February 2012


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That's worth it just for the upgrade price you'll get when 4 is final.

I think it's worth pointing out that Adobe lets you download a free 30 day trial of Lightroom. I tried it out, and discovered that it ran dog-slow* - unusably so on my current computer. I believe it does come with the full (not crippled) version of ACR, unlike Photoshop Elements.


*the library interface was also really annoying, and not pretty to boot.

Two comments regarding this subject - both related to its comparison to Lightroom 4.

First - By design, Lightroom 4 will not run on Windows XP, but requires Windows 7. I use and love LR3, but it will probably be a while before I upgrade, just because of this limitation. If you are in the same boat, LR3 is definitely the way to go, especially at this price!

Second - The comment above about running slow may (or may not) be due to downloading the LR4 beta version. I find that the speed of LR3 is acceptable on my machine, but YMMV.

There are many comments on the web about how slow LR4 runs. Beta versions always run slower than the production release, for several reasons. At this time there is no way to know what the performance differences will be between the LR4 beta and the production release.

That does look like buy now and upgrade to 4 will be cheaper than waiting for version 4 to be released.

The Lightroom betas have never been zippy. The retail ones are though, and I fully expect 4 to be optimized by the time it goes gold. I wouldn't let the beta sluggishness get you down.

I believe Lightroom is included in the new Adobe policy of only allowing updates from the most recent previous version. So buying any of their big products is now a long-term commitment to stay on the treadmill, and if you miss an upgrade due to poverty (or just being busy) you're out of luck. This drastically reduces my interest in cheap introductory prices just now -- though of course, if they repeat them regularly, one can use that to recover from an upgrade glitch later.

A 30 trial version of LR3 came with my copy of Elements 9. I liked Lightroom a lot but the price made my gums bleed. But at 69 beans it was easy to pull the trigger.
Thanks for the tip.
Now that I'm out of the closet as an Elements user nobody is going to take anything I post seriously anymore. It's like going to Borsheim's on Berkshire weekend and admitting you got in on a couple of B shares.

And then you have to add at least $31 for them to mail it to you, if you live a long way away.

My comment about slow running referred to LR3, specifically the lag between selecting and 'using' thumbnails. Lots of slow rendering going on there. A bit of a puzzle, really, since the rest of the operations were decently fast. I still use Picasa for import and searching. I never thought Google was spending that much time tuning it, but its quite snappy by comparison.

Note to David Dyer-Bennet: Adobe back-pedalled eventually on the idea allowing upgrades from only the most recent previous version of a product.

I teach Lightroom and Photoshop and by the time Lightroom 3 was released, I had been encouraging photographers to use the last of the Lightroom 3 betas for while. We're not at that stage yet with Lightroom 4. Some of its headline features (including soft proofing) have bugs in them.

Version 3 is still the one to get for serious work and at these prices (for those of you in the US, at least), you'd be crazy to overlook it. This isn't a sponsored message: I'm not affiliated with Adobe and am unlikely to be teaching any of you over the pond. I'm in the UK.

Thanks Mike! I knew my lurking here would pay off sooner or later. And this deal has prompted me to order a way-too-long-delayed memory upgrade...

I ran the trial version of V3 ... call me stupid, but I thought the interface was stupid.

Bingo. Bought it.....Thanks for the heads up.

Personally, I tried Lightroom 3 (I even took a semester long course at the local community college on it) and discovered that I really hate it. The photo processing interface was okay, but the library system is a total backwards mess. I could never get my head around it. I like working with file systems, and Lightroom is too far removed from that for me. I'd rather use Bridge to sort and tag, Camera Raw to develop, and Photoshop to finish.

And in the bargain department, I picked up Production Premium CS5.5 from B&H for $800 a couple days ago--a fantastic bargain, though not if you're a stills-only guy. I'm pretty sure I even remembered to use the TOP affilliate link this time!

It doesn't fit in quite the same position as lightroom, but I can't recommend IDimager (http://www.idimager.com/) highly enough.

It is light on the editing side of things (I use photoshop for this), but it is only program I have ever found adequate for sorting and categorising photos. Add to that that it is lightning quick, has all sort of niche handy features like adding frames to photos, ftp uploading (and facebook, flickr, etc), limited non-destructive editing, and is fully scriptable.

Basically, it is a workflow optimised program that is very good at what it does. Oh, and did I mention that it's developed by one guy (Hert), who is active on the support forums, and responds to bugs and problems personally?

As I see it, unless you can (and will) surrender the fixed idea that one digital image = one physically selfcontained computer file, you will never fully get on with Lightroom or anything else like it. There's a lot of un-learning and (I'd go so far as to say) "loosening-up" to do, if you are an experienced Photoshop user.

Most of this un-learning, has to do with accepting that with these working methods, it's perfectly OK to largely relax about overt technicalities such as whether and how your changes are saved, working sequence, and so on. With a file-based method you HAVE to know to save your changes, and if you want to explore something different, what the buried consequences are of using Save As, and then you have to come up with a name and a location for that.

The experience in Lightroom is far more result-focused, in my opinion. One example: you can make an immediate virtual copy within LR, giving you a brand new and independent image version, and this has no external reality at all - so it doesn't need you to think about anything physical - but it still behaves exactly as if it did. So long as the very thought of such a thing bothers you, this reveals you still have some hard-learnt instincts in place that will tend to block Lightroom (etc) from feeling either comfortable or dependable.

Of course, the *one* day I don't check my RSS feed in mid-day. But, today they have at $135, so still a steal and I'm off to pull the trigger.

I often have multiple "versions" of an image all saved in the same PSD and the virtual copy function is something I really wish ACR supported. I definitely don't hold to the idea that one file=one image and I still hate LR's library system with a passion.

Bridge is ugly and clunky, but it works with the filesystem and has better (but not good) keywording support. Unfortunately Bridge falls down when it comes to using those keywords to find your files--but I'll still take it over Lightroom any day of the week.

Nico, have you tried Photo Mechanic? Since I haven't tried IDImager, I can't compare the two myself. I'm wondering if your experience of everything else being inadequate includes Photo Mechanic, though (which is what I use for sorting / rating these days). Facial-recognition tagging would save me SO MUCH time if it's any good.

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