LR4 vs Lr3 Speed


Active Member
Oct 22, 2007
LR4 vs Lr3 Speed of editing

I have just started playing with LR4. I am a pro and don;t get much time to do this sort of thing.
...However, it seems to take longer to do the achieve the end result I got with LR3. I know it's probably a familarity thing but when I follow the top-down approach to the sliders I seem to have to go over the previous ones again to fine tune as one slider seems to affect another more in this version.

I have read theat the final result is better with v4 but will I really see a difference? I haven't seen enough to warrant the change of process version.

I guess I can upgrade to LR4 but still use 2010 version? Obviously I'll then still have some new finctionality such as books and maps - which I don;t expect to use.....Is there any point to upgrading if I stick to 2010 version I ask myself?

Will compatibilty be maintained as LR and PS go forward if I sticl to LR3?

Last edited:


New Member
Feb 28, 2010
San Francisco, CA
how often do we actually separate our computer performance from our processing time? the more lag, the slower our processing time; faulty 'Edit In' issues really mess up processing time for those who need to roundtrip.

BUT to try to answer what I think you were asking:
in terms of managing your database and overall workflow in processing a high volume of images, i would say LR4 doesn't make things faster, by nature of itself. It doesn't revolutionize the flow of processing - that is pretty much the same since LR's inception.

My understanding is that LR4/PV2012 merely changes the way image tonality is identified, weighted, and controlled, while also expanding the capability of local adjustment brushes/gradients (but this is probably the reason for much of the lag). the added video/book/proof features are simply that, extra features/modules.

Therefore, I think actual improved processing time/efficiency, as always, depends on the individual's own workflow (ie. whether you do a lot of batch/paste adjustments vs fine-tuning every image). And like anything, with practice/mastery comes quickness. That being said, the learning curve of LR4/PV2012 probably decreased everyone's processing time, initially.

i do think the re-organization of Exposure/Recovery/Brightness/Blacks into Whites/Highlights/Shadows/Blacks with -0+ is more logical/flexible, but figuring out the qualitative effect of each compared to 3.x is tricky. Took me a while, still learning. So if that intuitive understanding of tone allows you to work faster, then so be it.

In general though, the more resource-intensive computer performance has increased my processing time. But I'm also integrating new techniques with every successive project/set, so it's hard to say.