It’s that time again… Adobe have just announced the final release of Adobe Lightroom 3.0!
Here’s the official announcement: http://blogs.adobe.com/lightroomjournal/
Of course there’s a brand new 30 day trial for you to try before you buy.
And the download link, of course!
So what’s new…? I’ve included the new features that were available in the beta versions, for those who haven’t tried them, and the features new to the final release are in bright red….
The primary improvements in 3.0 are image quality. Lightroom’s been taken back to its bare bones and the raw processing engine has been given a complete overhaul. Even the demosaic algorithms have been substantially improved to give a cleaner file which will respond better to subsequent noise reduction and sharpening.
While Lightroom was back on the drawing board, the underlying architecture has been completely reworked to improve the performance, particularly with large catalogs. It’s still a work in progress, but the basis is there for future improvements. The preview system has also been redeveloped, so the thumbnail grid won’t keep going fuzzy as you scroll!
- Entirely new Import dialog, with compact and expanded views, depending on the level of control you need.
- It has panels like the main modules, including Source and Destination.
- Folder browsing has improved – you can now dock and undock folders to navigate through deep hierarchies.
- Destination folders that will be created by the import as shown in italics so you can see exactly what will happen.
- Import presets can now be saved and reused in both compact and expanded views.
- There’s a new Loupe view within the Import dialog for viewing embedded previews.
- The import backup now backs up with the new filenames if you’re renaming while importing.
- CMYK files can now be imported, although all editing and output will still be RGB.
- Video files from most digital cameras can now be imported and managed like photos.
- If you right-click on a folder in Library module, there’s an ‘Import into this Folder’ option which opens the Import dialog and automatically sets the Destination folder.
- Drag/drop importing is now working again.
- Lots of fixes and everything works pretty well now. It’s much more responsive than the beta builds.
- Publish Services
- Publish Services provides integration with photo sharing websites, keeping them up to date with the changes you make in your Lightroom catalog.
- Sync runs 2-way, so comments made on your Flickr account appear back in Lightroom.
- Flickr is the first to be available and more are sure to follow.
- Jeffrey Friedl has already been busy updating his plug-ins for other websites.
- Sync to hard drive is also available, and useful for syncing photos to your iPhone, screensaver, other networked computers, etc.
- Video Management
- Videos can be tagged, rated, filtered, added to collections, saved in smart collections, and managed just like the rest of your photos.
- The little video camera icon identifies the videos and shows the length.
- Double clicking on the video, or clicking on the icon, will launch the video in your default video software.
- Video support does not include editing within LR – that’s not its job.
- No need for extra software or watched folders – built-in tethering makes its debut!
- Limited set of certified cameras to start with, but more will be added. The officially supported list is:
Canon 1D Mk2 (firewire only, not Windows x64), 1Ds Mk2 (firewire only, not Windows x64), 1D Mk3, 1Ds Mk3, 1D Mk4, 5D (not Windows x64), 5D Mark II, 7D, 20D (Mac only), 30D, 40D, 50D, 350D / Digital Rebel XT / Kiss Digital N, 400D / Digital Rebel XTi / Kiss Digital X, 450D / Digital Rebel XSi / Kiss X2, 500D / Digital Rebel T1i / Kiss X3 Digital, 1000D / Digital Rebel XS / Kiss F
Nikon D3, D3s, D3x, D200 (Mac only), D300, D300s, D700, D90, D5000
- You can view the camera settings but you can’t change them remotely.
- Filters are no longer sticky – they are disabled as you switch folders unless you click the padlock icon on the Filter bar. They are no longer remember specific to each folder.
- There’s a new badge on the thumbnails showing photos that are in a standard or Publish collection.
- Focal Length now available in Metadata filters.
- Smart collections have gained some extra criteria settings such as ‘is’ and ‘is not’, and now Focal Length too.
- Lens Corrections!
- This is the big one! The new lens corrections are available in Lightroom 3 and they are STUNNING!
- Really easy to use – intelligently picks the correct profile.
- You can tweak the settings to taste, so you can choose to apply profiled chromatic aberration correction without correcting distortion, or various other combinations.
- Switch to the Manual tab to apply manual corrections and perspective adjustments.
- If your lens isn’t supported yet, you can build your own using the Lens Profile Creator. It’s not as complicated as it looks!
- Process Version
- Because so much work has been done on the base ACR engine, a ‘process version’ has been introduced to differentiate between the old process and new processes.
- Any images with existing settings will be set to the old 2003 process version to get an almost identical rendering as 2.7. Any new images imported into 3.0 will be assigned the new process version.
- There’s a warning exclamation mark to the lower right of the image (it’s moved) if it’s set to the old 2003 process version – click it if you want to update. You can also find process version under the Settings menu, in the Calibration panel and the Sync dialog, as well as the right-click menus).
- New 2010 process version affects highlight recovery, fill light, sharpening & noise reduction, but not the post-crop vignette any more.
- Point curves make an appearance by popular demand!
- Noise Reduction & Sharpening
- Lots of work has been done on improving the noise reduction without losing fine detail. It is vastly improved, and can now compete with specialized noise reduction software.
- There are now extra sliders, but don’t feel you have to use them on every image – they’re there for control over particularly difficult images.
- The Edge Detail slider refines the edges on extremely noisy images at extremely high ISO.
- Values have changed – old settings updated to the new process version may be too strong.
- There have also been changes to the capture sharpening, particularly with the sharpening halos.
- The Develop preview now shows sharpening & noise reduction at less than 1:1 view when using PV2010.
- Minor additional changes to sharpening since beta 2.
- Film-style grain sliders added give a very natural looking grain.
- It shares a new Effects panel with Post-Crop Vignette.
- Post-Crop Vignette
- New more natural vignette instead of just painting white or black on the edges.
- Color Priority mode retains more natural colours under the vignette with softer shadow transitions.
- Highlight Priority remains heavily saturated under the vignette.
- Paint Overlay brings back the effect of the post-crop vignette in LR2.
- Highlights slider brightens the highlights under a dark vignette.
- Adjustment Brush
- The buttons are gone, so it’s now either a single drop-down and amount slider, or the range of sliders.
- New icon shows when no color tint is being applied.
- Show/hide pins and overlays are now in the toolbar when the Brush/Gradient are active, so no more having to remember the shortcuts.
- Oh, I missed one! The sharpening adjustment brush, when set to -50 or greater, now becomes a ‘blur’ brush!
- Rikk Flohr says I’ve missed another one – Auto Mask works on the Eraser now too!
- The list of crop ratios has been tidied up to combine identical ratios like 2×3 and 4×6.
- There’s now a keyboard shortcut to swap crop orientation, for those who hate the magic touch required to swap it – press the X key!
- Greyscale has been changed to Black & White throughout.
- AutoTone now includes Fill Light.
- Sync/AutoSync now has a switch next to it to easily switch between the two.
- Plug-ins can now create snapshots at any time, including on export.
- Slideshows can now be exported to MP4 video format for uploading to video sharing websites, including your music track. It now prepares previews in advance so your slideshow doesn’t stall.
- Mac version is no longer tied to iTunes, matching the Windows behaviour.
- You can now sync the length of the slides to the music track length.
- Custom Print Package
- New custom layout option for different images in different sizes (without resorting to hacks!)
- Drag and drop to create a flexible layout.
- Images can now rotate within the cells for better print layout.
- Page background color can now be changed.
- Maximum print resolution has increased to 1200ppi for JPEG and 720ppi for printers.
- Website developers can now write in ActionScript3.
- New watermarking allows a simple text or graphic watermark to be applied in Export, Publish, Slideshow, Print and Web.
- Watermarking has improved further in beta 2, allowing different positioning and sizing options.
- Export can now be limited to a kb size which automatically adjusts the quality slider – great for uploading to websites.
- It now creates a history state at the time of export.
- Backup has moved to quit rather than startup, by popular demand!
- There’s a new checkbox in the backup dialog to run optimize catalog after the backup.
A couple of keyboard shortcut changes
- Auto-Sync is Ctrl-Alt-Shift-A (Windows) / Cmd-Opt-Shift-A (Mac)
- Match Total Exposures is Ctrl-Alt-Shift-M (Windows) / Cmd-Opt-Shift-M
- Crop to Same Aspect Ratio is now Shift-A not S
- Switch Crop Aspect Ratio is new – X
- Hide Tethered is Ctrl-T (Windows) / Cmd-T (Mac)
- New Tethered Shot is Ctrl-Shift-T (Windows) / Cmd-Shift-T (Mac)
- Spot Removal is now Q, not N, freeing up N to go back to Survey mode, as per Library module
- I’m busy working on the updated shortcut sheets, which should be available in the next few days. I’ve run out of time!
Other bits and pieces
- The breadcrumbs bar on the filmstrip now has a Favorite Sources option.
- The Select Catalog dialog has had a facelift.
- Library menu > Find Missing Photos creates a temporary collection of all missing photos instead of having to go through Synchronize Folder.
- Camera raw cache can now be increased to 200gb, from a previous limit of 50gb. That’s a great help for speed!
- Updated SDK with access to collections and keywords, as well as Publish Services.
- New Develop presets and templates for Web & Print.
System Spec Changes
- System specs have increased to a minimum of 2gb of RAM on Windows
- No more PPC for Mac, Intel processors only.
- No more Tiger – Leopard or Snow Leopard only.
Lightroom 3 can upgrade Lightroom 1, Lightroom 2 and Lightroom 3 Beta catalogs and also Photoshop Elements 6, 7 or 8 catalogs
My Lightroom 3 book has already had a great reception, and I’ve received loads of really positive emails, so thank you very much! I’ve had loads of really useful feedback on the rough cut, and made loads of adjustments accordingly, so I’m just finishing off the formatting and the final release should be available shortly. In the meantime, you can pre-order from: https://www.lightroomqueen.com/lrqebook3.php I’ll get back to finishing the formatting now, while you go and play with the final release! Have fun!
LR 3 is so chock full of updates – this is definitely the one you want to get. If you need some more vsuals too, check out the Learning Resource Center CameraDojo put together:
Kerri Garrison and I did a complete set of 12 videos on all the latest and greatest! 🙂
While I welcome this update – rewrite some sites are saying – I’m wondering weather people actually using the new version have, you know, used it. Improved performance? So much so that, on a 4gb 3ghz system, where 2.7 used to be ok, 3 is absolutely terrible. Better than the 3b but still awful. We’re back to the Adobe cludge we’ve been stuck in before. Citing improved performance is fine, but lets not pretend this is over previous final version, it’s just over the _terrible_ betas.
[Dan, sorry to hear you’re having problems. I’ve been using LR3 for thousands of photos for months now, with no complaints in this build. UI performance and general responsiveness is the main improvement. Develop speed is a little slower due to the more processor intensive controls (new noise reduction/lens corrections), but if you’re seeing any other issues, they need investigating. If you’re seeing performance problems with the previews, Grid view, etc., then trashing the *.lrdata previews file and allowing it to rebuild can help, as the entire preview system has been rebuilt and you could have some leftover glitches in there. Other than that, post it on http://clkuk.tradedoubler.com/click?p(265883)a(2791170)g(22913796)url(http://forums.adobe.com/community/lightroom/) so that it can be investigated fully. – VB]
Is it just my setup (older P4/1Gb PC) but it looks to me that a new LR 3 works much slower than my existing LR 2.6. Is it just me or the others experience the same problem?
V – hope you can answer this. If I am using CS4 (PS4) and I upgrade to LR3, if I choose “EDIT WITH PS” will I get a warning message regarding ACR versions (6 vs 5)? I assume that PS4 does not support ACR 6 and will thus not maintain ACR mods from LR3 if I edit with into PS4? Is this correct? Implications?
Thanks so much,
[Excellent question! I’ll put up a blog post later today with a full list of differences. – VB]
David Naylor says
Thanks for the best list of improvements I’ve seen so far – several new things I didn’t know about before!
Thanks for the info.
I have set the process to 2010 but the noise reduction preview still not working when not in 1:1. Do I need to change a setting or something?
[Are you sure you’re zoomed into 1:1? It should be working. Fit view is adaptive for noise reduction – another blog post on that to follow. – VB]
I’m very impressed with Lightroom 3 and its new features. I have one outstanding gripe however – it still doesn’t display flash exposure compensation (FEC) metadata! If I want to find this out I have to load the photos into Aperture. FEC is fundamental exposure data – Is there any particular reason why Adobe are ignoring it?
Keep up the good work!
All the best,
[I believe it’s stored in the Maker Notes by the manufacturer’s, and it’s not standard across models, but don’t quote me on that. Best you can do is put in an official feature request http://clkuk.tradedoubler.com/click?p(265883)a(2791170)g(22913796)url(http://www.adobe.com/cfusion/mmform/index.cfm?name=wishform), and try to gather some support on the main Adobe forums. – VB]
I am new to the Adobe products and have been using the LR3 Beta version for a few months. At first, I thought my issues were due to my computer being a couple years old, so we bought a new one with 6GB RAM. Then, I thought the beta upgrade would fix my problem, but it hasn’t.
What I am finding is that after several corrections on a single image (like removing skin blemishes), the program begins to drag quite severely…like up to 2-4 minutes between ‘clicks’ before you see the change. I have posted to the adobe forum, but only to have a lot of confusing feedback about my computer (which turns out NOT to be the problem), then one person confirming they have the same problem. Do you have any insight into this?
I would love to buy the official release, but am hesitant to spend the money if I’m going to be as frustrated as I have been. (not that other programs are ‘better’, but weighing frustration vs. $’s spent is an issue). I’m also in the position where I can only buy LR3 OR CS5…not both…and I believe LR3 is more suitable for my needs at this time.
[Hi trillian, sorry to hear you’re having problems. There does appear to be an incompatibility between LR3 and some systems, which is most often being exhibited as slow retouching. The mystery is not everyone is seeing the same problem, which makes it tough to track down. Adobe are working on it, so I’d hope there will be a fix out before too long.
There are a few other things you can rule out in the meantime – move or delete the preferences file and try a new catalog to see if that helps.
Ray Meibaum says
Hi Victoria –
I appreciate your blog and use your keyboard shortcuts frequently as I’m sure many others do.
My question is about smart collections in LR3: I use smart collections on every project. I typically set criteria based on keyword, date, and star rating, and I’ll create similar smart collections in the same set (the only difference being the star rating value).
I’ve always wished that there was a simple way to copy smart collections. I’ve used the import/export function but find it limited because I need to create a new preset for every collection set.
When I started creating smart collections in LR3 I noticed that LR seemed to “remember” the settings of the last smart collection created and I thought I’d stumbled onto a great new feature. However…I can’t seem to repeat this function when I need to; it seems to happen sporadically, which we all know is impossible in the world of software 😐
This would be a great feature and I was wondering if you’ve had any experience with this or could provide guidance?
Thanks – RM
[Hi Ray. You have stumbled on a great new feature – it should be remembering the last created smart collection. If it’s not working consistently, you might have found a bug too! I’d agree, a ‘duplicate smart collection’ command would be a brilliant addition – put in an Official Request at http://clkuk.tradedoubler.com/click?p(265883)a(2791170)g(22913796)url(http://www.adobe.com/cfusion/mmform/index.cfm?name=wishform). – VB]
Chrys N. says
Some people allude to sluggish behaviour on their computers. You mention LR3 being a work in progress, and things “not working consistently”. I’m concerned about upgrading to a product (which costs money) if it’s not actually going to assist me in cataloguing my photos. Any idea of how it works on a Macbook pro?
[The performance issues only appear to be affecting a limited number of users – who are understandably quite vocal – and all the people who are having no problems stay quiet, so it’s tough to get a clear idea of how many are affected. Personally I’ve been running it on a MacBook Pro and a Mac Pro for months without those issues, but I’ve heard a few MacBook Pro users complain, so there isn’t a definitive answer. All I can suggest is that you download the trial and see if you’re one of the unlucky ones or not. You can leave LR2 installed too, and just start a clean test catalog on LR3 to check it’s working ok for you before you switch your main workflow. – VB]
Jak Keyser says
Does LR3 utilize multiple cores efficiently? — LR2.x did not. this would be especially important for importing, which can take more than an hour even on a reasonably fast Mac for a couple of gigs of RAW files ( converting to DNG and creating 1:1 previews). LR2.x saw almost no gains when comparing a dual core to an 8 core on import.
[It depends on what LR’s doing. Some areas of the application that need processing power do benefit – working in Develop, rendering previews and Export are all areas where you’ll see the benefit of multiple cores. Other areas are more limited by other factors, for example, many things are more heavily limited by hard drive speed and no amount of processing power solve that. More often than not, it’s a combination of lots of different factors. With import, are you importing from a camera or card reader or directly from the hard drive? And how fast your hard drives – internal or external? I’d assume those are the primary limiting factors in that situation. – VB]
Nick Rose | Kent Wedding Photographer says
I have been making my way through your blog after discovering it last week and wanted to say thanks. As a new wedding photographer I’m finding lots of really useful tips and shorcuts here that helps me out with my lightroom workflow.
David Blackshaw says
I’m a Pro Wedding Photographer based in Kent. I’ve been using Lightroom for a while – it’s great for easing workflow! Love the Blog and can’t wait to read the Book.
Victoria Bampton says
Thanks David! I’d love to get your comments when you’ve read the book.
London wedding photographer says
Lightroom is perfect for the professional photographer!