The latest upgrades to Adobe Photoshop Lightroom were released this week. As of October 2017, the next generation of the Adobe Photoshop Lightroom program that many of have been using for a decade is now called Adobe Photoshop Lightroom Classic.
The name is important here. Adobe Photoshop Lightroom Classic is not the same as the brand new Adobe Photoshop Lightroom CC v1.0 program that was also introduced this week.
Click here to learn more about how the new Adobe Photoshop Lightroom Classic and the brand new Adobe Photoshop Lightroom CC cloud-centric program differ.
I demonstrate the new Color Range Masking control in the video tutorial above and a little bit more. The addition of color, and luminance, range masking to the Local Adjustment controls are Adobe Photoshop Lightroom Classic’s most interesting new feature. Click here for an even more in-depth tutorial on Lightroom Classic’s range masking features.
Range masking in Lightroom still pales in comparison to the level of precision possible in programs like Adobe Photoshop CC but nonetheless it is a welcome and helpful addition to Lightroom Classic’s raw image editing capabilities.
Other New Features In Lightroom Classic
Adobe has poured considerable energy over the past two years into tweaking and rewriting Lightroom Classic’s code to make all sorts of things run faster. Everything from the time that it takes to launch the program to the time that it takes to scroll through your images has been improved.
Obviously, improved performance is highly hardware dependent. Not everyone is going to benefit from all of these beneath the surface changes. If your computer is underpowered or low on ram then your performance gains in this update will be minimal. On a fairly new machine though, I find the improvements to Lightroom’s startup speed noticeable and most appreciated..
Embedded Preview Workflow
You can now use the jpeg previews that your digital camera embedded into all of your images for faster culling through your images. This new option can dramatically speed up the time from import to sort since you do not need to wait for Lightroom Classic to build its own 1:1 previews.
When this option is active, Adobe Photoshop Lightroom Classic almost rivals the culling speed of competitor products like Photo Mechanic. Be aware though some cameras, such as Olympus and Fuji only embed small previews into their proprietary raw files. Adobe has added a badge to the grid view display so that you can easily identify your images where only the embedded preview has been rendered.
There is also a new Preference switch which tells Lightroom Classic to generate its own Standard and 1:1 size previews while the computer is idle.
Photo Merge Queue
Multiple Merge To Panorama or Merge To HDR commands are now automatically added to the Photo Merge job queue to prevent a significant loss of overall Lightroom performance. The new Merge job queue features does not speed up these complex processes but it does help to keep them from bogging everything else down.
More Metadata Removal Options In The Export Dialog
You can now tell Lightroom to strip out the capture (EXIF) information that was recorded by your digital camera when exporting images. In addition, you can also tell Lightroom to remove information about the changes that you made to your original capture in the Develop Module when exporting a copy by selecting the new “All Except Camera & Camera Raw Info” in the Export > Metadata > Include tab.
Process Version PV4
Lightroom Classic brings us a new process version called PV4. This small change is needed to store new features like the color and luminosity range masking options. Older images will retain their existing process version until you try to use one of the new range masking features.
Please don’t let this program’s name change throw you. Remember that Adobe Photoshop Lightroom Classic is probably the one that you want to use for your upgrading if you are already a Lightroom user. I urge you to stay away from the new Lightroom CC version 1.0 product until you are sure that about what it does and how it fits into your workflow.