Lightroom 5

August 07, 2013  •  Leave a Comment

The Lightroom 5 release has a modest number of new features and tweaks.  Adobe shortened the development cycle to a year and devoted resources to tweak performance in the image processing pipeline.  As a consequence, the new features are limited in both number and significance.

  • The radial filter is a new localized adjustment that works like the graduated filter but inside or outside an elliptical mask.  The primary intent was to create off center vignettes, but it is being used as an adjustment brush with a more adjustable feather.  This is a nice to have feature, but could already be done using the adjustment brush with a better feather.
  • You can now paint with the spot edit brush.  This works well in some situations, but has problems with making seamless edges with the background.  If you do not like the source selected, try pressing the / key and lightroom will pick another clone/heal source or you can still move the source manually.  This tool still needs some TLC.
  • Perspective corrections have been automated with a new feature called upright.  This can be very handy, and if you still need to tweak, you can still use the manual adjustments.  Hint - make sure to enable profile corrections and remove chromatic aberration before making an automatic upright correction as this makes it easier for the algorithm to find the "straight" lines in the image.  Another welcome addition is the aspect slider, which was developed to offset the stretching/compressing impact of wide and telephoto lenses.
  • Smart previews are lossy DNG proxy images, created at a reduced size of 2540 pixels on the long side.  They can be rendered much more quickly and edited the same way as the originals.   This could be useful if you want to edit develop settings "on the road" on a device with limited mass storage and then merge the edits back into your main catalog.  You can also create smart previews on your main computer and the develop module will respond more quickly until you zoom in beyond the 2540 pixel size.  Smart previews and pyrmid jpeg previews are both attempts to inject performance improvements into Lightroom.
  • PNG files can be imported and edited, but not written.  Transparency is maintained, although it appears white in Lightroom.  
  • There are a bunch of tweaks:
    • ​Shortcut F12 for tethered mode.

    • Shortcut F for slideshow type full screen.

    • DNG validation.

    • More filter criteria.

    • LAB readout.

    • Before/after previews in soft proofing now reflect the current state.

    • Cropping no longer resets to the entire image when you pick a different aspect ratio.  The crop border can show multiple aspects.

    • The process version is now in the histogram.

    • Book has automatic page numbering, save user page, improved text fields.  You cannot customize page size, so from my perspective, books is still pretty useless.

    • In Map the saved locations panel now supports drag and drop.

    • The GPS direction metadata has been added and can be edited. 

    • Slideshows can include videos. 

    • Windows HiDPI support. 

    • Adjustable color tints for labeling.

​There are also a bunch of bugs, including problems with selections in the bottom thumbnails not matching metadata changes made when they are selected, failure to execute sharpening and noise reduction on some exports, previews are sometimes fuzzy and lots more.

 


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