Thursday, August 03, 2006

Initial Impressions of Adobe Lightroom

As I mentioned a few weeks back, Adobe has purchased Pixmantec and put them to work helping on Adobe Lightroom. Well, the beta of Lightroom is now available for Windows, so I gave it a try.

Overall, I like the way it works a lot. I've been using RawShooter Premium for some time and really love the way it works. Lightroom seems to have most of the functionality that RawShooter provided, plus has some additional features. The built in Library cataloging features is quite nice. I especially like the much improved adjustments. The new curve sliders feature is very nice, as is the split toning, and color-specific saturation. Feature-wise, I'm VERY impressed with Lightroom

The one thing I absolutely hate is that it crawls as slow as a turtle. Yes, I understand it's a beta and still in development and thus unoptimized (I'm a computer programmer by day, so I understand how this stuff works), but knowing that still doesn't make it any less painful to use at the moment.

Plus, I'm seriously worried about just how fast it could possibly be when finished. The Bridge and CameraRaw features of Photoshop CS 2 are fully optimized, production features, yet they are STILL slow as a can be. Lightroom does it's raw conversion using a new version of the CameraRaw plugin which features even MORE adjustments than before. I seriously don't see how Adobe is going to be able to make it do more than before, yet be significantly faster (unless they were just incredibly lazy with optimizing the previous version).

RawShooter, on the other hand, is a little speed demon. Previews build in a half second, adjustments effect the preview instantly, and full size conversions only take about 3 seconds. I would LOVE to get that type of performance out of Lightroom, but I'm seriously worried that it's NOT going to happen.

For now, I'm only using Lightroom to process my photos from Maine, and I'm only using it to make adjustments to those photos. I'm not going to import my whole catalog or bother keyword tagging any of the photos. I don't want to get too caught up in it and put too much time and effort in until I find out how it turns out.

No comments: