Perform nondestructive editing.
Enjoy robust support for more than 150 camera raw formats, and experiment with confidence. Adjustments you make to images in Lightroom won't alter the original data, whether you're working on a JPEG, TIFF, DNG, or camera raw file.
Enjoy an elegant, uncluttered interface.
Ease the learning curve and be productive quickly. Task-oriented modules whisk you through typical workflow tasks by putting just the tools you need at your fingertips.
Professional editing tools.
Fine-tune your photographs with precise, easy-to-use tools for globally correcting white balance, exposure, tone curves, lens distortion, and color casts.
Lightroom is undoubtedly one of the better raw photo editing and management software that is available for photographers to use if you are willing to part with some of your hard earned cash on a monthly subscription.
Who is this software for? This software, like most software in the Adobe suite, is aimed at the enthusiast to the professional photographer and as such, I would not recommend the software for complete beginners dipping their toes into photography. This is mainly due to lightroom's steep learning curve and your cameras ability to shoot in raw mode. While this software can manipulate other file formats it is most certainly not it's strong suit. Before you take the plunge, make sure that your camera can shoot in raw mode as this is where you will get the most out of the software.
As far as editing goes lightroom is undoubtedly the leader of the pack. I have tried alternatives in my search for a good raw editor and while they may offer great value in terms of cost I soon got frustrated. The cumbersome workflows that alternatives had to offer soon became a source of frustration as it slowed my editing flow. While lightrooms features are impressive it was not the editing features that really impressed me.
The photo management in Lightroom sealed the deal, for me at least. On my quest to find a raw editor it wasn't the features of the alternatives that I struggled with but the lack of photo management that soon soured a potentially good thing. I think Adobe hit the nail on the head with the easy import and organisation of new media as well as image library management that is just a dream to work with.
This does not mean say that Lightroom is without its issues. One of the bugbears that I have with the software is the sometimes lagging experience when you scroll through a large photo library or while developing your photos. While this is somewhat alleviated with an SSD or NVME SSD it certainly drives up the cost of the rig that you need to do photo editing on a somewhat regular basis.
In addition to being a great editing and photo management solution, it is not where Lightroom stops. It also has some simple publishing tools that the photographer in you will love to get your photos out on the web or printed for that matter. Should you buy it? My recommendation is yes - at around $20 NZD per month, it is well worth the money.
Firstly, I am only an amateur photographer and I have little to no experience in post production techniques. Nor am I much of an IT wizard. However I thought it was high time to stop using Microsoft paint / office / standard window tools to edit / crop / black and white tone my photos. So it was with much hesitation that I delved into the world of Lightroom. (I believe I purchased the student version of issue 5)
It is an excellent programme, however I am aware that I am only scratching the surface of such a programme. I guess that is the joy of this type of software - it caters for the baby user (myself) as well as the professional user. I have learnt a few of the more commonly used shortcuts which have saved my bacon, and I actually think I'm mastering some of the minor effects (though I won't speak too soon!).
It is a lot of money to invest in this type of software, though I do think it has improved my post production techniques markedly.
First impressions were "WOW! What a stunning looking workspace!" The 'dark' theme looks almost like it was designed by the same team who did the new look for Microsoft Office 2007, which is not a bad thing, but quite obviously a transitional ready for Windows Vista and it's notorious aeroglass interface.
The look and feel of the interface is quite smooth, with a LOT of features packed in there, but they are embedded in hideaway panels that can be tucked away easily, and will fly-out when you mouse-over the edge of the screen. Very nifty, all the features, but none of the space wasted. Stacking the 'Navigator' panel the way they did means that when you import large numbers of folders, some of the info palettes vanish off down the bottom of a VERY long queue... such as when you import 1700 images spread across 162 folders... Sliderbars and an anchored-sectional approach might have been tidier. A more modular style, such as that used in the new After Effects v7 might have provided a more functional, and customisable, interface.
Importing small numbers of images at a time is very simple, but importing a large number of existing images can prove troublesome, until you realise you can do it via the 'Folders' palette directly... then it's just a matter of sit back, relax, and leave it alone for an hour to do it's mojo... but be sure to leave it set to "Import from where they are" and not one of the "copy to..." options, or you end up flooding your hard-drive with clones. And while on the topic of importing, AutoImport is great for those who use removable storage frequently, such as digital camera cards. Once you have it configured, it becomes a "plug it in and wait, then unplug it and you're done" operation... all automated, including the assigning of default metadata profiles.
The 'Metadata Browser' is a great option! Search and view by date, camera, lens type, file type, location, and more... of course, that relies on your files actually HAVING all that data stored in the m/d tags... but much of that can be automated during the import process, so be sure to set up your profiles before you go mad and import a huge array of images.
As a Photoshop junkie, I was particularly interested in the on-the-fly histograms that pop up in the right-side panel. It gives a knowing eye a far better representation of the image's colour densities, allowing for more control and much more fine-tuning of the colour content of the image, and gives a great at-a-glance representation of the colour-spread of the selected image... great for detecting any unwanted colour-casts. Fascinating to see how much of a difference a little tweak in Photoshop can affect an image's colour charts.
Having various image-related controls appear around the image itself when you mouse-over is a great concept... think mini right-click menu, without the right-click! Of course, there are more controls available if you DO right-click, as well as the option to set what data appears in the captionspace under each image, such as it's rating, or what camera took it, location, date, megapixel rating, and a host of others... basically if it's in the metadata, you can chose to display that info for each image, in the browser, much the way ACDSee or a Google Image Search does.
Overall, I would have to say this is probably the biggest tool to hit the market since Google's abortive 'Picasa' offering, which I found to be klunky and awkward to use, slow to work, and far too intrusive with it's auto-search... Adobe have pulled another amazing rabbit out of their development hats, and once more have managed to design the very tool that caters exactly to a key target market, digital image experts. With the release of CS3 now upon us, I can't wait to see what new wonders we have to behold...
Random listing from 'Software'...
DragonFly's Sinedots II V1.03
This Filter is an extended Version of my first Filter called Sinedots. Mayor new features are Antialiasing, color support and slightly more control. I decided to enhance it due to the enourmous positive response.
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"I really have a secret satisfaction in being considered rather mad."
W. Heath Robinson (1872 - 1944)