If you’re wondering whether to take the plunge with Lightroom, you’ve put it aside for a while or you’re just not convinced you’re getting your money’s worth, this catch-up with everything that’s new since 2022 might just convince you.
I’ve left out some minor tweaks and enhancements and concentrated on major new editing features which will make a difference. I’ve also updated this Lightroom Classic review to take these into account.
June 2022 Lightroom update
- This was a relatively modest update that followed on from Adobe’s previous big news, the introduction of AI subject masking. It added the ability to invert masks – so that you could select everything BUT the sky, for example – and to batch-edit sky and subject masking adjustments.
- This update also introduced the ability to control the intensity of Lightroom presets. That sounds a pretty minor change but it’s actually very useful, as some presets can be just a little too strong (or weak) for the image you’re working on.
October 2022 Lightroom update
- Adobe increased the range of objects its AI masking tool could detect to include people, objects and backgrounds. If you drag out a rectangular marquee around an area of the image, or use the brush tool to roughly select an area, Lightroom will look for a subject within that area rather than the whole image. It is a quick and effective way to mask smaller objects.
- The other key update was the inclusion of a content-aware spot removal tool. Lightroom’s existing spot removal was already really effective, using a nearby area to ‘heal’ spots and blemishes. The new tool works slightly differently. Instead of selecting a defined area to clone or heal from (which you can move if you need to), it carries out the repair without any input at all.
April 2023 Lightroom update
- This update addressed one of the biggest issues (well, one of my biggest issues) with Lightroom, its poor noise control and detail rendering at higher ISO settings. The Adobe Enhance feature was expanded to include AI Denoise, which is very effective indeed at improving high-ISO images. The downside is that it produces a new DNG file which is 2-4 times the size of the original RAW file.
- The April 2023 update also added curves adjustments to masks, and not before time. Lightroom’s local adjustment options are still way behind Capture One, but this is a big step in the right direction and definitely useful.
- Adobe also extended its AI subject/object recognition system to include facial hair (!), clothes and more. It does make you wonder how far Adobe can go with this.
June 2023 Lightroom update
- This update was relatively minor as far as the editing tools are concerned, adding the Grain effect to the local adjustment tools (I guess you could have different grain levels in different parts of the image) and a Refine Saturation slider for Point Curve adjustments, which is supposed to provide better color rendering with curves adjustments, though to be honest I can’t see a lot of difference.
Adobe does continue to improve Lightroom’s editing features at a steady pace, often with features which are really useful to have. The monthly subscription doesn’t just ensure continued access to the software but ongoing improvements too – though Adobe hasn’t made any changes to Lightroom’s Library features for some time, and Lightroom Classic’s cloud sync is still somewhat limited.
- Lightroom review
- Lightroom Classic review
- More Lightroom articles
- How to get the Lightroom/Adobe Photography Plans
- Should you swap from Lightroom Classic to Lightroom?
Adobe Photography Plans
• Adobe Photography Plan: $9.99/month
• Adobe Photography Plan (1TB): $19.99/month
Lightroom Plan (1TB): $9.99/month
A trial version lasting just a few days is available