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.
Lightroom reviews, tips and tutorials
Lightroom is Adobe's all-in-one photo organizing, RAW processing and editing tool. It can be used on its own or alongside Photoshop, which is designed for more complex editing and illustration work.
You can only get Lightroom as part of Adobe's various subscription plans. The Adobe Photography Plan page explains these in more detail.
There are now two versions of Lightroom, which makes things more complicated. Lightroom Classic CC is the more powerful 'traditional' version which use images stored locally on your computer. Lightroom CC is a newer, slimmed-down version that uses cloud-based storage where all your images are available everywhere. This Lightroom CC vs Lightroom Classic CC comparison explains the key differences.
Verdict: 4.5 stars Lightroom Classic is the traditional, desktop-based version of Lightroom. Its editing tools are powerful and versatile, aided by new and steadily improving AI masking tools. Lightroom Classic continues to be the professional cataloguing and editing tool by which all others are judged, though it’s not always the best.
It’s not just all that editing work you’ve invested in Lightroom, but all the albums, keywording and image organization you’ve built up over the years too. Does that mean you’re stuck with paying a subscription for ever?
The Adobe October 2023 update brought a few new features, and the Lightroom Point Color tool is one of them. It’s part of an overhaul of the old HSL/Color panel, which has now been renamed as the Color Mixer. So how do these new tools work, and do they actually work any better?
The October 2023 Lightroom update brought an important change to the way Lightroom (that’s the ‘web’ version, not Lightroom Classic) handles your files. Now you can browse and even edit photos on your local drives without having to import them into Lightroom and its cloud storage.
Adobe’s October 2023 update adds a new Lightroom Lens Blur panel. It’s flagged as Early Access, so it’s still in development, but you can use it right now and it’s actually rather impressive!
Lightroom’s new AI Denoise feature was the biggest news in Adobe’s April 2023 Lightroom update. Like so many other tools now appearing, it uses AI based denoising techniques directly on RAW image data to produce an enhanced RAW DNG file far superior to an image processed in the regular way. But is it as good as DxO’s DeepPRIME XD?
This is a new feature introduced to Lightroom and Lightroom Classic in April 2023. It arrived in the same update as the new Lightroom AI Denoise feature, so it would be easy to overlook it, given all the fuss over the AI denoising.
The Versions feature in Lightroom is interesting, but it is NOT the same as Virtual Copies, and the way it works could mean lost edits and lots of frustration if you don’t understand what it’s doing.
LIghtroom has many limitations and restrictions. I’m talking about the web-based Lightroom here, not Lightroom Classic. But at the same time, Lightroom has some clever features that use Adobe’s Sensei AI technologies. One of these its AI-powered preset suggestions.