Adobe Debriefs on Lightroom 5 Beta, Final Release and Perpetual Software

Adobe Debriefs on Lightroom 5 Beta, Final Release and Perpetual Software

Late last night Adobe announced Photoshop Lightroom 5 to much fanfare. Though some of course have complaints, the general consensus has been pretty positive. Following the release, we posed a few questions to Adobe, and they got back to us on what they learned from the Beta, new features and the differences between Creative Cloud and perpetual licenses.

I've spoken to the Lightroom Product Manager Sharad Mangalick before, and he's probably one of the nicest guys you can meet in the industry. He was happy to take a few minutes to answer some follow-up questions I had regarding the Beta and the final release of Lightroom 5.

1) What specifically did the developers address through the open beta? Do you have any information on how many times it was downloaded and what bugs were discovered because of the beta?

We don’t have a specific number to share regarding downloads, but we are incredibly pleased with how often Lightroom 5 beta was used.

2) Speed was a huge issue for folks in Lightroom 4. There was a little bit of a boost with the 5 beta, but should consumers expect a noticeable difference or was the performance of the beta exactly what they should expect?

Particularly when leveraging Smart Previews, Lightroom 5 customers should see an increase in interactive performance in Develop Module.

LR 5 example

3) Let's say I downloaded the beta and then I get Lightroom 5. Will the final build feel any different than the beta?

In addition to the 400 bug fixes, we've added two new features: Behance Publish Service and increased feather range with the Radial Filter. We've enabled Catalog Upgrades so that you can migrate your Lightroom 1, 2, 3 and 4 catalogs into Lightroom 5.

4) To address those who really dislike the idea of no longer having access to perpetual software, the fact that this is available on disc is a nice bonus for them. However, will updates and or enhancements be slower to the perpetual customers than to the CC members? If so, approximately how much slower?

Future updates to Lightroom 5 will be available to both Creative Cloud members and non-Creative Cloud members. We don't plan to change the cadence of updates or their availability for the foreseeable future.

So what is the take-away? Lightroom 5 is faster than 4, especially when using Smart Previews. The Beta led to the fixing of over 400 bugs, and updates are going to flow exactly as you have been used to (which means CC first, disc second).

Are any of you still sitting on the fence regarding your feelings towards Lightroom 5? If so, what's staying your hand?

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"the foreseeable future" is the real issue here, Personally I'm not going to invest a cent in to Adobe software no matter how much I'll miss it, why would I spend time creating catalogs in lightroom when any moment they could make it rent only like photoshop, it's bad enough that I'm going to have to keep the old version on my pc to access my old photos. I'm taking advantage of the discounts that yoy brought to my attention for capture one

If you don't like Adobes marketing approach, don't do business with them. It really doesn't matter if there are other alternatives. Just because you need a product or service does not give you the moral right to dictate how they make it available to their customers. Their cloud strategy will either work or it will not. It is their right to market their products however they want and to live with the consequences. It is your right to do business with them or not and live with the consequences. See how this works? It is called capitalism.

Just as you are free to like the creative cloud and praise it I am free to hate it and bitch about it it's called freedom of speech.
After all the time and money I spent on their products I and apparently 30.000 people like me are slightly pissed off! And we will do all that we can to make their choice a costly one that too is called capitalism!

The problem was that this mandatory creative cloud thing was completely unexpected and undesired.

If 5 years ago we would have known that this is the direction Adobe was heading, I think none of us would have gone with Adobe workflow or saving files as PSDs, etc.

If you don't like his comment, don't talk to him. It really doesn't matter if you have a different opinion. This is your own logic. Like how it works? It's called double measure.

What Adobe does it's called abuse on the people who bought their products expecting the same update pattern. They could make CC as an alternative, not as a replacement. We wouldn't do business with them if we had not invested already big bucks in their products. Capitalism doesn't mean no ethics. What you say applies when you think on buying a product for the first time.

So, if I don't agree with what someone has to say I'm not allowed to talk to him? So much for free speech.

What Adobe is doing is not abuse; they have just changed their business model. I understand that a lot of people are not happy about this but a lot are. Time will tell if Adobe made a wise business decision or not.

Sandro, nothing I said in my post was in praise of Adobe and yes, you are free to vote with your checkbook as I am. That is my whole point.

There are multiple pro-level alternatives to Lightroom: Capture One, Aperture, and DxO come to mind. Consumer-level alternatives abound. The mindset that Lightroom is the standard and therefore everyone must use Lightroom and do whatever Adobe commands is incorrect. Adobe would not have tried the mandatory cloud approach if it didn't think it could get away with it. It's not at all necessary to reward their behavior.

Yeah, Adobe didn't have nearly the monopoly with Lightroom as they do with Photoshop, which is why they haven't switched it to CC only. But believe it, that if they could abuse Lightroom users in the way they are abusing Photoshop customers, they surely would

its only for 10.7 BLOWS........there are creatures of habit who still use 10.6.8 ~

Well, as an avid user of Aperture, I sure hope the Apple team is watching this announcement *hint hint*

Me Too! Bring on Aperture 4! I need a new updated version to give me a decent option to abandon Lightroom for. That and it integrates right in with Final Cut Pro X :)

Adobe has opened the door for Apple, if Apple is nimble enough to respond quickly. I left LR for Aperture way back when. Unfortunately, Apple has not prioritized the pro photographer. The Apple Genius Bars offer minimal expertise in Aperture. Aperture 4 is overdue. Aperture 3 requires 3rd-party plug-ins like the Nik suite and PTLens to provide certain features I need every day, and my experience is that Aperture works best with small libraries. Aperture is fast, robust, very easy to use and feels quite Apple-ish integrating with other Apple products, while providing good file management and a reasonable subset of the LR/PS image manipulation feature universe. It's a little harder to find help with an Aperture issue (those how-do-I? questions), because so few people use it, so you'll probably feel like you're on your own. On the other hand, you'll probably need help a lot less often.

I wish Apple had bought Nik instead of Google buying Nik. I wish Apple would just buy DxO (or PTLens at a minimum to give deskewing and defishing tools), as DxO has an excellent feature set with wonderful image quality, but a quirky interface and clumsy file management. And it would be a smart strategic move for Apple to be associated with a recognized arbiter of sensor sharpness the way DxO is thought of as rating camera performance scientifically.

Quick wishlist for Aperture 4:
1. Deskew tools (using PTLens plug-in for now)
2. More range in burning/dodging/blurring
3. Less slowdown in large libraries.
4. Automatic (by camera/lens combo) correction for lens geometry (PTLens for now)
5. Auto chromatic aberration correction (currently there is only manual chromatic aberration correction, although a preset you design can be saved)

i feel like most people that are complaining about creative cloud are either stealing the software or hobbyists. I understand if you are just a hobbyist. If you're a pro, I really don't see why paying much less a year for a "rental" is so bad. And if you're stealing it, grow up and start paying for things you use.

Graham Marley's picture

I'm full time photography, and the idea is just against my principals. I've already dropped a lot of money into my licenses, I want that to count for something, and now it doesn't. It isn't about 20-50 dollars a month more, which obviously I could absorb, it's just one more thing in an ocean of things to think about. Also, where does it end? Do we send a message to the entire software industry that any piece of licensed software is viable for a subscription that just goes on and on?

If Canon or Nikon charged a monthly fee to use our camera firmware, we'd all have meltdowns.

It's $2,500 for CS6 Master. I pay $20 a month. That's $240 a year. It's around $500 to upgrade to the next adobe version. They come out with a version at least once a year (lately). So, when CC7 comes out, I would have to pay $500 for it. Even if CC8 doesn't come out for 2 years, I am still paying less monthly than if I were to upgrade. So, I can pay $20 for ten years and it will equal CS6 Master.

I understand where you are coming from. Not "owning" the software. It's a new concept and people aren't comfortable with it. And believe me I feel your pain. I own CS5, Pro Tools 9 and 10, Waves plugins, Logic, Final Cut X, and more. I have spent over $10,000 in plugins. But I'm happy now that I will be paying less in the long run for something I know I'm going to upgrade anyway.

The problem is not only the cost that CC introduces, (do your math properly and you will see a big price increase) It is also the precedent it introduces, today it's photoshop, tomorrow Office, the day after your operating system before you know it you are going to get one hell of a bill at the end of the month! Add to that the problems the system could introduce, say that for a bank problem your credit card gets declined or somebody hacks Adobe and all of a sudden your subscription is no longer active, how are you going to deliver that big job the day after,? have you read the CC license particularly the part that states that they can discontinue, with no prior notice, any product in the line up? I could go on all day but I'll stop here, I hope I've given you something to think about

I have done the math because I have CC. I pay $240 a year for the entire suite (I got the grandfathered deal). I am not just a photographer but a videographer as well. I shoot on RED a lot and I like the fact that the new Premiere will have full support of my GPU. And it's sweet that I don't have to pay an upgrade price to use it!

For most people it's 900 for 18 months(average update cycle) after the fist year that ends up being at the very least as expensive as it was before, with some big differences, no choice to skip an update if it's not compelling enough or if your business is not going so well and if you stop paying you are left with nothing!

Can't agree with you, Everett re your "hobbyist or thief" dichotomy. Over the years I've paid Adobe thousands of dollars for licenses. As someone who has always made his living with intellectual property I do not use any stolen software. No need to paint us with that brush, OK?

I just don't see it! I'm not trying to be offensive. Maybe it's because I use more than just photoshop. That I can understand. But, you cannot beat the price of the entire Creative Suite for what they are offering in my opinion. I think people are overreacting. You don't need an internet connection. You install once and you're fine. You get instant updates. You can stop paying if you don't need the software for a month. Maybe it's because i was an early adopter but I really like this new direction. I have bought every version of CS Master since CS5 and now I am saving a lot of money. As long as adobe keeps putting out great updates I am happy.

A lot of us can afford the $2,500 price tag of CS master. But, what about start-ups or new users or students? $50 a month is a great way for people to start learning and using a product that is otherwise a HUGE investment! Our studio has 3 copies of creative cloud and I personally am very happy. But, I understand it isn't for everyone. I meant no offense here guys :)

Spotify is doing the same for music. Personally my first tought was that I was never going to pay for music I may not be able to listen in the future if I stop paying. I quickly discovered I'm not spending a single € in itunes store anymore...

I am happy enough with PS CS5 and LR 4. I mean, new features are always nice, but I can't imagine any features that would blow my mind enough to keep needing to purchase upgrades. If we were speaking like an LR1 to LR4 difference or PS7 to CS5 then yeah...a ton of tools that we depend on now. But it comes to a point where enough is good enough.

One thing I've wanted to see with Lightroom was rendering skin tones. I use both Lightroom 4 AND capture one pro 6. I feel that capture one renders skin tones better than any other RAW program out there. Is there any comparison between that at all? That is one of the biggest reasons I use capture one more when shooting portraits and fashion.

I love lightroom 5 , love the clone/heal. Game changer !

Scott Weaver's picture

I only began learning and using LR three months ago. Having used PS since 1995 or so, there was a steep learning curve using LR. I DID NOT find the program intuitive or easy, just the opposite. Kind of laughed when I kept hearing Adobe repeat that the program had been "designed by photographers for photographers". Photographers aren't that dense! The program was designed by programmers, who are notoriously tone deaf to how the average person reacts to a new program. Well, I've finally gotten it down pretty well and I actually rather like it. Just a shame that it took so many hours to "crack the nut"!

Scott Weaver's picture

I use Creative Cloud (CC), and now that LR is being updated I wonder how enthusiastic I am going to be about immediately having to deal with a lot of unexpected changes, however 'good' they are supposed to be. At least when I would purchase the program on disc I was setting the time and date for that upgrade. I guess Adobe is in control now, and I get to pay the premium for that!

Jaron Schneider's picture

You shouldn't have been forced to update... I'm pretty sure you have to tell it to.

Scott Weaver's picture

I like that better. Would rather let others spend a month working out the 'kinks', then I'll upgrade.

Jaron Schneider's picture

Well considering there was a beta to do that, you probably don't have to worry all that much this time around, but I get your point. Yeah you can upgrade when you want to, no pressure from the CC to do it immediately.