Adobe Updates Lightroom With Enhance Details, CC Gets HDR and Pano Merge

Adobe Updates Lightroom With Enhance Details, CC Gets HDR and Pano Merge

Today, Adobe announced their February update to Lightroom bringing several powerful new features, as well as some of the most requested ones, to Lightroom Classic, Lightroom CC, and Adobe Camera Raw (ACR).

Enhance Details for Adobe Lightroom Classic, Lightroom CC Desktop, and ACR

Adobe is no stranger to leveraging the power of AI and cloud computing. In this update, Adobe Lightroom Classic, CC, and ACR users can take advantage of Enhance Details. Based on Sensei, Adobe’s advanced neural net, Enhance Details improves one of the most important aspects of raw conversion: the demosaicing process.

By applying machine learning to this process, Adobe can greatly improve the resolution of any camera, with up to a 30 percent increase in resolution, while also improving fine color detail reproduction. The new Enhance Details tool also prevents demosaicing artifacts, resulting in cleaner diagonal lines for cameras with Bayer sensors, like those by Canon, Nikon, and Sony. Fujifilm cameras with X-Trans sensors also stand to benefit from Enhance Details by avoiding those rare, but annoying, worm artifacts.

Because of the processor-intensive workflow of the new Enhance Details feature, it can only be applied on an image-by-image basis. During my tests, the estimated processing time for Enhance Details took approximately 32 seconds for raw photos taken with my Sony a7 III (24.2 megapixels) and approximately 52 seconds for raw photos taken with my Sony a7R III (42.4 megapixels) on my 2018 Apple MacBook Pro with a 6-core Intel i7 processor, 32 GB of RAM and the Radeon Pro Vega 20 GPU. After running Enhance Details, you’ll get a new DNG file with all of the edits carried over non-destructively.

Because of the enhanced details applied, the resulting DNG file will also take up more space. In my tests, an original raw file taken with the Sony a7 III was 46.96 MB and the Enhanced Details DNG file was 89.36 MB. An original raw file taken with the Sony a7R III was 82.25 MB and the Enhanced Details DNG file was 180.61 MB. As such, you should probably be selective with the images you apply Enhance Details to, reserving it for important photos or those that have artifacts you wish to clean up.

Want to learn more about Adobe's new Enhance Details utility? Check out their Whitepaper for more details. Also, be sure to check out Elia Locardi's deep dive into Enhance Details for a series of very compelling before/after examples.

HDR, Pano, and HDR Pano Merge for Adobe Lightroom CC Desktop

I fully migrated from Lightroom Classic to Lightroom CC last year and one of the features I missed most was Photo Merge. Fortunately, this update brings the same ability to merge HDR, Pano, and HDR Pano brackets to Lightroom CC.

After extensively using all three Photo Merge features, I am happy to report that it works as well, if not better, than in Lightroom Classic. I’ve always found Lightroom CC to be notably faster than Classic and Photo Merging is no exception. In fact, I recently executed an HDR Pano Merge consisting of 50 Sony a7R III raw photos and the resulting DNG retains the dynamic range and seamless stitching.

For those Classic users who have been holding out on this key feature, you may want to dip your toe in the water.

Targeted Adjustment Tool (TAT) for Adobe Lightroom CC Desktop

The TAT was the other tool I missed most from my Classic days. I used it all the time to quickly adjust the Hue, Saturation, and Luminance values across my images. Fortunately, this update brings parity between Classic, CC, and Mobile by including my beloved TAT. And, as is the case with most of Lightroom CC’s tools, this implementation is far more intuitive and visually appealing. 

This is yet another feature that should help tip the scales for those of you who have been waiting for more complete feature parity with Lightroom Classic before giving Lightroom CC a try.

Highlights and Shadows Clipping Indicators for Adobe Lightroom CC Desktop

Clipping indicators are a godsend when you’re working on wrangling the tones within your image. Now, Lightroom CC Desktop users can benefit from having those little warning indicators, too. When you have your histogram visible (and, really, you should always have it visible), you’ll see two triangles in the upper opposing corners. The left triangle represents the Shadows and the right triangle represents the highlights. If either is illuminated, it indicates that you are clipping the respective region and are losing tonal information. To help visualize the offending areas, you can also click on either illuminated triangle to see a color mask overlaid wherever a loss of tonality occurs. 

Additional Updates for Lightroom Classic, Lightroom Mobile for iOS, and Lightroom Web

In addition to the significant update of Enhance Details and the new additions to Lightroom CC, Adobe has improved on its other platforms. I've included some notable highlights below but be sure to check out Adobe's blog post to for a complete list of updates and changes.

Ad-hoc Sharing for Lightroom Mobile for iOS

Adobe has streamlined Lightroom Mobile's photo sharing workflow, bringing the same ad-hoc process that to iOS that Lightroom CC Desktop, Android, and Web got last year. Now, iOS users can select a random assortment of images to share directly via, instead of having to first create an album, add photos to it, and then share it.

Improved Tethering Performance and Controls for Nikon Cameras in Lightroom Classic

Nikon tethering performance has been improved and is now faster. You can also control settings such as ISO, shutter speed, aperture, and white balance within the tether bar.

Existing Adobe Creative Cloud subscribers can download the latest versions of Lightroom Classic and Lightroom CC Desktop via the Adobe Creative Cloud app, as well as from the Apple App Store and Google Play Store.

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Previous comments
David Penner's picture

I just tried it on a few images. If I zoom way way way in I can see slight differences but I'm not sure its worth it. If I go full screen on my 27 inch monitor I cant see any difference at all.

Kimmo Virkki's picture

Same here. I tried with handful of images from different Nikon cameras. Differences are tiny and visible really only if I zoom to 200% or so.

It's not designed for every image. There are definitely those images that have a much more profound effect than others.

Pratik Dhakan's picture

Latest update for lightroom classic doesnt detect Nikon D810 on PC for tethering

Could you contact our support team to help?

David Love's picture

Awesome, people say make you programs faster and more stable and they just ignore and keep throwing in more bloatware shiny things like we'll forget what we wanted. Justify those price increases with new nonsense.

And even when we do work on making things faster people forget that we did exactly what they wanted and complain anyway. It's the way of the internet. We have a significant percent of our teams working on speed improvements. Not always are they "holy cow, it's N-times faster!" but there are those times as well. Throwing more resources at the same problem doesn't actually make the team more effective and often has the complete opposite effect.

David Love's picture

Do you think it's time for a rebuild rather than new code on top of old code. The only advice I get for the stuttering mess that is premiere is to convert my 4k files to 2008 720 vids. In 2019 it can only handle videos that are from a decade ago.

The problem with Lightroom is all these tools to edit non destructive slowing the program down more and more. Instead of more editing tools and gadgets that slow it down, we need the program fast enough to handle all of these edit points. The speed upgrades work until you start heavy editing and then it gets slower and slower. That's why people forget.

Josh Haftel Most of us appreciate all the new features, but it's just that in so many years now, the Classic app is still more or less the same sluggish speed. I have a power desktop with 64GB RAM, quad core i7, SSD, etc. and it's the slowest app on my machine. Photoshop is so much faster. And your competitors like Capture One are significantly faster too. If it's such an issue to tackle the speed on the older code, then it may be time to rebuild the app completely or allow the newer CC app to use local storage.

What price increases, I've been paying $10 a month for LR and Photoshop for the lats 2 years. No increase for me.

David Love's picture

$50 to $52 in a year with the all programs deal.

Didn't realize we were talking about all the programs.

Luke Adams's picture

So does this essentially take a picture shot with (let’s say) a 20mp sensor and make it equivalent to having been shot on a 26mp sensor (30% increase)? If so, that would make crop mode on the A7R3 even more useful! Am I interpreting that right?

imagecolorado's picture

I've been playing with this all day. It's a big nothing burger.

You tell me which one is enhanced. 100% crop from a Nikon D810

Josh Wright's picture

Makes skin look like fine sandpaper. Especially at high iso (800-1600).
Not a huge difference but I don't really like it so far for portraits. Looks fake, same as the detail slider.