Many photographers recently upgraded to the newest version of Lightroom, only to have their work come grinding to a halt as the program became completely nonfunctional. Others found their standard workflow disrupted by the removal of longtime features. Either way, many are very displeased with the latest update and have taken to the Internet quite vocally to make their concerns known.
Adobe released the latest update to Lightroom on October 5. Within 24 hours, the Internet was aswirl with angry users. The backlash seemed to center around two issues: changes to the "Import" section and the program crashing.
- Ejecting cards: Gone is the feature that ejects a card automatically after Lightroom completes an import. I know that I personally loved this feature, as it saved me from absentmindedly removing a memory card after importing photos without ejecting it first and risking corruption of the files. I have a hard time seeing why a feature that really has no bearing on major functionality in the program and is only an added convenience would be removed. A glance over online forums indicated that I wasn't the only one who felt this way.
- Moving images: Also gone is the option to change the file location of images upon import. In previous versions, importing photos from the hard drive gave you the option to also move them to a destination of your choice. You might ask why you would be importing images from the hard drive and not the memory card. It turns out that Lightroom is very slow at importing photos from a memory card. It's much faster to copy them to the hard drive, then import them. For many of us who come back from a shoot with thousands of photos (wedding photographers, for example), the time savings are substantial, as I can attest to. With this option gone, one has to manually move the photos, then import them. This may seem like a pittance of effort, but for those of us who have been using Lightroom for years, it can be very easy to completely forget that extra step, very quickly leading to a fragmented catalog. In the worst case scenario, if you're like me and you keep your photos on an external hard drive that is backed up to the cloud, but only parts of your main hard drive are backed up, these photos might be inadvertently skipped in the backup process, leaving them at risk.
The bigger frustration, however, is that a large portion of users are plagued by sudden stability issues, many to the point of the program becoming unusable after merely 30 seconds in some cases. We here at Fstoppers had issues while working with the new version for our recently released review of the Canon 5DS R, Nikon D810, and Sony a7R II, prompting us to switch to another computer with the previous version installed. Of course, many photographers don't have that luxury, leaving them high and dry while waiting on Adobe to issue a fix.
Adobe released a slightly bizarre response on their blog today, acknowledging the stability issues and addressing the interface changes. They offered a fix, which has had mixed results. If you're having issues, try this:
- Go to Lightroom > Preferences.
- Click on the General tab
- Uncheck “Show ‘Add Photos’ Screen”
- Restart Lightroom
With regards to the interface changes, Adobe had this to say:
I think it’s important to provide some context to why we made changes to Import. Over the years we’ve done extensive studies of customers interested in Lightroom ... Customers were universally unable to decipher the Import dialog without getting frustrated ... The previous Import experience literally made people push back from their computers in frustration.
Judging by the comments on Adobe's blog, many are wondering what customers Adobe has been speaking with. Have you upgraded to the new version of Lightroom? How has your experience been? Let us know in the comments!