Adobe Faces Harsh Backlash After Removal of Features and Stability Issues Plague Lightroom 2015.2/6.2

Adobe Faces Harsh Backlash After Removal of Features and Stability Issues Plague Lightroom 2015.2/6.2

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.

Import Changes

  1. 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.
  2. 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 Responds

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: 

  1. Go to Lightroom > Preferences.
  2. Click on the General tab
  3. Uncheck “Show ‘Add Photos’ Screen”
  4. 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!

[via Adobe and Improve Photography]

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Previous comments
Michael Kormos's picture

My biggest culprit is that there seems to be no paid support for pro users. If you're running a busy studio and have tight deadlines, where is the support for those that need it on the double? Not everyone has the luxury of time to open support tickets and spend days going back-and-forth. For a company of their size, this is a gross oversight. It's also one of the reasons I'm still using version 5.7. No way am I risking these glitches with the latest untested releases. The biggest pity is that they have a near monopoly in this marketplace. I really wish Apple had continued to support Aperture.

Eric Lefebvre's picture

Their monopoly is still strong but not as strong as it used to be ... competitors are starting to crop up with interesting offerings. Nothing to really threaten their market dominance ... yet ... but still.

Photoshop : Afinity (Mac only)
Lightroom : Capture One
Premiere : Sony Vegas / HitFilm / Red Giant ...
After Effects : ??? ...

All we need is for Adobe to keep pissing off their customers.

joe o sullivan's picture

I've been getting 'Wheas' (BSOD) from Lightroom for the last few days. Seems it's taxing my cpu a lot more than usual.. And my fans go ramping up to full trying to cool it any time I move a slider. And I've got a custom watercooled system! I like the new import feature though, well like is a strong word.. I don't dislike it.. yet..

Ahmed A.R.'s picture

About a month ago I lost one of my RAM modules because Lightroom took over 12 hours trying to stitch a panorama of 32 photos and it was using around 50% of the CPU (AMD 1100T) and over 6GB of RAM (out of 16GB). I guess the chip overheated and got burned, even though I have a good CPU fan and my room was cold 'cause the A/C was ON all the time.

Joel Meaders's picture

That wheas BSOD error likely means your CPU is getting too much voltage. Did you overclock at some point or have turbo voltage set too high?

I'm lucky enough to have a clone of my previous version of OS X (Yosemite) and it also has 2015.1 CC LR. So I can wait. But it has been nothing short of junk ware. Crashes are seemingly random and often.

Eric Lefebvre's picture

I'm not a lightroom user but there is an easy fox fir the import feature debacle ...

"Hey? You are about to import some pictures? Do you want to use the Basic Import features of the Advanced?"

X Don't ask me again.

You make both groups happy.

Adobe, if you add this, my consulting fee is 10,000$ :P

Mac MacDonald's picture

LR was crashing non-stop until I unchecked the "Show 'Add Photos' Screen" BUT, now PS is crashing! Here is the error i'm getting for this.... UGH!

Exception Codes: KERN_INVALID_ADDRESS at 0x0000000000000000

Kevin Sutton's picture

I upgraded as well. The crashing was bizare to say the least. In my case on Win10pro LR would just chuck a long after a few edits. Checking the resource manager didn't reveal anything was being taxed. Eventually I had to kill the LR task. Once that was terminated the entire OS was just as bad. Had to reboot. And before anyone says it's "Windows" the last two releases have worked without issue and crash.

BTW they just released an "update" for LR this morning. We'll see how the performance is there throughout the day. But the cheesy import function is till there folks and it is still slow to even pull up the screen.

Kevin Sutton's picture

At least turning off the "show add photos" in the preference screen brings it back to something more usable.

Upon updating through Adobe Creative Cloud, my Lightroom became unusable. It would start up, show me the splash screen, show me my photos, but the splash screen would stay up and Lightroom would stick in "Not Responding" mode. I had to go into Task Manager to kill it. I am using a 64-bit Lenovo computer with Windows 10. I had to uninstall and re-install Lightroom, sign out of Adobe Creative Cloud, and sign back in. Everything works now. As far as the removal of features, I didn't use the features indicated and I can totally see why they fixed the import. I teach Lightroom and the import feature is the hardest part for non-professionals to understand.

Garry Sanchez's picture

Worst update ever. had to roll back to 6.1.1

frank nazario's picture

I updated to El Capitan ... using stand alone verision of light room ... no issues of any kind so far.
Thank you folks for indirectly saving me the grief of what is to be under the CC rental atmosphere... Im staying as far away from CC as I can for as long as I can so far LR has done 100% of what I have needed and I know that there are still feautres and flows that need to be explored.
Ditto for CS6

Any user who can not decipher the Import dialogue in Lightroom is likely as dumb as a box a rocks and may have been pithed when their high school science class was dissecting frogs. These are the same people that need a "not for use indoors" sticker on their lawnmowers.

David Eberts's picture

The changes to the Import window are mind-numbingly bad. With Aperture gone, and the dumbing down of Lightroom in full swing, can anyone suggest alternative software?

I just hope that Adobe doesn't take Lightroom the direction Final Cut went and virtually kill it's functionality for the sake of a sleek UX with less options and a greater appeal to consumers.

I think the key is that they tested "customers interested in Lightroom", NOT current users. UX professionals know that there is an important difference between ease of learning and ease of use, and that some products require study and effort to master because they address inherently complex problems.

The logic that Adobe used would also apply if Nikon handed a DSLR to a person who had only ever used a phone camera. That person would initially be overwhelmed by all the features and settings. Nixon would therefore - in Adobe's bizarre world - remove all but one button from every camera. Problem solved!

Leigh Miller's picture

They have released a bug fix which I've installed...will check with an import/export job a bit later...

William Downs's picture

all good here. I updated just before editing a wedding.

Guess I'll be waiting on updating from 2015.1

No crashes here. The GUI is fine by me. But the fact that I can't move images during import makes NO sense at all. I have network drives where photographers in my studio dump to and the editors pull from... Also on standalone stations we dump to SSD drives for quick culling and minor edits before moving what is left to platter drives. It has completely ruined my workflow..

Crazy, I've always imported from HDD/SSD.

David Vaughn's picture

What are consumers supposed to gain from removing those features? Why would they make their program less efficient? This doesn't make any logical sense.

charles mercier's picture

Very poor judgment !! back to square one with super slow performances ! Stop screwing with us !

Gustavo Mirabile's picture

Hi All

A nightmare in literal terms as I couldn't sleep well due to this issue. The night before I had a photoshoot (with tethering) I decided to upgrade. OMG!! From that moment on everything went down the hill. I usually create an empty catalog for the shoot. After the upgrade I did it. It wouldn't open the new catalog (which is created in the split of a second you see the screen coming up but cannot be used). I tried to get my main catalog open and it worked except for random error windows at the beginning.

I was able to open two other catalogs with the same errors. I tried to reopen the new catalog I originally created in different ways (from the "previously opened catalogs" option, double clicking in the catalog in the finder and try to create a new one from scratch after I deleted. I noticed that once the system crashed, temporary files where created in the same folder where the catalog was stored.

At some point (2:00am) the main catalog stopped showing the error and I decided to wake up at 5:00 to make a few other attempts. I uninstalled Lightroom, I cleaned the computer, I reinstalled it several times. Nothing I did would allowed me to have that new catalog open for more than a split of a second. So my final decision was to go to the job using the main catalog as my tethering catalog (I didn't know it was going to be too slow or crashed on me at all) and I put my best face thinking that I would have to just work with the camera display to see the results of the shoot.

Ten pictures into the shoot Lightroom crashed. I had the computer towards me so the client didn't see what happened. So I keep cool, reopened Lightroom and it worked to the end of the shoot.

Finally I came back home and I found a tutorial from the ( explaining how to revert back to the previous version, which I did and I am happy thereafter.

The new interface to import, from my point of view, is more confusing than the previous one. It doesn't even match with the overall design style of the rest of the application.
I cannot understand why they took away those features I got used to use periodically.

Lesson Learned: I worked with computers for more than 30 years as an IT guy, I suppose to know what to do, except for one thing I didn't do this time... never, never, never to upgrade a system the day before you have something important to do with it.

And one last thing, Adobe's reaction so far has been a disgrace to say the least.

Thank you


Steve Walser's picture

Still waiting for them to get it fixed right. Not willing to be a BETA Tester.

The auto eject feature will be missed. But I can't afford to have my work flow messed with right now.

Aleksey Leonov's picture

Terrible launch of PS CC2015. Only recently fixed crashes.
Now I can not import photos to LR, whatever I do!!!!

No more updates form Adobe!
Do they even test software?

Adobe, U suck!

Firstly, the last of Standalone versions being available and everyone going to be forced to go to the Cloud versions...where for many, the product isn't used daily and therefore the costs will outweigh the product!

Secondly..would love to know who these "people" that Adobe supposed to have been talking too in terms of the import routine really are, as the new routine is dire! and certainly a backward, lets be frank a backward jump....

At least one thing I can be grateful for up-to-now is I have not been plagued with any crashing on the standalone version.....but come on Adobe, disillusionment is starting to settle in with what was an excellent product.....

DAVID DUPUY's picture

I update to El Capitan and am having consistent export problems. LR freezes up on the first three files and will not work. I have to force quit and then try again. Most times, or maybe every time at this point I have to restart the computer. As I try to export to my external drive or my internal drive the same result happens. I am curious to hear if this is happening to anyone else. The LR upgrade in conjunction with the El Capitan upgrade is a nightmare. I am using a Drobo external disk and via two iterations of that product I have never had a problem.
Looking forward to hearing any comments or feedback.