Friday, February 23, 2007

Lightroom 1.0

Now that Adobe Lightroom is out of Beta, I wanted to see how the final version has improved over the betas I'd tried. I enjoy Lightroom, but I find it to be a little slow and a lot flaky. Crashes were common, as were freezes and lengthy vacations where it was unresponsive.

Having played with the final version for about an hour now, I can say two things:

  • I like some of the new features. Stacking, flagging, colors: these are useful, and some of these were things that made me want to use Bridge instead of Lightroom.
  • It doesn't seem to be a lot more stable. In the past half-hour, it's gone down on me three times. While searching for information, I see that Adobe already has a very lengthy page of potential fixes. This is not a good sign when we're talking about a new product.
Have any of you tried Lightroom 1.0? Is it working better for you than for me?


Doug said...

Since I don't run XP, Lightroom won't have anything to do with me.

All-in-all, I'm getting rather disenchanted with Adobe anyway. Adobe seems to have decided to follow Microsoft's playbook. It's probably just my ego talking, but I do think that my purpose in life is more than to be a revenue stream.

Geoffrey Wiseman said...

In what way -- the stream of somewhat-related products, or something else?

I'll be curious to see if there's any realistic bundles for Lightroom/Photoshop -- I'd rather not have to pay for both, although for most tasks, Lightroom is sufficient for me (but not if it's unstable).

Doug said...

In the "we own the market, and consumers exist to line our pockets" way.

Adobe is learning how to make it so that you can't just keep using the previous version, you have to upgrade your software regularly. And the upgrades are not cheap.

This is especially noticeable in Raw-file processing. You can process Raw files from any currently available camera with any Raw file processor except Adobe's. They make sure that the updates for new cameras only work with the latest version of their software. If you have anything close to a modern camera, you must have CS2 in order to process the Raw file in PhotoShop.

They bought up one of their big competitors in that arena—RawShooter—and immediately discontinued their products. Those who had just bought RawShooter Pro will be given a free license to Lightroom 1.0, but they'll have to pay for future upgrades. Since Lightroom 1.0 just came out, it won't support any of the cameras being introduced for next week's PMA show.

And if you buy PhotoShop CS2 today, those new camera models will not be supported in CS2 (going on recent history). You'll need to upgrade to CS3. Buy a new camera, buy a software upgrade. That's the Adobe way.

None of Adobe's competitors behave like that, but Adobe is big enough that they get away with it.

Geoffrey Wiseman said...

Wow -- I hadn't realized their updates worked that way, in part because I'm on CS2 now.

That is pretty ugly. I'm not surprised they discontinued RawShooter, but I agree that you should be able to read RAW files from new cameras in older Adobe products.

Doug said...

More from Adobe:
  "Users of Adobe Systems' digital publishing products, including Photoshop, InDesign, and Dreamweaver… will have to pay hundreds of dollars to upgrade their Adobe software if they want trouble-free performance on Windows Vista, which is now preinstalled in virtually all new PCs shipping in the United States."

Geoffrey Wiseman said...

Wow -- given the kinds of defects that people are reporting on CS2, that seems incredibly harsh.

I mean, I suppose that i'm willing to accept that a company needn't keep updating all versions of its software for new operating systems, and that a user of a new operating system on older software should expect some problems.

But to suggest that people using the current version of your software on a current version of a supported operating system should put up with things like registering every time you launch Photoshop seems ... excessive, for sure.