A while ago, Adobe has made the Lightroom 5.2 and Camera RAW 8.2 Release Candidate version update available. I restrained from updating my Lightroom 5 version to the RC update and decided to wait for the full release. Today, final Lightroom 5.2 and Camera RAW 8.2 updates are finally available for download and fix a number of bugs while also adding support for several newest cameras. New Camera RAW features are only available for Photoshop CC users. CS6 users are also eligible for the update, but Camera RAW 8.2 for Photoshop CS6 only adds new camera/lens support and fixes bugs. It does not add new features.
You know how things sometimes just… click together? You hear a new soundtrack and, out of nowhere, it takes you away. You meet a new client or a friend and it feels as if you were meant to work together or help each other. Click. Just like that. You read a book, watch a movie, start a project, fall in love, get a job you never knew you wanted – click, click, click. It’s perfect. Nothing else feels quite like it – so bizarre and, at the same time, so obvious, you can’t help but smile as broadly as you possibly can. Ever since I made a switch from Photoshop to Lightroom, I’ve been looking back awestruck at how easy and quick my post-processing has become. All in one place with no permanent, destructive changes – it was a revelation. If previously, I considered using professional post-production services just to save time, Lightroom made the whole process hassle-free and I could do everything myself. Mind you, I am not Adobe’s spokesperson and would never promote their product like that without good reason. But Lightroom, despite all the frustrating bits…just clicked.
Adobe’s recent change of license strategy for most of its Photoshop family software tools has introduced a lot of doubt among the previously happy customers. Because of Photoshop CC, many owners of Lightroom 3 and 4 have started looking for alternatives, fearing that despite Adobe’s claims, there is a possibility that Lightroom will also be moved to a subscription-based license in the future. Such fears are further complimented by the fact that the older versions of Lightroom will never gain support for the newest mirrorless and DSLR cameras, or new lens profiles. For this reason, Adobe had to make sure Lightroom 5 was so good, it would keep its customer base happy and tempted by the new features despite the recent changes in license strategy of its other products. The pressure is made worse by rivals always breathing down Lightroom’s neck.
After my “Photoshop vs Photoshop Elements” article, many of our readers suggested a comparison between Photoshop Elements (PSE) and Lightroom would be more useful. I must admit, I found such requests to be a little strange, because I believe both of these programs to be very different. The difference lies in both targeted user base as well as complexity and overall functionality. On the other hand, some features are shared between Lightroom and Photoshop, as well as between Lightroom and PSE. In this article, I will describe similarities and differences between these two popular post-processing applications by Adobe to see whether one can serve as a replacement or an alternative for the other.
Photoshop, PSE and Lightroom Differences
The three most popular image post-processing programs among photographers by Adobe – Lightroom, Photoshop and Photoshop Elements – all target different user bases. While each can be used as a substitute for another in many situations, it usually results in a compromise. Let me give you a short user-base description for each product.
A short while ago, Adobe made an announcement many photographers (among other Adobe’s software users) found to be rather shocking. Adobe decided to stop developing Adobe Creative Suite and focus on its CC software. CC stands for Creative Cloud. Obviously, it doesn’t mean they will stop developing Photoshop and other popular programs, many of which are among the best on the market. However, CC will carry a number of changes, and, while we can safely assume most of them will be welcome, there is a huge catch. Adobe CC package will be available as subscription-only. That means, in order to use Photoshop and other CC package software, you will need to pay a monthly fee and connect to internet at least once a month (there a several varying conditions), which, for me, sounds much like… renting. We wrote an article on the topic where we discuss Adobe’s decision in more detail – suffice to say, we weren’t exactly thrilled with excitement. I must admit, though, Photoshop wasn’t the main reason for me worrying. After all, I like CS5 and CS6 fine and, with the exception of RAW support, don’t see why I’d need to update anytime soon. What I was worried about most is Lightroom. Was it to undergo the same changes?
Adobe has made their almost-finished versions of Lightroom 4.4 and Camera RAW 7.4 available for download. These Release Candidates (RC) have been thoroughly tested, but are subject to improvement over the next few months before final versions are available. So far, Lightroom 4.4 RC is a free download for all current Lightroom 4 customers and will expire by 31st of May. Adobe Camera RAW 7.4 RC will expire on 30th of April. Why are these RC updates important? Well, first of all because of the added support for newest camera models:
- Canon EOS-1D C
- Casio Exilim EX-ZR700
- Fujifilm X100S
- Fujifilm X20
- Hasselblad Lunar
- Leica M
- Nikon 1 J3
- Nikon 1 S1
- Pentax MX1
Now, you may notice the rather peculiar addition of Hasselblad Lunar mirrorless camera which is said to be based on NEX-7, but with a full-frame sensor. There is a reason why I chose words “said to be”, because the camera is yet unfinished and thus unavailable. A rare feat making software support available before the actual camera is even officially announced.
New lens profiles are also present:
- Canon 24-70 f/4L IS
- Sigma 18-250mm F3.5-6.3 DC MACRO HSM for Sony and Pentax
- Sigma APO MACRO 180mm F2.8 EX DG OS HSM for Sony
- Sigma 35mm F1.4 DG HSM for Canon, Sigma and Nikon
- Sigma 17-70mm F2.8-4 DC MACRO OS HSM for Canon and Sigma
There is a possibility that new cameras and lenses in addition to the ones mentioned above will be supported when final versions are released.
Today, Adobe has announced its new CS6 software package for both Mac and Windows users, which includes new versions of Photoshop, Premiere Pro, After Effects and more – Adobe has updated every piece of software found in the Creative Suite family. There is also a new color-grading application, SpeedGrade CS6, perfect for primary and secondary color correction of your SD, HD, 3D or RAW video footage. As expected, each program is extended with new tools and features, while at the same time offering 64-bit performance boost to make your workflow easier and quicker.
What Does Photoshop CS6 Offer?
While there are many changes (for example, After Effects receives more than 90 new or expanded effects to choose from), most of our readers are likely to be interested in Photoshop CS6. Here is an extended list of what’s new and improved: