Lightroom 3 has been released!

It is not official yet, but Adobe has secretly released the final version of Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 3 for both Windows and MacOS platforms. You can download the final version trial right here.

Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 3

Upgrade from Lightroom 2 is just $99, while the retail version is currently selling for $299. You can also purchase it directly through the above link and get it now (via download method), without having to wait to get a packaged version in a store, which is great for those of you who cannot wait :)

I’m downloading it now and I am really excited about upgrading to Lightroom 3. I love Lightroom and I have been using it for my photography ever since Lightroom 2 was released. I have some beginner articles for Lightroom here, although it is not much (planning to write more in the future). By the way, for those who currently have Lightroom 2 – the LR3 beta did not allow to upgrade the existing LR2 database, which was a bummer. This issue is now fixed in the final release and LR3 gives the option to upgrade the database as soon as you start it for the first time!


  1. 1) Chris
    June 8, 2010 at 12:20 am

    Disappointed so far with LR3 performance, especially adjustment brushes (still!). Being tempted more towards CS5. Do you use both and if so in what proportions?

    • June 8, 2010 at 9:57 am

      Chris, LR3 is actually faster on my PC than LR2 was. Adobe has definitely changed the way they store data in the databases, because the folder structure opens faster and images also load faster.

      I used to do everything in Photoshop, but the workflow was too time-consuming and I fully moved to Lightroom. I edit all of my images in Lightroom and only open Photoshop (I really like the content-aware feature of CS5!) when doing panoramas/HDR or performing other activities that are not available in Lightroom.

      How big is your database, by the way? You might want to decrease the number of images and see if the performance improves. I have different databases for each year and I will probably be soon moving to quarters or will come up with a new way to group my images.

      • 1.1.1) Chris
        June 8, 2010 at 5:40 pm

        I ran LR3 beta with a very small catalogue and found the demand on RAM was huge. I have been testing the production version of LR3 today and found the same, especially with the adjustment tools and the lens correction tools. In particular the perspective corrections tools were unusable but in ACR they were fine.
        Admittedly I’m only running 3GB of RAM on 12MB files but even so LR is fast losing a user here….

        • Profile photo of Nasim Mansurov Nasim Mansurov
          June 11, 2010 at 4:04 pm

          Chris, you know, Adobe products have really been eating up my RAM ever since I installed CS5. I think there is a serious memory leak problem with their current CS5 and LR3.

          I have 4 GB of RAM and run 64 bit and that doesn’t seem to be enough anymore…

  2. 2) Marek
    June 8, 2010 at 4:31 am

    Well I need a new computer for the new ligthroom :( It works really slow on my laptop compared to 2.5 :/

    • June 8, 2010 at 9:58 am

      Marek, I tried running Lightroom once on my laptop and I ended up removing it, because even LR2 was darn slow :) Have you tried running the final release of LR3 though? I bet the performance is improved in the final release…

      • 2.1.1) Marek
        June 8, 2010 at 10:36 am

        I have only my laptop in Valencia, but LR2 is running fine for me. I have downloaded the final release of LR3 today, and it is much slower than LR2

        • Profile photo of Nasim Mansurov Nasim Mansurov
          June 11, 2010 at 4:05 pm

          Marek, I noticed that the LR3 database is faster, but the program itself is slower than LR2…which kind of sucks.

  3. 3) sm
    June 8, 2010 at 5:11 am

    I started using the LR beta a month back and am planning to buy the new one. It will be quite a learning curve..

    • June 8, 2010 at 10:00 am

      SM, trust me, once you get used to it, you will ask yourself why you were not using it before :) That’s how it was with me – I did not realize how bad and slow my workflow was until I started using Lightroom.

  4. June 10, 2010 at 2:59 am

    I started using it last week. And I think its kinda slow. For example it takes long to show thumbnail previews. I was wondering if its my computers problem or what. I’m on mac and my computer is in pretty good condition.

    • June 11, 2010 at 4:07 pm

      Deelip, I am also noticing some performance issues with LR3 (damn, it was supposed to be faster!). Oh well, I hope Adobe addresses the performance issues in future updates of LR3.

      My PC is also relatively good (two CPU cores, 4 GB of RAM), but it doesn’t seem to be cutting it anymore…

  5. 5) Chris
    June 10, 2010 at 3:40 am

    Strangely, I moved my LR catalogue today (no other changes) and suddenly performance has improved dramatically!

    • June 11, 2010 at 4:07 pm

      Chris, the LR3 database seems to be a lot more efficient than LR2, but the overall responsiveness of the system is slower for sure, at least for me.

  6. 6) Boyd
    June 17, 2010 at 10:15 am

    My performance has been ridiculous and it no longer thumbnails. If i want to see a picture I have to click on it. Then after it brings up the photo I get a thumbnail. But if I close lightroom and reopen it the thumbnail is gone again. I’m not impressed and its wasting a lot of my time.

    • June 29, 2010 at 7:52 pm

      Boyd, sorry for a late response. It is strange that the thumbnails are no longer working – there might be a problem with your LR3 database and I would certainly check it for errors. The thumbnails get stored in temporary cache of your local hard drive. If you see them disappearing, it could be due to the size of the cache. Check out your settings and allocate more space on your hard drive, if possible. I also recommend placing photos on one drive and the database + cache on another.

      I have been running LR3 for about a month now and while I can certainly see some performance problems with it, the difference is not night and day for me…I would say about 10-15%. Certain things such as batch file renaming actually work super fast in LR3 now, so it is worth the upgrade for me.

    • June 29, 2010 at 7:54 pm

      I think Adobe will resolve many performance-related issues in the first update to LR3, so give it another try when the patch comes out.

  7. 7) Fred
    May 9, 2011 at 5:01 pm


    I’m new to your site so I’m reading as much as I can. I’ve been using Aperture 3 and previous versions, but I’ve been having my doubts lately as AP3 quits when editing several images at once. I don’t know maybe it’s my MacPro. I shoot raw with my D700 and of coarse looking for the best raw conversion. I do all of my printing with my canon ipf6300. I just wanted to know if Aperture was ever a program that you considered. Is LR3 that much better? I would love to get your opinion’

    Thanks very much,


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