Back in April, Adobe introduced the sixth version of Adobe Photoshop Lightroom, which came with a number of new features, as highlighted in our Lightroom 6 announcement article. Since then, Adobe updated the software once with a relatively large release in mid-June, which was the first sub-version release for both CC (2015.1) and standalone (6.1). I have been using Lightroom 6 rather heavily for my work and I have found a few bugs and performance issues, which I would like to share with our readers. If you have identified other bugs or performance problems, please let us know in the comments section below!
Performance Issues Related to GPU Acceleration
From what I have seen so far, GPU acceleration is generally nice to keep turned on, but only if you have a fast enough graphics card on your computer and you have the latest drivers installed. Looks like Adobe is still working on optimizing GPU support in Lightroom, because it is a hit or miss situation on different platforms and computers – for some it works wonders, and for others, it makes everything seem very sluggish. With slower and older-generation GPUs, I have seen Lightroom’s performance degrade significantly compared to Lightroom 5. If you find Lightroom 6 to be sluggish in your environment, try unchecking the “Use Graphics Processor” option under the “Performance” tab in Lightroom, as shown below:
This should help with stability and performance issues. If you don’t see much improvement after playing with this setting, your computer might be a bit too weak to run Lightroom. How fast should it be? Since Lightroom keeps getting bigger and bigger in features, I find it to be very demanding on computer hardware. It runs fine on my most recent build with Intel Core i7-4770K CPU, 32 GB of RAM, SSD hard drives and NVIDIA GTX 970 video card, but it struggles to run on my other 4 year old machine. Lightroom is pretty bloated software overall – except for the earlier versions, I have never seen it run blazingly fast on any computer.
EXIF Data Bug
Some of our team members at PL have been complaining about images getting improperly tagged when they are uploaded to the site. Camera model is either missing, or shows up as “CORPORATION”. After spending hours looking into this problem and debugging a lot of code, I found out that the server software had nothing to do with it – turns out that Lightroom 6 is improperly generating EXIF data in images when they are exported. So if you have a website and EXIF data is showing incorrectly for uploaded images, don’t blame your website – it is Lightroom’s fault.
Here is what the upload screen looks like at PL:
Instead of the camera model, the caption shows “CORPORATION”. If you are wondering why this is happening, Adobe misplaced camera manufacturer for make when generating EXIF data. In this case, the word “CORPORATION” is from the “NIKON CORPORATION” EXIF tag.
This is not a big deal for most people out there, but it is annoying as heck for any website owner that displays EXIF data in images.
Export Image Lag
In prior versions of Lightroom, I used to be able to export an image, then immediately move to another image and export it. I could repeat the process several times, while Lightroom was doing the exporting in the background. With Lightroom 6, I often encounter pretty severe slowdowns during the export process. I am not sure what has changed, but exporting images sometimes eats up a lot of CPU / GPU and Lightroom gets into a crawl. My mouse cursor will slow down and get jittery and clicking on other images won’t do anything. I have to wait this period out, which sometimes lasts for 5+ seconds. The most recent update of Lightroom seems like has helped a little bit in improving the lag, but the issue is not completely addressed. For those who like selecting images and exporting them in batches, Lightroom 6 might be a bit disappointing to use compared to prior versions.
Post-Processing – After Export Scripts Turn Off Secondary Display
I often run a batch file to remove unnecessary EXIF and other junk like thumbnails from images, as explained in my “How to remove EXIF data” article. I run the batch file under the “Post-Processing” screen in the Export window, as shown below:
After an image is exported and the batch process is triggered to remove junk from images, Lightroom often turns off the secondary window in my dual screen setup. After the export process is fully complete, I often have to press the F11 button to bring back the secondary window, which is rather annoying. This bug has been there since Lightroom 5 and it still has not been fixed.
Lola had a couple of random crashes with LR 6 when she was editing a wedding with around 2 thousand images. She could not tie crashes to a specific action within Lightroom and said that it crashed after using Lightroom for over an hour while applying adjustments, spot removal, presets and other actions. She has more weddings to edit and I have asked her to let me know as soon as she encounters an error next time, so that I can see what might be the reason. I personally have not encountered serious crashes yet, so I wonder if it is specific to her environment or not.
Overall, except for the above issues, I am fairly pleased with Lightroom 6 so far. If Adobe can address the above issues, it would be even better. I think the big one that still needs to be tackled is GPU Acceleration – it seems to be the cause of most frustrations with the software so far. Lightroom 6 seems to run faster on my Surface Pro 3 as well, which is great news for me, since I travel quite a bit and depend on the Surface Pro 3 heavily.
Please report your issues / bug reports in detail in the comments section below and I will forward them to Adobe’s development team. Thank you!