Lightroom 5.2 has been released yesterday so let’s see what you should know about this update.
New camera support
Normally, Lightroom will prompt you to install the update automatically. If it doesn’t, choose Help > Check for Updates. There’s the usual list of new cameras whose raw files are supported (including the brand new Fujifilm X-M1 and the X-A1) and new lenses that have been profiled for use in the Lens Corrections Panel. The full list is available at the official Lightroom Blog. Furthermore, there’s 4 new cameras for which tethered support has been added: the Canon Eos 6D, 700D, 100D and the Nikon D7100.
Contrary to other dot releases, there are also a couple of new or improved features:
There’s a new Smoothness slider in the Color Noise Reduction section of the Detail Panel. The slider addresses low-frequency color mottling artifacts. Personally, with the Nikon and Fujifilm cameras I use, I find I rarely need to move the Noise Reduction sliders away from their defaults, but it’s good to have in case you need it.
There have also been some refinements to the Spot Removal Tool. The most obvious is a new Feather slider, that works both with Circle Spots and the new Brush Spots, and that deals with how soft or hard the edge of your spot blends into its surroundings. The auto-find logic (that determines suitable source material) has also been tweaked: it now favors areas that are in the crop you set. It still doesn’t get it right all of the time, but as you may know from my Lightroom 5 Up to Speed eBook, pressing the forward slash (/) key forces the tool to pick a new sample area, or you can adjust it manually by dragging it where you want. By the way, I have a video about the new Brush Spot features in Lightroom 5. You can check it out here. I also recently did a video about an advanced Spot Removal tip, which you can watch below:
- The behaviour of the Auto Exposure tool (the Auto-button in the Develop Module’s Basic Panel) has been improved: it should now be more consistent across different images and different image sizes. Personally, I never use this tool except when I do Lightroom demos.
- Smart Previews, one of the highlight features of Lightroom 5.0 are now 2560 instead of 2540 pixels.
Finally, there have also been some tweaks to the Local Adjustment Brush: right-clicking an adjustment pin brings up a context-sensitive menu that allows you to duplicate or delete the adjustment. Ctrl+Alt+Dragging (Win) / Cmd+Opt+Dragging (Mac) also allows you to clone (duplicate) that adjustment but contrary to how that same shortcut works in the Radial Filter, it does not let you move the duplicate. So, it only creates a duplicate-in-place. This is also different from what you can do in Adobe Camera Raw 8.2, where you can effectively duplicate AND move an adjustment brush mask.
There are also a number of bug fixes which I won’t bother to list (you can find them on the official Lightroom blog), except for one that may be relevant if you’re a timelapse-photographer: in Lightroom 4, lots of timelapse-photographers used custom-built Lightroom slideshow templates to render their timelapse videos. It was a workaround, but a popular one.
However, under the hood, Lightroom 5 introduced a new slideshow engine which broke this option. Lightroom 5.2 fixes the problem, to a degree. You can read the full lowdown of what this update means on Sean McCormack’s blog – he made a number of these timelapse presets. There are also a couple included in Craft & Vision’s excellent Timelapse eBook. If you’re really into Timelapse, you might check out Gunther Wegener’s LR/Timelapse plugin. It’s a paying option but it has a lot more options, including de-flicker control.
Photoshop Photography Program
The release date of this Lightroom update is also important for something else: you can now subscribe to the Photoshop Photography Program. As you probably know already, new versions of Photoshop, InDesign and the other Adobe Apps will only be made available on a subscription basis: the Creative Cloud. Lightroom and Photoshop Elements however, are still available as a regular, old-fashioned ‘purchase license’. Until last week, those of you who wanted to use the latest version of Photoshop and didn’t need the full-blown Creative Cloud (all Adobe Apps in one), had to opt for a ‘Single App’ Creative Cloud membership, which cost $19.95 per month. A lot of amateur photographers, found this to be too expensive. Enter the Photoshop Photography Program: if you’re an existing user of a commercial license (i.e. not a student/educational license) of Photoshop CS3 or higher, you can now get Photoshop CC (the continuously updated latest version of Photoshop), 20 GB of Cloud Storage and a Behance account for only $9.99 (€ 9.99) + taxes (VAT). And, best of all, you get Lightroom (and its updates) as well! That’s a really, really good deal. The offer is valid until end of this year. Contrary to other Creative Cloud promotions, this is not a ’9.99 per month for a year, and then the price will go up’ kind of deal. It is the price, as long as you have a commercial license of PSCS3 or higher and you subscribe before the end of the year. More information can be found here!