My favorite five new Features of Version 1.3

by Michael Clark

With the recent update of Lightroom to Version 1.3 late last week I thought I would cover some of the improvements that have been made with this latest without further ado here they are:

1. Vastly improved Speed!

I don't have any hard numbers to back up this observation but version 1.3 seems quite a bit faster than any previous version of Lightroom. I first noticed this improvement when I imported my last assignment into Lightroom. It took only a few seconds for the 300+ images to be imported before Lightroom went to work building the 1:1 previews. I was shocked how fast it loaded the previews. Then while editing and processing these recent images Lightroom was much faster than I have ever seen it. All in all, the new speediness is a very welcome upgrade.

2. Ability to render 1:1 previews on import.

With version 1.3, we can now have Lightroom build the 1:1 previews on import. This is a feature I have been hoping for now for quite a while and it is nice to see it. Thanks Adobe! This just cut one extra step out of my workflow.

3. Improved version of the "Automatically write changes into XMP" preference.

In the past, choosing the preference to "Automatically write changes into XMP" files for each image resulted in a significant slow down. Adobe has now upgraded Lightroom so the slow down is practically nil which is a very nice feature for those of us that rely on the XMP files as a backup and so that the raw files are rendered with our develop settings in Adobe Bridge. This is yet another small but very significant upgrade in version 1.3.

4. Compatibility with Apple's latest Mac OS X Leopard.

Since I had my G5 tower crash hard a few weeks ago and I have already purchased a new Apple Mac Pro, I am very glad to see the folks at Adobe have made Lightroom fully compatible with Apple's latest Mac OS X Leopard. I'll find out later today how seamlessly it works with the new operating system as my Mac Pro arrives today! Very exciting.

5. Better rendering of Nikon RAW files.

One other feature I have noticed but need to look into further is that my raw Nikon D2x files seem to look better than they have in previous versions of Lightroom. It seems with the Adobe Camera Raw upgrade to version 4.3, the folks at Adobe have also improved the auto-rendering of some Nikon camera models. I'll write more about this as I work up recent images.

Even though the upgrade to 1.3 might not have seemed like a big deal I am very excited about the improvements that have been made. For my workflow specifically these improvements will help make Lightroom even more user friendly and hopefully shave off a bit more time that I have to spend in front of the computer.

That's it for this session. See you next week.

Adios, Michael Clark


2007-11-19 05:03:35
I am the only person who isn't seeing a link to 1.3 on adobes website? I can only see a link to 1.1 and 1.2 which obviously is no help to me? I'm in the UK if _that_ matters?
2007-11-19 08:44:11
I think LR1.3 is a bit unstable on my iMac G5 with Mac OS X 10.4.11.
The eyedropper for white balance seems not to work anymore. I feel a little speed improvement, I own a Nikon D70s and can't see raw conversion improvements.
2007-11-19 08:54:09
Just launch "Check for update" from LR (under Help menu item). It will tell you that there's 1.3 available and let you download it.

I personally have seen import speed claims before, but I do believe that it's rather illusion than anything else. LR still needs to physically move your files from a card to your HD. So if you haven't got any new break through card or a reader, I doubt that this import process is any faster. What could be faster is LR serving the thumbnails to your before it actually created a larger file. They are probably able to generate the previews faster now as well, but as far as actually importing the files from a card to your HD I doubt it's any faster as this is limited by card, reader and your PC connection.

Thanks for the nice recap.



2007-11-19 10:39:21
it's not working for me either (in switzerland). use a US proxy like, then it works (no clue why not otherwise, doesn't make any sense at all).
2007-11-20 09:55:04
Just for the record I am in Canada.
Ian Austen
2007-11-21 08:28:21
Here's a direct link if you have difficulties with the download: