The Pending Lightroom Update

by James Duncan Davidson

Last week, Mikkel hinted broadly on this blog that he's been holding up the release of his Lightroom book because of the pending Lightroom update. And Tom Hogarty, the product manager of both Adobe Camera Raw and Lightroom, has also stated that Lightroom will be updated in the near future. It's enough to give one anticipation jitters.

There are four primary things I'm looking forward to in this update:

  • Support for the Canon 1D Mark III. I don't have a copy of this new camera in my hands yet. Shipping of these new cameras has been sporadic and they are still in short supply, but it has the promise to be a game enhancer for the kind of photography that's my bread and butter. Of course, without direct support in Lightroom, the workflow won't be as seamless as one would like. There's always the convert to DNG trick first, but that's a pesky additional step.

  • All the goodies from Adobe Camera Raw 4.1. The new sharpening controls look to be really interesting, but what has really caught my eye is the new Clarity control. Combining USM with local contrast enhancement seems like just the ticket. Jeff Schewe provides a good run down of all the new features of Adobe Camera Raw 4.1 over at Be sure to compare the samples of Clarity at full size. The results are really compelling.

  • A fix for a bug that's particularly annoying for me. When I edit the metadata for several photographs at once, it's impossible to tab between metadata fields. After advancing to the next text field, Lightroom thinks for a second, then removes the input focus from the next text field. There have been so many times when I've started typing a caption after tabbing to the caption field from the title field, only to have my keystrokes interpreted as commands and flip me between several modes in quick succession.

  • The SDK. When Lightroom 1.0 came out, it was said that a third-party SDK would be released at some point in the future as well when things stabilized enough. I'm hoping that time is now, but I'm not entirely holding my breath. It would be nice, however, to see the start of the kinds of integration with third party websites that Aperture has featured for several months now.

Hopefully, we'll know the answer to all of these questions shortly. Now, I'm going to go back to the game of seeing what comes first: the new mk3 or the new version of Lightroom.


Romain Guy
2007-06-06 10:38:13

A fix for a bug that's particularly annoying for me

Yes! That's the one reason that makes me want to switch back to Aperture. It's driving me crazy when I tag large batches of photos.

2007-06-06 11:00:18
That bug with the metadata has annoyed me as well. And when I hit the L button, and didn't know about the L-"feature", I just didn't know what had happened.
2007-06-06 13:27:20
ACR4.1 already supports the MkIII (so I'm told). If you'd stuck with Aperture, do you think it would have been updated so fast?
Duncan Davidson
2007-06-06 13:41:09
Gio: It is nice that ACR picked up support for the mk3 so quickly. Rumor has it that Mac OS X 10.4.10 will add support for the mk3 as well, but it's not out yet. It could still beat support for the mk3 in Lightroom, however. :)
Jeff Winters
2007-06-06 19:49:42
It would be real nice to get dual monitor support.
Sean McCormack
2007-06-06 22:03:13
While I'd love to talk about what's in and what's not.. I can't. However in the forums Jeff Schewe has mentioned that the SDK has been put back to accelerate the 1.1 release. Which would you rather have?
Duncan Davidson
2007-06-06 23:05:51
Sean: I've got no insider view into Lightroom, so I'm sure you'll excuse my list as just a wish list. I'm happy to see the 1.1 release sooner rather than later even if it means the SDK is pushed off a bit. :)
Sean McCormack
2007-06-07 16:16:34
I'm in agreement, although I certainly would like to see 3rd party stuff go in. It's all about juggling and I can appreciate that 1.1 is priority!
2007-06-08 06:42:09
I greatly hope that it will fix the bugs on the Mac when you try to do operations like renaming pictures stored on a network drive.

And I totally agree with your point about the metadata tabbing.