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Thread: LR4 vs. LR3

  1. #1
    rpcrowe's Avatar
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    LR4 vs. LR3

    I am considering upgrading to Lightroom 4

    I have to admit, that I have not been using LR3 to its greatest advantage. I have been so busy working with my dog rescue activities and trying to learn Adobe Premiere Elements 10, that I have not given the amount of time needed to delve into the capabilities of LR3. I bought LR3 when I was attending a college course and was able to get it at an academic price.

    However, now there is LR4 on the market. I wonder if I it would be worthwhile for me to upgrade to LR4 before I immerse myself in Lightroom 3? My rationale is that I would be working with the latest issue of the program and would not have to relearn anything.

    The price of the upgrade is really quite reasonable, at around $76 USD from B&H with free shipping.

    I presently am using Photoshop Elements 10 along with lightroom. I will want to transfer all of my images into a lightroom 4. I blow hot and cold with PSE-10. IMO, it is REALLY LACKING a good Content Aware Fill capability like CS-5 includes... It does have the Content Aware Brush but, IMO, that is no where nearly as capable as the Content Aware Fill of CS-5. It seems that PSE-9 had a better content Aware Fill capability than PSE-10 does.

    The capabilities of LR4 in which I am most interested are:


    Better highlight and shadow recovery
    New White Balance capabilities
    New editing brushes for noise reduction and moiré removal
    One click Chromatic Aberration removal

    I learned when working with Photoshop,that if I did not keep up with the new versions as they come out, it becomes very expensive to upgrade to a newer version if I want to later.

    I guess that I have convinced myself while writing this post that I will upgrade, so this is just a sounding board.

    BTW: IMO, Adobe has some really lousy customer service. Here is a direct quote from the Adobe website regarding eligibility for the academic purchase of Adobe products:

    ADOBE WEBSITE
    Education individual purchasers

    http://www.adobe.com/education/purch...,resizable=yes
    Qualified individuals include:
    Faculty and staff — teachers and staff employed by an accredited primary or secondary school, public or private university or college, school district, or board of education (including emeritus status professors).


    My wife is a Professor Emeritus form a local college. However, we have had all kinds of problems purchasing the Educational Versions of Adobe products.

    Emails were of no avail - never get answered...

    Phonecalls to Adobe Customer Service ended up somewhere in the Sub-Continent with a barely English fluent rep at the other end of the line. I have experienced a major problem with the Adobe telephone support system. Once, I was directed to leave my number for an Adobe Customer Service Representative to call back. I got a call in five minutes but there was no one on the other end of the line. I hung up and five minutes later, the phone rang again - still no one there. The phone kept ringing like this for an hour, every five minutes with no one calling.

    I tried every number I could find, but since this was the evening in the USA, I couldn't get any human on the line. I finally found a sales representative for Adobe Products located in San Francisco, California. She was the only human I ever talked to and she promised to send an email instructing India to stop calling me or at least have someone on the phone when they called. Apparently, it worked because after about another hour the phone stopped ringing. That was a frustrating couple of hours.

    I wrote a snail mail letter to Adobe a month ago asking about the Emeritus status and have received no reply.

    Once I ascertain that my wife can purchase the Academic Versions of Adobe products, I will ditch PSE-10 and get the current copy of Photoshop CS-whatever! However, the way things are going, the current version of CS will probably be 99 before I can get some answers from Adobe.
    Last edited by rpcrowe; 10th June 2012 at 03:12 PM.

  2. #2

    Re: LR4 vs. LR3

    Hey Richard,

    I am not very qualified to answer your question. I bought the upgrade from LR3 to LR4 for the same reasons you stated. I only used LR3 for a very short period of time. I am still learning LR4 but I am very satisfied with the upgrade. Also Adobe came out with the 4.1 version that fixed a lot of the bugs in LR4. I don't get into masks and layers and find LR4 and the Nik software all I want at this time. Now all I have to do is continue to improve on my PP skills which are still pretty rough around the edges but coming along, I think....

  3. #3
    DanK's Avatar
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    Re: LR4 vs. LR3

    Hi Richard,

    First, re LR4: I have only been using it a short time, but yes, I think it is worth upgrading. The tonal controls are much better than those in LR 3 and are probably in themselves enough to make me feel that the upgrade was worth it. In addition, it has soft proofing, which I value, since I do my printing from LR rather than photoshop. With 4.1, they seem to have gotten most of the performance bugs worked out. Through 4.1 RC2, it was a real problem for me. Even with 4.1, I get occasional hiccups where it seems to go dead for a short time, but if I wait it out, it comes back. (I have a 32-bit machine, hence only 4 GB, and it is not a very fast computer.) The sliders are now fast enough, which was not true with 4.0.

    Re the academic pricing: I have gotten it several times. (I am a university faculty member.) You can do this two ways. Adobe has a specific page in its online store for this. Just Google Adobe academic store. I believe I also got it once through a third party vendor. For that, if I recall, I just had to send them a copy of my valid university ID. Note that this only helps the first time. There is generally no academic discount for upgrades, and they usually price things so that the academic price for the new version is about the same as the regular price for the upgrade. The only problem I had was with LR 4, which for some reason I bought as a new package with the academic price. In their system, my one order morphed into several, and I kept getting warnings that my order would be cancelled for lack of verification of my academic status even AFTER I had received a notice that my status had been approved. That took at bit of time e-mailing back and forth.

    Dan

  4. #4

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    Re: LR4 vs. LR3

    Hi, I used L/R 3 and now a happy L/R 4 user, you could look at the extras built into L/R 4 but as you have pointed out the price is a factor and to be honest even for the normal upgrade I felt Adobe did a good job on pricing. As for adobe customer care, as I have not had a major problem I have had no use of it BUT!!! there web site (and I mentioned this in a previous posting) IMO has got to be the most awkward site to find what you want an answer to if one on the same issue/s has not already been asked by someone else, you get or seem to get thrown back and forth between the same pages when you click on links, I just wanted to ask a question in the forum but 48 hours later I still cannot get to the forum on Photoshop.
    Anyways for the price L/R 4 IMO is worth the money.
    Russ

    PS. Forgot to say on your comment "It seems that PSE-9 had a better content Aware Fill capability than PSE-10 does." There was a plug-in (3rd party) made for content aware fill in PSE 9 that allowed you to fill a selection same as in P/S CS 5 unfortunately Adobe in there wisdom changed something in PSE 10 that made the plug-in useless
    Last edited by russellsnr; 12th June 2012 at 08:18 AM.

  5. #5
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    Re: LR4 vs. LR3

    I used LR3 from very shortly after release and like it a lot but have changed ('upgrade' is always a contentious word!) to LR4. Actually I had little choice as one body produces raw files that LR3 won't handle. So, if you buy a camera not supported by LR3, Adobe have you by the short and curlies. To soften the blow, they just about halved the price at all levels (academic, charity or retail).
    Yes, the development controls are all improved and not too much of a change to use after several years of LR3. The photo book facility looks like a gimmick (why Blurb only?) and LR3 owners can use the Blurb plugin.
    The Map module is the other new module and that I will be using but I expect many won't.
    I do use layers for about 10-15% of images. The round-trip to PS CS4 (or PSE) works fine with the newer LRs but I wish I could tell it to render in LR4 once and for all. CS4 can't deal with raw images with LR3/4 edits because of the older version of ACR. Render to PSD in LR3/4 and it's all fine.
    The print module has been tweaked a bit too in LR4. (ALL my prints are done via the LR print module 'cos it remembers everything about a print setup and is a joy to use compared with most programs' file>print command.)
    Summary: I didn't really have a choice about moving to LR4 but I'm quite pleased that it was forced on me.

  6. #6
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    Re: LR4 vs. LR3

    LR3 PP work translatable into LR4??

    Can anyone tell me definitively whether photos you processed in LR 3 will "translate" when you open them in LR 4? I bought LR 3 less than 6 months ago, but I have a TON of pictures I have processed. I heard somewhere that the LR3 sidecar files won't work with LR4. That would be something of a deterrent to upgrading for me.

  7. #7
    DanK's Avatar
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    Re: LR4 vs. LR3

    Quote Originally Posted by Scott Stephen View Post
    LR3 PP work translatable into LR4??

    Can anyone tell me definitively whether photos you processed in LR 3 will "translate" when you open them in LR 4? I bought LR 3 less than 6 months ago, but I have a TON of pictures I have processed. I heard somewhere that the LR3 sidecar files won't work with LR4. That would be something of a deterrent to upgrading for me.
    They work fine. In LR 4, when you look at an image processed in LR 3, you will see a little exclamation point at the bottom right. Click on it, and it tells you that the imaged was processed using the 2010 process rather than the 2012 process. It gives you the options of leaving it alone, converting that one image, or converting the entire filmstrip. I believe there is also an option to revert to the 2010 process, but I have never looked for that.

  8. #8
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    Re: LR4 vs. LR3

    Just to add that the controls change with the process used. So, if you stay with the 2010 process, you'll see the 'old' highlight recovery slider instead of the new ones. That means that LR4 is reading the catalog or sidecar file process information from LR3.
    (I always have the develop information in both the catalog and sidecar files, but that's personal preference.)

    I have bulk converted photos to the new process in a few seconds where I thought it was useful. Ok, the PC has quite a lot of memory (16GB) and a reasonably fast i7 processor but converting a thousand photos doesn't seem to take very long.

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