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Thread: Is the Lightroom4 upgrage worth the money?

  1. #1
    mknittle's Avatar
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    Is the Lightroom4 upgrage worth the money?

    I am using lightroom3 and wondering about the upgrade. I have read both good and not so good on the net.


    Thanks Mark

  2. #2
    Moderator Dave Humphries's Avatar
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    Re: Is the Lightroom4 upgrage worth the money?

    If you're considering a new camera in the foreseeable future, you may (almost) have to upgrade one day if you shoot RAW.

    I'm not a LR user, but I haven't seen many people dis-satisfied with LR4.

    We have plenty of people using either version, perhaps they'll be along shortly.

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    mknittle's Avatar
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    Re: Is the Lightroom4 upgrage worth the money?

    Thanks Dave, That is in the plans.

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    Re: Is the Lightroom4 upgrage worth the money?

    I'm not sure where you are, but in the States, as an upgrade, Lr4 is only $79. Less for a student. At that price it would be hard to not justify upgrading. The develop module in Lr4 is significantly more advanced than the Lr3 module and that difference alone is worth $79.

    Before getting Lr4, I was using Camera RAW in CS4 to do my development work. Now, I hardly need to use it and occasionally I've gone back and reprocessed RAW files, done originally in CS4-RAW, with Lr4 and the difference is significant. No question that Lr4 can pull more out of the shadows and recover more blown highlights than earlier Adobe products.

    With Lr3 you have a good filing system and a pretty lame post processing system. With Lr4 you have the same filing system and a fantastic post processing system. Go for it. My $0.02.

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    Sponge's Avatar
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    Re: Is the Lightroom4 upgrage worth the money?

    In a single word, yes. Just the changes in the Basic panel have made it worth it ten times over for me (the clarity and shadows adjustments are really powerful in this version).

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    Re: Is the Lightroom4 upgrage worth the money?

    Quote Originally Posted by Sponge View Post
    In a single word, yes. Just the changes in the Basic panel have made it worth it ten times over for me (the clarity and shadows adjustments are really powerful in this version).
    +1 to that! It is definitely worth it!

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    Re: Is the Lightroom4 upgrage worth the money?

    You will wish you had done it sooner. Get ready to redo many of your past images.

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    Glenn NK's Avatar
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    Re: Is the Lightroom4 upgrage worth the money?

    Quote Originally Posted by jeeperman View Post
    You will wish you had done it sooner. Get ready to redo many of your past images.
    What a coincidence - that's exactly what I'm doing.

    Seriously in answer to Mark's quite appropriate question - YES, it's worth it.

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    Re: Is the Lightroom4 upgrage worth the money?

    Quote Originally Posted by Boatman View Post
    ... No question that Lr4 can pull more out of the shadows and recover more blown highlights than earlier Adobe products.
    +1 There's a lot more data in most RAW files than was ever recovered satisfactorily by earlier versions of LR or ACR. Do it!

  10. #10

    Re: Is the Lightroom4 upgrage worth the money?

    in this thread Richard posted a link to a Scott Kelby video in which Scott talks about the new Camera Raw Interface - which is the same as that in LR4. He states that much of the underlying math have been rewritten from the previous engine and the performance certainly seems to support that. You can push sliders a lot more in 4 compared to previous versions.

    I was previously using the cut down version of ACR in PSE9. I am also busy revisiting some of my earlier images now that I have LR4. For me the adjustment brush is worth the cost on its own.

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    DanK's Avatar
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    Re: Is the Lightroom4 upgrage worth the money?

    And if you print, the softproofing alone is worth the price.

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    mknittle's Avatar
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    Re: Is the Lightroom4 upgrage worth the money?

    Quote Originally Posted by jeeperman View Post
    You will wish you had done it sooner. Get ready to redo many of your past images.
    That is what I wanted to do! I am working up to going through My images keeping the Good ones and pitching the not so good experiments and such. so I thought that is a good time to upgrage.

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    Re: Is the Lightroom4 upgrage worth the money?

    Thanks everybody for your input! it is a great help!

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    Re: Is the Lightroom4 upgrage worth the money?

    yes, and light-room 4 also fixes chromatic aberrations.

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    Re: Is the Lightroom4 upgrage worth the money?

    Quote Originally Posted by mknittle View Post
    That is what I wanted to do! I am working up to going through My images keeping the Good ones and pitching the not so good experiments and such. so I thought that is a good time to upgrage.
    Mark:

    Keep us posted on how much time it takes (of course it's related to the number of images you have). I'm also in the process of redoing images and getting rid of bad ones. I'm down to 23,000 or so, and so far, it's taken about five full days of work - but some of that is using the new improved tricks in LR4.

    Glenn

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    Re: Is the Lightroom4 upgrage worth the money?

    Quote Originally Posted by Glenn NK View Post
    Mark:

    Keep us posted on how much time it takes (of course it's related to the number of images you have). I'm also in the process of redoing images and getting rid of bad ones. I'm down to 23,000 or so, and so far, it's taken about five full days of work - but some of that is using the new improved tricks in LR4.

    Glenn
    I have been pecking at it for almost a year. I am learning that if I weed the bad ones out when I download them it makes for less work later on
    The problem is I start going through them............. well you know how that goes.

  17. #17
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    Re: Is the Lightroom4 upgrage worth the money?

    Quote Originally Posted by Christina S View Post
    yes, and light-room 4 also fixes chromatic aberrations.
    That is nice to know. thanks Christina.

  18. #18
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    Re: Is the Lightroom4 upgrage worth the money?

    LR4 is a big step ahead. With respect to LR3 the pipeline workflow has been changed. When you open your LR3 database with LR4 you have the choice to use the old process or update to the new 2012 process. Be careful you cannot undo this. If you are not sure of the results take a snapshot of the photo with the old precess before applying the changes, so you can revert back, if needed.

    The changes in the basic panel are not only aesthetic, they reflects real changes in the processing pipeline. You can see this also in the local adjustment panel, graduated filter and brush. Besides now the global adjustment (basic panel) and local adjustment (graduated filter/brush) uses the same units. This means you can locally undo a global adjustment easily. For example if you make a positive exposure correction, a local negative exposure adjustment of the same amount completely compensates the global correction.

    This is not the only change. One has already been noticed, the ability of "extracting" more data from a RAW file. I would say that the new process deals with the highlights and deep shadows much better than LR3, so it can "recover" more data from these extreme regions.

    You will also have a better noise reduction algorithms, as well as lens corrections, e.g., chromatic aberrations.

    In a word upgrading surely worth the money.

    There is only one drawback. If you are also using PS, and in your workflow you frequently go back and forth between LR and PS, then be aware that moving to LR4 you loose the complete compatibility between the two, unless up upgrade both. What I mean is that both LR and PS uses the same Camera Raw core, ACR6 the first and ACR7 the second. Then if you have the same version of LR and PS, e.g., LR3/PS5 or LR4/PS6, they share the same core, presets and so on. This means that if you open a picture from LR into PS it is the same of having it processed by Camera Raw and then passed to PS. On the contrary if you use LR4 and PS5, when you open the picture from LR into PS, and you what to use the developing setting you set in LR, this is first processed by LR, changed into a Tiff and then sent to PS. The same process used to open the picture from LR into any other external picture editing software.

    Cheers
    A.

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    Re: Is the Lightroom4 upgrage worth the money?

    Andrea you say: "There is only one drawback. If you are also using PS, and in your workflow you frequently go back and forth between LR and PS, then be aware that moving to LR4 you loose the complete compatibility between the two, unless up upgrade both. What I mean is that both LR and PS uses the same Camera Raw core, ACR6 the first and ACR7 the second. Then if you have the same version of LR and PS, e.g., LR3/PS5 or LR4/PS6, they share the same core, presets and so on. This means that if you open a picture from LR into PS it is the same of having it processed by Camera Raw and then passed to PS. On the contrary if you use LR4 and PS5, when you open the picture from LR into PS, and you what to use the developing setting you set in LR, this is first processed by LR, changed into a Tiff and then sent to PS. The same process used to open the picture from LR into any other external picture editing software."

    You sort of lost me in there. Are you saying that to be compatible the two have to be the new versions. I now use the LR 4.3 version. Will it be compatible with Photoshop Element 10 or do I have to get PE 11?

  20. #20
    kris's Avatar
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    Re: Is the Lightroom4 upgrage worth the money?

    Quote Originally Posted by wlou View Post
    You sort of lost me in there. Are you saying that to be compatible the two have to be the new versions. I now use the LR 4.3 version. Will it be compatible with Photoshop Element 10 or do I have to get PE 11?
    Dear Louise,

    let me be more clear. When you choose the developing setting for your RAW data file, what you really do is to give a set of instructions on how the data have to be handled. You do not touch the RAW data. These instructions will be used later by the "RAW converter" to produce the JPEG or Tiff final file.

    LS develops RAW data, with a little (but growing) capability of photo editing, while PS/PSE do photo editing and do not know anything about RAW data.

    Both LR and PS uses ACR as "RAW converter" to develop RAW data. The difference is that LR can be seen as a UI for Camera Raw, while PS uses Camera Raw as a plug-in to import RAW data files. PS cannot handle RAW data, it is not designed to do this. It is a photo editing and not a developing software. Therefore RAW data must be converted (developed) into a format PS understands before it can work on it.

    Stated that, if you have LR and PS/PSE using the same ACR then they can share the same developing setting with exactly the same final rendering, simply because they all use the same ACR RAW converter. Besides you gain some additional benefits, as sharing the presents and so on.

    If, however, LR and PS/PSE use different versions of ACR, then this is not possible, and to send the photo to PS/PSE LR must develop RAW data into a format PS/PSE understad. Usually you choose 16bit Tiff. There is nothing bad with this. Only it is not optimal, say very good, but not optimal. Not much about the quality, but rather the workflow. Think about this: if you open a RAW data from LR or PS/PSE you will get two different developing processes.

    Conclusion:
    You are not forced to upgrade LR, PS/PSE so that they all use the same ACR version. Only you must be aware about what this implies, and act accordingly. For example in the LR setting chose to export file to PS/PSE in 16bit Tiff, or remember to open RAW data always with the same software to be sure to have always the same rendering.

    I hope it is more clear now.

    Cheers
    A.
    Last edited by kris; 25th January 2013 at 04:21 PM.

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