The latest updates to Camera Raw, Lightroom Classic and the Lightroom Cloud Ecosystem were released to customers on 16 June. Along with all the new features and enhancements the applications also get new branding iconography. Apart from the colour change and rounded corners, the most notable change is the letter ‘C’, which differentiates Classic from the cloud focused desktop version. Will this addition make it easier for customers to differentiate between the two versions of Lightroom? We’ll see!
Local Hue (Camera Raw, Lightroom Classic, Lightroom Mac/Win, iOS & Android)
The Local Hue tool can be used for both corrective and creative purposes. Using the Hue tool, you will have the ability to make large or small hue shifts (e.g. uneven skin tones) without affecting the white balance.
Note the checkbox labelled ‘Use Fine Adjustment’, which allows greater control over the amount of adjustment applied for a given movement of the slider.
While the screenshot included above shows the Graduate Filter, the new local hue control is also available in the Adjustment Brush and Radial Filter panels.
In below example, I’ve first selected the sky using the Range Mask, then adjusted the sky towards blue.
For more information on Local Hue Adjustment, checkout this blog post by Greg Zulkie.
Raw Defaults (Camera Raw, Lightroom Classic, Lightroom Mac/Win, iOS & Android)
Raw Defaults was substantially upgraded in the February 2020 update. However, some of the important functionality previously available to users wasn’t included (e.g. ISO specific noise reduction). This omission has been addressed in the latest updates, but is also much more powerful than before. However, before looking at ISO let’s checkout the new set of ‘Default’ Presets, which can be found in the Presets panel.
The new presets are intended to provide quick shortcuts to preview and apply different Default settings. Here are the new defaults provided in the presets panel. If you don’t to use them or appear in the list, then simply make them invisible using ‘Manage Presets’, which can be accessed by right-mouse clicking on the Presets panel .
ISO Adaptive Presets
Next, and I believe much more useful than the new default presets is ISO Adaptive Presets. However, you should note that this feature in only included in Lightroom Classic and Camera Raw.
An ISO Adaptive Preset allows a single preset to apply different edit settings depending on the ISO used for the image(s) to which it is being applied. In other words, you could have a single preset that automatically applies different levels of luminance noise reduction and sharpening to images with range of ISO values. Therefore, the need to specify settings for every ISO level supported by the camera is no longer required. For example, you may have established that your camera requires zero noise reduction (NR) up to ISO 400 and 20 units of NR at ISO 3200. When your ISO adaptive preset is applied to images with an ISO in-between ISO 400 and 3200, the actual NR value applied will be linearly interpolated. This process of linear interpolation with ISO Adaptive Presets is particularly useful if you use your cameras Auto ISO mode.
The procedure for creating an ISO Adaptive Preset is set out below:
- Select two or more images, with different ISO values.
- Edit these selected images according to your liking. You can choose different edit settings for different ISO images.
(e.g. apply different Luminance Noise Reduction values for different ISO images)
- With the images still selected, click on ‘Create Preset’.
- Along with selecting the various settings for the preset, make sure to select ‘Create ISO adaptive preset’ option in ‘ISO Settings’ section at the bottom of the preset creation dialog.
- Click on ‘Create’ to create an ISO adaptive preset.
If two or more images, with different ISO values, are not selected, ‘Create ISO adaptive preset checkbox will be disabled.
For more background information on ISO Adaptive presets, check out this blog post by Lisa Ngo (Lightroom Classic Product Manager).
Centered Crop Overlay (Camera Raw & Lightroom Classic)
Crop overlays can be a useful aid to ensure that the main focus of attention is placed where you want it in the frame. The new Centered Crop Overlay is particularly useful for square format images.
Develop – UI Refresh (Lightroom Classic)
The Tone Curve and Color panels have received a UI refresh with their appearance now more closely matching Lightroom desktop.
In addition to the new UI, it’s now possible to adjust the curves using the keyboard.
- Additional right-click (Control + Click on macOS) options for Point curve have been added:
- Reset Channel
- Reset All Channels
- Copy Channel Settings
- Paste Channel Settings
- Snap to Grid
- Show All Curves
- For Point curves, grid coordinates of a control point are now shown using absolute values instead of percentages
- You can adjust an active (highlighted) control point using Up and Down Arrow keys
- The ability to pin a control point and adjust its value using input/output text-box has been added
The buttons used in new Color Panel UI are a lot more vivid than those in the previous panel. This should make it easier for customers to pick out the individual buttons.
Sync UI (Lightroom Classic)
Sync in Lightroom Classic now has its own dedicated icon in the upper right corner next to the other main modules.
There are different state icons to indicate the current state of sync.
The new sync info panel is shown below. You can hover-over the cloud icon for more info about the current state icon. For example, hovering over the cloud icon while a sync is in progress will show the number of assets currently being synced. Clicking on the icon opens a pop up giving more options and details based on the current state of the sync.
Other Lightroom Classic Enhancements and Improvements
Develop – Edit Sliders Performance Improvements
With 9.3, there has been some optimisation to improve Edit Slider interaction with rendering in Develop module.
As part of these changes, Navigator view, Detail thumbnail, and Filmstrip thumbnail are not updated when dragging a slider without releasing the mouse. They’ll be updated as soon when slider movement ends and mouse button released.
Library Grid – Improvements
With 9.3, there has been some optimisation to improve the Grid scrolling experience on larger catalogs. These improvements will be less apparent if using macOS.
Collection Search – Improvements
New architecture for searching Collections should provide search speed similar to that found in Folder search. Typically, the improvements to search performance will be more beneficial in catalogs with large number of collections.
HEVC Support for Windows
HEVC videos are supported on Windows.
Video and Slideshow Library – Upgraded
- The Video library for Lightroom Classic has been updated. This upgrade will impact on the workflow related to Videos and all of Slideshow module.
Metadata – Three-Dimensional Projection
A new section has been added to the Metadata panel for Three Dimensional Projections. This addition will enable you view/edit Three-Dimensional Projection metadata info in Lightroom Classic.
Other Lightroom Cloud Ecosystem Enhancements
Watermark (Lightroom Mac /Win)
You can quickly add a customised watermark to your photo using the new Watermark Editor
Any changes to settings are also synced across the mobile platforms of Lightroom.
Versions (Lightroom, iOS & Android)
Versions are similar to Snapshots in Lightroom Classic. They allow you to apply multiple edits creatively to the same image. For example, in below screenshot you’ll see that I have applied some basic tonal and colour edits to the original image, then converted to Black and White. Any edits applied as part of the Black & White conversion or subsequently have no affect on the original or the colour version.
Versions sync across the Lightroom Ecosystem. So, will be available on your mobile devices.
Learning and Inspiration
Guided Tutorial and Discover have both received a good deal of attention in this release. If you’re not sure what this is, then below summary by Sharad Mangalick (Lightroom Mac / Win Product Manager) should help.
‘Guided Tutorials (available in the Lightroom Learn section), allows you to learn by doing, and you can actually adjust each slider with guidance and instruction provided by the instructor along the way. Instructors give the critical context for why they made their editing choices, and you can practice using their image directly in Lightroom. These are for when you want to go deeper and practice. Interactive Edits (available in the Lightroom Discover section) let you see the step-by-step edits on a photo, view camera information, and even download a preset to apply the settings to your own images.’
Starting with the June release, you can now contribute your own images and their edits to the Lightroom Discover section. The new “Share Edits” menu option allows you to share your editing process with the world, to help other photographers learn from your edits. When you submit your edit, Lightroom automatically creates a before-and-after sequence that combines your straight-out-of-the-camera image with your final edited image, so that others can see and learn from your edits. You can even let others save your edit settings as a preset that can be applied to their own photos.
New User Interface (UI)
On first launching Camera Raw 12.3, you will immediately notice that the UI has a new look and with this improved functionality.
The new UI and operation owes much to Lightroom Classic and more recently Lightroom Mac / Win. The tabbed panels that graced Camera Raw from the first version have been replaced by scrollable panels on the right side of the content window. There is currently no way to reorder the individual panels.
The toolbar has also be repositioned with buttons similar to those used in Lightroom Mac / Win.
Overall, I find the new UI is much easier to navigate, and it also scales much better on 4K and 5K monitors.
Update: 23 June 20
Some customers have commented on the absence of adjustment sliders such as Radius, Detail Masking, etc in the ‘Detail’ panel. Fortunately, the sliders haven’t been removed or forgotten by the engineers. Instead, they have been hidden to reduce the vertical height of the panel (i.e. less height = less scrolling). To make the hidden sliders visible it’s a simple matter on clicking on the disclosure triangle as shown in below screenshot. The disclosure triangles are also provided in the ‘Optics’, ‘Geometry’ and ‘Effects’ panels.
In addition to the new UI, Camera Raw has received its own share of new features. These are described in What’s New document that I’ve included a link for below.
For more information on what’s new and improved in each product, see the What’s New page for:
Camera & Lens Support
For a full list of supported cameras and lens profiles for Camera Raw, Lightroom Classic, and Lightroom Cloud Ecosystem see these resources: