The latest updates to Camera Raw (14.4), Lightroom Classic (11.4) and Lightroom Desktop (5.4) have been released to customers. These updates include new camera and lens support, and bug fixes. There are also new features and performance enhancements in each of the applications. I’ve summarised below what I consider to be the highlights. However, more details on new features and enhancements can be found by clicking on the ‘What’s New’ menu option in the ‘Help’ menu of each application.
All three applications benefit from a number of usability enhancements to the masking feature, although as of this release, not all have made their way into Lightroom Desktop.
Mask Invert (Camera Raw, Lightroom Classic and Desktop)
With these latest updates, we now have the ability to invert a whole mask, not only a component. The command for inverting masks can be found under the three-dot menu for the mask you want to invert.
Batch Update of AI Masks (Camera Raw, Lightroom Classic and Desktop)
The ability to update ‘Subject’ and ‘Sky’ masks on multiple images at once is now supported.
- An option for ‘Update All’ masks has been added in the Masking panel. This can be accessed by opening the Masking panel on an image which has missing masks.
- Also, for the images with missing masks, we can select all of the images, then use ‘Settings > Update AI Masks’ option in the Develop module to update Subject/Sky masks.
- An indicator will be shown under Histogram in Develop Module when the current image has any AI Masks missing.
The following lists the supported and unsupported workflows available when batch updating images with AI masks.
- Copy and Paste
- Auto Sync Settings
- Previous (in the Develop module)
- Sync settings
- Applying Develop Preset during Import
- Raw Default
In both these cases, the ‘Update AI Masks’ on the imported images can be used to update the masks.
Mask Amount Slider (Camera Raw and Lightroom Classic)
Masks has been revamped to include an amount slider at the top of the Mask adjustment panel, above the other edit sliders. An important caveat regarding the Amount slider is that it does not change/update the individual sliders. Instead, it increases/reduces the intensity of the effect applied in the background. It’s also important to note that whilst an image that has been edited using the Mask Amount slider will share the same appearance as Camera Raw 14.4 and Lightroom Classic 11.4 when viewed in earlier versions, the slider itself will not be available.
Masking Badges (Camera Raw, Lightroom Classic and Desktop)
A number of mask badges in the Masking Panel have been changed to make them more visible and their function more obvious. Badges have been positioned on the far left side of the masking panel to denote the operations for: Add, Subtract, Intersect and Invert. The badges to denote the mask type have been placed to the right of the operator badges.
Presets (Camera Raw, Lightroom Classic and Desktop)
New Premium and Adaptive Presets
For those who use presets to enhance or personalise their images, Adobe have included 50 new Premium presets designed for videos, portraits and live concert photos. There are also two sets of ‘Adaptive Presets’, which with a single click will select the ‘Sky’ to create dramatic skies or ‘Subject’ to make your subject pop. All of the presets also include ‘live’ on-screen updates. So, we can just hover the mouse over the presets to see a preview of the preset at work.
Preset Amount Slider
And if the new presets aren’t enough, an ‘Amount’ slider has been added to enable global fine-tuning of the preset settings.
For presets that support ‘amount’, the slider is enabled and defaults to value of 100. The minimum and maximum values of the slider are 0 and 200, respectively. The slider will be enabled for most Adobe-created presets including Premium Presets. However, the slider is only enabled for presets created in earlier versions if they have scalable settings. What are scalable settings?
- White Balance (temperature & tint)
- Curves (all curves)
- Detail (sharpening amount, luminance noise reduction amount, color noise reduction amount)
- Color Mixer (all sliders)
- Color Grading (hue, saturation and luminance adjustments)
- Effects (grain & vignette amount)
- Camera Profiles (e.g. Adobe Color)
- Convert to black-and-white
- Detail (non-amount sliders, such as the Radius and Masking sliders)
- Color Grading: Blending, Balance
- Lens Corrections (LrC) / Optics (ACR)
- Effects (non-amount sliders, such as Size and Roughness of grain)
- Heal and Clone
The New and Update Preset dialog includes a new checkbox to indicate whether a preset should or should not support the ‘Amount’ slider. In Preset dialog, when the currently selected settings are scalable, then the Support Amount Slider checkbox will be enabled and checked by default. Otherwise, the checkbox will be disabled and unchecked.
Export (Lightroom Classic)
Lightroom Classic can now take advantage of the GPU when exporting images. However, as with GPU acceleration in Camera Raw, there are caveats as to whether a computer will be able to take advantage of the GPU when exporting. These caveats are related to the amount and type of memory available to the GPU:
- If the GPU has dedicated VRAM of 8 GB and above, ‘Export’ will automatically utilise the GPU.
- If the GPU has dedicated VRAM less than 8GB, you can enable GPU for ‘Export’ using ‘Custom’ option in ‘Use Graphic Processor’ located in Performance tab of Preference dialog. However, you are unlikely to see much, if any, improvement in export times.
- If the GPU uses shared memory (e.g. integrated graphic cards or Apple M1 unified memory), then the minimum requirement for export automatically taking advantage of the GPU is 16GB. Again, whilst it’s possible to force GPU support on computers with less shared memory, the improvement in export times will be small, and will require that the system makes significant use of swaps to disk/ssd.
I’ve included a screenshot below that shows the various options available for enabling GPU export support. Note that with only 4GB of VRAM on this particular computer, the GPU only supports limited acceleration, which means that acceleration will be minimal, if any.
You may well be asking what GPU acceleration on for exporting bulk images actually delivers. I’ve used three Mac M1 based systems to demonstrate. The three Macs used were:
- Mac mini 8-core M1 with 8-core GPU, 1TB internal SSD and 16GB of unified memory;
- 16-inch MacBook Pro 10-core M1 Pro with 16-core GPU, 2 TB internal SSD and 32GB of unified memory; and
- Mac Studio 20-core M1 Ultra with 48-core GPU, 1TB internal SSD and 64GB of unified memory.
I imported 1000 Canon EOS R5 files into Lightroom Classic 11.4, applied lens corrections, Auto Settings in the Basic panel and default sharpening. The Export settings panel was configured for full size, Quality ’100%’ JPEG and Standard sharpening. A 2TB Samsung T5 USB-C SSD was used for the original and saved files. Using the T5 meant that the likelihood of the faster SSDs in the M1 Pro and Ultra helping the SSD read / write times would not occur.
The averaged results from 3 tests on each computer are shown graphically below.
As above shows, with GPU acceleration enabled on computers meeting the specified memory requirements, we can expect to see significant reductions in export times. In April, I published a Blog post using Camera Raw 14.3 comparing various M1 based Mac computers with an Intel based MacBook Pro here. This post provides more details on the approach I adopted in the above tests.
Note: the times shown in above graph are for Canon EOS R5 files. The export times for other camera models and vendors are very likely to differ.
Discarding Stale or Orphaned Previews (Lightroom Classic)
Preview Management has received some attention in this version by optimising the algorithms used to identify stale and orphaned previews. With this change, LrC delete all the orphaned previews (previews of images that are removed from catalog or no longer exist) and stale previews (previews which are no longer in use) from <Catalog Name> Previews.lrdata.
Crop and Info Overlays (Lightroom Classic)
Lightroom Classic now includes a ‘Crop Overlay’ for ‘Fifths’ in the Develop module (Tools > Crop Guide Overlay > Fifths). Additionally, we can now choose to have different ‘Info Overlays’ in Library and Develop modules.
In-App Feedback & Ai Red Eye Removal (Lightroom Desktop)
In-App Feedback for Machine Learning features is available using the AI Red Eye Removal, Select Subject, or Select Sky. With this feature, you now have the option to provide feedback on the results of the AI process. An icon resembling a cartoon dialog bubble now appears in the interface when using one of these features, allowing you to provide feedback on the AI’s performance.
Compare View (Lightroom Desktop)
Lightroom Desktop now includes a Compare View with an option to place images side-by-side or stacked. The images can also be swapped.
Video (Lightroom Desktop)
You no longer need to leave Lightroom Desktop if you wish to make an edit to a video before sharing it on social media or elsewhere. Many of the Camera Raw edit controls that you are accustomed to using with your photos can also be used to edit your videos. You can also trim a video clip, altering its in-point and/or out-point to cut off any part of the beginning and/or end that you don’t want.
Batch Auto Settings (Lightroom Desktop)
You can now apply Auto Settings to any number of photos at once. Simply, select multiple photos in the grid, then invoke the command via the Photos menu or via the contextual menu.
New Camera Support
Details of new camera support added since the last release can be found here
New Lens Correction Support
Details of new lens support added since the last release can be found here
Lightroom Classic bug fixes listed here
Lightroom Desktop bug fixes listed here
Camera Raw bug fixes listed here
Disclosure: As an Adobe Community Expert I receive a free subscription to Adobe Creative Cloud.