Category Archives: Lightroom Ecosystem

Camera Raw, Lightroom Classic & Desktop | October 2022

 Adobe  ‘Max 2022’ saw the announcement of Camera Raw 15, Lightroom Classic 12, Lightroom Desktop 6 along with updates to Lightroom Mobile and Web. New features in desktop applications include:


  • Additional masking options: Select People, Select Objects and Select Background
  • Content-Aware Remove
  • New adaptive presets pack for portrait selections
  • Left Handed Panel Swap (LrC)
  • Masking Curves (ACR Only)
  • High Dynamic Range Output (Technology Preview in ACR)
  • Compare View with Edit (LrD)
  • Mask Amount Slider (LrD)

I’ll discuss each in more detail below using LrC as my application of choice. However, were a feature in specific to either Camera Raw or Lightroom Desktop I’ll use that application.

Masking Updates (Camera Raw, Lightroom Classic & Desktop)

With these latest  updates, Adobe has introduced new masking options for ‘background’, ‘objects’ and ‘people’. The existing Masking UI has also been updated to incorporate these new masks.

New Mask UI

Select Background

Previously, the only way to select a background mask was to either invert the subject mask or the sky mask (if present).  Unfortunately, neither was ideal. With these latest updates to ACR and Lightroom Classic & Desktop there is a dedicated masking to option for selecting backgrounds.

Background Masking

Select Object

Selecting an object or objects in an image wasn’t fully supported in earlier versions, although some users could work around the omission easier than others. With these latest updates the task of selecting objects is much easier.

There are two options for selecting objects: ‘Brush’ and ‘ Marquee’ as shown in below screenshot.

Object Selection Options

In below example, I’ve used the ‘marquee’ selection tool. Note that I’ve also included the wake of the kayak. This was achieved by dragging the marquee tool to include the wake.

Marquee Object Selection

Select People

When a photo contains people, the Masking panel will automatically find those people and display a mask for each. Clicking on each individual mask will allow you to refine the mask further based on their physical attributes.

People Selection

In below example, I have chosen to select ‘Eye Sclera’ (whites of eye).

Selecting Physical Features of People

You can also add more than one person (if present in original image) by clicking on the Add People icon. A Mask will be created based on the number of People and attributes selected.

Content Aware Removal (Camera Raw, Lightroom Classic & Desktop)

A Content-Aware removal  tool is now available under Healing tools. This new tool is based on the Patch Match technology recently introduced to Photoshop.

Content Aware Removal

To use, simply brush over the area to be removed and AI will be used to find a suitable source. However,  in the event that the source does not produce a satisfactory result, then a User Guided Source Selection for Content Aware Heal tool is available. To use, hold down the Ctrl/Cmd key and drag over a new source area.

While the Content Aware removal tools appears to be the the ideal solution for removal of objects, people, etc from photos, it not perfect and occasionally the original spot heal tool does a better job.

Adaptive Presets (Camera Raw, Lightroom Classic & Desktop)

Adaptive presets with support for new AI masks have been added to allow users to quickly make people related selections without accessing the ‘Masking’ panel. These adaptive presets will help users Enhance attributes of a Person like Hair, Teeth etc. with a single click using the power of AI.

Portrait Adaptive Presets

Left Handed Panel Swap (Lightroom Classic)

A new interface preference has been added to Lightroom Classic. Using this preference, it’s now possible to globally Swap Left and Right Panel groups. There is also an option for only switching the Develop module panel. It is hoped that these options will make LrC UI a bit friendlier for Left Handed users.

Swap Left and Right panel groups

Note that an app-relaunch is required for this change to take effect.

Import (Lightroom Classic)

On Windows platform, when importing from portable devices, like iPhone, Android phone, Camera, LrC will now scan devices almost 3X faster to load and display images in the Import Grid view.

In addition to performance improvements, this workflow is expected to be much more from reliable at eliminating intermittent hangs and crashes.

Folders (Lightroom Classic)

With version 12, Parent folders can be displayed in the Folder panel for newly imported images instead of being hidden as in LrC 11.5 or earlier. The intent being to  help the users to organise their images better. An additional option ‘Show parent folder during import’ is now present in the ‘Import’ options section in General tab of the Preferences dialog to provide control to turn this behaviour On/Off.

Folder Panel – Show parent folder during import

Masking Curves (Camera Raw)

A Point Curves panel has been added to the edit stack in Camera Raw. The inclusion of the point curves panel should help users achieve more refined adjustments than the sliders. Hopefully, curves will be added to Lightroom Classic and Desktop in a future update.

High Dynamic Range Output (Technology Preview in Camera Raw)

Camera Raw already has existing high dynamic range-related features such as Merge to HDR. Those existing features involve reading existing HDR files, or merging multiple source files to create a new HDR file. However, in previous Camera Raw releases, the rendering results (i.e., seeing the edited photos on a display or exporting them to JPEGs or PNGs) have always been limited to standard dynamic range (SDR). For instance, the final 8-bit pixel values are always limited to 0 to 255.

Camera Raw 15 HDR Output provides the ability to see HDR renderings on compatible HDR displays, the ability to save HDR renderings to files, and the ability to send HDR results to Photoshop. At the technical level, this means the ability to produce pixel values outside of the usual [0,255] range.

Note that High Dynamic Range Output is only available on macOS.

System requirements:

  • macOS 10.15 or later
  • Compatible HDR display, such as MacBook Pro 14″ or 16″ (November 2021) with XDR display, or Apple Pro Display XDR
  • GPU Basic or Full acceleration enabled

To enable/disable the feature

Go to the Camera Raw Preferences dialog, Technology Previews section. Enable/disable the checkbox, click OK, and restart the host app (Photoshop or Bridge).

HDR Output Technology Preview

Mask Amount Slider (Lightroom Desktop)

This slider becomes live when the user selects a Mask. Adjusting this slider adjusts non-0 sliders in-sync (under the hood). Note that these slider changes are not reflected in the Local Edit Stack UI, which is expected behaviour.

Mask Amount Slider

Edit In Compare View (Lightroom Desktop)

Both windows in Compare View now support editing.

Edit in Compare View

System Requirement

The minimum OS version for Camera Raw, Lightroom Classic and Desktop is:


  • The minimum macOS version supported is macOS Big Sur (11.0).
  • You will not be able to install Lightroom Classic 12.0 or later builds on macOS Catalina (10.15.x).
  • If you are using macOS Catalina (10.15.x), we recommend that you update your OS to at least macOS Big Sur (11.0).


  • The minimum Windows 10 version supported would v20H2 (or later).
  • You will not be able to install Lightroom Classic 12.0 or later builds on Windows 10 v1909 and v2004. Installation would be allowed on Windows Server 2016 or later.
  • If you are using Windows 10 v1909 or v2004, we recommend that you update your OS to at least Windows v20H2.

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

Disclosure: As an Adobe Community Expert I receive a free subscription to Adobe Creative Cloud.

Camera Raw, Lightroom Classic & Desktop | August 2022

The latest updates to Camera Raw (14.5), Lightroom Classic (11.5) and Lightroom Desktop (5.5) have been released to customers. These updates include new camera and lens support along with bug fixes. There are also new features in Lightroom Classic.

Metadata Browser Filter (Lightroom Classic)

A new option has been to the Metadata Browser filter in the Library module – ‘Add Column : Left’ and an update to the existing menu option to ‘Add Column : Right’. This will allow users to add a new blank column to both left and right sides of the selected filter column.

Kind Filter (Lightroom Classic)

A new ‘Kind’ filter has been added to the Filmstrip filter bar. This new filter reflects the same feature already found in ‘Attribute’ filters in Library Grid, but also allows the user to filter ‘original images’, ‘virtual copies’, and ‘videos’ across all modules.

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

Bug Fixes

  • 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.

Camera Raw, Lightroom Classic & Desktop | June 2022

 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.

Masking Updates

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.

Supported workflows:

  • Copy and Paste
  • Auto Sync Settings
  • Previous (in the Develop module)
  • Sync settings
  • Presets

Unsupported workflows:

  • 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?

Scalable settings:

  • White Balance (temperature & tint)
  • Exposure
  • Contrast
  • Highlights
  • Shadows
  • Whites
  • Blacks
  • Texture
  • Clarity
  • Dehaze
  • 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)

Non-scalable settings:

  • 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)
  • Geometry
  • Effects (non-amount sliders, such as Size and Roughness of grain)
  • Calibration
  • Red-eye
  • Heal and Clone
  • Masking
  • Crop

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

Bug Fixes

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.