The latest updates Lightroom Classic (10.3) and the Lightroom Desktop (4,3) were released to customers today (8 June). These updates include new features along with new camera and lens support, and bug fixes. Best of all is that Lightroom Classic is, as of 10.3, Mac ARM-native.
Mac ARM Support (Lightroom Classic)
Lightroom Desktop has been able to run natively on computers using the Apple M1 since late last year. With version 10.3, Lightroom Classic customers using Apple M1 based computers will also be able run the application natively rather than via the Rosetta emulation. However, if using Tethered Capture on a Macs with Apple Silicon, then you’ll be prompted to relaunch the application using Rosetta.
Super Resolution (Lightroom Classic and Lightroom Desktop)
Super Resolution first shipped with Camera Raw 10.2 and was generally well received by customers. Now it’s the turn of Lightroom Classic and Desktop.
Super Resolution relies on Machine Learning technologies developed by Adobe, and can be used to create an image with 2x the width and 2x the height of the original image, or 4x the total pixel count. Most file types such as JPEG and TIFF are supported.
Super Resolution is especially useful when you need to make large prints or increase the resolution of an image that has been heavily cropped. For example, below screenshot of LrC shows a chance shot of a Great Horned Owl. I think it was a surprised to see me as I was to see it. Needless to say, the owl fills only a small segment of the frame and at its native size is barely large enough for a 5 by 7 inch print.
Steps to create a Super Resolution image in Lightroom Classic:
- Right click on an image and select Enhance or from Photo menu > Enhance
- In the dialog box, you’ll find ‘Raw Details’ (previously known as Enhance details) and Super Resolution.
- Select Super Resolution and click on Enhance button.
The final image is easily large enough for an 8 by 10 inch or larger print. However, depending on the quality of the original the resultant image can be prone to artefacts (typically colour spots on high contrast lines, etc). So, my recommendation is that this feature is used only when absolutely necessary. There is no substitute for real pixels!
As with Camera Raw, there is also a headless option, which is activated by holding down the Option/Alt key when right-mouse-clicking on ‘Enhance’ in context menu.
Like ‘Raw Details’, Super Resolution uses the GPU in your computer to undertake millions of highly complex calculations. More details on the ‘Super Resolution’ feature can be found in the blog post by Eric Chan
Develop Presets (Lightroom Classic)
Many Lightroom Classic customers will recall the major revamp of Develop Presets and Profiles introduced in version 7.3 (April 2018). Since then Develop Presets and Profiles have been interchangeable between Lightroom and Camera Raw. In fact, newly saved or imported Develop presets in Lightroom Classic were stored in the Camera Raw Settings folder. Unfortunately, inconsistencies between the two apps caused confusion for some customers. So, to improve consistency between Lightroom Classic and Camera Raw, Develop presets will now be saved using a flat file structure instead of current hierarchy-based system using preset’s group name as folder names. That being said, inside of Lightroom Classic, new presets will continue to be neatly contained within Preset Groups. It is only at filesystem level that they will saved into a single folder. Fortunately, there is no change in the structure of how your existing presets are stored on your computer.
The folder into which the presets will be saved is:
- macOS – “<userHome>/Library/Application Support/Adobe/CameraRaw/Settings”, and
- Windows – “<userHome>\Appdata\Roaming\Adobe\CameraRaw\Settings”
It’s also recommended that for exporting the presets you use the preset export workflow instead of directly accessing the presets from filesystem.
Another Preset related changed is the ‘Process Version’ checkbox. With this release, Lightroom Classic no longer shows any warning when the option for Process Version is unchecked in the Preset creation/edit dialog. The Process Version checkbox will be auto selected if any related setting is checked. This change will also affect Copy/Paste and Sync Settings dialog.
Develop Presets (Lightroom Desktop and Mobile Devices)
The “Presets” button in Lightroom Desktop has been moved to the top of the edit stack.
Also, if you tend to use edit presets, then you’ll be pleased to read that there is a set of new presets for you to try out on the Lightroom Desktop and mobile devices. These new presets are described as ‘Premium Presets’ by Adobe, which is their way of indicating that they will be only be available to paying customers. On desktop, that effectively means they’re available to virtually everyone. On mobile, Freemium users will not be able to use these presets. They will see the ‘Premium Presets’ in the UI and on attempting to use them the app will present an upsell message, similar to other features which are already available only to paying customers.
In-App Learn and Discover (Lightroom Desktop, Mobile Devices and Web)
The in-app ‘Learn’ tutorials you can now step backwards, in addition to forwards. See top right corner in below screenshot.
- Tutorials now support Color Grading
- ‘Discover’ playback now allows you to expand local adjustments to show allthe changed parameters
- Learn More Button for incompatible HDR Videos (Windows)
Collaborative Editing (Lightroom Desktop, Mobile Devices and Web)
You can now share an an album and invite others to edit your images. You will also receive a notification when someone edits your photo in the shared album. No doubt this particular feature will be attractive to customers who are keen to see how others will edit their photos.
The process for initing others to edit your photos is relatively straight forward. You first need to create a shared album, then choose ‘Share & Invite’. Next, click on the ‘Edit’ button (red bounded button in below screenshot fooled by ‘Done’.
While editors always have access to Metadata, location it’s possible to extend this to others who don’t have editing access.
It’s also worth noting that when you grant Editor access, other users can view/edit all photos within the shared album. Therefore, if you want to retain any edits you’ve already applied to an photo, then it’s important that you create a Version. Other users with whom you’ve saved the album can also contribute new photos to the album as well as edit them.
More details on Collaborative Editing can be found here
VRAM Optimisation (Lightroom Classic)
With this release, the engineering team have spent some time optimising how the VRAM is utilised in the Develop module.
It’s hoped that this work will address Develop module slowness issues reported by Windows and Mac users in 10.2. The performance improvement should be more noticeable with higher amounts of VRAM (e.g. 8GB and higher). Machines with VRAM 4GB or lower will not see significant difference in performance.
Other Performance Improvements (Lightroom Classic)
With the release, certain Metadata panel related operations have been optimised. This show help with the following issues:
- When multiple images are selected, the time taken to update the data in Metadata panel increases.
- When one or multiple images are selected, the data in the Metadata panel tends to refresh (reload).
- When updating metadata for multiple images, the Metadata panel tends to refresh (reload).
The performance of Tone Curve on macOS has been improved when using custom colour profiles.
New Camera Support
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 Professional I receive a free subscription to Adobe Creative Cloud.