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78 of 80 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Thoroughly Excellent Product
Once you've used Lightroom for a while and gotten your workflow in good shape, you'll wonder how you managed to live without it. I always convert my NEF and CR2 RAW files to DNG before importing them into Lightroom, mostly for future proofing purposes, but it's really not necessary. Lightroom makes use of Adobe Bridge to manage and edit RAW files from a huge variety of...
Published on 23 Jun. 2010 by Robert Groom

versus
27 of 30 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Nice software, but very resource heavy
I've been using LR since version 2 and have come to trust it with my entire 30k+ image collection. I shoot in both RAW and JPG and have about 240 Gb of photos. LR works quite well on the JPG files, but the new version really has some performance issues when it comes to working with RAW files. Things that were fast in version 2.x now take several times as long,...
Published on 23 Oct. 2010 by JGR


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78 of 80 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Thoroughly Excellent Product, 23 Jun. 2010
By 
Robert Groom (UK) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)    (REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 3 (Mac/PC) (CD-ROM)
Once you've used Lightroom for a while and gotten your workflow in good shape, you'll wonder how you managed to live without it. I always convert my NEF and CR2 RAW files to DNG before importing them into Lightroom, mostly for future proofing purposes, but it's really not necessary. Lightroom makes use of Adobe Bridge to manage and edit RAW files from a huge variety of third party RAW formats.

Once your images are in the database, you can sort, categorise, compare, apply search terms, filter and organise by metadata attributes, perform multi-edits like white balance, lens distortion and vignette correction across a series of shots in one go, which is a real timesaver. The editing tools (spot removal, adjustment brush, crop, rotate etc.) are lossless and any change can be undone or modified at any time. The only disadvantage of this method is that, after applying a large number of edits, further editing can become somewhat sluggish. This is not usually a problem in reality, as most edits in Lightroom tend to be minimal tweaks.

Of course, you still need to implement a reliable image backup strategy, preferably involving some form of off-site storage, but at least now you will be able to find your 'best-of-the-best' shots with a couple of clicks. Using Lightroom has revolutionised the way I work, and use it constantly. It interfaces beautifully with Photoshop, and export plugins are readily available to facilitate uploads to the more popular online image sites.

New to LR3 is improved noise reduction. Some sample images I've processed in parallel with Noise Ninja and LR3 show a comparable benefit at default settings. For the vast majority of images, I'll likely never use Noise Ninja now. You get fewer knobs and buttons than in specialist NR tools, but who really uses them all the time? Of course, you can also add film grain noise if you want to, which looks very convincing, and is a nice feature if you want to go for a reportage/retro look.

The new lens correction (distortion and vignetting) feature is fantastic, and I will be using this as a matter of course on the majority of my shots. Just check the list of supported lenses to be sure you're covered. There are 14 Nikon lenses (including popular Pro zooms like the holy trinity and the seemingly ubiquitous 18-200) and 27 Canon lenses listed along with a surprisingly long list from Sigma, but only 2 for Sony lenses and a miserly 1 for Tamron. No doubt this will be expanded as updates to LR3.1 and above are released. If your lens isn't specifically listed, then you can make manual adjustments, which should save an unnecessary trip into Photoshop.

The import dialogue is improved and clarified, and has extended options for applying standardised filenaming and metadata on import.

There is a tight integration with Flickr, and I have found a plugin allowing direct export to Photobox too, which is very useful (note that this is a 3rd party plugin and may not be free).

The image watermarking is improved, and lets you embed your professional logo in exports, which I will certainly be using.

The Tethered Capture feature is a great new addition, especially for Nikon shooters who don't get free remote capture software supplied. I plug my D700 into any USB port on my PC, fire up the Tethered Capture facility and the camera is immediately recognised. I can then fire away, and the shots will all be stored in a folder of my choice, with whatever naming convention I choose and with standard metadata applied as required. A preview of the last shot taken is displayed as I shoot. You can also add standard keywords at capture time, which is useful.

All of the above were the icing on the cake for me. The real reason why I upgraded to LR3 was the improved speed. When scanning through 30,000 photos, LR2.6 could be rather sluggish, especially displaying the thumbnail images in a non-pixellated format. LR3 is not instant, but it's certainly a lot faster, and that makes my job easier. It's a real time saver.

Lightroom 3 is an incredibly comprehensive photo management and processing tool. Many photographers will find that it's all they need for 90% of images, with fewer and fewer reasons to make the jump to Photoshop for those more intense edits.

If you're buying Lightroom for the first time, it represents great value for money and I can thoroughly recommended it to any pro or advanced amateur photographer.

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May 2011 Update: I recently added a Crucial C300 64GB SSD (flash memory) drive to my PC purely to hold my Lightroom database and preview images, and this makes a huge difference to the performance of Lightroom when loading and scrolling through large sets of images. Well worth considering if you spend a lot of time in Lightroom.
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72 of 74 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Quality, speed, ease of use and decent asset management, 12 Jun. 2010
This review is from: Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 3 (Mac/PC) (CD-ROM)
Lightroom 3 is a leap. Its raw conversion--Lightroom's core feature--produces clarity, sharpness and detail that shame all previous Adobe raw converters, particularly for higher-ISO images. Noise reduction is outstanding--in previous releases, a base level of luminance noise reduction blunted the finer detail of your low-light work, robbing it of some of its bite, even with the luminance slider set to zero. Now, you get zesty details and exceptionally effective control of noise. Colour noise reduction is simply in another league now, and luminance NR can restore the gloss to smooth surfaces (like car bodywork shot in low light) in a way that was previously the preserve of dedicated, third-party noise-reduction applications and plugins. Learn the combined effects of sharpening, masking, the detail sliders and noise reduction in Lightroom 3; when you do, you'll find it hard to produce better basic conversions from other raw converters. With the creative sharpening tools, the graduated filters and the other brushes for local adjustments, the quality of Lightroom 3's output quickly reaches giddy heights.

This release includes all the image management and workflow capabilities of Lightroom 2 with some useful workflow tweaks and an improved import interface. There are new and very useful development tools to reduce optical distortion and to quickly correct for the effects you get when subjects have parallel lines that appear to converge when photographed from less-than-perfect positions. (This easy, after-the-fact correction is a poor photographer's shift lens and you pay in pixels, not pounds. We'd all love a decent set of tilt-shift lenses but sometimes, you have to take what you can afford and pixels are getting more affordable, unlike, say, a Nikkor 24mm PC-E. Ah, the Nikkor 24mm PC-E... [Pauses for a moment and wipes a tear from his eye.])

For many photographers, Lightroom 3 is all the post-processing and image management they'll ever need. For those who require Photoshop for advanced pixel-level work, photomontage or the addition & removal of elements from pictures, Lightroom 3 works exceptionally well with Photoshop CS 4 (you need to upgrade your ACR plugin to v5.7 for free) and of course, with CS 5. If you round-trip between Lightroom and Photoshop, you'll be glad to know that you can send a Photoshopped image back to Lightroom and later, back to Photoshop with all your previous layers preserved--no need to flatten.

Print and web output, with the output sharpening licensed from the PixelGenius folks, is unmatched. Upsizing and downsizing are both handled beautifully--your low-res web images will look sharp but not crunchy. Printing is one of Lightroom's strong points but I'll leave that for another time. If you made it this far, you'll have realised that I consider Lightroom 3 to be a terrific package. I'm withholding a quarter of a star because there's no soft proofing and a quarter because there's no book-printing package included. (Unfortunately, I had to round up to the nearest number of whole stars.) The Lightroom team has done an exceptionally good job--this is a landmark release.
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93 of 96 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Lightroom 3 Tramples Capture One!, 10 Jun. 2010
By 
C. Jeavons - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 3 (Mac/PC) (CD-ROM)
I'm a pro photographer, and shoot fashion product for a living, and image clarity and accuracy is key. I've been using the beta 2 trial of Lightroom 3 for a while now, and it's amazing! Lightroom 2.whatever was ok, but not a patch on Capture One Pro. but Lightroom 3 does it all just as well, and does the important things SO much better! Image Quaity! As for RAW image handling, it is THE BEST! ACR in CS5 still makes for noisy, unsharp images that need a lot of extra work done to them - as did the old Lightroom. Capture One Pro did a much better job, but shadow details were still a little 'grainy'. Lightroom 3 delivers wonderful shadows, lovely accurate colours, and little need for additional sharpening - and it's fast! ACR is slow, Capture One is faster, but Lightroom 3 is quicker still! I use Canon gear, and this software has been the answer to my prayers!

I'd long given up on Adobe's RAW converters, but this has drawn me back (and away from my beloved Capture One). Not only are the converted jpegs great quality, Lightroom 3 is the fastest converter I've used! A good 40% faster than Capture One, and if you're a Canon user and use Canon's DPP, then it's a million times faster! Forget DPP, get this!
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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Steamlined happiness, 5 Oct. 2011
By 
This review is from: Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 3 (Mac/PC) (CD-ROM)
I have had a DSLR for about two years and had never really done photography before. I started off thinking processing software was unnecessary and I would be happy with my shots straight out of the camera. I then decided that even the best shots can be improved with a little contrast and sharpening so I tried to get to grips with free software like GIMP. I found it all a bit much to cope with - I wanted simple powerful editing without the need to add layers and spend 30 minutes on each photo. I decided to try Photoshop Elements 9 which I did like but it still seemed a little too convuluted for what I wanted to do. I discovered the raw section of Elements and really liked the simple sliders - they made everything so much easier.

I eventually bought Lightroom as I had read that the raw editing was very good and had many more options that the Elements plug-in. I was not disappointed, it is an absolute dream to edit photos now. It is all non-destructive so you can edit away without fear of altering the originals. Want to try a different edit? You just make a 'virtual copy' and try it in black and white, make another copy and try a cross-processed look. All these copies can then be kept together and the best thing is the copies are just the saved settings, they are not a whole photo so you are not eating up drive space by making them.

My favourite mode is 'lights out', just press 'L' and all the panels dim so you can focus on the photo. Press it again and everything but the picture is completely blacked out. There are also lots of ways to sort and mark your shots and you can do batch exports etc. As other reviewers have said, it is worth getting a book or two because there are no instructions. Learning all the keyboard shortcuts is a huge bonus!

I don't think I will ever change from Lightroom, it is everything I ever wanted in processing software. Very simple and intuitive but with a lot of power under the hood.
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26 of 27 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Not just for professionals, 8 July 2010
By 
Michael Shea (Algarve, Portugal) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 3 (Mac/PC) (CD-ROM)
Lightroom 3 is a significant improvement on the previous edition, which in my opinion was already a brilliant and invaluable program for anyone saving RAW image files. Both versions enable you to save presets with ease and this facility is ideal for recreating the look of a picture you're particularly happy with. All adjustments are fully reversible. The interface of Lightroom allows you to view your changes in excellent detail.

Noise reduction is improved out of all recognition in Lightroom 3 and probably the second most important feature is the new lens distortion filter. Both function very effectively and mean you spend less time in Photoshop (if you've got it) afterwards.

So do you really need Photoshop as well? Well in my opinion it depends largely on how much you rely on third party plug-in filters. I've got many installed, but not all of them work directly with Lightroom. However, Nik Software and Photomatix Pro both do and I could probably get by with just them and still achieve very satisfying results.

There are many amateur photographers who simply do not appreciate the scope offered by RAW image files and therefore can't understand what a high-end RAW processor is capable of. I would urge them to at least take out a trial version of this software. It is by far the best of its kind available and I can thoroughly recommend it.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Lightroom for a nonprofessional, 29 May 2011
This review is from: Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 3 (Mac/PC) (CD-ROM)
I bought Lightroom 3 after reading quite a lot of reviews and after purchasing a Canon G12 camera. ( an updating after 6 years with photopshop 6 and and old Nikon). I was concerned with the ability to work with Raw files and I understood that the Camera raw engine on LR3 was one of the best. At first sight LR3 is formidable and the front end concerned with file management is really aimed at professionals who take thousands of images. However the ability to see and select ones smaller collection of "takes" is a very useful asset. It is when you get into the develop module that the strength of the program really becomes evident. However there is a lot of depth to be understood and it is beneficial to have a manual to help. I got Martin Evening's massive tome ( perhaps a wrong choice as it is written with professionals in mind, however it is so comprehensive that with some scrabbling around you can find what you want) Once you are into the develop module it really is a pleasure to use and it will do so many of the things that I used to do in the "wet" darkroom. You then go seamlessly into the print module which again makes life very easy as, for instance, it remembers the printing set up values that you put in for a particular paper and size and fits the image on the paper even if you have forgotten to turn the orintation from portrait to landscape or vice versa.
I was a bit disturbed when trying to use the "edit" transfer to photoshop as it would not find my old PS6 version and I had no intention of lashing out the funds to buy CS5, However PS elements 9 is quite affordable and gives you immediate exchange between it and LR3. It is only for certain jobs, if you need to use layers for insatnce, that you need to leave LR3. PSE9 seems also an excellent program for the non-professional user although I have had little occassion to use it so far as LR3 does most of what I want.
I am still at the learning stage but I am very impressed.
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16 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Highly recommended, 15 July 2010
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 3 (Mac/PC) (CD-ROM)
I am new to Lightroom and extremely pleased that I bought the software. So far I have dabbled in the different modules and I am gradually getting to know the program with the help of "The Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 3 Book" by Martin Evening.The Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 3 Book: The Complete Guide for Photographers
I find the Develop and the Print modules to be very efficient and useful, and quite easy to get used to. The built-in creative developing presets are excellent. The Library module will take some more getting used to as there are so many options for organising my image files - sometimes it feels like I'm starting all over again. The Publish link to Flickr is a godsent.
The software runs smoothly on Windows 7 and I use Photoshop CS5 for external editing, so I haven't come across any conflicts.
I was also pleased with Amazon's delivery service.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars how to make a silk purse out of a sow's ear, 29 Sept. 2011
This review is from: Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 3 (Mac/PC) (CD-ROM)
As a fairly recent convert to digital photography and still struggling to come to terms with the versatility of the image processing software available, I selected Adobe Lightroom, with a little help and advice from more experienced friends. And their advice was spot on. Easy to use, with the essential feature (for me) that you never 'lose' your original image, I have often lost all track of time as I tried out all sorts of image adjustments and manipulations. This product is a must for all those who would like to turn their ordinary photographs into near-professional compositions to impress their friends.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Tethered camera support is limited, 21 Sept. 2011
By 
Peter Stamer (Wilts) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 3 (Mac/PC) (CD-ROM)
One of the pre-purchase attractions of Lightroom 3, for me, was that it also allows one to take tethered photos (your camera is connected directly to your computer, allowing you to see the image immediately on your PC monitor - great e.g. for studio photography or when using a light tent).

However, I did a search: Tethered camera support Lightroom 3, only to discover on Adobe's website that not all 'tether-capable' Canon/Nikon cameras are supported.

Read all the small print - I went from elation to deflation because my D5 camera is supported but then Adobe went on to state that 'Windows require a driver downloaded from Canon. This driver is not available for 64-bit versions of Windows' - and I use Windows 7 64-bit.

This is perhaps of no importance to the majority of potential Lightroom users but is just a caution to other tethered photographers.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars very zen . . ., 27 May 2011
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 3 (Mac/PC) (CD-ROM)
very intuitive and worth every penny. It is simple to use and the results are brilliant. I find photoshop so difficult to use as a photographer - too many options, too much to learn and it is not remotely intuitive. However, I do use Lightroom with the basic Photoshop knowledge I have too. It is fantastic for keeping track of all your files as well. I am very satisfied with it.
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Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 3 (Mac/PC)
Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 3 (Mac/PC) by Adobe Systems Inc. (Mac OS X, Windows 7 / Vista)
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