Top critical review
9 people found this helpful
Good but needs more development
on 4 August 2012
I've been using Lightroom for years now and have always upgraded soon after the upgrade becomes available. I was a bit wary this time because of the numerous reviews complaining about bugs and slowness. This seemed to be mainly a problem for people with multiple displays and/or multi-core processors. I'm just using a core 2 duo iMac from early 2010 (all standard off the shelf 4 GB RAM and 256MB VRAM), so decided to risk it.
I think it is noticeably slower than Lightroom 3.6 (but I also seem to remember Lightroom 3 being slower than Lightroom 2 at first) and it has sort of stuck once or twice, but I'm hoping subsequent updates will improve this. On a Mac (but apparently not on Windows, according to one forum entry I read), inserting your camera memory card no longer automatically opens Lightroom at the import window. You need to either already have Lightroom open or let it open and then go to 'import' to get the import window. That's irritating, but hardly the end of the world. Also, the first time you start Lightroom, it's worth going into each module in turn to get the introductory blurb out of the way so that it doesn't delay you when you use it properly. I also found that I had to reset my SmugMug exporter (another irritation) but everything seemed to still be intact once I had done that. I'm not sure, but I think exporting to SmugMug may also be a little slower and the export progress bar seems to be a bit 'sticky.'
Some people have reverted to Lightroom 3.6, but I've decided to stick with 4 simply because the image quality does seem to be a bit better with improvements in highlight and shadow controls and - I think - some further improvement in noise reduction and clarity as well as more controls being available for local adjustment. The LITTLE bit of extra slowness and occasional hiccup are annoying, but the improved processing outweighs these for me. If you shoot RAW and you're considering buying one of the many new cameras on the market, you will probably need version 4 if you want to use Lightroom. On the whole, I think it's pretty good, but it needs the speed and bugginess sorting out.
I also tried it with free trial downloads of Photoshop CS6 and Photoshop Elements 10. It works fine with CS6, but if you use Elements, be aware that it does not seem to 'round-trip' properly with Elements 10 for some reason. You can still use it, but just not as easily or seamlessly. It requires a bit of working around. I have read reports of others having the same problem, but am not interested in fiddling with programming to try to patch it up. This is something else Adobe needs to fix. I decided to stick with Photoshop CS4 since I hardly use it at all, preferring to try and get things right in camera and just tweak with Lightroom.