The Lightroom Conspiracy

I bet that title drew you in didn’t it? Come on, face it. Anything with the word conspiracy is bound to make you want to read more right? Well, last week, Scott Kelby and I sat down to talk about the mini-Lightroom conspiracy that we’ve read about lately. It really all started when Lightroom 2 came out, but then when CS4 came out last week, things got taken to another level. So if you’ve a) been having some performance problems with Lightroom, or b) been wondering that now that CS4 is out, is there really a need for Lightroom 2 anymore (since Camera Raw is now the same), then jump over to Scott’s website and check out the video. Here’s the link.

Author: Matt K

Matt is a full time Education Director for the NAPP and Kelby Training. He's a best-selling author of various books on Photoshop and Photography co-hosts the live weekly photography talk show "The Grid" and is co-host of "Photoshop User TV". In his spare time he practices as a 1st degree black belt in Taekwondo and enjoys spending time with his family in Tampa, FL.

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25 Comments

  1. Conspiracy will always get reads. I should use that more often ;)

    Seems like there is also a conspiracy to prevent the video of you guys from loading. Either that of you just really popular. I’m waiting for it to start working to check it all out. LR is still king of speed though, even with CS4 on the way. No contest there if you ask me.

    Gavin
    seimeffects.com

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  2. I must say, I do feel that as a separate product with a separate price, it would be really nice if Lightroom had editing features not found in Photoshop. As for editing incompatibilities, editing a smart object could simply bounce you back into Lightroom instead of Bridge if Lightroom was installed.

    That said, I agree that “Conspiracy” is giving this a little too much credit. After all, Adobe doesn’t make you buy Lightroom.

    Furthermore, there are several situations where Lightroom still has particular value for its editing features.
    1. While you wait to save up enough to upgrade to CS4. I know I’ll be using CS3 for at least another 6 months.
    2. As a companion for Photoshop Elements.
    3. As a companion for some other photo editor.
    4. As a stand-alone photo app.
    Either options 2, 3, or 4 give you a VERY powerful editing environment significantly less expensive than Photoshop.

    Lastly, as for the performance problems, yes, they are real, yes, they suck. Majorly. I have a recent quad-core photo editing rig with 4GB of DDR2 1066 low-latency ram, and painting in adjustments is so painfully slow, I usually just give up in frustration, and that is -with- the 2.1RC1 patch applied. That said, Lightroom 1 didn’t really come into its own until the 1.2 patch in my estimation, and it’s recently released software. I’ll give them another month at least before I start whining about it.

    In the end, I guess it’s a matter of value to the user. If people feel cheated, they should consider whether the software has value to them, and if so, calm down.

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  3. I just want what I paid for to work…that’s all I ask

    “slow adjustment brush is painful”….that is an understatement!!!
    Can not even use….1 to 3 min to redraw a single stroke

    I think the hardest thing is knowing what LR2.1 is supposed to do …..Its very frustrating to know that for some users it seems to work great & for those of us that it does not work at all….arrrrrg!!!!!

    Matt thanks for all your efforts
    David

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  4. I watched this over on Scott’s blog. I just wanted to stop by and say thanks for the video, and for the positive environments on your sites!

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  5. If we do not upgrade to CS4 will we still get to download RAW 5.0? I can think of some cases where I would really like to have RAW 5.0 Like when I know I want to direclyopen in RAW in CS3 and do some details stuff . That is if the problems with the speed of adjustment brush and and a few other things have been cleared up

    I can’t quite tell but it seems the majority of us have problems with the slowness of LR2 contrary to Mat and Scot’s video seems to say. Maybe it is due to the fact that many of us do not have the luxury of having a computer dedicated to our photography. I don’t know since it is is hard to tell what is on Mat’s laptop even when he slips up :<) ..
    MY LR2 work is extremely frustrating due to the speed issue. I have taken to using CS3 and avoiding LR 2 in a lot of cases. I have to honestly say though, my laptop is full of other programs I use day to day.

    Lastly, I talked to Adobe and there is supposed to be a demo version of CS 4 coming out.

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  6. 2.1Rc1 still hasn’t fixed the problem many were having with lightroom interacting with photoshop. On the PC it only works if you install Photoshop on the boot partition. I have long felt the boot partition is for the OS and that’s it. Programs go on a separate partition or even better a separate drive.
    For those with any of the suites this is a particular hassle as you can’t install part of the suite in one place and the rest elsewhere which means getting a standalone version or gobbling up the whole C partition with the creative suite.
    Luckily my redraws aren’t too bad. I have a dual core amd XP 4200 and it runs fine.
    One thing I’ve noticed going all the way back to Lightroom 1 is that on the PC the identity plate can only go halfway accross the screen while it appears that on mac you can have it go all the way and even under the module names.
    One thing that worked right in version 1 stopped working somewhere around 1.2 or 1.3 for me. It doesn’t eject the card reader. My card reader has a light on it that tells me if it’s connected. In 1.0 it would turn off and could be removed. in 2 and 2.1 it stays on and I can even run import from device a second time. grrr
    Otherwise I love lightroom, but with 2 full versions, multiple updates and such, eventually everything should just work.

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  7. on CS4. I’m definately looking forward to the opengl support. Why it’s taken them this long to perfect a system that is in windows vista considered legacy, is beyond me. I’m an XP holdout and am not looking at running vista so that’s fine. I look forward to accurate renders at all zoom ratios. It will be nice when one can fit to screen and have it look right rather than having to zoom in a click and have to scroll.
    Unfortunately, I found out the hard way that unlike lightroom 2. Cs4 beta and cs3 don’t play nice together. Cs4 beta grabs lightroom exporting away from cs3. so I guess I’ll have to wait till the full release.

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  8. Hey Timothy , is there a CS4 beta available to the public now?

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  9. Tie breaker for me is that CS4 will require a G5 or better; I can still run LR1 and LR2 on my G4 Powerbook, with CS3 apps.

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  10. Thanks Matt (and Scott)! I must say that I’m a Microsoft XP user, really like LR2, have not had any problems, but appreciate the “heads up” about potential issues. I had many problems with Bridge and Camera Raw, which is another reason I like and use LR, because I don’t have to deal with those issues. Do I buy CS4? Maybe, to use Bridge and Camera Raw as you suggest in the video. You provide outstanding support and tips.

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  11. I’m not sure that I am buying into this whole conspiracy thing and marketing is designed to maximize profits. However, what I, as a consumer, expect is that when I buy a product, it should work as advertised. I don’t think that is an unreasonable request.

    I can appreciate the difficulty that Adobe has in making their software run with all the possible hardware on the market, but that is the business that they are in. If LR2 will not run as advertised with nVida cards, then they should have told us or waited to release until they did.

    I am using an nVida card, as are many other people, and LR2 is not working for me. I have done the nVida fix and installed LR2.1 and I am still having the same issues – difficulty in selecting the adjustment sliders, sliders that jerk instead of slide, long wait before I see the adjustment, values that change after I release the mouse, and adjustment brushes that are totally unusable.

    As popular as nVida cards are, how could Adobe have missed this issue in their Quality Control process? This is where the marketing issue arises. In a rush to maximize profits and catch up with advances made by competitors, did Adobe push a product with known issues to market? That is something we will probably never know. What I do know, is that I have purchased a product that doesn’t work as advertised, and I am not very happy about it!

    In a quick test, I installed LR2.0 in a four year old laptop, which is ancient in computer years. It is a middle of the road unit, but it has 1Gb of RAM and does not have an nVida card. LR2.0 works perfectly on it. All of the issues that I had are gone. I can see changes to the sliders and the adjustment brushes in real time.This is the program that I thought I was purchasing.

    I have to question the efficacy of Adobe’s testing program.

    I have used Photoshop since Version 4.0 and have upgraded as each new version came out. I am very disappointed not only in the LR2 product, but in the handling of the release by Adobe and will probably think twice before any I do any upgrades in the future.

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  12. Hi Matt,

    thanks for sharing the vidoeo about lightroom bugs.
    I think everyone needs to understand also that some issues that occur with anyones computer with regards to program and performance issues also have alot to do with drivers also. there are so many drivers out there and they are changing constantly. i suggest that people try updating the drivers for their mother boards by going to the manufactures web site and updating the drivers for their paticular chip sets, sometimes updating the bios also helps. For example I had an issue with my pc and after going to via’s web site and finding that there was a new raid driver,ide driver and chip set driver I installed them and my pc took off and was running almost like out of the box fast. we cant always blame software manufactures because even though we think of them as “computer geeks” and they should know everything, they just dont and thats the reality.
    So I suggest checking your system first and going from there.
    Also this whole conspiracy thing…. lol
    Just as Scott say’s in the video, each program has its place in the work flow. Lightroom is such a time saver for me and should be for many others as well. Just think, you dont have to open bridge, then camera raw to do what lightroom does. It’s one program open and not only does it speed up the raw processing, at least for me, you can make some pretty cool print layouts, contact sheets and flash slide shows all from one program.
    And for some $299.00 is much less expensive than $999.00 for camera raw you get when you purchase Photoshop. And for some out there who dont have time for retouching and send your images out after processing, it only makes sence.

    Ron

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  13. I must HAve a bug or something in my lightroom 2.0, as I have minimal if any performance issues at all. I just done a wedding shoot this last weekend with over 900 images, only 250 were processed and I don’t have the much talked about issue with the adjustment brush; even with masking turned on all the time. I have been on board since Ver 1.0 in the beta program nd have done many shoots and my cat contains 37,000 plus images on 5 seperate drives.

    I’m running on a macbook pro 17, 4gb ram.

    I’m sorry everyone seems to be having the problem but m so glad i don’t as it sounds terrible.

    Am I alone?

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  14. Hi Matt,

    Great to get things aired out, on the table and to hear both sides of the discussion.

    I do have a question for Adobe guys that maybe you or Scott can pass on.

    Why can’t the layouts of the various panels in Lr and Camera raw be exactly the same if they in fact do the same functions ?

    I use both Lr and Camera Raw and I find it frustrating to have to scan the various panels to find a specific adjustment that is being driven by the exact same engine.

    Let me give you an example(s) – the local adjustment brush –

    in Lr 2.0 the brush add and erase are in different locations than in the new Camera Raw. Camera raw has toggles for mask and points. Just to mention a few.

    I see no apparent reason as to why the development panels are not layed out and operate the exact same way in both programs.

    For those who choose to use both Adobe products, a consistent interface would seem to make sense.

    Your thoughts as to why the two interface design teams are not talking to each other.

    Thanks

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  15. I too am having terrible trouble with LR2 RC1 on my IMac (24inch-10.5.5). I am having freeze-ups, system freezes, weird catalogue issues, it is just scary. This must be fixed and soon. I have talked to Apple help and Adobe help with really no solutions other than rebuilds and reverting to older versions. I think I will avoid LR as much as possible until this sorts out.

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  16. I have written several times about LR 2.0,

    1. I have paid good money, and I expect this product to work properly. It doesn`t!
    2. Arrogant and incompetent customer support, from Adobe (UK), have not exactly endeared me to the company.
    3. Unless Adobe release a version that does work, I am considering asking for my money back.
    4. John Nack`s rather silly comments concerning Aperture really did sound like the comments of a desperate or stupid man I am sure John isn`t stupid, but again, these comments did not endear many people, including me, to Adobe.
    5. With little or no competition, Adobe can treat people in any way they want. They release sub-standard products and frankly, no matter how angry we are, they do not care, and because we all have nowhere else to take our money we are all completely cornered!
    6. If Adobe recognise the way many of us feel, if they release software at reasonable prices that actually work and if they improve their customer support massively then I will be the first to support them.

    I am not holding my breath!

    Nick

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  17. Matt, thanks for the link to the video. Both you and Scott made complete sense of a rather ‘unusual’ situation

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  18. After reading your post, watching the video and reading these comments… right now I’m really very happy having not updated either LR or CS3. LOL.
    I’m plugging along, very happily. :)

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  19. Is it just me, or is this a chicken or the egg issue? CS3 came first, so people jumped to LR. Now LR2 is first, so people Jump to CS4.

    I think far too many people think of LR as just a fancy version of ACR or bridge. I guess the concept of Asset managment is far to new for people to grasp.

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  20. To Nick who claims he has paid “good money” go look at Revit MEP 2009 from autodesk. That program still has major problems and is missing core content that users have to make or live without. Some users complain that at $5,695 per license they are beta testing. That’s good money. If we paid that much for LR or PS I could understand the anger, but at $299 for LR we have little to complain about. We get a bargain for a great tool. I praise adobe for providing a great program at an affordable price!

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  21. thanks matt & scott for all your work.

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  22. To Walt Sorensen. NONSENSE!

    I do NOT claim I have paid “good money” I HAVE!

    Here in England Adobe. and others, continue to “rip-off” the consumer with massively inflated prices. They have absolutely no cohesive answer when asked why!

    Revit MEP 2009? Completely irrelevant! Why is this important to me? Your argument is flawed!

    LR 2.0 costs $99.0 in the USA, £92.82 in England! Work it out, thats a con!

    LR 2.0 was/is unfit for purpose. That is unacceptable, period!

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  23. To Nick,

    You missed my point. LR is low cost compared to other software that truly is broken. My alliteration to Revit was about what a real rip off is. Unlike Revit, LR does 99% of what adobe says it does. For the price it is well worth it. Go read jkost.com and learn what LR is truly about.

    I hope by now you have updated to 2.4 and got some of the fixes you complain about. LR is great if you understand what it is for.

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