Lightroom Videos

Video – Upgrading to the Process Version in Lightroom 3

This week I wanted to tackle a tiny setting in the Lightroom 3 beta that you’ll want to be aware of. It’s called the Process Version. Even if you’re not using the LR3 beta, this will eventually come into play in your life in the full version of LR 3 when it comes out, as well as Camera Raw.

Click here to download the video to your computer. [Right-click and choose the “Save As” option]



  1. Robert 13 December, 2010 at 23:41 Reply

    I did a bulk process conversion. Now i have an updated catalog, named ****-2, I also have 14000 files in 2 “duplicate” catalogs. total 28,000 files Can i delete the old precess version catalog or is it better to keep in case i need to go back to an older process version.


  2. Andrew Areoff 15 February, 2010 at 04:18 Reply

    Hi Matt,

    Any ideas when Lightroom 3 is due to hit the shops? I’m trying the beta version and it looks impressive considering it’s not the final release and seems to get close to but not almost as good as Capture One in terms of output image quality.


  3. Ken Z 10 February, 2010 at 05:04 Reply

    Hi Matt — thanks again for all you do for the photography community!

    Question to you: Would you see that the LR3 upgrade is worth the upgrade? I am trying to break my urges to always have the latest versions and do with what I have (not to mention the money that I can save)….

    When I look at the difference, I am not sure I am seeing the value in features adding up. One comparison would be the new Aperture 3…which seems to have added much value for a $99 upgrade price (many new features and big speed enhancements).

    Curious to know what you would advise to anyone who is counting their pennies (and saving them for an iPad) 🙂

  4. Peter 23 January, 2010 at 00:13 Reply

    Thanks as always Matt for doing these videos and keeping us informed.

    This is off the subject but still about Lr. I was wondering if anyone else would like to see a feature in Lr that would allow you to make notations about an image or processing applied, etc. I know that the history panel is there and you can make a snap shot and name that snap shot, but I was thinking more inline with workflow notations – “brought image into Ps to …” or – to do list type stuff – “Don’t forget to ……”

    If there is already an add on or feature that allows this I would be interested in learning more.

  5. Carsten 22 January, 2010 at 18:40 Reply

    I think it is a good idea that photos touched by LR2 are not automatically converted to LR3’s process version. This way I can be sure that they all will look the same in LR3 as they did in LR2. If want to use the new process engine for single pictures then I can decide myself do move them over to LR3’s process engine.

    I would like to know if it is possible to have a virtual copy of a picture and change this to the new process version while the original is still in the old process version? That would be cool.

  6. Adam McAnaney 22 January, 2010 at 08:00 Reply

    One thing that is missing from the video is details on how you import pictures into the LR3 Beta so that the edits you made in LR2 are visible/applied. Since you can’t open your LR2 catalog in the LR3 Beta, I was under the impression that pictures imported into the Beta would be processed using the new process version and without any of your LR2 edits applied. Does this only work if you have converted your images to DNG or are working with XMP sidecar files?

    FYI, my current process has been as follows:

    (1) Import photos from card to hard drive using LR2. This allows me to avoid a few bugs in the LR3 import process (primarily related to automatic numbering in the file renaming process). As part of the import process, I apply a preset with the Nikon “Neutral” camera profile.

    (2) “Add” photos to my LR3 catalog by importing them from their current hard drive location. (no moving or renaming of files)

    (3) Edit photos in LR2 (until LR3 is finalized and there is a guarantee that I will be able to import my LR2 catalog, I will continue to use LR2 as my primary image editor)

    (4) I occassionally take a look at the photos in LR3 out of curiosity. I had always assumed that I was looking at the basic, unedited pictures with the LR3 process version (but no edits) applied.

    As implied above, I don’t convert to DNG, and I don’t use XMP sidecar files.

    If I reversed steps (2) and (3), would the changes made in LR2 be visible in the LR3 Beta? If I make changes in LR2 after importing images into the LR3 Beta, will the new changes also be visible in the LR3 Beta (i.e., are the two versions of LR somehow synced)?

    Thanks for any tips on this subject.

    Best regards,

  7. LloydR 22 January, 2010 at 05:11 Reply

    Gah! Please let there be a batch processing tool for this. I agree one would not want to just convert an entire library in one fail swoop, but I know where I have certain catalogs of images that the processing for them is pretty much the same for all those images in that catalog. If I decided to convert after trying one I’d almost certainly want to select and do them all.

  8. mattk 21 January, 2010 at 19:01 Reply

    Alan – Not totally sure if the full version of LR 3 when it comes out will behave the same, but my guess would be yes.

    John – Yes, you can go back to process version 1 after you convert. I think I did an undo in the video and it works just the same as all of the other undo stuff in LR

    Lyle – I’m pretty sure you won’t see another “beta” update and that the next one you see will be the full version. The beta is there to kick the tires, but they’re not doing lots of iterations of beta’s like they did with LR1.

    As far as LR 3 and CS4, I’m sure there will be new Camera Raw stuff with LR3, that isn’t in CS4. I’d guess, you’ll still be able to go back and forth between the two (just like you can now with the beta), but you won’t be able to get the fancy new LR3 stuff in CS4’s Camera Raw – gotta have a reason to go to CS5 right 😉

    Matt K

  9. John 21 January, 2010 at 17:19 Reply

    @Graham: “Can anyone steer me to a post that details how I get music from itunes into LR3 slide show?”

    In Lr 3, you don’t have to go through iTunes anymore (on a Mac).

  10. Lyle 21 January, 2010 at 14:54 Reply

    Do we know when the next update to the LR3 Beta will be (has there been one since the original that I’m running) ?

    Will going to LR3 require updating beyond CS4 to retain camera raw full function (D700 and D70 – not worried about new camera support) ?

    Will the vignette have a simple burn edges mode in LR3 without a radius in the corners ?

    Thanks for your video and tips. 🙂


  11. Lucky 21 January, 2010 at 14:28 Reply

    Why are not all videos in this format, because i like to watch videos on iphone. Flash as we know i not supported for iphone and ipod.

  12. John 21 January, 2010 at 14:20 Reply

    @David: “One would hope that the production version of Lightroom 3 would give the option to “convert all’ when the catalog is updated upon upgrade.”

    I have a *lot* of BS&T in my Lr 2 catalog (which is why I’m not running the beta right now). I’m not sure a bulk update or batch update to the new Lr 3 process is such a great idea, given that adjustments may behave differently. Not unless you want to revisit each and every image to validate that it looks the way you expect it to. In my case that’s thousands of images, and I’m sure I’m at the low end of that curve… (I still have lots of stuff in Aperture.)

    Can you go back to process version 1 after you’ve used process version 2 or is it a one-way street?

    OBTW, thanks so much for these videos, Matt!

  13. John 21 January, 2010 at 14:08 Reply


    Lightroom 2.x behaviors are “process version 1” and Lightroom 3.0 (beta) behaviors are “process version 2”?


  14. Alan D 21 January, 2010 at 13:08 Reply


    I know that the Beta does not update a previously processed image to Process Version 2, the question is, will the LR3 product behave the same way the Beta does or will it set all images to process version 2?


  15. Alan D 21 January, 2010 at 13:05 Reply

    Importing directly from the camera or flash card will not always leave the image in process version 2.

    If you apply a develop preset during the import, the image will be in process version 1!


  16. mattk 21 January, 2010 at 12:29 Reply

    Dennis – Yep. Basically, you can import a LR2 photo into LR3 just fine. You can leave it as is, continue to tweak it using the same old Develop controls as always. Everything is fine. But if you want to take advantage of the improved Noise Reduction, Sharpening, Vignettes, etc… then you’ll have to update to the current process version.

    Hope that clears it up.

    Matt K

  17. Dennis Zito 21 January, 2010 at 12:26 Reply

    Hi Matt,

    So if I understand this … every photo that I’ve corrected in LR2, I will have to update in LR3 eventually or I can keep LR2 corrections if we want? Nothing happens automatically? I never had a clue about this .. thanks!


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