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471 of 484 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the best software products for digital image development
Adobe Lightroom is Adobe's flag ship digital image development program. When I say "image development" I mean just that. Think of Lightroom as a digital darkroom and now you know what is possible in the software.

The first lesson you must learn when using Lightroom is... stop shooting in JPEG. Lightroom can do some amazing things, even with JPEGs, but if you...
Published on March 6, 2012 by Stephen M. Lerch

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84 of 100 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Save your money.....
At first the program works pretty well; however, as with Adobe LR3 after a period of time the program will slow to a snails crawl when loading newer photos to your catalog, or when executing functions within the program. My system is a Intel with an i7 processor/16 GB memory on the board/ 1 TB hard drive/running Windows 7; as you can see, I should not have any issues with...
Published 22 months ago by TJ Snow


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471 of 484 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the best software products for digital image development, March 6, 2012
By 
This review is from: Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 4 [Old Version] (DVD-ROM)
Adobe Lightroom is Adobe's flag ship digital image development program. When I say "image development" I mean just that. Think of Lightroom as a digital darkroom and now you know what is possible in the software.

The first lesson you must learn when using Lightroom is... stop shooting in JPEG. Lightroom can do some amazing things, even with JPEGs, but if you want to enjoy the benefits Lightroom has to offer, you really need to shoot in RAW. You can pull some shadow and some highlight detail from JPEGs, but there is an order of magnitude difference in the amount of detail present in a RAW file.

The other thing to realize is that yes, if you have Photoshop, you can do everything Lightroom does. The difference, for now, is Lightroom 4 uses new controls not in Adobe Camera RAW (at the time of this writing - Adobe now offers a new Camera RAW version), which is where a lot of the new highlight/shadow recovery comes from, so for now Lightroom is quite a bit nicer than Photoshop in that regard. The other, most important piece, to remember is that Lightroom is designed from the ground up to only include the functionality you need for digital photography - you can't do advanced photo editing where you replace a goat's head with a person's or remove trees and so on. If you need that kind of software, buy Photoshop. If all you want is to develop your digital images as they were shot, with some spot removal tools, cropping and so on, Lightroom 4 is the place to be and the interface is designed with just these things in mind.

Next, if you are new to the product, check around the web for tutorials (Adobe has a few) and buy a book. You'll need it. The interface isn't horrible, but not all of the tools are intuitive enough that you can just pick it up and run. There is a lot of hidden power to be tapped and if all you want is to just skim the surface and not dig into the details, you might be better served with something like say, Photoshop Elements instead.

For users new to Lightroom, there are 7 modules now that you work with primarily. The first is the Library module. This is where you allow Lightroom to troll your hard drive looking for images (you can determine where it looks). This is where you would go to quickly find an image you've tagged (you can keyword tag your photos). The next module is Map. If you have a camera with GPS functionality or want to manually input the location data, you can use this module to locate your images on a map of the world. Next up is the Develop module. This is where all the magic is done. In this module you can choose white balance, change color temperature, change exposures, add sharpness, enhance shadows and highlights, perform lens correction and so on. It is amazingly powerful stuff. You then have the Book module, where you can create photo books in a streamlined manner and send it to Blurb for printing or create a PDF for printing wherever you might print books. Next up is Slideshow. Here you create Slideshows of images and can run it like a presentation with some added text and so on. Then there is the Print module. I still use Photoshop for printing since I know how to get the results I want from there, but I will be trying Lightroom again now that we have a new version. And finally you have the Web module that can be used to upload your photos automatically to many services you already likely use or have seen, such as Facebook.

So what's new/different between Lightroom 3 and 4? First up is the geo tagging. For those of you lucky enough to have GPS built into your camera (including camera phones!), you can now have Lightroom import this information and tag your photos according to your locations. This means you can search via say, Indiana and find all the photos there. The inclusion of a map function allows you to see where the photos were actually taken, so if you were in a pub taking photos in New York City, then found your way to another pub 10 miles away, your photos are separated by 10 miles (scale miles!) on the map so you know exactly where the photos were taken.

Next up is the book module. I've used this extensively in the beta, just to try it out, and it is fairly intuitive and easy to use. I haven't yet submitted a book for printing, but that is just a button click away as well. You can easily create books and send them off to Blurb (Adobe partnered with them) or print to PDF for printing elsewhere. The results are nice, but if you have to be in control of every aspect of the layout, InDesign is the way to go here.

You can now, if you are lucky enough to have a camera that does video, import and perform color/white balance corrections on DSLR video. I have seen it used and borrowed files from friends (my DSLR doesn't do video) and it works. It's not as easy to use as a dedicated video program, nor as robust, but it works. I watched a video on the Lightroom YouTube channel where they took a snap shot from a video, color corrected the photo then applied that correction to the video as well. I tried that out, and it works, but results aren't always what you want. You may be able to do it, but I haven't found it, but it seemed to me you had to apply the correction to the entire video, not just a scene. So those of you looking for video editing, you are better served with real editing software, not using Lightroom for this.

Another major improvement is highlight and shadow recovery. When used properly, you can actually pull detail out of a photo, even some JPEGs, you never would have thought was there. You can also do faux HDR with a single image instead of a series of images and, believe it or not, the results are actually quite nice (if you like HDR that is). The highlight/shadow recovery is similar to the sliders you knew and loved in Lightroom 3, only they are so much more powerful here.

When Adobe releases the next version of Photoshop, it will likely be amazing given how awesome Adobe Camera RAW seems to function in Lightroom.

So there are a couple questions you have to answer.

If you already own Lightroom 3, is it worth the upgrade for you? If you live your life in Lightroom 3 and rely on it for your livelihood, yes, buy 4 without question. The new highlight/shadow tools can work magic on your photos. For the rest of us who don't make our living and it's just a hobby, the question comes down to new functionality. If you like the idea of geo location of photos, the enhanced shadow/highlight functionality and video support, buy it. If Lightroom 3 gives the results you want and you're just a hobbyist, you may wish to wait or not spend the money at all.

If you don't have Lightroom already, should you buy this over Aperture? That depends. If you know Aperture and the functionality it offers, then Lightroom 4 may be a steeper learning curve for you. Personally I feel Lightroom gives ME better results, but I'm not an expert at Aperture and I've learned on Lightroom. If the option is DxO vs Lightroom, just buy Lightroom. It is worth the extra money.

If you want digital imaging software that allows complex cutting and editing, you don't want Lightroom.

One other nice feature of Lightroom 4 is the new pricing structure. The prices are set at a point where it actually makes sense, if you are a hobbyist and especially a professional, to move to Lightroom.

I give Adobe Lightroom 4 five stars. It does an amazing job, works really well and the details it can pull, even from JPEGs, is astonishing.

Adobe has hit a home run here.

ALSO- if you are on the fence, why not head over to Adobe's site and download the 30 day free trial? It's free and it doesn't hurt to try before buying for sure.

EDIT- you will need Adobe Camera RAW 6.7 Release Candidate to export to Photoshop with your adjustments. That's a bit annoying as LR4 should have been released with the latest Camera RAW download to avoid this mess.
EDIT2- Camera RAW is no longer beta. When you open Photoshop and try to import a Lr4 file, it should prompt to download the latest version of Camera RAW.
EDIT3- Adobe has finalized Lightroom 4.1 - make sure you download and install this as it fixes some performance issues. LR 4.2 is currently in release candidate mode (you can use LR 4.2 RC1 until Oct 31, 2012 if you want an extended "trial.")

EDIT - LR 4.2 is now available as a full release. It is no longer a release candidate. This update adds a lot of camera support along with some performance updates.
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The manufacturer commented on the review belowSee comments
121 of 126 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Exceptional feature set. Faster now, but still a few bugs, March 12, 2012
This review is from: Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 4 [Old Version] (DVD-ROM)
**SEE UPDATE AT BOTTOM OF REVIEW*

Lightroom 4 is a pretty major release for Adobe. They added some pretty significant features, changed a few of the features they had, and tweaked the image quality and rendering a bit. There is a LOT going on here and I'm not going to try to cover it all (the product description above does a good job). Instead, I am going to focus on what matters to me most - using Lightroom to edit professional images for clients.

I'm a professional wedding and portrait photographer and I've been using Lightroom since the release of Lightroom 2. It has since then become the bedrock of my editing routine, covering about 98% of my needs. The remaining 2% is mainly advanced touchup work and is handled by Photoshop CS5. I photograph about 30 weddings and 30-40 portrait sessions a year. I average about 1800 RAW photos per wedding and about 450 per portrait session. This puts my total workload at around 60,000 photos per year and every single one of them are handled by Lightroom.

So after using Lightroom 4 a bit, I am getting acclimated to its new image editing features and am very excited about the new tools. However my main grind at this point is that it is much slower than the version 3 it replaces.

My computer specs:
Intel 2600k overclocked to 4.4Ghz
8GB DDR3-1600 RAM
X-25M 80GB SSD (for lightroom libraries)
HD5670 video card
(multiple) 2TB hard drives for RAW image storage

This setup worked fairly well in the past. The very fast SSD handles the Libraries and the slower HDD handled the RAW files. Well, when I upgraded to LR4 the whole program seemed to slow down a bit, which was very frustrating to me. Everything from flipping through photos to toggling the editing tools in "develop" was sluggish. I had rendered ALL previews correctly and hid the histograms from the library view and thumbing through photos was still like trying to dance in the mud.

I had recently ordered a 120GB Corsair M4 SSD as my primary editing disk, and this would be a perfect time to give it a try. Maybe my 2TB HDDs were slowing down LR while they accessed my RAW files. I can confirm that with my RAW files on the Corsair M4 and my libraries on the X-25M SSD, the program is STILL slow. Between an 8-thread, 4.4ghz processor and two SSDs, I don't know what else I can do to get speed out of this program.

So culling and editing pictures in Lightroom 4 is a slower process than with Lightroom 3. This is a huge disappointment for me. For the working professional, time is money and for basic selection and editing, you will be spending more time with this new software than your old software in the past. I would gladly trade the geotagging or book making feature for an increase in speed.

Another issue to be aware of is that LR has changed the way it handled exposure adjustments. You now have the option of fine tuning recovery of Whites/Highlights/Shadows/Black tones within the adjustment panel. This is different than tone curve adjustments and acts more like an HDR tool. While these new adjustments are great, you need to upgrade your images to the 2012 process to take advantage of them. This will render your previous exposure presets all but useless. You will have to create new presets for the 2012 process. If you have a large number of presets, this is going to be tedious. On the upside, most of the other non-exposure based presets still work fine. If you prefer to keep your current tools and adjustments, you can stick with the 2010 process.

So, now that the bad is out of the way, what's good? Well, quite a bit. The new exposure tools are great. You also get a FULL RANGE of exposure and white balance tools through the local adjustment brush. This gives you a huge amount of creative control over your image that is unprecedented. Even Photoshop can't do this. Just one week in, I can tell you that the images edited with Lightroom 4 will look even better than the ones I edited with Lightroom 3 (even if it takes me longer to do it). For now that's a compromise I'll put up with.

In Summary, Lightroom is an exceptionally powerful editing tool which has improved since version 3. More features have been added and the existing features have been tweaked in a very useful way. However in the never-ending rush to add more features, the developers seemed to have lost sight of the fact that speed is very important to most end users. I also had LR crash on me last night for the first time in three years of usage. Fortunately my library was not corrupted and all of my editing adjustments were intact.

I expect many of these issues to be addressed with future updates, but it would have been nice had they taken a little longer and gotten it right to begin with. If you currently have version 3 and are on the fence about version 4, you would be forgiven for holding off until version 4.1. If you haven't tried Lightroom at all yet (or are on version 2), you are in for a real treat.

**UPDATE**
After using Lightroom for a couple weeks I seem to have isolated the speed issues to the Develop module. It seems as if sorting, flagging, and culling images in the "Library" module is acceptably quick (about equal to Lightroom 3) so long as you have the previews rendered for your images.

The develop module, on the other hand, is still quite sluggish. The program seems to be very lethargic at changing editing tools. Clicking on tool buttons (exposure, crop tool, etc) is no where near as responsive as it should be. Additionally, flipping to different images in "develop" is notably slower than it is in "library".

The slow downs here are due to a CPU bottleneck, not a hard drive bottleneck. My CPU is literally maxing out while trying to work quickly in the develop module. In this case you would want the fastest processor you can get your hands on. So long as you have an SSD for the libraries and good mechanical hard drive for the RAWs, you shouldn't be bottlenecked on the storage side of things.

I also seem to have found some sort of bug in the local adjustment brush tool. Lightroom 4 crashes on me nearly every editing session now and it's always when I'm using the local adjustment brush. Fortunately the libraries seem robust and I haven't lost any work.

**3-30-12 Lightroom 4.1 RC has been released**
I installed Lightroom 4.1RC yesterday and this fixed many of the issues I had in my original review. ALL of the speed issues relative to Lightroom 3.x have been resolved. I would now rate the programs about equal in speed (not fast, but sufficient). They also fixed the tone curve migration issue I mentioned earlier, as well as a few other bugs.

I can still confirm though that there is a bug in the adjustment brush which causes the program to crash. It's just an annoyance though (no work is being lost). Hopefully they isolate and take care of this soon.
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stem
The manufacturer commented on this review(What's this?)
Posted on Mar 27, 2012 9:12:33 PM PDT
Hi j. Howell,

The team has tracked down some performance fixes and tuning that will be available in build along with fixes for a few other top issues that were affecting users: http://feedback.photoshop.com/photoshop_family/topics/lightroom_4_update_from_the_team_update_scheduled_for_this_week

Jeff Tranberry
Adobe Systems, Product Manager, Customer Advocacy - Digital Imaging
 
 

The manufacturer commented on the review belowSee comments
27 of 28 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars My thoughts on the program itself, and thoughts on complaints of speed, March 21, 2012
This review is from: Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 4 [Old Version] (DVD-ROM)
I'll keep this short and sweet:
This is my first divulgence into "real" photo editing, now that my photography has started to get to new levels (paid). This program is worth all the money just for the RAW converter, I'm not even kidding. I will probably never use the "book", "map", or even "web" module, and frankly, I'm fine with that.

Back to the RAW converter: If you have a sensor that is rated to have a high dynamic range, prepare to be amazed. You can literally create single shot HDR photographs with excellent recovery of crushed blacks and blown highlights. This has many advantages:
1. You no longer need to do multiple exposures (unless you are looking for an EXTREME dynamic range, such as the "baked" look)
2. You can essentially just point and shoot, and the auto-edit will mostly save the exposure for you, just a few manual edits via the sliders and you're golden. Fine detail is preserved amazingly well
3. You will free up space on your hard drive over time, as normal HDR photos have 3-7 bracketed photos
4. You can do HDR without a tripod, making more subjects accessible to many more photo opportunities

Now, addressing people's concerns over the speed (many, many posts about it on the internet), I have a feeling it may have to do with the OS. I'm running OS 10.6.8 (latest version of snow leopard) with a 2.66 ghz i7 dual core processor, 8 gigs of RAM, and an NVIDIA 330M with 512 MB of memory. It seems the problem lies with either the Windows kernel or even OS 10.7 (Lion, which I've not upgraded to, seen many problems with 64-bit programs). On average, it takes about a second when zooming at 100% in the develop module for the picture to "pop" in focus. This is well within the speed I was expecting, and it doesn't interrupt my workflow one bit. Other functions with the program are very snappy and responsive, most adjustments happen in real time. The only one I can think of that has a delay (about 2 seconds) is the luminance noise reduction. This was expected in my case, as my NEX-7's 24MP files are a lot for this program to chew through.

Overall, I can't recommend this enough, I am looking forward to learning all the intricacies that this program has to offer. And I seem to learn new tricks with it every day!
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stem
The manufacturer commented on this review(What's this?)
Posted on Mar 27, 2012 9:11:17 PM PDT
Hi Matthew,

The team has tracked down some performance fixes and tuning that will be available in build along with fixes for a few other top issues that were affecting users: http://feedback.photoshop.com/photoshop_family/topics/lightroom_4_update_from_the_team_update_scheduled_for_this_week

Jeff Tranberry
Adobe Systems, Product Manager, Customer Advocacy - Digital Imaging
 
 

84 of 100 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Save your money....., June 1, 2012
This review is from: Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 4 [Old Version] (DVD-ROM)
At first the program works pretty well; however, as with Adobe LR3 after a period of time the program will slow to a snails crawl when loading newer photos to your catalog, or when executing functions within the program. My system is a Intel with an i7 processor/16 GB memory on the board/ 1 TB hard drive/running Windows 7; as you can see, I should not have any issues with memory or disk space. After spending an extensive amount of time with a customer service representative from Adobe trying to troubleshoot the issues that I am currently having, the conclusion from Adobe was, the Lightroom product has known issues for being sluggish, and the software engineers are currently working on the problem. The representative also stated, I would have to wait until version 4.2 to be released for any fixes regarding sluggish performance. Currently there is no firm date on when version 4.2 will be released; other than they are currently working on the issue. So as of now I have an expensive useless program on my computer. Any advice that I should give to anyone who's considering this program, hold off for now until Adobe gets this bug fixed, if it gets fixed.
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20 of 21 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Glitchy, Slow, Difficult., November 10, 2012
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 4 [Old Version] (DVD-ROM)
I purchased this software to improve my digital image workflow & for tethered shooting. I also liked the idea of being able to create a photo book from within the program. I have been a "nearly daily" photoshop user for close to 20 years.

I find Lightroom 4 to be SLOW, GLITCHY & DIFFICULT TO USE! My computer easily meets the hardware requirements, but nearly everything about this program runs slowly. Whenever you switch "modules" it stutters and slows and breaks your concentration. The "Import" function in the Library Module is painfully slow. It SLOWLY finds all of the drives and storage devices on your system. I have checked and apparently there is no way to exclude some of the drives or devices on your system. The program "looks nice" on the screen and perhaps this is one of the reasons it runs so slowly? Give me a stripped down version that runs faster! It is supposed to be for "professional photographers", but I know of no pro photographer that wants to sit around waiting for their computer to respond.

I am finding that I GREATLY PREFER Adobe Bridge and Photoshop for most of the functions that this program provides. I purchased a book on how to use Lightroom 4 and that book even states that the program runs slowly, locks up, etc. The book advises that you just sit and wait for it to resume running correctly.

If you make any changes to your file structure in another program (or move a file), the program can't find the proper folder & you have to start over. I have yet to use the "photo book" module, but expect it to be slow and glitchy as well. Come on Adobe, get the program to run FAST and work the BUGS out BEFORE releasing it! At this point I have to wonder if the good reviews I am reading are written from people within the company.
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50 of 59 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Great features. Very poor performance, July 6, 2012
This review is from: Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 4 [Old Version] (DVD-ROM)
Like the title says Lightroom 4 has significantly better features than Lightroom 3. However, it suffers from some serious performance issues. It runs very slow. Switching between modules and applying presets causes my Macbook pro to hang(doesn't happen with LR3). This is a widespread issue that Adobe hasn't addressed yet. Even with the 4.1 update which I am currently running. Just be aware of these issues before you decide to purchase or upgrade from Lightroom 3. I am currently going back to using Lightroom 3 until 4 is fixed.
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17 of 18 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Lighroom 4 will make you look like a Pro, and great noise reduction., May 6, 2012
By 
® (West Coast) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 4 [Old Version] (DVD-ROM)
I had avoided buying Lightroom (LR) for many reasons before, mainly because I have a full blown version of Photoshop 5.5 extended (PS) and also the Nikon ViewNX (RAW converter) was free and pretty good. So if you are a person looking for reason to upgrade from Lightroom 3 to 4, then this review is not for you. I have no clue what Lightroom 3 has missing or what is new compare to this. I will review this base on first timers for Lightroom and people with experience with PS and ViewNX and some corel paint 8 (which I own too). I also use RAW, not jpeg editing.

Wow is the first thing I got to say after 2 weeks of usage. Actually, after one day I was ready to return it since I can do everything on here between ViewNX and PS. What I didn't realized later is how much faster I can do adjust things in LR rather than convert it in ViewNX raw to jpeg and then edit it in PS (either jpeg or through Adobe Bridge, ACR). Here are the plus and minus of Lightroom 4 version the other photo editors:

Pluses:
+work flow is fast. View NX is now 64bit like lightroom 4, but LR is a tad faster in term of editing and converting raw to jpg. Editing is not as fast as PS, but PS only open up one photo at the time and that is actually done in another software call Adobe Bridge. I learned from ViewNX not to put more than 100 raw files in one folder, or it will crash. So far no crashes on LR4.
+I always found Adobe converter Raw (ACR) clunky to use. LR4 adjustments are easy and fun to use. I can open a before and after views side by side and see how things changed, and not from memory.
+Noise reduction is amazing, why buy noise ninja, when LR4 does a great job. I don't shoot over 6400iso that much so, I not talking about that level of noise, just small touch up to clean a portrait skin on the fly. ViewNX has no noise reduction or softener. PS5.5 does, but you can do that in a few ways using filter: de-noise and blurring, there might be other ways too.
+Saving presets is something I love. ViewNX comes and can read the Camera raw presets (on camera picture profile), but you can't save any of your own. You can do this in PS as action.
+I can do about 90% of editing on LR4 compare to what I can do on PS 5.5e. ViewNX can do about 30-40% of what I can do in LR4. I also have a Sony nex so it raw software is even less useful. More in line with opening files from Adobe Bridge and then editing one by one to ACR, but with the level of option of ViewNX (not as much).
+No layering (a good and bad thing) here, to do the same option in Photoshop, I can do in LR4 in 25% of the time. To doge and burn I use the paintbrush and adjust the brightness or whatever and it is done and another one for darkness. In PS you have to create 2 other layers, then name them and turn them into overlay. TO adjust the brushes later, you just touch on the dot. Creating mono/duotone is also easier and quicker. Ex: the slider on the right side you can adjust hue, saturation, luminance, buy just looking and siding the bar. In PS those are separate window you pull from the tab, or you can open those tab to the right, basically it is just easier to use on LR.

Minuses:
-Won't let me save my catalog library on my network server, it must be saved on the computer HD. You can work with raw files on the network server fine. While having the library running off the computer hard-drive is faster, but I used 2 computer at home and sometime I do editing on either one, so the ability of using the file library on 2 computers with lightroom is not an option.
-To edit a photo you must bring it into your library also. You don't have to do this with ViewNX or Adobe Bridge to PS. You can open any file anywhere and start editing.
-No layering means no HDR or photo merge. Last I checked HDR and panorama are type of photography, well you can't do it here like you can on PS. Also without layering you can't cut and paste and do motion blur. People who do heavy portrait will still use PS for heavy photo adjustment. The Paintbrush on LR4 only adjusts color, hue, etc, but you can't paint color, line on it like in PS.
-Lightroom catalog takes quite a bit of space on the computer hard-drive itself (already 2gigs and I had this for like 2 weeks), something ViewNX or Photoshop doesn't really do.

Neutrals:
*LR4 was touting its highlight and shadow is improved, I think it is good, but I have been doing this on ViewNX and also PS for a while.
*can't read Nikon color profile. I adjust my RAW setting on my Nikon D7000 and ViewNX will read those adjustments and when I convert to jpeg it is fast. I don't need to look and edit every files.
*Book, Slide show, Print tabs are features I wouldn't use that much and don't care too much. I might be interested in the web tab as I might create my own photography website and do have dreamweaver, so this LR4 features might be useful later on.
*there are only 4 tools, but they are more powerful then you thing.

Is LR a better RAW converter then Nikon own ViewNX? I would say yes and no. Since LR can do a lot more the potential of a greater picture is there. ViewNX does more natural looking image that I haven't created presents to match yet in LR. It can't do noise reduction, which I am using a lot now on LR. ViewNX still does great straight from the camera shoots better, since it read my in-camera raw presents.

I am PC person since I own too many software that don't run on Mac, mostly 3d and CAD software for architecture are PC only. But I got to thank Aperture 3 pricing; no way on earth is LR worth 300 bucks. It is not a full feature software like PS, even if it is faster for workflow. I wanted LR so long and now the price is about right I would recommend it for all the serious photographers. The only true other option might be Adobe Photoshop Elements 10 which is a gimp version (most features most users won't even notices) of PS and is relatively cheap. I do love the creations I am now getting from LR4. I will link to some sample later in the comment line.

For speed reference I am using a Lenovo ThinkPad W500 Mobile Workstation - Intel Core 2 Duo T9400 2.53GHz - 15.4" WSXGA - 4GB DDR3 SDRAM - 160GB HDD - Windows 7 pro which is like 3 years old and it works fine.
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47 of 56 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars UPDATED 12/16/12 4.3 speed much improved over 4.2!, July 4, 2012
By 
JW "jw" (Bozeman, MT USA) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 4 [Old Version] (DVD-ROM)
New review of LR 4.3: I was getting pretty close to bailing on LR. I can't stand it when the only way to make an "upgrade" work is to overpower bloated, inefficient code with more computer processing power. Adobe got the upgrade from 4.2 to 4.3 right: 4.3 is night and day better then 4.2. I was using 4.2 2 hours ago, updated to 4.3 and the difference in speed is substantial. Everything from switching between develop and library, to editing tools (even the graduated filter), to export are running much faster and more smoothly. Nice save, Adobe!

Old review:
I'm porting most of my reiew of the LR4 upgrade over to here - they are the same program, both requiring a full install. I'm reviewing the latest version of LR4 as of 7/2/2012. The things I agree with from the positive reviews are that the feature set is rich, noise reduction and sharpening appear to be slightly improved, and highlight and shadow detail are easier to adjust. However, I was literally using LR3 in the morning, made the upgrade to LR4, including the latest online update, in the afternoon, and the slow down in image processing was stunning - so bad that I thought I had somehow mucked up my hardware settings during the LR4 install. Not the case, everything else ran fine. LR4 is gawdawful slow!

I've been using LR since the first version, and despite a few minor bugs that were always fixed fairly quickly with online updates, the software has perfomed very well. Not this version. Functions that used to respond in real time (saturation, contrast, clarity...) now take 15 seconds or more to show up on the screen. Some functions, like export, are now so slow, that when I first went to use it, I thought my computer had crashed. Conservatively, my image import>adjust>export cycle now takes at least 3 times longer than before, and the stuttering performance is extremely frustrating. LR4 is roughly 10x bigger than LR3, and I can't help but believe that this bloat is partly to blame. LR4 is a major disappointment, and doesn't hold a candle to LR3 in terms of speed. For now, buy LR3, software you'll be able to use, and wait for Adobe to get their act together with LR4 (they eventually will, and it will be worth the wait).
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Not a revamp, but enough yummy stuff to upgrade, May 14, 2012
By 
Adam (Seattle, WA) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)   
This review is from: Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 4 [Old Version] (DVD-ROM)
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
After you install Lightroom 4 and open it for the first time, the first thing you might do is say "hmm... this looks a lot like Lightroom 3." And on the surface, you're correct. You only start to notice some of the subtle changes when you dig a bit deeper into it. The first thing I noticed off the bat was the additional module items -"Map" and "Book". Had to try them out, so I poked around with the Map module. It's pretty nifty. It's probably one of the easiest and fastest ways to add metadata to a group of photos so that you can quickly bring up results later on. There's so many options for metadata with Lightroom in general that you'll literally swim in a sea of it. However, I'd rather have many options than too few, and how much or how little metadata you add is entirely up to you.

Next I gave the Book module a bit of a go. I haven't actually completed a book yet, but it's pretty convenient that it's there considering I'm actually putting together a photo book for commercial purposes. If Lightroom 4 can cut down on the overhead of putting one together, I'll be one happy camper. As it stands I'm still taking photos and wading through tons of post-processing.

Speaking of post-processing, they've done a MUCH better job at it with version 4. Previously the default settings in the Develop module's Basic panel would be at odd positions. Now they're all centered when they're at their defaults, making it easy to tell at a glance whether an image has been modified. The options have been simplified as well. Your choices are now Highlights/Shadows/Whites/Blacks. The nice thing is the histogram shows exactly where each of these fall into the spectrum. It's easier now to remove clipping and recover whites and boost blacks. One other thing I noticed that was improved a lot: the Auto setting. In Lightroom 3 it seemed to be all over the place, and went way overboard. With Lightroom 4 it seems to be a lot less aggressive, although it depends on the shot. I've still seen it do some incredibly bizarre things. It does provide a nice hint at what might need some attention though. It's very rarely so spot on that I shrug my shoulders and settle with what it decided was best, but it can be pretty close.

There are other new features as well, such as better video support, improved noise reduction, and more control over black & white processing. The latter is actually pretty cool. You can take a rather dull picture, convert it to black and white, and then go to town on the different color channels and come up with amazing results. I can't speak much for the noise control as I typically shoot at a pretty low ISO. For video I have professional video editing software, so I haven't gone down that road either. I'm curious about it though, to see exactly how well it performs when some of the Lightroom 4 settings are applied to clips. I want to know how many adjustments I can make before it starts to crawl (or who knows - maybe it will do fantastic!)

There's certainly enough improvements to warrant the upgrade. Since upgrading to 4 I haven't once opened 3.6 to do any work there instead. Lightroom 4 is a solid move.
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19 of 23 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Performance joke, August 1, 2012
This review is from: Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 4 [Old Version] (DVD-ROM)
LR 4 has some serious performance issues on OSX Lion and Mountain Lion. I switched from Aperture 3 to LR3 and was very impressed and simply fell in love with the program. Now LR4.1 is causing me headaches and frustrations as Aperture 3 did. I dumped Aperture 3 precisely for the way LR4.1 for is acting now. It works great at first and the longer program is opened and more adjustments there are, the slower it becomes. It is basically unusable. Great update but so what if it doesn't work. Click on spot removal...beach ball, move around the image...beach ball, brush adjustment...wait, wait, wait, move slider...wait, wait, wait and on and on. I click on one photo in the film strip but preview won't display the image that is highlighted. Everything is so slow within the program. I have no choice but to remove it and install back LR3 or look for other software. What a shame. This definitely negatively changes my opinion on Adobe. I am extremely disappointed and quite frankly upset to put it lightly. Isn't it supposed to be fun and joy to work on your photos???
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Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 4 [Old Version]
Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 4 [Old Version] by Adobe (Mac OS X, Windows 7 / Vista)
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