Customer Review

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
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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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Adam
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Location: Seattle, WA

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