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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