For the first time since its launch in 2007, the newest version of Adobe Lightroom focuses on refining the experience for photographers with a few well-built features rather than packing in a bunch of cruft that most of us didn’t want. It may not boast a big list of “new” items, but the features that <em>are</em> here help establish LR 5 as the best yet.
A long, long time ago, someone much smarter than I coined the phrase, “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.”
Adobe seems to have taken that message to heart with the latest retail release of its photo management software, Lightroom 5. We’ve taken it for a spin over the past month, and walked away suitably impressed… but what we were most impressed with was Adobe’s commitment to ironing out kinks to a winning formula, rather than redefining and redesigning a tool designed for workflow management.
Lightroom 5 has a rather short list of improvements and additions, and nearly all of them help it to stand on its own as an image editor designed purely for enhancement of photography and videography instead of adding more bloat. In fact, I’d dare say that most consumers will upgrade based mostly on one reason – the Advanced Healing brush. However, this short list of new features is deceptive – many of these bring Lightroom into the forefront for the first time as a true image processing center, rather than a front-end for Photoshop.