Five Top New Features of Lightroom 5

Paper ch 3Lightroom 4 came out about a year ago, so here is what you will be getting for your £59 if you decide to upgrade to Lightroom 5.

My top five new features of Lightroom 5.

  • Smart previews
  • Extended spot removal tool
  • Visualize spot option
  • Upright correction buttons
  • Radial Filter

Smart previews

The purpose of the new Smart Previews is to allow you to work more effectively with Catalogues on two or more computers. In effect this means that once pictures are imported in to Lr5, Lr does not need to see the drive that the pictures are stored on for editing to take place. Building Smart previews is an option when Importing pictures in to Lr5 that needs to be turned on.

Now it’s possible to export a catalogue to your laptop, work on the pictures on your Laptop, also work on the pictures on your PC and then if required Lr will sync the Master photos on your PC. Some people will find this feature really useful.

Extended spot removal tool

All users of previous Lr versions will know the frustration that in the past Lr could only remove circular objects, primarily meant for dust spot removal. A different program such as Photoshop or Elements was needed to have the facility to remove offending bigger odd shaped articles.

The extended spot removal tool is the best, most needed and useful new feature of Lr5. The extended Spot Removal Tool now allows you to carry out complex, non-destructive retouching on raw files. With the new tool all you do is paint over the offending shape and Lr will try to match the surrounding background colour and texture. When it works, it works brilliantly. You have the choice to adjust where the new background is taken from manually yourself if it gets it wrong or you can press the forward slash key (/) and it will recalculate a new area to sample from.

For me this is what was missing in Lr4.

Visualize spot option

In essence this option finds dust spots for you by overlaying a high contrast black and white mask over the picture to make sensor dust spot removal more effective.

Upright correction buttons

In the Lens correction section there are now auto corrections for rotate, vertical and horizontal errors. Gladly there is still the manual option should you need to use it.

Radial Filter

Using the new Radial filter you can apply all kinds of localized radial adjustments such as a vignette. It remains to be seen if this will be useful or not for me.

Other updates in version 5.

Png format support

Apparently this is support for mobile devices whatever they are, my mobile phone is ten years old!

Improved book module

Minor changes have been made to the book module such as the ability to create custom page layout presets. I have very limited experience of the book module so I can not really comment meaningfully.

Improved slideshow module

For those of you want to add video clips in to your slideshows now you can. Ditto to the above comment on relevant experience. I did prepare some slideshows with Lr4 but it was not controllable enough to do what I wanted.

Whether or not you think the new features in Lr5 are worth the money I will leave you to make up your own mind. I am in three minds about bothering with the upgrade.

The good news is that Adobe have decided that Lightroom will not consumed in to their Creative Cloud, so it will be available to upgrade as a single product. This isn’t a new feature of Lightroom 5 just a clarification.

For those of you who were uncertain as to the number of copies of the Lightroom software you are buying and hence able to instal for one payment, here is an extract from the Lightroom End User License Agreement.

2.4 Portable or Home Computer Use. The primary user of the Computer on which the Software is installed may install a second copy of the Software for his or her exclusive use on either a portable Computer or a Computer located at his or her home, provided the Software on the portable or home Computer is not used at the same time as the Software on the primary Computer.

2.5 Backup Copy. You may make a reasonable number of backup copies of the Software, provided your backup copies are not installed or used for other than archival purposes.

The picture above was taken in Canada in 2009. These paper mill chimneys are puffing out steam not smoke.

A big hello to all the new followers of my little blog this week.

(c) Andy Beel FRPS 2013

1 response to Five Top New Features of Lightroom 5

  1. Paula says:

    Andy, I love your photo of the steaming mill..not sure about an upgrade for LR…can one ignore this upgrade and go for the next one instead? Of does that cause confusion? or do you then have to buy a completely new copy?
    Very pleased to hear that it is not going into the cloud just yet.


Please share your thoughts on this post

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s