The latest version of Adobe’s Lightroom, 1.2, introduced corrections for several issues such as XMP auto-write performance, Vista grid display errors, and noise reduction for Bayer-patterned sensors (the majority of digital sensors on the market user Bayer patterns in their color pixel distributions). It also introduced support for new cameras such as the Canon EOS 40D and the Olympus EVOLT E-510. The upgrade was a marked improvement upon 1.1 and 1.0, but I’ve noticed a few bugs:
- Time-shifted capture times don’t transfer properly on import from catalog to catalog. While on a recent trip in Romania, I took along my laptop but didn’t take my WD My Book Pro Edition II, since I wanted it to stay safely at home. (That’s where I keep my photo library.) I thought, no problem, I’ll just start a new catalog directly on my laptop, work with my photos there, and do a catalog to catalog import when I get home. In theory, that should have worked just fine — in practice, it was somewhat different. You see, I’d forgotten to set my 5D to Romania’s local time, and that meant that all of the photos I’d taken for the first few days lagged behind local time by 7 hours. I corrected those times by selecting those photos in Lightroom and choosing Metadata >> Edit Capture Time >> Shift by set numbers of hours. That fixed those times in the catalog on my laptop, but when I imported those same photos, I found out that very few of those corrected times transferred during the catalog import operation. What’s worse, the capture time for others was somehow shifted by seemingly random values to something else altogether, so I had to fix that as well.
- There’s an annoying and somewhat destructive color shift that takes place when I import photos into Lightroom. For a few moments after I open a photo, it’ll look just like it looked on my 5D’s LCD screen, but then Lightroom will shift the colors slightly as it loads and develops the RAW file. It seems to do less of it now than in version 1.0, but it’s still happening, and then it’s really difficult, if not impossible, to get my photos to look like they’re supposed to look. Canon’s own RAW viewer doesn’t do this, and neither does Microsoft’s RAW viewer.
- Batch-editing photos selected from the filmstrip (instead of the grid view) does not apply the actions to all of the photos, only to the first photo selected from that bunch. In other words, if I were to select the same group of photos in grid view and apply a set of modifications to all of them (keywords, etc.), these modifications would be applied to all of the photos selected. When the same group of photos is selected in the filmstrip, the modifications are not applied to all of them, only to the first selected photo. By the same token, if I select multiple photos from the filmstrip in develop view and apply a sharpening change to all of them, it doesn’t take. It only gets applied to the first selected photo.
- Changes to ITPC meta data are often not written to the files until Lightroom is restarted. For example, if I select a group of photos, and specify location information for them, Lightroom will not write that data to the XMP files right away. Instead, it’ll wait until I exit, then start Lightroom again. Only then will it start to write those changes to each photo’s meta data. I’m not sure why it’s like this, but it’s confusing to the user.
As frustrating as these bugs are — especially #3 — I can’t imagine working on my photographs without Lightroom. It’s made my life a whole lot easier, and it’s streamlined my photographic workflow tremendously. I can locate all of my photos very easily, and I can organize them in ways I could only dream about before. It’s really a wonderful product, and I look forward to future versions with rapt attention. I hope Adobe continues to dedicate proper focus to Lightroom as it goes forward with its market strategy.
- Adobe Photoshop Lightroom website
- Adobe Lightroom listing at Amazon
- Adobe Lightroom listing at B&H Photo