February 21, 2007
Source: ars technica
Author: Dave Girard
Dave Girard has just published a lengthy review of Lightroom version 1.0 and in this review he has provided test comparisons and observations on how well the raw processing in Lightroom compares to Aperture, Capture One Pro and Bibble Pro.
In search of the perfect workflow
Professional digital photography has been a reality for a while now but the big-name developers have been slow to catch up. With different software like iViewMedia Pro or Photo Mechanic filling in the missing pieces of file organizing and metadata editing workflow and different apps providing the ability to do quality RAW conversion, it’s a relatively new thing to have one program that does it all and does it well
With Apple’s Aperture and now Adobe’s Llghtroom, it seems the big boys are finally ready to fight over who is going to be at the center of the digital creative arena. But Adobe isn’t playing copycat here—and I think their release of a public beta was an attempt to send that message. It was pretty clear when the beta was released that this is not just a slapped-together product—Adobe’s had this in the works for a while.
Either way, it’s a great time to be a digital photographer as recent computer speeds make real-time feedback for high-res RAW image editing a reality, even for the 12- or 16-megapixel images of higher-end DSLRs. Adobe is hoping that one of the big draws of Lightroom is that it doesn’t require computers that reach “ludicrous speed” to work comfortably. The system requirements:
Mac OS X:
- 1GHz G4
- 768MB RAM
- Mac OS X 10.4.3
- Pentium 4-class CPU
- 768MB RAM
- Windows XP SP2
Windows users should know that an update will be required to enable disk burning for Windows Vista but everything else is supposed to be working fine.
Test hardware used for review
MacBook Pro CoreDuo 2.0
- 2 GB RAM
- Mac OS X 10.4.8
Dual G5 2.0
- 4.5 GB RAM
- Mac OS X 10.4.8
Although the official requirements list Lightroom as requiring 1GB of disk space, the actual app weighs in at a mere 43MB for the Universal Mac version so I don’t know where that number comes from. Maybe the boxed copy comes with 981MB of tasteful nudes of CEO Bruce Chizen? We can only hope.
Or maybe it’s a suggested size to account for the image preview cache file
That’s pretty big considering I don’t have hundreds of thousands of images like some professionals do.
Installation and interface
Lightroom install is straightforward (it’s an installer and not a drag and drop for Mac users) and for those who were using the beta, it updates your library for use with the 1.0 app on first launch, retaining all keywording and settings you have made. My update went without a hitch and when I got into Lightroom, I was greeted by my library surrounded by the new Lightroom UI:
Module picker at top right; panels on either side and the Filmstrip at the bottom.
That’s on the 1440×900 MacBook Pro screen.
The interface in general is much the same as it was in the beta but with improvements that will be covered separately. The overall appearance of Lightroom is a single window with panes along both sides and a filmstrip along the bottom for quick navigation in all views, with the image content always centered. The interface manages to remain relatively uncluttered as it’s all very well-thought-out and simple to navigate. It’s also very customizable, with a ton of collapsible palettes, view modes and shortcuts for toggling between the variety of modes, full-screen/panel scenarios or tools. Hitting tab works like it does in other Adobe apps, switching panels on and off, giving you more room to look at work.