Bye, Adobe Lightroom.

So this is it. Early adopter, inofficial evangelist, part-time photographer is dropping Lightroom. Rather, deleting it from his workstations.

Who the eff cares? Well, I do, as I am abovementioned former inofficial evangelist. And I wonder what the bloody hell I was thinking. Hindsight is both gift and curse.

What Adobe did with Lightroom, if you stay objective:

  • More features. Some direly needed (like, support for your camera?), others more, like, what the hells? Yeah, I’m looking at you, Social Media Upload and Comments Download.
  • Selling said features as USPs to justify the hefty price-tag on upgrades. By now I’ve spent more than 400 quid on Lightroom, it’s upgrades, and plug-ins necessary until Adobe deemed stuff like output sharpening important enough for yet another full-price upgrade.
  • LR3 is slower and more cumbersome to use than LR2. But it has the better RAW render engine (which you can’t retrofit into LR2), so please upgrade, yes?
  • Said RAW render engine is identical to the one used in the current release of Photoshop Elements, which you can get bundled with your next scanner for free.
  • Also, depending on the cameras used, the engine is inferior to competitors’ or even open source solutions. In some cases (Leica M series comes to mind), it should be featured in Webster’s, under “What the flying fuck”.

Don’t get me wrong. I love the Lightroom concept, I’m pretty happy with most of its results, it’s stable like a rock, and I’m used to the way it works (see above evangelist thing). But bloody hells, Flash galleries? Bug-fixing your RAW rendering engine equals a full-price upgrade? Support for fresh RAW formats one year from now = buy our upgrade? Even though the whole difference is in camera identification in the RAW header?

Lightroom was my favourite as it streamlined workflow issues. But: It’s becoming more and more muddled and complicated to use, while it doesn’t ensure plug-ins won’t crash the whole application just because they are coded poorly. I still find things I wrote off as “well, it’s a new application, you can’t expect that just yet” in 2006 that actually had been there from the beginning – but weren’t obvious or easily accessible. The worst thing for a workflow app is to hide things that might seriously influence or even change the way you look at your current, well, workflow.

It’s just sad. So much potential. Oh, well.

One thought on “Bye, Adobe Lightroom.

  1. Pingback: Angry Sascha is angry.» Blog Archive » How to eat your own foot.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *