It’s Christmas in Summer. The iPhone arrives in just a few days, along with Pixar’s new film, Ratatouille. The new Canon 1D Mark III is slowly starting to ship out to people and I was lucky enough to get mine late last week. And then, to top it all off, the 1.1 release of Lightroom is now available. There is a long laundry list of things that are new or fixed in Lightroom 1.1, and you can read up all about them in the Lightroom 1.1 Read Me PDF. All of the changes, however, are in the details. From a wide view, Lightroom looks and acts much as before.
As far as the details of what’s changed, and as I posted a few weeks ago, there were four things I really wanted to see out of Lightroom 1.1.
- Support for the Canon EOS 1D Mark III: Check. This is a key feature for me as my Mark III just arrived last week and I’ve been getting up to speed on it. It’ll be a few more weeks before I’ll use it on assignment, but now I’ll be comfortable using it in my current Lightroom-based workflow.
- All the goodies from ACR 4.1: Check. This one was obvious, but having worked with the new sharpen and clarity tools in ACR 4.1, I was really looking forward to using them in Lightroom.
- A fix for the bug affecting the editing of metadata for multiple items in the library: Check. I was so happy when I tested this out. Not having to dance around this little issue will save me a second here and a second there. On a big shoot, that can add up to lunch.
- An SDK: Strike. There isn’t an SDK yet for Lightroom. This was brought up in the comments to my post, so I wasn’t surprised. And, really, I’d rather have 1.1 now and wait a bit more for the SDK, all things considered.
In the short time that I’ve been kicking the tires since downloading the update, there are several things that have caught my attention. For example, the UI now sports more controls and has a slightly evolved look and feel. Here’s the Metadata editor panel in Lightroom 1.1:
Another thing I quickly noticed is that Lightroom gives you some more ways to see how you produce your images. A while back, I wrote a post here about how it was useful to me to have an idea of what lenses I use most, and which ones seem to collect dust. In Lightroom 1.1, you can now see what shutter, aperture, and ISO settings you use most. Here’s a view of it in action:
I’m sure that when I import my main library into 1.1, I’ll be able to get a bit of useful information out of this data. Or at least, I’ll be able to confirm that I shoot a lot in conditions that require ISO 1600 and have just enough light to eek out 1/100 of a second at f/4.
After kicking the tires a bit and seeing what was new with the interface, I turned to more important matters: Seeing how the Mark III and Lightroom 1.1. get along. I was able to enlist the help of my ever patient model, Boogie the cat, and after sorting out that he really wanted to hang out indoors, I cranked out some test shots at ISO 1600 with an aperture of f/4, a combination I use all too often in my professional work. You can see the full image above, but to get an idea of what the import looks like, here’s a 50% crop view of Boogie’s eye:
This is almost as-is from the intial import. The only thing that I did after import was set Clarity to 30. At normal viewing distances, the effect of the Clarity tool is perfect and it’s something that I can see myself using all of the time from here on out.
Now that Lightroom 1.1 is out, my fellow Inside Lightroom bloggers will jump in and contribute their own favorite new features and there will be lots of discussion about how to use them. I’m looking forward to it. Christmas in Summertime, indeed.