You are in for a treat! Lightroom 1.1 is available today and I think you’ll be amazed at what Adobe has done in the short time since the original release of 1.0. I still can’t believe they are calling it a 1.1 release. When I first saw the list of new features and improvements I envisioned a 1.5 naming or even 2.0.
All of you who bought version1.0, don’t worry. The upgrade to 1.1 is free. All you need to do is go to the Adobe site: www.adobe.com. This upgrade, in my opinion, is the best deal of the year. (Depending on how large your library is it will take some computer time to migrate your old “library” to 1.1’s new catalog system, but it’s worth the wait. Catalogs are so much easier to deal with than a single “library” and give you a lot more flexibility.)
I spent the last several months completely rewriting my book to make it 1.1 centric—and I’ve come to love several of the new features. (Photoshop Lightroom Adventure, by the way, goes to press Friday and should be available in a couple weeks.)
I’ll be writing about the new 1.1 features in more detail in coming weeks but here is short list of some my favorites.
1. New catalog system. Now you can easy integrate one part, or all, of one catalog with another. You can also open different catalogs from within the application (although you still can only have one catalog open at a time.)
2. Huge improvement to sharpening. Away goes the single slider, replaced by four sliders (Amount, Radius, Detail, and Masking) which give you complete control over all aspects of image sharpening. The Masking slider controls a mask that selectively “blocks” sharpening from unwanted areas. (Potential downside to the new sharpening controls: You might spend more time getting sharpening just right, and less time shooting!)
3. Improved Noise Reduction. I shoot 1600 ISO a lot, and LR 1.0 was sorely lacking in noise reduction capabilities. I often ended up in Photoshop to do the job right. Noise reduction is much “stronger” now, but not so strong that you can completely blur an image like you can using Photoshop’s Reduce Noise filter.
4. Edit metadata presets. Now you can edit an existing metadata template from within the Import dialog box. Sounds like a small thing, but I find it very useful to make small changes in an existing template rather than start from scratch and create a new one every time.
5. Clarity. This new Develop module feature was originally called “Punch” which is exactly what it does. It imitates a popular Photoshop Unsharp Mask filter technique to give certain images a nice “pop”. It works especially well on images such as this one, putting an emphasis on the girl (my daughter!) rather than the background.
6. New Metadata Browser options. New fields have been added so you can search your catalog by specific Apertures, File Types, ISO’s, and even camera models. (Frankly, it’s been so long since I used 1.0 I can’t remember the exact differences, but trust me there are now a lot more choices.)
I haven’t even started on the under-the-hood improvements that affect performance and RAW image processing. But we’ll have plenty time for all that and more. Have fun!