Lightroom 2.4 & Picture Window Pro

Despite my previous experience of upgrades to Adobe Lightroom, I threw caution to the winds and downloaded the latest version, Lightroom 2.4, as soon as I got the notification from Adobe.

Of course I did back up my current Lightroom catalogue before installing the upgrade, but in fact everything went smoothly. Apart from adding a few newer cameras, and fixing some minor bugs, there are no great changes listed for Lightroom 2.4, but on my system at least, the latest version is a welcome improvement.

I’d been thinking that perhaps I needed a more powerful computer when processing a lot of images in Lightroom. It wasn’t that it was particularly slow, but even the odd second or two waiting here and there adds up to a very late night when you have shot a lot of stuff.

Lightroom 2.4 just feels more responsive, making it faster to go from images to image, easier to adjust the various sliders, lagging behind less when you dodge or burn.

I’ve long been an evangelist for Lightroom,  recommending it so often and so firmly that people have told me I should be getting a salary from Adobe. But it really has improved the way I handle digital images, getting better pictures faster from those RAW files. So I’m just a grateful user, though should Adobe read this I wouldn’t turn down some bounty  – a free copy of the ridiculously expensive Photoshop for example…

Seriously though, if you are using Lightroom, I think you’ll find this free upgrade worthwhile – and so far, working with it on around a hundred images, I’ve come across no problems. And if you take digital images and haven’t yet moved to Lightroom, what are you waiting for?

Another recent upgrade, one that I’ve not tried, is to Picture Window Pro 5.0 a sensibly priced alternative to Photoshop from Digital Light & Color (Windows only.)  I quite got to like this program in an earlier version, but though I think in some ways it was more powerful, I never got to find it’s approach to simple things as intuitive as that of Photoshop.  It was very much a program written for photographers rather than graphic designers, but I’d been using Photoshop for too long to really adjust.

The new version does have a powerful range of features including full 48 bit support, colour management including soft proofing and raw conversion and the price – $89.95 ($44.95 for an upgrade from previous versions)  is sensible. I think the only feature I needed (if very occasionally and under protest)  missing from the earlier version was CMYK conversion, and I assume it still doesn’t do this. It can read CMYK files, although I think this still needs an additional dll to be installed.

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