Adobe has released Lightroom 2.0.

There is a new local enhancement brush, multiple monitor support, better CS3 integration, enhanced output sharpening and 64-bit support.

Join the conversation! 45 Comments

  1. And I’ll be buying it soon. I love Aperture, but I simply can’t afford $300 for it. Lightroom is only $100 with a College student discount, so it’s what I’ll be buying. As soon as online student discount stores offer it, I’ll be placing my order. I’ve been using the beta for a month or so now and it looks great.

    Scott, I don’t know how many contacts you have within Apple, but if you have a pretty good one, please tell them about this. I’m sure they’ve lost more than me as a prospective customer because of a non-discount Student discount. Students only save $20 on Aperture.

  2. I actually squealed with delight when I read this…

    Credit Card at the ready

  3. Scott – Do you see this as a vast improvement from the previous version of Lightroom? Enough for a photographer to jump off Aperture? or do you still see Aperture as the preferred application?

  4. […] Adobe Releases Lightroom 2 – TWIP […]

  5. Awesome! I can finally import my panos and I’ll get some real use out of my 64bit system. I can’t wait to put it through its paces.

  6. @Steve not for me personally – I think Lightroom is a great product. I just think Aperture is better. I like the approach better. It’s more natural to me and offers me things LR does not like a managed library and automatic backup system (vaults.) For some people LR will be better but if you’re already using Aperture 2.1.1, there’s nothing I see in LR that would make me want to switch. It’s just catching up to Aperture in some ways – i.e., dual monitor support which has been included in Aperture since day one.

  7. I’m very excited that LR 2 is out. But the pricing is a bit odd. $299 in the US, that’s fine. But if you live in Australia, you have to pay $539 AUD. That’s $514 USD, an extra $215 USD. Wha?

  8. Lightroom seems to need Photoshop. With all the new plug-ins for Aperture, is Photoshop becoming unnecessary for most photographers. I would love to see TWIP address this.

  9. @Tyler – Aperture is only $199 for retail, $179 for students. Not as good as $100, but not $280 either.

  10. I’m a big Lightroom fan. I can’t wait to get the new release.

    I’m planning to upgrade my mac env to a new macbook pro. Maybe then I can try out Aperture and see how it runs.

  11. @Steve, Scott is correct. The software you choose for managing your images is subjective in many ways. The software has to be compatible with the way you think.

    Lightroom however, trumps the competition in many ways. Tight Photoshop integration, non-destructive localized adjustments, complete compatibility with Camera Raw, etc… If you use Photoshop, you should be using Lightroom.

  12. Keith, I agree the price differential here in Australia is ridiculous but you can always download it from the Adobe Store – just make sure you change the location to US – English and hey presto, $299 US, not $539 AU. I’ll still wait for the Educational version (my daughter is still at school) as it will be a lot cheaper.

  13. @Steve, why not try Lightroom 2 for yourself? There’s a 30 day trial and you can decide if there’s a vast improvement. Frankly, I think Scott’s analysis is off. For a $99 USD upgrade you get an incredible amount of improvement, including amazing *non-destructive* localized correction via brush or graduated filter. These are tools so advanced that they’re not available even in the destructive ‘plug-ins’ that work with Aperture 2.1.(And often cost more than Aperture itself) I’d like to ask Scott to take another look at Lightroom 2 and provide a more than just a quick assessment. If you do a on Lightroom 2 you’ll see that most disagree with his conclusion. Lets face it, over half of the ‘100 new features’ in Aperture 2 were already available in Lightroom 1.4, so who’s playing catchup?

    Tom Hogarty
    Lightroom Product Manager

  14. I can’t believe that the LR product Manager Tom thinks my analysis is off :)

    Tom – the question was asked of me (not you) and I answered the truth as I see it and stand by my answer. I didn’t disrespect LR. I said it was a great product. But for me and thousands of others, it is a better choice.

    If you really want to turn this into an Aperture v. LR contest so be it. Here are some more of my reasons for choosing Aperture – some of these are based on my opinion but again – I was asked for my opinion.

    Some advantages Aperture has over LR.

    Tethered support for ALL supported cameras….
    much better shadow/highlight recovery AND an extra highlight recovery….
    16bit printing….
    Better dual monitor support….
    Better iLife and Apple integration….
    Vault offers backup protection not in LR….
    Managed libraries offer easier way to track your photos….
    Oh yeah and it’s $100 cheaper…

    And Tom as to your point that most people disagree – again – the question was asked of me and I was asked for my opinion – the fact that popular opinion disagrees (if true) means nothing.

    If you polled the world hundreds of years ago and asked if people believed the world was flat, the overwhelming answer would have been yes. Wouldn’t have made it true.

    And lastly Tom – I said it was catching up “in some ways.” I then pointed out dual monitor support – which by the way is still buggy in LR2. Do you dispute that LR did not have dual – monitor support in 1.0?

    I am not sure you’re helping your cause here Tom.

  15. @Scott take a breather, I don’t think Tom was attacking you or Aperture, just supporting his product.

    I have a fairly simple solution for most people in the Aperture VS. LightRoom debate. If you’re like me and use a PC (and a large portion do), LightRoom wins because Apple doesn’t make Aperture for Windows. I know it’s kind of a “cheap” way to end the debate but that could also explain the price difference since Apple didn’t invest the effort in cross-platform versions. Many of the advantages of Aperture are based on Mac only features. I can’t officially compare Aperture and LR though because I’ve never used Aperture or owned a Mac.

    What this all really comes down to though is choosing the best tool for you like you’ve said before Scott; no one buys an image because it was processed in PS, LR, Aperture, or on an Etch-a-Sketch :)

  16. Get ’em Scott! Throw the book at them! Burn them at the stake!

    (in other news, I placed an order for LR2 on earlier today) I liked the overall feel of Aperture better, but not good enough to justify double the price. As I said earlier, the price of Aperture for students is a real big hinderance in my opinion. We’ll have to wait and see which architecture makes it as the de-facto standard for RAW workflow editing.

    Right now the big thing I’m missing is iPhoto -> LR import. Aperture did it perfectly (not surprising). Can you comment on that, Tom? Is anyone aware of any software that will import an iPhoto 08 Library for me?

  17. Scott I would like to second what Tom said about you taking a second look at LR2. Just look at the difference in the stories you posted here about the point release of Aperture and the new version of Lightroom.

    Also if your going to create a list of things that Aperture has that Lightroom doesn’t in a conversation with some of the people that made Lightroom you should make sure it’s accurate. The one I see is 16 bit printing. LR2 does this as well if you are using Leopard and you have a printer that supports it. It doesn’t work on the Windows side because Windows doesn’t support 16 bit printing.

  18. @Stephen Coup I was asked for MY opinion – Aperture 2.1 has been out a while – we couldn’t review LR2 in advance because Adobe wouldn’t give us a copy. Aaron is writing the review as we speak. Again – I was asked for my OPINION. Sorry if you don’t share it. And yes I will spend more time with LR2 – given that it wasn’t out until today – I couldn’t share anything but my initial impressions.

    As for the 16-bit printing – I am suggesting Aperture handles it better.

    @Tyler you have the pricing mixed up.

    @Jason I am not out of breath. I agree – you should choose the best tool for you. I was asked what’s best for me and answered accordingly. I never said you need one or the other to make a good image. Obviously if you’re a Windows person – you have to use LR. I wish Apple could support Windows but the Windows OS won’t allow it.

  19. To add to what Jason said. I want to applaud LR for being cross platform. I wish Adobe would do the same with PS. I’ve considered buying a Mac but the software cost to use both platforms is prohibitive.

  20. Are you kidding? The guy from Adobe jumps in to support Lightroom? Is anyone surprised? I think it was inappropriate. Scott was asked for his opinion and he shared it. Now people are jumping on him for answering a question? Get real.

    He said they were both great products. Don’t see where all the hate against Scott is coming from.

  21. Sorry if my answer offended anyone. I was trying to express how I felt. I know this is a passionate subject and I also know that most of our audience is using Lightroom so I am going to be in the minority.

    As for the equality of coverage. If you want to talk about the total mentions of each product on the show and blog it is about even. After all we have an Adobe employee on the podcast nearly every week. We’ve never had an Apple employee on the show.

    Aaron is going to write a review of LR2 and it will be much deeper than the mention I made of Aperture 2.1.1.

    Again – Adobe would not provide us with a copy of LR2 in advance so no review was possible.

    And I also know that no matter what we do regarding each title we’ll be criticized – but I am going to make sure we’re fair. At least in my opinion – and that’s all I can do.

  22. Everyone take a moment to thank Scott and the rest of the TWIP panel for taking the time and effort to review so many great products and provide us unbiased reviews. I appreciate all the hard work they put into the show while putting up with the “flak” that comes along.

  23. @Scott: I did have the pricing mixed up earlier. It was clarified to me that Aperture 2.1 is $179 for Student version, still $80 more than Light Room.

  24. I went to buy the upgrade last night but haven’t done so yet as I found that I have to pay $30 more than the $99 upgrade price I’m seeing mentioned everywhere.

  25. Jason – well said, and I totally agree :-)

  26. Dear Tom Hogarty (of Adobe).

    Please explain to me WHY as an Australian I have to pay AUD $179 for the download upgrade version when the USA price is only US$99 !!! (AUD$105)

    It’s the same file, the same stream of 1’s and 0’s coming off the same server most likely. Not good enough. I don’t care how amazing your LR 2.0 version is. I will not be extorted into paying a 70% price premium by anyone.

    Almost makes me want to purchase an Apple Mac computer and switch to Aperture. Except Apple’s hardware and software pricing is equally as terrible here in Australia. (35-40% price premiums)

  27. @Tyler Pucket I am told by Apple that the price is $99 – see this page at Apple…

    In any event – only a small portion of the population will qualify for such a discount. For everyone else, LR is $100 more expensive than Aperture.

  28. @Tim Johns – I found and article with more info about Australian software pricing, it’s more than just Adobe.,25642,23945533-5014108,00.html
    I would check your local retailers to see what they charge for the same product.

  29. After downloading the trial I have to say I’m torn — the ability to do non-destructive local edits is definitely a dream-feature, but I’m just not sure the execution is there yet. I have to say LR2 is noticeably slower (I’m running a 2.16 ghz MB Pro w/ LR2 in 64-bit mode), and things start to hang up when using these new features in particular (especially auto-mask).

    And for someone who has invested the time to get become somewhat adept at using Photoshop for many of these tasks, the usability of these local editing features leaves something to be desired in comparison. For someone who is unable/unwilling to really learn Photoshop, perhaps this is the perfect solution. For me — well I’m going to have to sit on the fence for awhile.

    It would be great to know that these issues (speed in particular) are to be addressed in an soon-to-come update — Tom, any info there?

  30. @Tom I love what you guys have done to Lightroom 2.0, but I am very disappointed that Adobe chose to aim its integration efforts at CS3 only. Looking at this from 10,000 ft I would think it would not be that hard to allow the same integration with CS2. If there was a need for this to be added to Lightroom it seems the thing to do is make it at least backward compatible by one level.

    Your selling me 4 speed car with 3 speeds and I have to upgrade 4th gear for 200.00 or drive in 3rd.

  31. @Scott: That is institutional pricing. For an individual student, the price is $179.

  32. @Scott I wished you would of said that a review would be coming later in the main article. I thought that Fred would of gotten you an early copy since he’s on almost every show. As for the 16 bit printing can you elaborate on how Aperture does it better then Lightroom. In Lightroom there is a check box that says enable 16 bit printing or something like that. Can you tell the difference between an 8 bit print and a 16 bit? I know you were asked you opinion. I didn’t question that. I only questioned two things. The first was comparing the story you wrote about the update to Aperture a couple days ago to this story. If you said a more comprehensive review was coming I wouldn’t have made the comment at all. The othier thing was to me in your list you made it sound like Lightroom didn’t have 16 bit printing because in some of the other items in your list you said better such and such.

  33. @Stephen I regret allowing your comment since it questioned our integrity without any basis. In the future I won’t allow that to happen. I don’t need to share all my plans here with you. You either trust this source or don’t. Not my problem.

    But – It’s obvious Adobe gets MORE than a fair shake here. As has been noted, they have an employee on the show nearly every week and Apple has not made one appearance ever. I assumed that one would look at the totality of the situation and accordingly, give us the benefit of the doubt rather than jump down the convenient path of accusing us of bias. That’s a path chosen when it’s easy and when facts are hard.

    Obviously you’re a LR fan so I am not going to convince you of anything. But I will answer the rest of your post.

    My feelings regarding 16-bit printing related to two things.

    You adequately helped make the argument for me…

    Your words….

    “LR2 does this as well if you are using Leopard and you have a printer that supports it. It doesn’t work on the Windows side because Windows doesn’t support 16 bit printing.”

    Nuff said – those limitations (minus the obvious Windows feature not being relevant) are part one and part two is just my subjective tests.

    I looked at 16-bit output yesterday from both and preferred Aperture’s rendition. That’s again opinion and again what I was asked for.

  34. @Tyler I see – I did some research and here’s what I found. Many schools will order at the $99 price and pass that on to their students. Stanford has it in their bookstore at $99. For those who want the best deal and are not entitled to educational pricing go to Amazon for $159.

  35. @Scott I trust what you say or else I wouldn’t be here. Maybe I didn’t do a good job, but I was trying to say what I would like to of seen. Leave Aperture aside for the moment (you answered that question). How much difference is there between an 8 bit print and a 16 bit print? I assume there is some or else you wouldn’t of brought it up.

  36. @Stephen there is a difference between 8 and 16 bit that I can see – especially in certain types of prints. Prints with one large solid color tend to exhibit more banding, color fringing, etc – when printed at 8 bit and also there is a better gradation from dark to lighter colors in 16 bit images. Lastly, when rezzing up – 16 bit makes a big difference.

  37. Thanks for the information Scott. I’ll have to look for that the next time I buy a printer. By then Microsoft will catch up either with a patch for Vista or Windows 7.

  38. @Randy – As far as I know you can point LR to open images for editing through CS3, CS2, and many other applications. As far as being integrated more into CS3 that’s because CS3 offers HDR compiling and better panorama stitching as well as some other features not offered by CS2. Hope that helps :)

  39. It seems in the last year that Adobe has tightened up on the school discount making it a very difficult process to purchase from the education store. I would hope that Adobe would take a look at their pricing it seems to me that they push many of the amature photographer’s out by pricing their product’s so high.

  40. After just wrapping up both a Lightroom 2 Beta and CS3 trials I’m back to Gimp and Picassa. Adobe’s playing straight from the Microsoft playbook:

    Buy up all of the competition. Then be complacent and overpriced.

  41. @ Jason – Thanks for your reply. I was griping about having to upgrade to CS3 for full functionality of LR2. I use CS2 and it has PhotoMerge and Merge to HDR, What I saw in the LR2 tutorial is where you can select 3 bracketed pics and go straight into Photoshop HDR, for instance. In LR1 I export the three images to a folder and then do the automate merge to HDR command. It can still be done by export but it is a little more clumsy.

    Photoshop Integration
    In the previous version of Lightroom, opening a file in Photoshop required Lightroom to write out a large TIFF of PSD file for use. This was inefficient, and in Lightroom 2.0, the speed at which you can open a file in Photoshop is greatly increased. You can also open up Photoshop files in a variety of ways: as a Smart Object, multiple images Panos, multiple images as an HDR, as separate layers in a single Photoshop document.

  42. @Scott: that makes sense…it’s similar to Leopard being $69 from the school proper, but something like $111 from Apple. They’re giving less of a student discount online, to help prevent people lying to buy the stuff online. There’s really no way they can police it short of requiring a scan of an ID card, or a copy of a transcript for every customer and that would cost more than it’s worth for the company.

    Thanks for the clarification and research. I am definitely going with Aperture since the price is the same.

  43. I bought my upgrade to Lightroom the day before I asked NAPP if NAPP members get a discount. Well yes they do and no I didn’t get the discount. I knew I should have waited. I was too excited.

  44. After downloading the new Lightroom 2, I notice it’s a even more taxing on my PowerMac G5. I have 7gb of RAM and dual 1.8 processors. It’s pretty slow when doing any brush edits. I have over 3,800 images. Maybe backing up some of those images or something.

    Anyone have any suggestions besides buying a new MacPro?

    Thank You

  45. I’m a big fan with LR1, it indeed helps with work flow but I hesitate in upgrading the product. I have CS3 and I’m pretty happy to spend time between them (by this is coming from a non pro). However the list of improvements don’t really do it for me to warrant to fork out on an upgrade price of £81 ($155) here in the UK. LR3 started to be worked on?

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