Adobe Lightroom Updated With HDR and Panorama Merge, Facial Recognition and Filter Brushes

Adobe today announced a major update to Lightroom CC (and the launch of the standalone Lightroom 6), its professional photo editing software for Mac users. The new update brings significant performance improvements and several new features like HDR merge, Panorama merge, facial recognition, improved slideshows, a filter brush, and more.

One of the most impressive new organizational features in the updated version of Lightroom is facial recognition, which lets Lightroom users organize their photos by subject for the first time, in addition to organizing with tags, flags, and star ratings. Once a face in a single photo is named, the software is able to find more images that feature that person for quick tagging by face. A new "People" view lets users sort photos by person.

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Panorama Merge, another new feature, lets photographers stitch together multiple images, including RAW and JPG files to create ultra high-quality panoramic shots. It has built in tools for automatically cropping non-matching edges and changing perspectives. With Lightroom's graphical performance improvements, even huge panorama files can be edited in real time with little lag.

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With HDR Merge, it's possible to combine several different photos with different exposure settings into a single HDR image. Unlike other photo editing apps, Adobe's HDR Merge works directly with both JPG and RAW images. Because it works with RAW files, a high-quality HDR image can be created from as few as two photos. Other HDR options typically require more photos at different exposure levels to create a suitable image.

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Lightroom's new filter brush, a popular request from Adobe customers, works with graduated and radial filter affects, letting a filter mask be reshaped with a brush tool so filter effects can be added and subtracted from specific parts of images for better precision. The last major feature update, which adds advanced slideshow tools, lets users put pan and zoom effects into their slideshows to add a motion effect. There's also a tool for syncing slideshows to multiple audio clips, and it's possible to add up to 10 songs to a slideshow.

Today's update to Lightroom CC may be of particular interest to Mac users who previously used the now-defunct Aperture photo editing software, as Apple no longer offers a professional-level photo editing app since discontinuing Aperture in favor of Photos for OS X. Lightroom has many professional-level features that are missing from the Photos for OS X app, and it also offers the same cross-platform syncing of all images with a Creative Cloud subscription. Adobe has promised to continue adding new features and more advanced tools to Lightroom in the future.

Adobe is also updating its Lightroom apps for the iPad and the iPhone, which connect to Lightroom CC and allow for photos and edits to be synced between all devices using Adobe's cloud service. The apps are gaining features like improved cropping tools, with the updated versions available for download today.

Lightroom CC is available through Adobe's Creative Cloud Photography plan, which bundles Photoshop and Lightroom together for $9.99 per month, or through Adobe's complete Creative Cloud plan, featuring all Adobe software for $49.99 per month.

Adobe is also selling the new Lightroom update on a standalone basis, branded as Lightroom 6 and priced at $149 (or $79 upgrade pricing). The standalone version of Lightroom does not include cloud integration with Adobe's mobile Lightroom apps and Lightroom on the web.

Lightroom for iPhone can be downloaded from the App Store for free. [Direct Link]

Lightroom for iPad can be downloaded from the App Store for free. [Direct Link]

Top Rated Comments

(View all)
Avatar
71 months ago
Excited for the new updates to Lightroom, but NOT a fan of Adobe's creative cloud-based pay model where these applications must be rented—especially when extra/new features are bundled into these specific releases.
Score: 18 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
71 months ago
I think I'll stick with Aperture.

Oh, wait....
Score: 14 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
71 months ago

So they still only offer subscription models? That's a shame, considering I'd actually pay for a one time fee. Not a fan of renting software, then again I guess that's a business model that should work in certain circumstances/environments.


Did you not read the full MacRumors article?
Hint: subscription and standalone versions are available.
Score: 10 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
71 months ago
I'm on the CC subscription plan so looking forward to picking up the update. I still haven't fully bought into Lightroom yet though and I've been using it for over a year now. Functionally it is just fine and as easy to use as Aperture was. But visually, I was able to dial in on my desired look much quicker in Aperture. I loved how Aperture rendered Canon RAW files, and just haven't been able to replicate the exact look in Lightroom. Frustrating.

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They're still douchebags for not making it a free update to LR 5


I know right? Friggin software companies, trying to make money and stuff....
Score: 4 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
71 months ago
I might consider it.
I am not too fond of the Photos app. I missed the old iPhoto for casual stuff and Aperture for more in depth editing.
Score: 4 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
71 months ago

I updated to Lightroom CC on my Surface, but the Mac version for my Macbook Pro, where my other license is installed, is still saying Lightroom 5. Adobe, on the ball as usual :rolleyes:


Sign out and back in on the creative cloud app (don't close/restart it). That worked for me.
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)

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