Why it's time to move away from Lightroom

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bfitzgerald
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Why it's time to move away from Lightroom

Unread postby bfitzgerald » Sat Dec 09, 2017 11:10 pm

I always liked the software still on version 5 as I felt the need to update was not really there for me on V6.
With the recent news of Adobe putting LR as subscription only (from 2018 no more updates to 6), and no more stand alone versions.

For me the creative cloud subscription just doesn't work, I have no need for most of the sofware in the bundle I just wouldn't make use of it. I'm sure some will it might work well for them. Truth is I dislike intsensely the subscription model because it offers poor value for users like myself who want raw processing.
I know why Adobe went to this and I'm not shocked at all, though I think many will not be happy about their choice to ove LR to this platform. It's a huge cash cow for business the subscription model is loved for it's profits and revenue increases. I used to be locked to MS Office years ago, but moved entirely to Open the LibreOffice and have not looked back once. Part of moving on is just getting used to something new. Leaving that to one side I plan on trying a few alternatives (free or paid) to see what I like.

Any suggestions welcomed..

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bakubo
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Re: Why it's time to move away from Lightroom

Unread postby bakubo » Sun Dec 10, 2017 12:26 am

bfitzgerald wrote:I used to be locked to MS Office years ago, but moved entirely to Open the LibreOffice and have not looked back once.


Since October there has also been discussion about this topic in this thread:

viewtopic.php?f=6&t=6262

Leaving Lightroom is different than leaving MS Office. I have 40k photos with non-destructive editing locked in my LR catalog. The great power of non-destructive editing is 2-fold:

1. The base file is not touched. The edits are just a list of commands that are stored and in real-time displayed. You can add to them, change them, undo them, etc. at will forever and none of it affects the base file.

2. The base file (raw, jpeg) is much smaller than a baked in 16-bit tiff file. Here are examples:

    Olympus PEN-F 20mp raw file: ~18mb
    Olympus PEN-F 20mp jpeg file: ~4.2mb
    Olympus PEN-F 20mp 16-bit tiff file (baked in edits from raw or jpeg file): 115mb no compression, ~72mb LZW compression

I often update earlier edits in LR. After edits are baked in and a huge file is saved then you have lost the advantage of non-destructive editing. Jeez, even if I did it how much space would I need to save those 40k files as 16-bit tiffs? Plus the space for the original raws and jpegs.

Unlike LibreOffice which can work with old MS Office files, the LR alternatives such as ACDSee, Darktable, Aftershot Pro, etc. cannot make use of the full LR non-destructive editing commands. Basically you start over. I hate this situation. Of course, the non-destructive editing in other programs are also all proprietary so you are locked in with them too. At least they are not rental-only though.

Since you are still using LR 5 and never signed up for CC then you are in a pretty good position. I regret signing up for CC 2 years ago, but I had a new camera that was not supported in 5 and thought CC might be okay. At that time they were saying they were planning to continue having 2 choices: CC or perpetual license. Of course, in October they dropped the perpetual license choice.

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bfitzgerald
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Re: Why it's time to move away from Lightroom

Unread postby bfitzgerald » Sun Dec 10, 2017 11:05 pm

Henry they are valid points I do have projects/work files that will need to edits kept. But the solution could simply be to continue to use LR5 and transition across to another solution for new work or where I simply don't need to keep those edits. There are only really a couple of weddings I have left on LR I would need to keep edits for, the other stuff isn't critical and new work I can simply use what I want.
I can see it causing problems for some users no question. I'm sure CC works for many users for me as I only really use LR it's not a viable nor sensible option to sign up for a subscription because I don't use photoshop and Adobe don't do a LR only package. Even if they did I prefer to just pay up front and continue to use the software as I need (which is what I did with LR5)

I am testing Raw Therapee and Darktable for Windows (RC). Both look viable though Darktable has the familiar LR look, the interface needs some work, Raw Therapee is extremely powerful software though perhaps could do with a simpler UI. I have not used Lightzone for a while I'm not sure it's getting a lot of development. I would prefer to stick to open source software that is supported, and donate as I have done with Libreoffice. I want so support this type of work, but I'm not objecting to a pay upfront solution too if it's good enough. On another note I've been less and less happy with LR over time it's got progressively slower (even on a good hexacore 16GB/SSD based PC) and more features added, but without any real optimisation.

I don't need extensive catalogue options, but I do need to be able to add and browse files quickly making adjustments that are saved on the fly. So any other suggestions free or paid I'll consider any help appreciated.

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ValeryD
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Re: Why it's time to move away from Lightroom

Unread postby ValeryD » Mon Dec 11, 2017 4:30 am

I gave another chance for the LR CC(v7.*). Hmm, the problems were the same, it's impossible to work with large files, even after the a77-2, not to mention the a99-2. And I'm editing only files JPG in the LR. If you take RAW, you can generally fall asleep while waiting for the file to be read ... Normally, I analyze about 100-200 pictures or more, every day, and this work turns into just some kind of nightmare.
So, for a "short work" left in my computers Adobe LR 5. In LR 5 is very strange, but possible to work with a large files(biger than 40mb) and LR5 quick enough.
More and more I use C1, especially for pictures with a57 + fisheye RAW format. The C1 gave the camera a second life.
I also edit the photos from a77-2 and a99-2 in C1, but C1 not user friendly as Adobe LR (filters, brushes, etc.). Well, the most important option for - correction of lenses in C1 does not work with jpg format.
I hope someday we can find a software with ability not lower than Adobe LR. :(
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Re: Why it's time to move away from Lightroom

Unread postby bakubo » Mon Dec 11, 2017 7:37 am

ValeryD wrote:I gave another chance for the LR CC(v7.*). Hmm, the problems were the same, it's impossible to work with large files, even after the a77-2, not to mention the a99-2. And I'm editing only files JPG in the LR. If you take RAW, you can generally fall asleep while waiting for the file to be read ... Normally, I analyze about 100-200 pictures or more, every day, and this work turns into just some kind of nightmare.


I do not want to be in the position of defending Adobe or Lightroom, but there are thousands, probably tens of thousands or hundreds of thousands, of people using Lightroom with very big raw files, certainly bigger than the ones from your A77II, without problem. But, there are also people that do have problems. It is very weird. You can use the Lightroom optimization suggestions on the Adobe website and that might help you. This is a big headache for you so switching to some other software seems like the best and logical thing to do.

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Re: Why it's time to move away from Lightroom

Unread postby ValeryD » Mon Dec 11, 2017 9:06 am

bakubo wrote:...

I do not want to be in the position of defending Adobe or Lightroom, but there are thousands, probably tens of thousands or hundreds of thousands, of people using Lightroom with very big raw files, certainly bigger than the ones from your A77II, without problem. But, there are also people that do have problems. It is very weird. You can use the Lightroom optimization suggestions on the Adobe website and that might help you. This is a big headache for you so switching to some other software seems like the best and logical thing to do.

I'm sorry Henry, I did not write before that my first specialty is electronic engineer, programmer, etc, almost 40 years experience. I still continue to work in this direction, but not as much as before.
Believe me to make and debug the computer I need to work with Adobe LR or PS does not make any effort for me. Optimize the program also without problems. Now I have running 4 local computers and a two Linux web servers. :) Plus my Lenovo X1 Tablet (I7, 16GB RAM, 500GB SSD, Intel GPU accelerator with 2k Screen) Any of this computer has problem with Adobe LR.
I wrote a lot to Adobe about the problems with the latest LR, especially the speed of the LR (6. * 7. *), I was on Adobe webinar, asked about the speed of LR, they answered that they are working on this problem, but after almost 2 years, nothing new has been done in this direction.
Again, this is a problem ONLY with Adobe LR after ver 6.* .
I have no problem with other editors including Adobe Photoshop, C1 and many others works very fast!
I really like LR, I hope Adobe will rewrite that part of the program that is responsible for the direct work with the files.
Sorry for my English . :(
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bakubo
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Re: Why it's time to move away from Lightroom

Unread postby bakubo » Mon Dec 11, 2017 10:23 am

Barry, I played with Rawtherapee about 6 years ago and thought it was pretty good. Recently I downloaded the latest version 5.3 and it is much better. It also includes lens profiles now. Digikam is a free photo DAM that I have heard good things about. A photo can be opened in Rawtherapee or another program from within Digikam. Also, Adobe Bride is now free and it can do the same thing.

If you read through the long thread I linked to you will see that before selecting Lightroom back then I considered Aftershot Pro 1 (currently it is version 3), but also seriously considered Rawtherapee along with Adobe Photoshop Elements Organizer (DAM) since I already had it and liked it. You can also open Rawtherapee and other programs with a photo from inside Organizer. After giving things a lot of thought back then (about 6 years ago) I finally decided that Lightroom was overall the best by a small margin and safest for the long-term so I decided to use LR 4. Then later I got LR 5 to get support for a new camera. Then 2 years ago I signed up for CC to get support for another new camera. Since I got LR 4 though almost nothing about the parts of LR that I use and care about have changed at all. 6 years!!! There are only 2 things that have been added that I care about and they came along since CC (they are not in LR 6):

    dehaze
    transform

Of course, Adobe has added/changed other things in LR since LR 4, but those are the only 2 I care about. When I started using CC 2 years ago LR updated my LR 5 catalog (I still have the last LR 5 catalog backed up though) and then the recent change to LR Classic CC updated the catalog again. You cannot go back unless you lose all you have done in the intervening years. Like many people I had hoped/planned to switch back to the perpetual license when LR 7 was released. But, of course, there is no perpetual license LR 7. If there was then it would be able to use my last CC catalog and it would also have the dehaze and transform feature. Oh well. Adobe is a business and they are doing what the market will allow them to do to maximize profit.

The thing that swung me to LR all those years ago was the thought that it would be safer with all the proprietary edits since Adobe would probably be around for a long time and even if they made changes in the future they would almost surely be able to handle their earlier catalogs. I didn't anticipate CC and a rental only model. Once you stop paying for CC then you cannot make anymore changes/adjustments to any of the photos you worked on previously.

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Re: Why it's time to move away from Lightroom

Unread postby bfitzgerald » Mon Dec 11, 2017 11:53 am

I've not used the new CC version but the forums are awash as per usual with complaints about performance. I did try LR6 trial and I'm not seeing any improvements over 5 for performance. Honestly over time having used all previous ones the software has got slower and slower, not just exporting but making adjustments, bugs etc which don't get resolved properly. Nothing is perfect it just seems Adobe went backwards adding extra features, but not optimising the software properly.
Looking at the resource monitor it's not pusing the 6 cores exporting sometimes less than 50% usage which is pretty silly as the multi threaded performance on most PC's nowadsays (even half recent ones) is very good. Doesn't seem to matter what hardware you throw at it the software isn't able to tap into the speed on offer. Remember these are still images, not video rendering (which the CPU also does very well) it should fly through processing those, and with Adobe it just doesn't.

GPU integration is spotty and not very impressive. Even the open source ones I'm using are making better use of Open CL and multiple cores.

What I like about Lightroom is the interface it's intuitive and easy to get to grips with. The raw quality is good maybe not top of the pile, I have no major isuses there.

I'm not that shocked Adobe back tracked and dumped the stand alone version of LR. Yes they did say they will continue with it a while back, only to turn that on it's head. Hence I suspect I'm not the only one who wants to move away from the company. Capture One can make some excellent raw conversions, the UI doesn't really work for me. I'll try as many as I can to find something that works for me

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Re: Why it's time to move away from Lightroom

Unread postby bfitzgerald » Sun Dec 17, 2017 7:03 pm

Quick update I think Raw Therapee has the most potenial, but it's UI is over stuffed with needless tweaks which are on the super geeky side. It's usable and the raw output is right up there. The issue is workflow. Darktable albeit on RC has a smilar look, with the interface which need customisation to get anywhere. I'm not overly impressed with either in this regard. Lightzone seems to have ground to a halt development wise.

The simple things seem to have have escaped some developers, basic adjustments available together in a small area. So you can quickly make some simple adjustments. I think the Geek crowd have too much influence on Raw Therapee (which lacks even a basic clone tool, yet has insane options for adjustments few people would ever touch). Hopefully someone with some common sense will inject some logic into both Darktable (which is terrible for layout) and Raw Therapee. RT has a great raw engine it just badly needs a simpler UI that works for people who take photos, not pixel peepers doing endless tweaking

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Re: Why it's time to move away from Lightroom

Unread postby bakubo » Sun Dec 17, 2017 11:46 pm

Yes, Rawtherapee is crammed with controls. It would be nice if the main ones that are most often used were grouped together at the top. Or if there was a customization option to move controls around. You might check to see if it is possible to move them. I haven't checked. Also, it would be useful if controls that are rarely used or not used at all could be hidden. Again, I haven't checked so there may be a way to do it.

I played with it a bit a few weeks ago and didn't notice that there was not a clone tool.

If the interface cannot be customized by users then you or others can get the Rawtherapee source code and make the interface look like you want and then release it to the world. Then everyone would benefit.

Although not free here are 2 inexpensive Lightroom types of programs that you might check:

ACDSee Professional 2018 (there is also ACDSee Ultimate 2018 that is almost the same, but costs a little more) -- here are the differences:

https://www.acdsee.com/en/product-comparison

Aftershot Pro 3

Of course, they both have free trials and the prices are very nice. I read when ASP 3 came out that they have a new method of adding support for new cameras which just requires downloading a new camera profile (sort of like downloading a new lens profile) so that means that they don't require updates as often just to add new camera support.

I spent time playing with ASP 1 about 6 years ago and there were things I liked about it better than LR 4, but other things I didn't like as much. I don't know about ASP 3 though. I suspect ASP 4 will probably be out before too long. My recollection is that ASP 1 and LR 4 came out about the same time. ASP 2 and LR 5 came out about the same time. ASP 3 and LR 6 came out about the same time.

I own ACDSee Pro 9 (2 versions before ACDSee Professional 2018). I have played a lot with it and like it quite a lot. Naturally, some things I like better than LR, some things less.

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Re: Why it's time to move away from Lightroom

Unread postby bakubo » Sun Dec 24, 2017 10:13 am

By the way, I got an email today that ACDSee Professional 2018 is on sale for $69.95 until 1/4.

https://www.acdsee.com/en/products/photo-studio-professional

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Re: Why it's time to move away from Lightroom

Unread postby bakubo » Sun Dec 24, 2017 11:49 pm

I see that the new Darktable 2.4.0 has just been released.

https://www.darktable.org/2017/12/darktable-240-released/

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Re: Why it's time to move away from Lightroom

Unread postby bakubo » Tue Dec 26, 2017 12:54 am

bakubo wrote:I see that the new Darktable 2.4.0 has just been released.

https://www.darktable.org/2017/12/darktable-240-released/


There is a pretty good thread about this new release that is still active. Some users have some good info:

https://www.dpreview.com/forums/post/60549828

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Re: Why it's time to move away from Lightroom

Unread postby pakodominguez » Tue Jan 02, 2018 3:53 pm

bfitzgerald wrote:I always liked the software still on version 5 as I felt the need to update was not really there for me on V6.
With the recent news of Adobe putting LR as subscription only (from 2018 no more updates to 6), and no more stand alone versions.

For me the creative cloud subscription just doesn't work, I have no need for most of the sofware in the bundle I just wouldn't make use of it. I'm sure some will it might work well for them. Truth is I dislike intsensely the subscription model because it offers poor value for users like myself who want raw processing.

I'm 100% with you Barry.
On top of that, performance on LR6 is horrible. I keep installed LR5 on my PC and only use LR6 if the camera is not supported.
Actually, The last 4 events I did were edited on Capture One for Sony. I'm still on learning process, and trying to get the flavors I want from Capture One. Workflow is different, but I like that I don't need to add the photos to the catalog, just open a new session.
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Re: Why it's time to move away from Lightroom

Unread postby pakodominguez » Tue Jan 02, 2018 4:00 pm

bakubo wrote:1. The base file is not touched. The edits are just a list of commands that are stored and in real-time displayed. You can add to them, change them, undo them, etc. at will forever and none of it affects the base file.


I was about to tell you that using "sidecar" xml instead of storing all the edit and keyword info on the LR catalog allow you to "move" easily from one version to other, or even to Capture One (well, capture one will only see the keywords and GS info, not the edit info) but now I remember that you work often on JPG only...
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