Lightroom 4 initial thoughts | Dave May Photography
Upon opening the new Lightroom 4 everything looks pretty much the same with the addition of map and book modules. The develop however has changed quite a bit – enough to break all of my presets in fact. Brightness, fill, blacks, and highlight recovery have been replaced with highlight, shadows, black and white. The blacks aren’t the same contrary to the labels.
This means finding an all new process for developing and recreating my presets which really means more time. So the question becomes, is it worth the headache? Noise characteristics and reduction look about same as well as noise produced from excessive correction, so I’m not convinced there’s a compelling reason to upgrade unless you really want maps and or book making.
At the end of the day the new version will work out well with new work, but trying to obtain the look from previously processed photos is just a headache. Converting to the new process causes a very noticeable shift in most of my test work. Some got very bright and washed out while others got darker and more contrasty which is odd being opposite directions. I did to try to recreate a couple of my preset which didn’t work out well in a what I would consider a reasonable amount of time.
Split tone settings and white balance shifts weren’t converted correctly in my presets at all along the other basic adjustments. Even the exposure adjustment has been changed. As an example – an image with exposure adjust of 0.10 was converted to 1.12 with the new process. My suggestion is to hold off on the update if you’re a big develop preset user until you have tim to go through and remake them. Another observation is that version 4 doesn’t have as much contrast capability. My black and white conversions pushes the new system all the way to the edge to get a similar look in terms of contrast and detail balance which seems ridiculous compared to old.
I have the impress that Adobe retuned the application for people who are shooting underexposed because there seems to be a lot more room to brighten than darken (outside of the exposure adjustment). I may keep working with it to see if perhaps there is a new order of adjustments to obtain the desired looks.