Adobe’s Lightroom has grown up since its first edition and its newest version “Lightroom 5” has some great additions that will help photographers to edit and catalog their files quicker than ever before. Here are a few of the new features:
New Healing Brush Tool
The great thing about Lightroom tools are that all the edits that you make are non-destructive. This means that you can use the healing brush tool without fear of damaging your photo in any way, as you can safely revert back to the original. The main new feature in the healing brush tool is that you can easily get rid of elements in your photo that you do not want. So if you decide that you want cut out a person in an image, you can use the healing tool over the person and then select the area that you want the brush to clone from. You won’t always get the result that you want but it is pretty good most of the time.
The upright tool does a great job of straightening lines in images, such as wonky horizons or building edges. This tool is especially great for landscape photographers as it saves a lot of time in post-processing.
In the last version of Lightroom if you did not have your image files with you then there was no way to edit your images whilst out in the field. Smart previews are files that you can opt in to have put in your catalog. Your files will take a little longer to import if you do this, but as long as you have your catalog with you, you will be able to make changes to your photos. The changes will be synchronised over to the original files when next you connect your hard drive of images to your computer. For me this is one of the main reasons to upgrade to Lightroom 5.
Better Noise Reduction
Most photographers try to shoot at ISO’s below 800 in order to avoid digital noise. For those times when you need to higher your ISO to get your shot, it is great to have peace of mind that you can get rid of the unwanted noise in post-processing. Lightroom had this feature before but in this version it is much improved. You also have the option to apply the noise reduction to small areas rather than the whole image if you prefer.
Adobe products are now part of the "Creative Cloud", which is a monthly subscription service for Adobe products. Lightroom 5 can still be bought as a stand-alone program, for those who do not need the other products.
If you are serious photographer and need software to organize and catalog all of your files then Lightroom 5 is definitely a worthwhile purchase.