After months of rumors, Adobe has officially released Lightroom 6 and Lightroom CC. It almost seemed inevitable, but Adobe has split the Lightroom purchase options and features to a standalone version (Lightroom 6) and a subscription version (Lightroom CC, as part of the Photoshop Photography Plan and the full Creative Cloud suite).
While Lightroom 5 was available with both purchase options, Adobe seems to want to clearly set apart Lightroom CC and Lightroom 6 as different products. Additionally, it seems the writing is on the wall for divergent development plans going forward.
That said, the core features and improvements in image processing for this latest software generation are available in both Lightroom CC and Lightroom 6. For the purpose of discussing the key features, I will refer to the latest version as Lightroom 6.
First off, Lightroom 6 adds RAW file support for several new and upcoming cameras.
Lightroom 6 RAW Support
- Canon EOS 5DS
- Canon EOS 5DS R
- Canon EOS 750D (Rebel T6i, Kiss X8i)
- Canon EOS 760D (Rebel T6s, Kiss 8000D)
- Canon EOS M3
- Casio EX-ZR3500
- Fujifilm X-A2
- Fujifilm XQ2
- Hasselblad Stellar II
- Nikon D5500
- Nikon D7200
- Olympus OM-D E-M5 II
- Olympus Stylus SH-2
- Olympus Tough TG-4
- Panasonic Lumix DMC-GF7
- Panasonic Lumix DMC-ZS50 (DMC-TZ70, DMC-TZ71)
- Samsung NX500
Lightroom 6 also has added tethered shooting support for the Nikon D750 and Canon 7D Mark II.
In addition to new camera support, updated software ups the ante on what was previously possible in Lightroom. Notably, users can now combine multiple images inside of Lightroom to create HDR or panoramic images without the need to roundtrip image files to Photoshop or other third-party software.
Check out the video below for a demo of HDR imaging in Lightroom 6.[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7x_hJF6YJdg&w=700]
Watch the following video for Panorama Merge demo in Lightroom 6.[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qy_HDGx3nWs&w=700]
Additionally, Lightroom 6 adds face recognition capabilities, which allows you to sort your catalog by people – without the need to tag images. This will be a fantastic feature for those who need a little help managing large libraries.
You can see how facial recognition works in Lightroom 6 in the video below.[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=45_zCZnqmqU&w=700]
Lightroom 6 also allows users to create sophisticated slide shows using the Ken Burns effect and combining images, movies and music all in one interface.[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LoMPDc_11cQ&w=700]
Under the hood, Adobe added GPU acceleration for processing images, which should take some load off of the CPU and allow you to take full advantage of an otherwise unused component inside your computer.
Of course, we have known for some time that Lightroom 6 would be compatible with only 64-bit operating systems. Specifically, Mac users will need to be on OS X 10.8 or higher. Windows users need to be using Windows 7 (SP1) or higher.
There are a lot of cool little features now available in Lightroom 6 that you may not see in the feature list headliners. You can see some of these new hidden gems in the video below.[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1GZErV1m1uQ&w=700]
Lightroom CC will be required of syncing images with Lightroom Mobile apps, as well as integrated operations with Adobe Slate and Voice.
Updates to Lightroom Mobile include the following:
- Android Tablet Support: Previously only available on Android phones, now you can sync, edit, organize and share on Android tablets as well.
- Native DNG support on Android: Android 5.0 (aka “Lollipop”) now allows you to shoot photos in raw, and saves them as DNG files. You can now import those DNG files directly from your Android device.
- Android SD card support: You can now specify local storage to an SD card rather than internal device storage.
- TIFF support on iOS: If you’re creating TIFF files on your iOS device, you can now import and edit them using Lightroom.
- Improved crop experience on iOS: We simplified the number of tiles in our crop UI so you can now easily find aspect ratios, and we added an auto-straighten function, directly leveraging the Upright technology.
Lightroom 6 retails for $149.99 for the full version and $79.99 as an upgrade for existing users. Lightroom CC is included for all Adobe Creative Cloud members, including the Photoshop Photography Plan for $9.99/mo.