Adobe Lightroom Beta 4

So I’ve been using the Adobe Lightroom beta for a couple of weeks now and I really like it. It’s shaping up to be a very nice application and it’s clear that the designers have put a lot of thought into managing a workflow that involves a lot of photographs.

I was using Raw Shooter Premium (RSP) to process my RAW files but I’ve made the switch completely to Lightroom even though it is still in beta. For one, RSP isn’t being updated anymore. It was acquired by Adobe and they’ve promised RSP users a free upgrade to Lightroom 1.0 when it becomes available. Second, even now it provides a lot more fine-grained control over image adjustment than RSP does. The Develop panel looks like a 747 cockpit. But importantly, every one of those controls does something meaningful and there are no less than two basic adjustment panels you can use instead. Plus you can save as many presets as you like.

It’s certainly slower than RSP. You’ll need a semi-modern machine to run it properly. But if your computer has the horsepower, Lightroom is a lot of fun to use.

One of my favorite things about it though is that it consolidates my workflow for RAW and JPG files. Lightroom provides the same UI for management and development regardless of the file type. I shoot a lot of RAW images but I shoot a lot more JPG. Now I don’t have to have two separate workflows for dealing with those files.

I recommend trying it out if you haven’t already.

By John Watson

John Watson is the original founder of Photodoto. If you're interested in what John has been up to, you can browse his personal blog.


  1. Is Lightroom worth it for a photo enthusiast? I’m currently using Photoshop Elements 4 (soon 5) and I’m pretty pleased, though I don’t care for the workflow for RAW files on the few times when I shoot them. I’m always on the lookout for new and better software, so I’m wondering if Lightroom is worth the $$$ and learning time for someone at my level?

  2. I have both RSP and LR Beta 4. I was recently forced to make the jump to LR when processing a very large set of RAW files from a rented Nikon D200. RSP did not support the D200 and there are will no longer be any new camera support added to the product.

    Due to the intense workload over a few days I’ve finally gotten the hang of LR, but do miss some of the simplicity and speed of RSP. And now that I’m back to my usual Canon RAW files and I have the option of either tool I’ve sometime found myself sneaking back to the old workflow in RSP because its just faster on my non-cutting edge Thinkpad. Lastly, and this concerns me, in some tests I’ve done the output from RSP has just looked better. I find it somewhat hard to believe that LR would not be at the same quality level so perhaps its a problem between the keyboard and chair…as in ME.

  3. i have been usinf LR4 for some months now and find it far better than my RSP which i bought before adobe took over, i now use LR4 for all my raw conversions because it gives you more control, i have tried everything from RSP,Bibble Pro,Capture N0,X Adobe CS to name but a few to find finf the best raw conversion program and LR4 is shapping up in my humble opinion, was intrested to hear about the free upgrade for us RSP owners look forward to that as no doubt the finished article will cost big bucks.

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