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Lightroom Just Got a Slew of Workflow Updates and a Small Performance Boost

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Adobe has just unveiled its “February Photography Releases” for both versions of Lightroom across all devices—a slew of workflow and performance updates that include more support for GPU acceleration, better secondary display support, support for .PSB files, and more.

As with most of the major updates Adobe has released for Lightroom since moving to the subscription based CC model, the “February Photography Releases” is a collection of minor and major updates for both Lightroom and Lightroom Classic.

Lightroom Classic

Most important for traditional photographers are the improvements to Lightroom Classic: improved raw default settings, .PSB file support, GPU-specific performance improvements, secondary display selection, and improvements to the Auto-Sync feature.

Improved RAW Default Settings

Lightroom Classic now gives you more control over the default develop settings of your raw images. Instead of automatically importing with “Adobe Color,” you can select either Camera Settings, Adobe Color, or a preset of your choice.

Additionally, those options can be applied to all images as the “Master” setting, or individually by camera model. Adobe says you can even do it by serial number, in case you want to apply different presets to the two identical camera bodies that you used to, say, shoot a wedding or event.

.PSB support

Mostly relevant to panorama shooters, Lighroom Classic has now added support for the Large Document Format (.psb) file type.

“Many landscape photographers may stitch multi-gigabyte panoramas within Photoshop and export as a PSB file to maintain the highest quality and resolution,” says Adobe. “Whether to edit or simply catalog your finished panoramas with the rest of your collections, you can now do so with this new release.”

You are still limited, however, to 65,000 pixels on the long edge or a total of 512 megapixels.

Performance Improvements

Don’t get too excited, but Adobe has made some performance improvements to Lightroom Classic this time around. First and foremost, the Lens Correction and Transform adjustments now get full “GPU Acceleration” support. Secondly, for Mac users, the Enhance Details function now supports external GPUs on macOS Catalina.

It’s not much, but we’ll take what we can get.

Secondary Display Support

When using multiple monitors, you can now designate which one Lightroom should use when you open up a secondary window. That means Lightroom can choose the right display for color-critical work by default, rather than you fiddling around with windows.

In Adobe’s own words:

Opening a second window will now automatically appear in the designated monitor that may have better resolution, color calibration, etc. for your workflow needs.

Improvements to Auto-Sync

A very-nice-to-have, Adobe has made the Auto Sync button more prominent and added Auto-Sync “notifications”. The first will let you know when Auto-Sync is enabled, while the second tells you what batch edits have been applied.

This is mean “to prevent unintentional batch edits that may set you back on your work,” and it can be turned off in settings.

Lightroom CC

The remainder of today’s updates apply to Lightroom CC (non-Classic) for Mac, Windows, iOS, Android and ChromeOS. Some are substantial, like the ability to export as DNGs from Lightroom CC on Windows and Mac; others are less of a big deal, like improvements to “learn and discover content” in Lightroom for iOS and Android.

In addition to DNG exports, other notable updates include the ability to skip the dialog box when doing Panorama Merge (Ctrl + Shift + M) or HDR Merge (Ctrl + Shift + H) by using a keyboard shortcut, the ability to import edit presets and profiles directly into Lightroom on Android, and the ability to drag-and-drop import images straight to an album in Lightroom for Mac and Windows.

Finally, a sort-of-big-deal for some users: you can now use Lightroom in Split-Screen view on the iPad.

All of these updates and more are live as of this morning. If you’re a CC subscriber, you just have to make sure you’re using the latest versions of Lightroom and Lightroom Classic.

To read the full blog post that details all of these updates, click here. And if you want to dive deeper on each feature individually, more details available on the What’s New pages for Lightroom Classic and Lightroom CC.

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