Photoshop Lightroom 1.0 Bug Review

Note: this article was first posted on 24th May, 2007, and discusses version 1.0. Adobe has fixed most of the bugs in later versions. The current version is 1.4.1. Should you encounter any problems with Lightroom, please make sure that you are indeed using the latest version. If you are running an outdated version, I strongly recommend to download the free update from Adobe.

OK, folks, as promised I would like to summarize my experience with Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 1.0.

I found a number of bugs in the 1.0 version that hopefully will be fixed by Adobe with a maintenance release. Rumours say that the next release will be 1.1 and should be out this summer. Well, hopefully they will fix also these bugs:

Bugs

  1. Lr freezes occasionally upon logon to Windows after previous sleep mode
    You leave Lr open, go away for a coffee, and Windows XP goes to sleep mode. You return, enter your password, and Lr about 50% of the time freezes (or does something that takes a lot of performance). Ctrl-Alt-Del can not shoot Lr down, because the task manager won’t open.
    Workaround: Hard reset of computer.
    Severity: A (major problem)
  2. Undo function does not work properly
    Occasionally, using the Undo function will undo a number of commands, not just the last command. Unfortunately, you do not exactly see which commands were undone, so it remains guesswork.
    Workaround: If this problem occurs, try to undo the undo command and manually correct the respective image.
    Severity: A (major problem)
  3. Lr freezes occasionally after a large number of images has been edited
    Exactly as the title says. You work happily on a large set of images, and suddenly Lr decides that something has to be done. This takes so much processor performance that the system basically freezes. Ctrl-Alt-Del can not shoot Lr down, because the task manager won’t open.
    Workaround: Hard reset of computer.
    Severity: A (major problem)
  4. Lr does not import all files from a CF card
    Upon import, Lr does not read all files from a CF card. At the end of the import, some files are reported unable to be read. A list of file names is given. Apparently, this problem occurs when Lr is used to perform other tasks during the import process.
    Workaround: Leave Lr alone during import.
    Severity: B (minor problem)
  5. Entering a long caption triggers “save”
    When entering captions for more than one image using the IPTC editor, every few seconds the entry is saved, and the text entry field loses its focus. You have to use the mouse to click the text entry field again in order to continue entering texts. However, the problem occurs again after a few seconds. This seems to happen only with the Caption field.
    Workaround: Prepare caption in text editor, then use copy and paste to paste it into the Caption field.
    Severity: B (minor problem)
  6. Behaviour of Tab key in Development Mode
    In almost all Windows programs, the Tab key is used to move between entry fields in a logical fashion. When in Lr’s Develop mode, not all fields seem to not be connected to each other, e.g. under Detail, entering an amount to the “Sharpening”, then using the Tab key will not move to the next entry field below (Noise Reduction, Luminance).
    Workaround: Use mouse to navigate to the next field.
    Severity: C (issue)
  7. Use settings from previous image does not always work
    In Develop mode, sometimes the Ctrl-Alt-V command (use settings from previous image) seems to not work.
    Workaround: Navigate to the previous image by clicking in the photostream, then navigate back and try again.
    Severity: C (issue)
  8. Navigating to the next image applies the settings of the previous image
    In Develop Mode, if you enter a value into one of the fields (e.g. Exposure) and then navigate to the next image, e.g. by clicking into the photostream, the value you just entered is also applied to the next image.
    Workaround: Before navigating to the next image, make sure that the entry field is not active any longer.
    Severity: C (issue)
  9. Help does not work
    On a German Windows XP, trying to use the Help (F1) function does not work. An error message is displayed instead.
    Workaround: Open help file manually from disk.
    Severity: C (issue)
  10. Lr does not support Photoshop 7.0
    Photoshop 7 is not recognized as valid Photoshop version upon installation. Hence, Lr refuses to interact with Photoshop.
    Workaround: Export file, then open in Photoshop 7.0
    Severity: C (issue)

Feature Requests / Improvement Suggestions / Annoyances

  1. “Remove Dust” can not be applied intelligently to a batch of photos
    While Lr allows to copy and paste the “Remove Dust” settings, it does so in a stupid way. Instead of just remembering the location of the dust spot and then inidividually (i.e. for each photo of the batch) auto-correct the issue with suitable content calculated individually for each respective image, it just takes the original settings (i.e. source of replacement) and applies them to each photo. This may lead to damaged pictures as some image elements may change from picture to picture.
  2. Right Scrollbar in Develop Mode
    In Develop mode, the scrollbar for the develop settings in the panel is too close to the scrollbar for “Hide Panel”. This may lead to the panel being accidently hidden even if the user just wanted to scroll the panel up and down.
  3. Pasted Actions should be listed
    When pasting settings from other images, all that shows up in the “History” is “Paste Settings” with no information which settings have been pasted from which image. As a result, the user may get confused over which settings have been altered. The history should list the origin of the paste, as well as details on the pasted settings.
  4. Lr does not show physical size in Loupe view
    While filename, date, time, pixel size, exposure time, f-stop, ISO, and lens settings are shown in Loupe view, the physical file size is missing. This may be important for some pro users.
  5. Entering constrained sizes for export
    Currently, Lr allows you to specify constrained maximum sizes for images upon export. The values are given individually for Width and Height. In order to reduce a set of images to a maximum, of say, 2500 pixels on the longest side, you have to enter the value 2500 twice. Some users are confused about this. It might be helpful to have a checkbox, like, “Constrain longest side to…” and then just one value (as alternative to entering two values).

This list might suggest that I am not very satisfied with the product. However, this is not the case. I am quite satisfied, and I am well aware that this is a 1.0 version. I hope that Adobe fixes the above mentioned problems with the next release.

Despite the bugs I found, this software still is a real productivity tool, fully suitable for todays digital image needs. Where in the past you had to deal with very few files (dozens, maybe low hundreds), you can now manage and edit thousands of files. I still recommend this software to anyone seriously interested in digital photography.

Update 29-JUN-07: Adobe has released Lightroom 1.1 which fixed a good deal of the bugs mentioned above. More…

Update 19-SEP-07: Adobe has released Lightroom 1.2 which fixed a few additional bugs. More…

Update 24-NOV-07: Adobe has released Lightroom 1.3 which fixed some more bugs. More…

Update 23-APR-08: Adobe has released Lightroom 1.4.1 (after a bad release of version 1.4) which fixed some more bugs. The nasty “undo” bug described above is still present. More…

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