Introducing the New Expanded and Refined Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 5


Adobe has just released the newest version of their all-encompassing post-production tool that is highly beneficial to the contemporary digital photographer: Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 5. This version succeeds Lightroom 4 and adds an array of new features and tools as well as refinements to some of the most oft-used processes found in previous versions.

At its core, Adobe Photoshop Lightroom is designed for digital photographers, and provides all of the required tools, commands, and processes necessary for an efficient and versatile workflow. The main concept behind all versions of Lightroom is to function as intuitively as possible and offer a wealth of control over all aspects of the post-production workflow. This includes support for each step of post-creation process, including an easily navigable import interface, visceral organizational tactics, rich metadata-editing capabilities, retouching abilities, image color and tonal adjustments, and a multitude of options for outputting, sharing, and presenting your imagery. Among these basic founding elements, Lightroom has continuously grown over time to incorporate an expansive feature set and improved abilities to address the ways photographers interact with their work.

Lightroom 5 adds to this continuous growth through the incorporation of new tools, a brush, and means for expediting working within the program as well as sharing images and video.

Advanced Healing Brush

The Advanced Healing Brush is an intelligent retouching tool that allows instant and seamless removal of unwanted objects or flaws in photos. It can bias its performance based on surrounding parts of the image in order to remove irregular shapes, such as threads, wires, and other non-straight lines, without affecting the desired background patterns.


Benefitting architectural, interior, and other work that involves perspective and converging lines, the new Upright tool uses four distinct methods to correct skewed horizontal and vertical lines in order to provide a cleaner overall appearance. This tool analyzes the strong and leading lines of an image and will straighten lines and edges even when there is no detectable horizon.

Radial Gradient

For more creative control and accentuated imagery, the Radial Gradient tool allows for more freedom in the placement and the amount of vignetting in a picture. It allows for the creation of off-center vignette effects as well as multiple vignette areas within a single frame in order to highlight specific areas of an image with the utmost clarity.

Smart Previews

The new Smart Previews option affects overall performance and speed when working in Lightroom. This allows you to gain an overview of your entire library without having to load all of the native files at once. Smart Previews create smaller stand-in files that represent the original file and can serve as placeholders for a more expedited workflow. Changes to an image’s metadata can be made when using Smart Previews, which is then added to the full-size original later.

Video Slide Shows and a Refined Photo Book Creation Process

Both an improved photo book creation system and a video slide show creation tool have been added to the new version to enhance the sharing aspects of Lightroom. The improved photo book creation system utilizes a wide variety of pre-created templates for expediently creating books of your photographs or, alternatively, allows you the freedom to customize the final appearance of your books. In either case, when making a photo book, you can easily upload the finalized book design and imagery for printing in a simplified manner directly from Lightroom. For sharing work online, the video slide show function allows you to pair stills, movies, and music together into a single HD video file that can be viewed and shared across nearly any computer or mobile device.

All of these new tools and feature sets have been added to the existing Lightroom environment that already houses a wealth of tools, such as numerous selective adjustment brushes, brightness, contrast, white balance, sharpness, noise reduction, and moiré removal, among others. Noise-reduction processes and advanced black-and-white conversion techniques are also available to help enhance and modify the look of your imagery through simplified, dedicated means. With Lightroom 4 came the inclusion of advanced highlight and shadow recovery, which gives the ability to extend the apparent dynamic range of imagery and retain as much detail within the dark and light areas. Additionally, one of the main benefits of Lightroom, in general, is that all of the editing controls are housed within a nondestructive platform; meaning you are free to experiment with the effects of numerous tools and commands without altering the original files. You can reverse steps and eliminate certain enhancements, if desired, and save multiple versions of the same image.

When the need arises to perform editing and retouching in the greatest detail, Lightroom is fully compatible and features tight integration in the full-fledged version of Adobe Photoshop. Importing from Lightroom to Photoshop is a seamless process, and once retouching has been completed in Photoshop, saved and updated files are accessible again in Lightroom. Another one of Lightroom’s strongest assets is its ability to develop and maintain a robust organizational structure for easy access and search ability across an entire database of files. This includes dedicated metadata-editing capabilities and the option to organize and sort pictures based on their embedded locational data, enabling you to quickly and easily plot images to a map and categorize or tag them based on specific locations. Besides the simple organizational structures afforded by Lightroom, the ability to process and apply adjustments and enhancements to multiple files at once is another invaluable feature that helps to increase efficiency when working with great numbers of photographs. This is especially useful if you wish to ensure consistent color correctness among a group of images shot under the same lighting conditions or if removing dust spots or artifacts that are always located in the same region of the frame.

The new Adobe Lightroom 5 is available in the boxed full version for both Windows and Mac operation systems, in a Student and Teacher Edition, or as an update for users who already are using Lightroom 1, 2, 3, or 4. This version of Lightroom has enhanced cross-platform performance and supports 64-bit Mac and Windows operating systems.

Want to learn more about Lightroom 5? Stop by the B&H SuperStore in New York, speak with a sales professional on the telephone at 1-800-606-6969 or contact us online via Live Chat.

System Requirements
  Mac OS Windows
Processor Multicore Inte®l processor with 64-bit support Intel® Pentium™ 4 or AMD Athlon 64 processor
Graphics Card Not specified by manufacturer DirectX 10-capable or later graphics card
Operating System Mac OS X 10.7 or 10.8 Microsoft Windows 7 with Service Pack 1 or Windows 8
Memory 2GB of RAM (4GB recommended) 2GB of RAM (4GB recommended)
Hard-Disk Space 2GB of hard-disk space 2GB of hard-disk space
Display Size 1024 x 768 display 1024 x 768 display
Optical Drive DVD-ROM drive DVD-ROM drive
Internet Internet connection required for Internet-based services Internet connection required for Internet-based services

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I am disappointed that the new Lightroom 5 is not compatible with Windows Vista 64-bit. However it confirms my decision to drop Windows altogether.

Windows Vista should have confirmed your decision to drop Windows for good. Win7 is a great OS, and there are a myrid of great Linux OSs. Don't sit back there on a sucky OS and complain because your apps are no longer supported.

It isn't compatible with snow leopard, either. Does that mean you are just not going to use a computer anymore?

Just be happy with the old one. You don't need to upgrade every time a bell and whistle is added. I am sure software companies are happy with those that do, but it's not a necessary expense for many people. Those companies will get the idea when sales take a dip.

I am disappointed that the new Lightroom 5 is not compatible with MacOS 10.5. However it confirms my decision to drop Apple altogether.

I guess this version does not work with Windows XP either? Seems like Adobe is forcing the Windows community to buy a new computer even if our current XP operating system has plenty of ram. I guess I'll have to stick with Lightroom 4. Not going to upgrade to Apple at this time.

I do not think that is their "goal"

Technology changes and outdates equipment.

Come on, Windows XP was released 2001, and it's 12 years old operating system. XP has so many problems from software developer perspective that I will not even start. I'm just happy that they will dump the old stuff and focus for the current systems.

I have Photoshop Elements 11. Would I have to upgrade to another version of Photoshop in order to view and work with saved post-processed Lightroom 5 files?

(Can you save as .psd in LR5 and open in PSE11?)
(Can you take PSE11 .psd back into LR5?)

Thank you for your time.

Once you edit an image file in LR5, you will have to save your work in a standard image file format, TIFF or JPEG for example. Elements 11 will have no issues opening these file formats. LR5 can read a PSD file format but cannot save as a PSD. You would have to choose either a TIFF or JPEG type.

In LR5, if you save as a Smart Object, does all the info go into PSE11?

You will not need to upgrade. Lightroom 5 can save and open .PSD files and Photoshop Elements 11 can also open and save .PSD files so they are interchangeable.