Another post on my experiences with the newly installed standalone Adobe's Lightroom 6 on my Retina 5K 27inch late 2015 iMac.
As we all know, Adobe has been marketing Lightroom as the all-in-one post-processing tool for hobbyists, enthusiasts and professionals, and up to now I have certainly found it to be an "all-in-one” workflow solution for post processing and cataloguing my photographic images. I have been happy with this, given that the current choices for post-processing and file management software are limited.
In the previous post I outlined my unease with Adobe’s latest move to discontinue the standalone version of Lightroom, and to move everyone to the cloud; thereby effectively locking us in for the future for Adobe to grow their profits. I was frustrated because dumping the perpetual license is something Adobe in the past said that it would not do. Adobe Lightroom is now purely subscription based and, unfortunately for me, it is only a matter of time until an OS upgrade from Apple breaks the standalone Lightroom 6 (LR6) completely.
However, my frustration with the standalone Lightroom 6 on the iMac has to do with other issues. It is not only its lack of development compared to the subscription version. It also arises from finding that LR6 has basic stability and performance issues that should not exist in the first place, given that this is professional software.
By this I mean that the software crashes or unexpectedly quits while sometimes performing basic tasks, which I find to be very annoying. Moreover, Lightroom 6 is worse than Lightroom 5 in that the adjustment brush and spot healing brush slows down my desktop computers. So does the catalogue. Lightroom sure needs some bug fixes to improve its post-processing capabilities and some basic foundational development to address the layers of complexity that come from each new release causing ever more bloat in the software.
Given the end of the standalone Lightroom 6 it is now a case of just hanging on and putting up with LR6's basic stability and performance issues; and waiting to see what happens with the new releases from Adobe's competitors. Will they fill the gap? It is the data asset management side (DAM) of Lightroom--its catalogues which track location, metadata, keyword tags associated with the images---that is crucial.
Meanwhile I continue to watch the increasing prices of professional computer and camera equipment--eg., the iMac-Pro and the Sony A7r111 camera--and despair. The prices for new equipment continue to rise rapidly. I realise that the new is an improvement on the old, but it is becoming ever harder to justify the expense of upgrading. I realise that there will come a time in the not too distant future when I will no longer be able to afford the upgrades.
What then? We need good, functioning equipment in order to keep having our exhibitions and producing books.
Adobe has just released the last update to the standalone versions of Lightroom 6, which I thankfully was able to download without encountering any problems, errors or bugs. At least the update does support the two noteworthy released digital cameras of 2017 --the Nikon D850 and the mirrorless Sony A7r111; cameras that should last us for several years.
One central problem is that as there will be no further updates so the standalone version of Lightroom 6 is now unsupported software. That means, as I noted above, that I will soon face OS compatibility issues. Apple will release a new operating system in 2018 and the standalone Lightroom 6 will not be compatible with the new O/S. We know what Adobe's upfront advice for this compatibility issue is: embrace their subscription model for Lightroom Classic CC and rent their software product.
Another central problem is that our relationship with IT has changed. Power has shifted in IT, in favor of both cloud-service providers and closed-platform vendors. Most of our data resides on other networks and at our new internet devices and software are both closed and controlled by the vendors, giving us limited configuration control. We have no choice but to trust Adobe, but we receive very few assurances in return.