The first major dot release for the Lightroom 6 / CC 2015 products just went live. It may take a bit for the updates to appear in your system, but they’re rolling out slowly over the course of the day. There are a few new features which I outline below, and some changes to how you’ll install the update.
Updates are now delivered as a patch, so you don’t have to download the entire application to update. Don’t remove your existing Lightroom – simply let the patcher do its work on what you have.
Another is that this is the first time we’re seeing new features introduced in a dot release that only Creative Cloud subscribers will receive. If you’re on a perpetual license, you’ll have to wait until Lightroom 7 to get these new features. Is this further evidence that Adobe is being a money grubbing subscription pusher? I’m sure some will take it that way. In reality, though, it’s actually illegal for Adobe to add features in a major dot release. This has something to do with legislation that’s a bit over my head, but during the financial reforms of the last few years it was decided that companies should no longer be allowed to juice their stock price by promising features before a product was finished, and then releasing the features after selling it. The subscription plans do not come with this restriction because of how you pay for it (month to month vs all up front.)
[Edit: Further information here.]
So what are the new features? The Dehaze tool found in the effects panel has already been widely rumored, and is now official.
My personal favorite tools, however, are that you now have access to the Whites and Blacks sliders on local adjustment tools such as the brush, radial, and graduated filters. I’ve been using these a lot over the past few months with my own client work, and I love them.
Again, the above new sliders are only available if you’re a CC subscriber. If you’re on a perpetual license, you’ll have to wait for LR7 to have access to these sliders.
So what happens if you send files to a friend who’s on CC 2015.1, who then implements adjustments using these sliders and sends the file back to you, who’s on LR6.1? Nothing. The changes they make will be visible on your system, you simply won’t be able to change them.
Are you excited about Dehaze or the Whites and Blacks sliders? Share below!