Monday, 22 September 2008

Lightroom 2.1

Adobe have produced a "release candidate" version of Lightroom 2.1 for download.

While the release of an upgrade is no surprise, given the numerous difficulties reported by some users (but strangely, not by all), this is the first time I can recall that Adobe have published what in effect is a "dress rehearsal" upgrade/ update.

Most of the issues reported have to do with slow running in some conditions, particularly with the new Gradient and Adjustment Brush tools - probably the most significant new feature for many users, myself included. What strikes me as odd is that although my PC is fairly new (18 months old), it only has 1Gb of RAM, and I have had - to date - no issues at all with Lightroom (LR) 2.0. There have been reports of problems related to Nvida graphics cards - and yet I heard today from a forum contact running Nvida who has had no problems whatever. One problem that Adobe have acknowledged is that LR1.x catalogue keywords are not importaing cleanly, although their knowledge base includes a SQL script that appears to have fixed the problem for me (without me really understanding SQL, I hasten to add - I just followed the instructions and it worked...)!

Whatever the problem(s), it has no doubt been a major embarrassment for Adobe, who earlier this year had - in effect - to recall LR1.4 as it was catastrophically buggy for many users. They issued a revised version (LR1.4.1) fairly quickly and no doubt some Adobe intern had a serious ear-bashing or worse. Given the reasonably lengthy Beta trial of LR2.0 it's all the more surprising the bugs weren't picked up before release.

Interestingly, one of the problems reportedly fixed in LR2.1 is some issues with handling Olympus's proprietary RAW file version - ORFs. Strangely, this is news to me, and not something that I've seen raised as an issue on any of my Forums or Flickr Groups. Again, 2.0 has been fine for me.

Having given it the weekend for other people to download 2.1 and trial it, I downloaded and installed my copy this morning. Worryingly, I have noticed some "stickiness" with some of the adjustment sliders that didn't exist with 2.0. I'm keeping my fingers crossed that this is a transient issue. Just to be on the safe side, I've run a catalogue optimisation as recommended by various users. Fingers crossed. I had big problems with one of the LR1.x versions, which were only resolved by the release of new version, so I hope this is not one step forward and two back.

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