Adobe releases Lightroom 5


Adobe has released Lightroom 5, the fifth major version of the product designed for and by photographers, and the reason we're all here. Lightroom 5 rides in on the shortest development cycle for a major version release in the history of the product, yet comes packed with new features and overall improvements.

And lest there be any doubt regarding the state of Lightroom in light of Adobe's recent Creative Cloud announcements, the retail version of Lightroom 5 is and will remain exactly the same as the Creative Cloud version.

Lightroom 5 is now feature complete and final. Lightroom 5 will be available for $149 (for those new to Lightroom) and $79 (for Upgrade and Student/Teacher editions). As with previous version of Lightroom, Lightroom 5 is a perpetual license.

Also, The Turning Gate's CE3 plugins are fully compatible with the Lightroom 5 Web module. Those of you using our Publish Services plugin should be able to upgrade your catalogs without worry; in our tests, catalog upgrades with existing Publish Services have all gone smoothly.

View the official announcement on the Lightroom Journal, including a list of new camera and lens support, and known issues.

Download Lightroom 5.

Laura Shoe has posted an excellent set of video tutorials about all that's new in Lightroom 5.

Here's the list of new features in Lightroom 5:


Key Features

Smart Previews

  • Definition - Lightweight images that can be used in place of the original raw files throughout the application, including the Develop Module.
  • Reside in the same folder as the catalog and are contained in a lrdata file folder structure. This is similar to the existing Preview file structure.
  • Smart Preview will be used in the absence of an original file. Changes are saved to the Lightroom catalog and will be visible on both the Smart Preview and original image.
  • Smart Previews are Lossy DNG files and are 2540 pixels on the long end.
  • Building Smart Previews
    • On import, check the “Build Smart Previews” field in the File Handling Panel. This checkbox is off by default and is persistent between Import sessions. The checkbox will revert to off in between Lightroom sessions.
    • In Library, go to the Library-> Previews -> Build Smart Previews menu command
    • When exporting to catalog, there is a “Build Smart Previews” checkbox available. This will create a new catalog and the Smart Preview lrdata file will be contained in the same folder as the new catalog.
  • Exporting Smart Previews
    • Since the original file is not available, you cannot export a Smart Preview as the original file.
    • JPEG, TIFF, PSD and DNG can be used. The resulting image will be limited on the long edge by the Smart Preview size, sset to 2540 pixels.
  • An icon under the histogram alerts the customers to the existence of Smart Previews. There are 4 states:
    • Original – The Original file is available and there is not a Smart Preview available for the image
    • Original + Smart Preview – Both the Original file and Smart Preview are available
    • Smart Preview – The Smart Preview is available but the Original file is not
    • Photo is missing – Both the Original file and the Smart Preview is not available
  • Smart Previews can be used for Publish Services and Export to Email
  • Smart Previews can be generated while importing from another catalog
  • Previews can be rendered from Smart Previews if the original is offline but the Smart Preview is available
  • Quick Develop works with Smart Previews
  • Zooming to 1:1 with a Smart Preview – if the original is offline, then Lightroom will zoom to the Smart Preview’s 1:1 setting, which may be different than the original file’s 1:1 setting
  • Edit-in functionality is disabled for use with Smart Previews. Customers are required to use the original files in order to leverage Edit-in functionality.

PNG Support:

  • Lightroom will now import PNGs
  • Edit-in Photoshop workflow is supported. The PNG will be converted either to a TIFF or PSD, based on the preferences that you have set
  • PNG Transparency appears White
  • PNG file type criterion is both part of a Smart collection and Filters

Full Screen Mode

  • A true full screen mode, available via a single keyboard shortcut (“F”).
  • Legacy “F” keyboard shortcut behavior is available using Shift+F

User Configurable Grid Overlays

  • Drag-able view overlays available within Library (Loupe view), Develop and during Tethered Capture
  • Enable using the View-> Loupe Overlay menu option.
  • Modify the size of the gridlines by holding the command/control key and click “Size” while dragging the mouse to the left (to decrease) or right (to increase). This also works for the adjusting the opacity
  • Cmd/Ctrl + Option/Alt + 0 keyboard shortcut to enable and disable.

Windows HiDPI Support

  • Support for Windows at 150% and 200% resolution.

New Smart Collection Criteria

  • New criteria for Smart Collections including:
    • Size (in megapixels)
    • Bit Depth
    • Number of color channels
    • Color Profile
    • Smart Preview status* (Filter-> Smart Preview Status)
    • PNG* (Filter -> File Type)

* Also available as Filters

Behance Publish Service

  • New Publish Service to publish your images directly to Behance ( In order to use the service, you must first create a Behance account.
  • The publish service for Behance in Lightroom interacts *only* with the "Work In Progress" (WIP) portion of the Behance site.
    • Only one Lightroom collection is allowed per Behance publish service instance, and it cannot be renamed. Each photo published to Behance via a Behance publish service becomes a new WIP when it is first uploaded. Subsequent uploads of the same image become revisions to that WIP.
    • User input is required during the actual publish operation; a dialog will request information related to each image during the upload process. This is necessary to encourage very deliberate user actions with respect to the important aspects of a Behance WIP.

Other Features and JDIs

  • Upon hiding the Filter bar, an overlay bezel informs customers that the Filter Bar is hidden and can be restored using the / keyboard shortcut.  This occurs in Library, Map, Book, Slideshow, Print and Web.
  • Upon hiding the Toolbar, an overlay bezel informs customers that the Toolbar is hidden can be restored using the T keyboard shortcut.  This occurs in all Lightroom 5 modules.
  • Added a new menu item to the View menu called "Lock Zoom Position".  If the menu item is checked, the zoom position of each image will be remembered, and when switching between images, the loupe view will be centered on the point you clicked last time.
  • Keyboard shortcut F12 to trigger tethered capture.
  • “Direction” field in the EXIF Metadata panel. If the image contains GPS direction, then this field will show the compass directions as one of 8 options (North, Northwest, West, etc.).  The degree value will shown as a tooltip on mouse hover. The "Direction" EXIF metadata field is editable.  The 8 compass directions (North, North-west, east, etc.) are the only values that can be entered in this field.  This field can be synced across multiple images using the "Sync Metadata" button.
  • Added a new Import option to Preferences.  When " Show the 'Current/Previous Import' collection during Import" is checked, the customer is shown their newly imported photos.  When unchecked, the photos are still imported, but the focus will remain on the last previously viewed images (prior to Import).
  • A "Set as target collection" checkbox has been added to the Create Collection dialog.
  • Photos can be dragged directly to Saved Locations and Saved Locations can be dragged to photos.  In both cases, the photo will receive the same location as the already defined "Saved Location".
  • There is now a command to verify the integrity of DNG files (Library > Validate DNG Files). Any invalid DNG files will be placed in a special collection. Only DNG files created by Adobe software can be validated (camera-created DNGs cannot be validated because they do not contain the necessary checksum).


Key Features

Advanced Healing Brush

  • 2 types of spots available:
    • Circle spots – the preexisting functionality within Lightroom
    • Brush spots – can be used for arbitrary shapes
    • Usage options:
    • Click + Drag – create brush spot
    • Single click – create a circle spot from auto-find source
    • Shift + Click – connect the selected spot with the new spot via a straight brush stroke
    • Cmd/Ctrl + Drag – Create a circle spot from user-defined source
    • Cmd/Ctrl + Option + Drag: Create a circle spot that scales from center
    • Cmd/Ctrl + Shift + Drag: Create a circle spot that scales from anchor
    • Backslash (/) – select new source for existing circle or brush spot
    • Shift + Drag – Constrain brush spot to horizontal or vertical axis
  • Deletion
    • Option/Alt + Click – delete spot
    • Option/Alt + Drag – Marquee batch-delete multiple spots
  • New visualization to help detect hidden spots (such as sensor dust)
    • A – Visualize spots* (to both enable and disable)
    • H – Hide spot overlays
  • Using the shift-click to "connect the dots" will now automatically re-evaluate the source selection. In other words, the spot tool will now account for the fact that the user has extended an existing spot. Exception: if the user has previously manually set the source for a spot, then shift-clicking to extend that spot will not invoke the "auto find source" logic.
  • Improve spot tool's ability to patch spots automatically
  •  Shift+Drag to constrain the brush to horizontal or vertical stroke
  • A "Select New Source" command has been added to the contextual menu. This has the same functionality as the “/” keyboard shortcut.
  • * please note that this is also available as a checkbox and slider in Toolbar

    Radial Filter

    • Radial Filter appears in the Histogram Toolbar between the Graduated Filter and the Adjustment Brush. Radial Filter allows users to apply existing local adjustment attributes to a circular mask with a feathered falloff. Users can now create off-center vignettes, among other effects.
    • Usage instructions:
      • Select the tool and drag out a bounding ellipse or command/Ctrl + double-click on the image to set the bounding ellipse to the image bounds
      • Bounding ellipse can then be manipulated in the same way as the Crop overlay
    • Keyboard Shortcuts:
      • Shift + M: Expand Radial Filter tool
      • Drag: Radial Filter is scaled from center
      • Cmd/Ctrl + double-click: Expand Radial Filter to visible image area
      • Cmd/Ctrl + double-click on existing RF: Expand to visible image area
      • Option/Alt + Cmd/Ctrl + Drag: Duplicate Radial Filter
      • H: Hide Bounding Box
      • Apostrophe key ( ' ): Invert Mask
      • Double-click on existing Radial Filter: Apply & dismiss Radial Filter
    • The range of the Radial Filter Feather slider has been extended. The amount of feather you used to get with the slider set to 100 you now get when the slider is set to 50 (which is the default).


    • Upright is a technology that straightens pictures automatically. Common use cases include fixing horizons (to avoid "tilted” pictures) and straightening buildings (to avoid the "keystone" effect).
    • Upright's main advantage over previous methods (e.g., straighten and crop tools, Horizontal and Vertical sliders) is ease of use: it automatically finds the desired correction by studying the image content.
    • Usage:
      • Within Develop-> Lens Correction, ensure Enable Profile Correction is checked. Upright works better when Lens Corrections are enabled.
      • Ensure that the image has not been cropped or manually transformed. Applying Upright will reset any crop or manual transform adjustments. You can preserve these crops/transforms by holding the Alt(Win) or Option (Mac) key while enabling an Upright mode.
      • Check one of the 4 modes.
      • Tweak (if necessary) using the Manual transforms available in the “Manual” tab.
      • The Reanalyze button is helpful if you enable/disable Lens Correction. Reanalyze will force Upright to calculate a new transformation.
    • Upright Modes
      • Off: Upright is disabled (no adjustment). This is the default option.
      • Auto: Apply an automatic "balanced" correction to the image. It generally tries to level the image and fix converging horizontal and vertical lines, but will be conservative (e.g., it will not completely fix converging verticals if doing so would involve an overly strong correction that would result in distorting too many image features). In general, Auto will not be the same as Full, Level, or Vertical.
      • Full: Apply a full 3D correction to the image (level + fix converging horizontals and verticals), even if it involves an extremely strong correction (large rotations).
      • Level: Level the image (i.e., fix tilts). Similar to an automatic application of the Straighten tool or using the Rotate slider. Does not fix converging horizontals/verticals.
      • Vertical: Combines the leveling step (see previous item) with fixing converging verticals.
    • Copy/Sync Behavior
      • “Upright Mode” will utilize the same Upright mode as part of the preset or copy/sync. Each image will be independently analyzed to determine the best transform based on the Upright mode chosen.
      • “Upright Transforms” utilizes the Upright transformation from that image for presets and copy/sync. Each image will utilize the exact same transformation.

    LAB Color Readout

    • Usage – right/control + click on the Histogram and select “Show LAB Color Values”
    • Hover the mouse cursor over the image and the RGB Histogram will be replaced by LAB color readout.

    Other Features and JDIs

    • New keyboard shortcut for Shift + Q: Toggle between Clone & Heal modes
    • Load the currently available preview and remove the "Loading" bezel more quickly than before.  This will provide access to certain Develop adjustments (such as Basic panel) while we build a high-resolution preview in the background.  Swap in the high-resolution preview once built and enable all of Develop functionality.
    • When entering the Develop module individual panels are not loaded into memory unless they're open, which will improve the first-‐launch speed of the Develop module.
    • Option/Alt + Cmd/Ctrl + Drag: Duplicate local adjustments and linear gradients. Since local adjustment pins cannot be moved, the dragging gesture is treated the same as clicking, which means both gestures will duplicate the selected correction in place.
    • The before/after views now show the current photo and the proofed photo in Soft Proofing
    • Aspect slider was added to the Lens Correction Manual Tab. Slider allows for small aspect ratio change that helps to improve image appearance. Dragging to the left should make things look more “squat” and dragging to the right should make things look taller and skinnier.
    • The warning icon for previous Process Versions has been updated. It now resembles a lightening bolt, and exists below the Histogram in the Develop Module.
    • A new "Basic" tab exists within the Lens Correction panel.  This includes a checkbox to enable lens profile, constrain crop, remove chromatic aberration, and Upright. As in prior versions, Lens Profiles can be enabled via the Profile tab, and Chromatic Aberration can be enabled via the “Color” tab.
    • Clipping indicators are persistent between Lightroom sessions.
    • Crop Overlay Aspect Ratios – Enable via Tools-> Crop Guide Overlay -> Aspect Ratios. They provide a crop aspect overlay that can be enabled using the O keyboard shortcut while in the Crop tool.


    Key Features

    Book – Improved Text Creation

    • Transparent Buttons for "Page Text" and if a photo exists on the page, "Photo Text".  These are linked to the existing Page Text and Photo Text controls and are designed to help make the text experience in Lightroom easier to use.
    • All the text tools available in Lr4 can still be used, this is a simpler way for customers to interact with the text technology
    • Ability to input text directly to a Text box in Book.  In Lightroom 4, you had to first change the Text panel to "Custom" before you could enter text. Ensure that the “Fill Text Boxes with” customer preference in Book Preferences is set to “Filler Text” for this to work.

    Book – Page Numbers

    • New global checkbox for adding the Page Numbers.  You can also use the icon to select where the Page Number should go.
    • The appearance of Page number can be changed either globally or locally
    • Page Numbering can start at a custom page, or starting on the first non-cover page.

    Book – User Pages

    • After modifying a page template (for example, by changing the cell padding), you can now save the modified template as a Custom Page.
    • These page layouts are available as “Custom Page” in the Page Picker
    • Custom Pages are saved to the Layout Templates -> User Templates folder

    Videos in Slideshow

    • Add video clips to your Slideshows
    • Improved synchronization of slides with soundtrack duration.

    Other Features and JDIs

    • Visual indicator to help identify Favorite page layout styles within the Page Picker. Click on the circular Collection badge in order to quickly add them to their Favorites list. Favorite pages will have a filled in circle, making them easier to find.  This behavior is consistent with the in-Collection behavior within Library.
    • Ability to print books with Blurb’s “Standard” paper stock. This is a lighter weight option than “Premium Luster” and may provide some customers with a less expensive option.
    • Improved the visualization of selected items.  Selected pages will have a thicker yellow border compared to unselected pages. 
    • All the same metadata that is available for captions in other modules is now available for captions in the Book module.

6 Responses to “Adobe releases Lightroom 5”

  1. Tim says:

    Hello. Does the CE3 suite will work with Lightroom 5 ? Thank you.

    · June 10, 2013 @ 2:47 pm

    • Matt says:


      · June 10, 2013 @ 10:19 pm

  2. Hendrik says:

    Hello, what about CE & CE2? Are they still compatible? Or do I need to upgrade to CE3?

    · June 11, 2013 @ 12:48 am

    • Matt says:

      In my limited testing of CE2, I have encountered no issues. I no longer support the CE (CE1) version plugins, and do not keep them installed on my machines, so have not tried them at all. The Web module hasn’t changed much in LR5, so if it worked in LR4 then I would expect it to continue working in LR5.

      · June 11, 2013 @ 1:00 am

  3. Geir Arne Midtgaard says:

    Upgrading from LR4 to LR5 will the plugins work in LR5 or do we have to install again ?

    · June 12, 2013 @ 2:17 am

    • Matt says:

      They should continue to work and need not be reinstalled.

      · June 12, 2013 @ 2:49 am

Comments are now closed.


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