Adobe has come out with the latest update for Lightroom Classic CC and it includes some big changes. On the face of it, it doesn’t look much, but under the hood, it has changed quite a bit. In this post, we’ll take a look at some of the major upgrades Lightroom has made in it’s latest update Lightroom Classic 7.3 released in April 2018. Check out the video below for a full walk-through of the new features. If you want to read, continue below the video.
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What’s New in Lightroom Classic 7.3
1. Dehaze Slider Moved to Basic Panel
The first change that you notice right away is that the Dehaze slider has moved up inside the Basic panel. It used to be all the way down under Effects, but I guess Adobe realized that it is more of a basic adjustment and it belongs under the Basic panel. I, personally think that’s great, because I, myself, sometimes forgot about this slider, when in fact the photo could use some of it. Now when it’ll be right there in front of me in the Basic panel, it’ll be used more often!
2. Preview Presets
Another small but an important change in Lightroom Classic 7.3 is in the way we can preview Presets. Earlier, if we wanted to see how a preset would look on a photograph, as we moved our mouse over the different presets, we could only see it in this small Navigator window. While that did show what the photo would look like, it was just too small. You couldn’t make out all the details within the small Navigator.
Now, as you move your mouse over the different presets, it will show the effect on the full photograph right in the center, instead of just in the Navigator. You will be able to clearly see what your photo would look like with a given preset before deciding to finally go ahead with it. This way, you don’t have to apply, then undo, then apply, then undo to test out different presets. You can simply hover your mouse over the different presets and it’ll show you what that’d look like.
3. Presets Available in Adobe Camera RAW
One more change that has happened behind the scenes is that Adobe has changed the format of the presets. Previously presets would be .lrtemplate files, now they are going to be .xmp files which means that they will also be compatible with Adobe Camera RAW plugin and not just Lightroom. So, you can use your Lightroom Classic 7.3 presets in the Adobe Camera RAW plugin as well.
4. Profiles [The Biggest Update]
We have always had profiles, but they have been buried under the Camera Calibration panel all the way at the bottom. A lot of people were familiar with what profiles were and why they were important, but at the same time, a lot of people were not. To read more about Profiles, check out our blog post on the topic: Here’s How You Can Get that Back of the Camera Look
Lightroom instructors, including myself, have always recommended that changing the profile should be the first thing you do. Adobe has now made it the first thing over here in the Develop module. Profiles are right there in the front seat. This is going to be the first thing you see when you start editing!
These profiles are actually much more powerful than the ones we’ve had before this update. Some Lightroom experts are even calling it the presets of the future; and I think I agree. These may just eventually replace presets.
Let’s actually understand what exactly these profiles are. We have a detailed blog post about profiles that you can check out, but to briefly sum it up here, the idea behind these profiles is that if you shoot RAW, these profiles decide how each color would be rendered. Before this update, Lightroom came with just one default profile, which was the Adobe Standard; and then you had your Camera Matching profiles, which would be different for every camera. In my case, on a Nikon D610, I would have Camera Vivid, Camera Landscape, Camera Portrait but your camera may have entirely different profiles.
They would all render colors in a different way. Some would make the photo more contrasty, more saturated and others would make it less contrasty and less vibrant.
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If you click on the grid-like icon next to the Profile dropdown menu, it will open up the Profile Browser and it starts to list down all the different profiles.
In the Profile Browser, you will have all the different categories of profiles listed. You have Adobe Raw, Camera Matching & Legacy Profiles that are mainly expanding on the profiles you originally had in the previous versions. Below them are the new Creative Profiles. By default, there are Artistic, B&W, Modern and Vintage; but you can also install new ones and add more to the list.
How are Profiles Different from Presets?
These are different than presets in two big ways.
Difference # 1: No Sliders Were Moved in These Profiles
Normally, when you start editing, let’s say you have a dark image, you move the Exposure, you change the Shadows slider. If you were to then go ahead and choose a preset, and that preset had different settings for Exposure and Shadows, it would overwrite the settings that you have made. It would take all of these sliders to where the preset says they should be. Not where you had set them in earlier step.
On the other hand, these profiles do not move ANY sliders. They don’t overwrite any of your settings. So, you can adjust your exposure and your shadows and any other settings and then apply the profile, and your sliders would still be in the positions where you had kept them and it would still apply the creative effect you chose.
Difference # 2: Amount Slider
The second way in which these Creative Profiles are different is that they come with an Amount slider, which acts kind of like an Opacity slider. If you want to reduce the effect of the profile on your photo, you can simply tone it down using just this one slider. You can’t do that with presets (unless using third-party plugins).
With presets, you don’t even know which sliders or settings have been edited in the creation of that preset; and even if you did, you would have to go to all of them and move them one by one if you had to tone it down (or up). Basically, reducing the intensity of a preset is a much more tedious process. That’s why if you’ve purchased presets online, you would’ve noticed that a lot of the presets would come with a +1 or -1 version or a dark and light version of the same preset.
Third Party Profiles
Adobe has also made it possible for others to make these profiles and we will start seeing different companies and different websites creating these profiles, offering it for free, or for sale. Previously, in this Profile menu, you only had profiles from either your camera or Adobe themselves, but now you will also be able to get third-party profiles. And this is why I said that these are going to be the Presets of the future.
I think this is a great way forward for Adobe Lightroom. With these updates, Lightroom has become even more powerful than it has been and it will continue to grow. I have already updated to the latest version, I recommend that you do too. Let me know in the comments section what you think of Lightroom Classic 7.3!