Lightroom 6/CC Real World Test – What Are the Actual Improvements?

Just two days ago Adobe announced the new 6’th version of Lightroom as well as the first version of Lightroom  Creative Cloud (or CC as it is more commonly refereed to). Adobe promised quite a few new features and improvements and photographer Tony Northrup and his wife Chelse decided to take a look and see for themselves.

Lets start with the main features Adobe promised for Lightroom 6/CC (as we published in our original extended coverage of Lightroom CC – which you can find here):

  • GPU acceleration – Lightroom now support faster work using your graphics card – for supported cards (just use: Select Preferences > Performance. Now, select Use Graphics Processor).
  • Face recognition –  lets you quickly organize, tag & find images using facial recognition technology.
  • HDR photo merge – Now you can merge multiple exposure-bracketed images into a single HDR image in Lightroom.
  • Panorama merge – Now you can easily merge photos of a landscape into a breathtaking panorama – including RAW images!
  • Fix pet eye effect – just like red eye but for pets.
  • Filter brushes – Now you can  easily change graduated filter and radial Filter masks using brush controls.
  • Slideshow-related improvements – now it is possible to adjust the amount of panning and zooming using a convenient slider control, add up to 10 music tracks to slideshows, automatically synchronize slide transitions to music and more.
  • Creative Cloud support – share and exchange images and files between your computers and devices on Adobe’s Creative Cloud (only on Lightroom CC).

Tony and Chelse looked at 4 main features – the speed of the software, facial recognition and HDR/Panorama. From their test it seems that the GPU acceleration works but sadly had little to no effect in their testing. As for facial recognition – here results are mixed. If you don’t have a large database of images or you are just starting by importing images from your camera each time – this can work – at least some of the time – with some manual assistance from your side. On the other hand if you have a large database of images (even just a few thousands – and lets face it most of us have more than that these days) – this will either not work for you on a large percentage of the images and/or require you to do way too much manual work.

The new Lightroom CC – work in progress…

Lightroom-CCOn the upside – both the new HDR and the Panorama features seemed to work very well for Tony and Chelse and can be nice time savers if these are the sorts of things that you typically do.

There are more (mostly smaller) features which might be helpful which were not reviewed on this video and will probably get more attention on future ones but at east for those main ones Adobe had some hits and some misses – at least for now (remember – there was no beta version for Lightroom 6 so this is a sort of paid beta as Tony called it).

You can check out more useful Lightroom guides and tips on our LensVid Lightroom section. If you liked Tony and Chelsea Northrup you can check out more of their videos here on LensVid.

Iddo Genuth
Iddo Genuth is the founder and chief editor of He has been a technology reporter working for international publications since the late 1990's and covering photography since 2009. Iddo is also a co-founder of a production company specializing in commercial food and product visual content.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *