Friday, December 11, 2020

Lightroom Classic 10 Slowness

Alexander S. Kunz:

In my review of Lightroom 10’s new features I concluded that it was perhaps put together in a haste to be ready for the Adobe Max conference release date, and that some problematic bugs remained. The worst one affects some Mac OS users, who saw incredibly poor performance, in particular in the Library module.

As it turned out, that performance hit only occurs in a color managed environment – in other words, when you have a calibrated screen and use a custom display profile (which should be most serious photographers, of course; if you haven’t calibrated your display, you don’t know if what you’re seeing and editing will actually look that way when printed). When those users switch their display profile to sRGB, the UI instantly becomes fast and responsive. Except that this is utterly useless for editing photos, of course.

Now Lightroom Classic version 10.1 has been released. And it does NOT contain a fix for this bug. The thread in Adobe’s help forums now contains pages upon pages of comments[…]

He recommends using the Get Info window to turn off Retina support, which reduces the number of pixels that must be processed. Of course, that makes it harder to see the details in your photos.

Even before this, the number one thing I wanted from Lightroom was for it to be faster.

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Same so much. Why is Lightroom so slow? Why is adobe’s software so slow? It’s terrible that they are a bit of a requirement for professional use. But so damn slow.

Exactly. Adobe software is always slowerr when compared to equivalent solutions. I cancelled my subscription because it is was slow when using hi-res display (and I am using iMac Pro, which is not exactly a slow computer).

My other reason was adding the "Classic" to its name which I took as a clear indication this is the end of the road for this product.

Adobe products aren’t really known for their great quality or integration into the operating system. This is where I agree. Otherwise the linked article is full of hyperbole and sensationalism.

Monitors used by photographers are calibrated on a display-per-display basis in the factory. Tests in about the last two decades have verified that most of these displays are calibrated at the level of about 98–99%. Manual calibration can lead to a color accuracy increase of about 1% if you know what you’re doing. Make one small mistake and you degrade the color accuracy of the factory calibrated display. Every serious photographer who uses these displays out of the box in a dark room (as it should be) is perfectly fine. The only conclusion coming to my mind is that either Mr. Kunz doesn’t know a lot about professional photography or that he’s riding on the clickbait train (no offense!).

> Why is Lightroom so slow? Why is adobe’s software so slow?

Two reasons, in my opinion... One, Adobe uses non-native frameworks to develop their apps, prioritizing coding effort and consistency across platforms over performance and native design conventions. Two, Adobe is a company that has always prioritized the addition of new features at the expense of bloat and poor performance.

Rafał: I have 5 displays sitting around here, all much more recent than two decades old. 4 are Apple displays, and 2 are the exact same model as each other. No two them have color within 2%.

Am I just unlucky enough to have bought 4 (or 5) duds in a row? Where does this "to a level of about 98-99%" come from? Can I return displays to Apple if their out-of-the-box calibration doesn't match?

Sam: I’m sorry to hear that, as displays from manufacturers who focus on graphics design are typically known to be calibrated. I’m not sure what displays you are talking about, because you didn’t say any names of the manufacturers. I see only one mention of Apple, and from what I know, Apple doesn’t sell professional displays in their stores at all (besides their XDR which has a different use case and which I’m explicitly not talking about). Maybe they did in the distant past, but I can’t remember them doing it in the last 10–15 years.

These days Apple usually sources LG panels in its consumer devices (similar to Dell or HP). These panels are a victim of the dreaded panel lottery, though I never had major issues with Apple LG panels. They are better calibrated than LG panels sold by other companies. They are fine for what the are, very bright, very intense colors, and a good to great factory calibration. But I wouldn’t call them professional displays, more something along the lines of high-end consumer or prosumer displays. Calibration of consumer-oriented displays is as effective as snake oil. I doubt current Apple would ever sell professional displays, because they are for a very niche audience, and Apple usually targets the broad consumer masses.

The data I have is from photographers, photography focused review sites, and my own experience.

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