Adobe is REALLY hearing it from photographers who are experiencing crashing issues and hating the new import process that is part of the update to Lightroom (version 6.2/CC2015.2) released in early October 2015.
Lightroom 6.2/CC2015.2 Rejected
If you are a listener of the podcasts on the Improve Photographer network you are probably tired of me telling you not to go and update the latest and greatest thing from Windows 10, to Mac OS X El Capitan. You may be taking me for someone who thinks you should never update anything.
On the contrary, I think that updating things is absolutely vital. There are significant security improvements in both the Windows 10 and El Capitan upgrades that we all need, along with functionality and performance improvements. But what good will it do you to install those things only to find out some tiny little thing impacts your productivity? Therefore my advice is to let others find out what problems there are out there with things and just wait a little bit on something as big as an operating system upgrade on your computer. At some point in the near future my recommendation will change to go ahead and in a planned out manner apply these updates.
Another good example of waiting before you apply updates is with Lightroom and Photoshop. You have even heard us on the podcast talk about how Lightroom 6/CC2015 has had its fair share of performance troubles to the point where we told you if you can live without dehaze you may as well stay at a previous version. It is clear to me that Adobe has a lot of work to do to make GPU acceleration function in Lightroom, and I think that is the case with a lot of the new functionality they are adding to Lightroom in particular.
So what about the very latest Lightroom 6.2/CC2015.2 update Adobe made available to the world in conjunction with their AdobeMax conference in early October 2015? Surprise! I am recommending that you DON'T upgrade. If you didn't listen to me on Windows 10 or El Capitan, you should really consider it this time. In fact, don't just take my word for it, you need to take a look at the absolute beating Adobe is taking in the user feedback forum here.
Part of what I do for the readers of this site and listeners of our podcasts is constantly monitor multiple user forums and power user websites to get their early opinion on upgrades. Many “mainstream” media photography outlets seem to absolutely praise EVERYTHING that comes out of Apple and Adobe, almost completely ignoring the issues that inevitably come from new releases and updates. That is NOT how we do things here at Improve Photography. We want to give you the best, practical advice possible for all types of things the modern day photographer may face.
Why do I tell you that? It's so that you can understand how rare it is to have the kind of response I am seeing on the “Photoshop Family” forum. You see, on average you may get 2-3 people who all say they are having the same issue. Sometimes I have seen as many 20-30 people all say they are having the same problem. In this case in a single day 149 people have taken the time to login to the forum and complain about the new import process that is part of the Lightroom 6.2/CC2015.2 update. I have never seen so many people all jump in and complain about something in Lightroom like they are right now.
In order to check out the update myself I installed Lightroom CC 2015.2 on my MacBook Pro (my secondary photo editing machine so that I wouldn't be too impacted by the issues). It took less than 2 minutes to have the update version of Lightroom crash. Now I am running El Capitan as well (yes, my advice is NOT to run El Capitan yet, I am doing that again to test it out myself) so it could be something specific to the combination of the latest version of Lightroom and El Capitan.
Since I can't tell if the crashing was due to El Capitan or the update, I strongly recommend that if Lightroom is an essential tool in your photography workflow you hold off pushing that update button. It really seems like this update was rushed by the marketing team in order to have something new at their AdobeMax event rather than having something actually ready to go. If you already installed the update, I outline how to get back to a more stable previous version at the end of this post.
Rejected Changes to Import Process
Now on to the functionality photographers are rejecting in the latest Lightroom 6.2/CC2015.2 update – the import process. I am not a terribly big fan of the import process that has been around in Lightroom since I have been using it with version 4. Although my complaints haven't been with the screens used to do the import, it has been the speed of the import. But here are the things that are now gone, which is raising a lot of anger with photographers.
Eject on Import
Some time ago, as I was learning to use Lightroom 4, I watched all the free content Adobe produced on their website they call AdobeTV. One of the videos there by Adobe Evangelist, Julieanne Kost, I found surprising. She said in the video that for some reason she doesn't totally understand, the import process works MUCH faster if you copy the photos to the SD card to the hard drive yourself rather than using Lightroom to pull them from the SD card directly and copy them to the hard drive. That doesn't make a bit of sense to me, but I have tested it and found that to be the case. The more photos to import, the more difference there is between the combined time of copying the photos manually to the hard drive and then import vs the time it takes to just import from SD to hard drive through Lightroom. Weird, but true! You should give it a try.
Anyway, due to my own workflow copying the photos from the card to the hard drive and then import the images into Lightroom from the hard drive, the absence of the “Eject on import” feature doesn't matter to me, but I can see why that would be important to many. “Ejecting” your SD card before taking it out of the reader is important to keep it from getting corrupted or going bad. I just do this manually too.
No Move Option
In previous versions of Lightroom if you were importing the photos from and SD card you didn't have any option but to “Copy” the photos to your hard drive (Adobe is helping protect you here from accidentally deleting photos from the card and allowing you to format the card in the camera in order to extend the life of your card). However, if you import the photos from a location on your hard drive you had the option to “Add” the images just where they are or “Move” them to a new folder.
Again, in my workflow, I don't use the “Move” import option at import, but I can see how some who utilize a super speed RAW previewer like Photo Mechanic to cull their photos might. Moving them from one location where the pre-culled photos go to another location for culled photos might be desirable. I also saw in the forum posts some users who had incorporated moves of photos in their presets so that they could have them organized on their hard drive differently based on the preset used.
Can You Roll Back?
Too late? Already installed the not-ready-for-production update? You can get back to Lightroom 6.0/CC2015 or Lightroom 6.1/2015.1, but not through the Creative Cloud installer. Victoria Bampton, known as the Lightroom Queen, has a simple page of instructions here to rollback. You can see a video demonstration of how to go through the rollback process from David Marx of the Lightroom Lab here.
Be Heard, Provide Feedback
If you are really frustrated with the lack of quality in recent release from Adobe, make sure your voice is heard and let them know. Go over to the Photoshop Family Customer Community and either find a post similar to what you want to say and add to it, or create a new one.
About the Author
Jeff Harmon is a hobbyist photographer living in Utah. He is an Information Security profession by day and a photography junkie by night. You can check out his portfolio of mostly landscape work at http://jhpics.zenfolio.com. You can follow him on Instragram and Twitter as well.