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Lightroom 2.0: Performance Issues, Wait for next Release!

Posted by Matt on September 11th, 2008 filed in Handy Hints, News, Photo Manipulation, Photo Software, Photo Workflow

A few weeks ago Adobe released Lightroom 2.0 after a length Beta process. Unfortunately it looks like some fairly serious performance issues got introduced for some users. These include massive slow downs and apparent system hangs while the software tries to work things out with larger catalogs. I’ve experienced these slowdowns myself, and have to say they are incredibly frustrating!

Until Adobe put out a point update that fixes these issues my recommendation for buying Lightroom 2.0 has changed from ‘buy’ to ‘hold’ (even though have currently dropped the price to only $220!). The two workarounds put forward right now, are either to stick with Lightroom 1.4.1 – a trusted, stable release, or to only work with small catalogs. Personally I find that incredibly frustrating, as for me if I need to find a photo of something then I want to search my entire catalog based on shared keywords, rather than having to a) remember which catalog I need, b) load it up, c) find the photo then d) merge it with other photos I want to work with – that may be in other catalogs. Although Lightroom’s ability to work with multiple catalogs is very powerful, the sheer fact that you can’t easily share keyword structures (without manually importing/exporting them*) or search across multiple catalogs makes the software much less useful to my mind. A workaround for the cross-catalog search is to export small JPG previews of your 5 star images with embedded meta data then use your computer’s built in file search (OS X spotlight works a treat for this) – this gives a quick visual preview, but doesn’t solve the need to then manually cross reference this back to Lightroom.

Ah, version 1.0 products… when will we (or software companies) ever learn.

* I’m wondering if a workaround to this is to create a single photo with every keyword tag in that’s shared between multiple catalogs.. Then Lightroom might pick up changes from the image and include them in each catalog’s tag hierarchy. Anyone tried this?

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