All those who follow Adobe and their conferences are likely aware that they are preparing a bundle of new features that intrigue us as photographers. With the release of Lightroom 6, we got GPU processing which has sped things up for some users (others report that it slows down the process for them). I believe that GPU processing does speed up heavy processes such as the Panorama or HDR merging, which are also new features introduced in Lightroom 6 with the April 2015 update.
In the latest update (which I got by June 16), several new features are introduced, of which the most important one is Dehaze.
Frankly, Dehaze does what it says it does: it reduces haze in your pictures. Haze is often caused by water evaporation, fog, or mist, and pictures tend to lose quality as the distance increases. Adobe has a neat one-slider-fixes-all kind of solution. You can find the Dehaze slider under the Effects section in Lightroom while in Photoshop CC it is found in the Camera Raw filter in the Effects section. It is a two-way correction slider, meaning that you can remove or add haze to an image, as you see fit. I must say, I didn't expect it to work as well as it actually does since deblur was presented as a magic-working filter of wonders, but it turned out to be a very average filter. Dehaze, on the other hand, does what it is said to do, and surely it will become a regular part of my workflow. I'm sure that it will easily become a part of yours, as well.
Blur & Noise
In Photoshop, if you were to use a blur filter on a part of the image you’d notice that the noise is lacking, necessitating yet another filter to correct that issue. Adobe has incorporated noise in Blur Gallery, so you can now add noise and grain directly from Blur Gallery while you do your blurring. This is good because it keeps your workflow nice and clean and if used on a smart object as a smart filter, it is easier to edit afterward.
Blacks & Whites with Filters in Lightroom
Before this update, if you were to use Graduated or Radial Filter or the Adjustment Brush, you could edit the highlights and shadows, but not the blacks and whites. Now, doing exactly that is possible. This gives you greater flexibility in using the filters in Lightroom 6 (CC). You probably wonder why this feature wasn't there in the first place. Sadly, I can’t tell you why, but this feature is here now and that is what counts.
Apparently, Content-Aware tools have been redesigned in order to be more efficient and accurate. This means that they should produce better results and compute faster. Just because I didn’t notice any improvements there doesn’t mean that there aren’t any. When merging panoramas you can now use Content-Aware Fill to fill in the gaps, and also check it as an option when loading the files. With content-awareness capability in merging panoramas, Photoshop again has the upper hand in editing panoramas, since Lightroom doesn’t have content-aware features yet. The Content-Aware Move tool has been redesigned as well, making it much more useful. Now you can move, rotate, and extend with it.
Camera RAW 9.1
Camera RAW 9.1 includes the Dehaze and blacks and whites updates, so you can apply them in your images if you upload them directly to Photoshop.
Additionally, several new cameras are now supported: Fujifilm X-T10, Nikon 1 J5, Nikon D810A, Panasonic DMC-G7, and the Pentax K-S2. The Pentax K3 II is just partially supported, as the HDR and Pixel Shift technologies are still under investigation.
The new nifty fifty from Canon (50mm f/1.8 STM) now gets a lens profile, along with these lenses:
- – Canon EF 400mm f/4 DO IS II USM
- – Tokina AT-X 11-20mm f/2.8 PRO DX (Canon and Nikon mounts)
- – DJI PHANTOM 3 FC300S (RAW + JPEG)
- – DJI PHANTOM 3 FC300X (RAW + JPEG)
- – Leica Voigtlander VM 15mm f4.5 Super Wide Heliar III Aspherical
- – Nikon 1 NIKKOR VR 10-100mm f/4-5.6
- – Nikon 1 NIKKOR VR PD-Zoom 10-100mm f/4.5-5.6
- – Nikon AF NIKKOR 85mm f/1.4D IF
- – HD PENTAX-DA 18-50mm f/4-5.6 DC WR RE
- – HD PENTAX-DA L 18-50mm f/4-5.6 DC WR RE
- – HD PENTAX-D FA 150-450mm f/4.5-5.6ED DC AW
- – Sony 16-35mm f/2.8 ZA SSM II
- – Sony 24-70mm f/2.8 ZA SSM II
- – Sony 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6 G SSM II