Photoshop Blog

January 24, 2012 /Lightroom /

Your Burning Lightroom 4 Beta Questions Answered!

Connecting with our fans and followers is a lot of fun for us. It’s not often that we find a reason to join calls with 300+ people from near and far – the UK, Germany and even Tahiti! – to live chat and share what we love about Lightroom 4 Beta. Or meet at the Adobe headquarters with a standing-room only Lightroom demo for a nearly 200 person user group. Our launch week live sessions were a great way for us to hear what you all think of the new updates and changes.

As promised, we’ve given you some time to check out the beta and have gathered questions from our Facebook and Twitter accounts to answer here. There were many, but Lightroom product manager Sharad Mangalick reviewed them all and provides some answers to the most frequently asked questions.

@luxx11 and @jennawoodward Ask: @Lightroom why can’t I use my LR3 catalogs in LR4? Is there a way to easily transfer my Lr3 catalogue into Lr4?

Sharad: Since Lightroom 4 is still in beta form, we restricted the ability to bring in catalogs created in earlier versions of Lightroom as a safeguard. This will be lifted when we release the final version of Lightroom 4, and you will be able to import prior version Lightroom catalogs, as well as Lightroom 4 Beta catalogs into Lightroom 4.

Sören Lubitz and Craig Harris Ask: Why does the new process let my old pictures look completely different? It’s even forgetting the color treatment sometimes.Why are the new develop sliders in a different order to the histogram sections? Blacks > Shadows > Exposure > Highlights > Whites would make much more sense.

Sharad: If you would like Lightroom 4 Beta to preserve the visual appearance of your images previously edited in Lightroom or Camera Raw, please save the editing metadata to the file in earlier versions of Lightroom prior to importing them into Lightroom 4 Beta.  This will ensure that the prior Process Version and image adjustment settings will be applied in Lightroom 4 Beta.

We’ve made some significant upgrades to our imaging processing technology, which resulted in different and often more powerful parameters than before. Because of this difference we recommend that you experiment with them on an image-by-image basis to find the appropriate setting for each image. The order of the adjustments are based on a potentially intuitive workflow but do not represent a strict “top to bottom” requirement.  We recognize that the new adjustments will require some changes in your workflow and we’re looking forward to your feedback.

Stephen Wensley Asks: Will we be able to make selections in the develop module?

Sharad: Yes, you can select an area to adjust with the Adjustment Brush.

Ernest Aymerich Asks: Will be able to open and edit AVCHD video?

Sharad: You are able to open, organize, and apply adjustments to the .mts files found in AVCHD videos clips from popular digital still cameras in Lightroom 4 Beta. (Lightroom 4 Beta does not support the entire AVCHD directory structure.)

Ronald Byram and @bedemccarthy Ask: Any new lens profiles for tamron/tokina/sigma? @Lightroom will LR4 camera support stay in sync (up to date) with LR 3.x during the beta period, or will updates only go to 3.x?

Sharad: The lens profiles in Lightroom 4 Beta are the same as the ones in Lightroom 3.6. You can see the full list of lens profiles here.

Ronald Byram Asks: Can we setup custom file type imports? Say omit video in catalog if desired. Only import jpg/raw types.

Sharad: You can do this by using the Sort feature on the bottom of the Import dialogue box.  You can sort by Media Type and File type to check and uncheck the files you’d like to import.

@SteveMops Asks: @Lightroom Question: Will there be an option to exclude parts of the tagging structure from being displayed? #Lightroom #Lr4

Sharad: When creating a Keyword in Lightroom you can designate if you want it included or excluded on export.

Nicholas Baldinelli Asks: Will we able to use other book vendors? Blurb is nice, but wedding albums usually come from other print houses.

Sharad: Within the Book module, you can print directly to Blurb or export your book as a PDF.  You can then provide a PDF to other print houses (outside of Lightroom) if you choose.

Gary Ivanek Asks: Why is SmugMug not in the Publish Services in the beta? Hope it gets reinstated in the “for release” version.

 Sharad: We’ve removed the SmugMug plug-in by default so that SmugMug can innovate and update the plug-in outside of Lightroom’s regular release cycle.  It will not be included in Lightroom 4, but plug-in data will be migrated as part of the catalog upgrade process.

 John Macy Asks: Will there be any other features added to the beta or is the feature list already locked down?

Sharad:  Thanks for the feedback and ideas. We can’t confirm any final and future development plans right now, but the Lightroom 4 Beta is a good representation of our core focus for the final release. However, we have read a lot of comments regarding specific features folks would like to see. Please submit an official feature request here, where the Lightroom team is monitoring and gathering input. 

 Greg Davis Asks: How do we send in bug problems with Lightroom 4. I’m having major issues importing pics this morning.

Sharad:  You can submit a bug report on our Beta Forum. As we’re still in beta mode, you can expect the full experience will not be optimal at all times. Please keep that in mind when you’re testing out the new features.

 @KyleW1223 Asks:  @Lightroom how much will the full version cost?

 Sharad: We haven’t announced final pricing or availability yet, so please, stay tuned.

@simonatstorm Asks: @Lightroom how long will you be running the beta testing? Still time to join the party?

Sharad: Lightroom 4 Beta will expire on March 31, 2012.  So there’s still plenty of time to join the fun!  You can download it at

Thank you to everyone who submitted thoughtful questions and feature requests. We’ll be hosting another call with hundreds more fans in the near future and want to make sure you’re on the look out for that and more updates. If you haven’t already, like our Facebook page, follow us @Lightroom and subscribe to our YouTube channel to get all the latest and greatest info on the Lightroom 4 Beta. We’ve got several playlists of tutorial videos for you to reference as you check it out.

Keep hammering away on the beta and let us know what you think!



Join the discussion

  • By Dave - 10:47 AM on January 24, 2012  

    Can you give us an option to use Lightroom on “shared” or Network drives. I am not talking about managed check-in/check out functionality, but as a user with multiple machines on a home network, I would love to be able to edit and process on my desktop as well as on my laptop on the deck or in front of the TV. I understand the reasoning why LR generally does not allow those, but you should give users the option to override this. Yes, we may shoot ourselves in the foot, but much easier than the potential damage moving and plugging and unplugging an external HD around.

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  • By Sean Kane - 11:04 AM on January 24, 2012  

    Will lightroom4 allow you to move the adjustment brush pin around? In other words, when I sync my settings to another image, I would love to move the adjustment brush around. Because no two images are the same, this would allow me to apply the same settings as the previous image. At times when I sync, the adjustment brush does not line up to the original image I just edited.

      • By KIMBERLY - 1:08 PM on January 24, 2012  

        yeah, but this was in fact brought up 9 months ago… It’s too late of a request to be implemented now after everyone is saying that this is a 99# done deal and the only reason why we are beta-ing it right now is to iron out the bugs with stuff currently on the beta and that they are NOT going to be adding anything on extra like requests of some other complete functionality of a new tool… the programming for anything, even something like this, won’t be done, tested, added, implemented by the release date. In fact, it will have to be done even SOONER because it is SHIPPING on April 1. and there is NO WAY it will make packaging for first release. But, there is a reeeemote chance of it maybe being included in an update later on down the road. Just sayin. 🙂 I never thought of that idea, and it’s a wonderful idea. Nik software has this technology available called U-Point technology, and then you can group the duplicate ‘pins’ together and then make group adjustments by making a adjustments and those adjustments apply over the ‘pins’ selected to be grouped together…. It is a great technology for sure!

  • By Ken Elliott - 11:19 AM on January 24, 2012  

    We badly need a network-aware configuration for LightRoom, even it it is only single user. But we also need a low-cost view-only app. I only use LR on my workstation and field laptop, but I need a way to easily browse the catalog and view the developed images on a PC connected to a HDTV for client viewing.

    At some point, we need a multi-user version, or the ability to use a our existing SQL Server to house the catalog. Perhaps a check-in/check-out by folder would make it easier, as the goal is to allow three photographers work on three separate projects, but know that all the work will end up checked-in to the primary storage area. There are tricks that can allow this to happen, but it would be far more robust for Adobe to engineer this into “LightRoom Pro”.

  • By 6ixgun - 11:49 AM on January 24, 2012  

    We love the beta4 so far, I still cannot understand why adobe insists on that horrible patch tool, it is useless. Also, why more of the adjustments do not coincide with photoshop / camera raw are beyond me. Specifically the sharpening, color, curves, and now exposure. For us pros who use LR and PS extensively in our workflow it is nearly impossible to get consistent results between apps. Sorry, but this is ludicrous. LR is the best app out there and it has saved us a lot of time, but we cannot sync the way we make adjustments between camera raw and photoshop with LR so we waste a lot of time.

    • By Jeffrey Tranberry - 12:42 PM on January 24, 2012  

      Photoshop CS5 and Lightroom 3 have matched Camera Raw develop engines.

      The next version of Photoshop (call it CS6) will have match Camera Raw engines with Lightroom 4 once both products are released.

  • By Shai - 12:05 PM on January 24, 2012  

    i am very happy about Lr4 focusing more on features for video. i was even more happy to see tendency to “develop” video. being able to apply full develop feature on videos will be a dream.
    any chance to see it on the final release?
    this, and more / other export settings, such as e.g. Apple ProRes would be great!
    thank you!

  • By KIMBERLY - 12:54 PM on January 24, 2012  

    I appreciate the post, however, these are the ‘vanilla’ questions with ‘vanilla’ responses. None of the hardcore stuff was addressed. I won’t even get into it – but, if you just go to the adobe forums and even peruse the posts here, this post barely glosses over the ‘good’ stuff. However, NONE of the nitty gritty questions and/or problems were addressed. MOST of the questions answered are ‘yes’ and ‘you can’ answers ( I am sure to keep the concerns and confusion on using the new beta to a minimum, and to calm the masses ) Also, perhaps that there were a lot of folks asking these very same questions over and over. Perhaps a to be continued topic? I’m certainly not being ungrateful, I would just like the deep stuff addressed or at LEAST aknowledged. I love that we as ‘regular folk’ can work with the Adobes beta releases so that we CAN be a part of the final release of our most loved products. That is imperative. Personally without LR, I would be wasting away my life behind Elements or frighteningly enough, PS. I was doing this for a whole year 1/2 when I first started out, I was self taught with a new heavy duty camera, a new computer, and new photo editing software. 100% self-taught. LR was totally intuitive. Photoshop is NOT intuitive! Thanks again –

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  • By Кэп одобряэ | Алексей Крылов - 11:32 PM on January 24, 2012  

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  • By Greg - 11:33 PM on January 24, 2012  

    Will the be a tool to migrate develop presets to the new process? I Appreciate the power of the new version, but some of has have 100s (1000s) of images that would need re-editing…

  • By John - 2:38 AM on January 25, 2012  

    Not much of new info but anyway thanks for the update.

  • By Ol' Skinflint - 5:48 AM on January 25, 2012  

    I am a bit confused by the “potentially intuitive” new workflow. I have read all sorts of conflicting opinions on what the “Whites” and “Highlights” sliders actually adjust. Compared to LR2 and 3, these adjustments are entirely different and instead of being “potentially intuitive” (whatever that means), it is definitely confusing and unintuitive.

    As far as the new 2012 process and us having to experiment with each photo individually (if I understand that correctly), I ain’t got time to learn this all over again. Well, I suppose I do have time to do that if I just stop doing things more useful and productive until I figure out the new potentially intuitive way of using LR and purchase a number of books and videos to learn it. (Or will Adobe provide free, comprehensive, and understandable instructions with LR? No video, thanks, I don’t wanna sit in front of a computer watching some person take 25 minutes to explain a 10 second process.)

    All I needed was softproofing. Making books, sending e-mail, storing but not editing video, and perhaps (potentially) being able to record Beethoven inside LR is not really something I wanna bog down my computer and self with.

  • By Ron Richardson - 8:42 AM on January 25, 2012  

    LTRM 4 problem:

    in crop the custom demension will not exceed 5 changes (would like to be able to see it built out to 10 custom sizes) and it no longer resets the last demension change it defaults to 2×3/4×6 NOT WORKING like LTRM 3

  • By UnImpressum - 3:49 PM on January 26, 2012  

    So is Adobe a subsidiary of Blurb now? Why include a bookmaking module and limit it to one vendor? PDF export is no answer to that.

  • By Jorge - 4:07 PM on January 26, 2012  

    Will it allow printer profiles per each picture, so one can adjust picture for the print house which can be done in photoshop and the main reason I do not use lightroom

  • By Mono vox - 11:27 PM on January 26, 2012  

    Will it blow me? Cause if it won’t, it Is totally useless to everyone and adobe is subsidized by Satan. It’s really the only reason that I use Lightroom. Also, if the beta won’t read my mind and make it so I never have to go into any other program again, everyone at adobe is an idiot.

  • By John Davidson - 1:13 AM on January 27, 2012  

    Hello. I think removing the brightness slider was a mistake. To achieve the same result you now seem to have to use the darks slider in the tone curve panel in combination with other sliders to get the result previously obtainable with just the one slider.

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  • By Ed Siciliano - 7:42 AM on January 27, 2012  

    If I read correctly – we will no longer be able to publish to our SmugMug Galleries from within Lightroom 4. In a word that SUCKS. Forget LR4 – Time for me to move away from any individual or firm who does not give a dam how they treat past customers – stop deleting good features and replacing them with features such as Blurb for books – at least give a choice of several – don’t say make a PDF and go on your way. By the way of all the book publishers you chose the one with the WORST customer service. Adobe is becoming the second WORST.

  • By Zinchuk - 1:24 PM on January 27, 2012  

    Removing Smugmug is a big mistake, I think. While I don’t use it a lot, I think it is wonderful to have. Losing that capability would be a big step backwards.

    As for books, how about GraphiStudio??? Maybe BayPhoto??? I use Graphi, and I love their products. It’s top end, but worth it. Their albums are what has brought me my recent work.

    Network capability, even if it is a single user, just different computers, would be wonderful.

    • By Allan - 4:35 PM on March 16, 2012  

      @whoever requested Graphi books to be put on Lightroom. Are you mad? Do you want the client to have access to their pricing?? Hello? If Graphi has any sense they’ll clearly not agree to a plug-in with LR or any other software.

  • By Vagn-Ebbe Kier - 12:16 PM on January 28, 2012  

    Since Lightroom is a dedicated program for photographers. I very strongly miss at brush for repairing large hot spot areas in portraits due to shiny make-up or warm sweat. Measuring 99% or 254 in PS)In Lightroom these area can not be repaired.
    In Photoshop this is very easy using the Brush, Darken, 10% selecting a nearby skin tone and painting.
    Trying to do the same with Brush in Lightroom4, Burn, Darken, selecting nearby color makes ugly results.
    These areas can´t either be repaired with the Spot removal
    Vagn-Ebbe Kier
    ACE in PSCS5 + LR.

  • By Adam Goodpasture - 7:13 AM on January 29, 2012  

    Regarding the lack of built-in SmugMug publishing, can you elaborate on this statement from earlier?

    “It will not be included in Lightroom 4, but plug-in data will be migrated as part of the catalog upgrade process.”

    So, if it’s not included what’s the purpose of migrating the data? Will I lose all of my SmugMug gallery settings and links to galleries? If not, I think it’s great that SmugMug will take ownership of the plug-in (as long as it’s released soon after LR4 is released). If yes, this is a huge step back for Lightroom/SmugMug workflows.

  • By Dennis Ernst - 8:44 PM on January 29, 2012  

    I’m enjoying the beta version of Lightroom 4.

    The addition of the print color emulation is very helpful.

    As I use Lightroom primarily for raw processing and sorting,I could really use more processing tools. I suggest you add a good stitching and HDR tool to the menu. What you have works fairly well but it still does not handle very contrasting images well. I could also use some very basic layering to be able to isolate a sky or a particular feature and replace or work with it separately.

    So far so good but please consider adding the additional tools.

  • By John Hooton - 9:38 PM on January 29, 2012  

    In the crop tool, could we see height and width dimensions in pixels during cropping. For example, one now has to export an image or crop it first and then check the dimensions. It would be nice to see these as one crops.

  • By Peter - 2:18 AM on January 30, 2012  

    I am using the beta LR4 since one week and i really enjoy the better picture quality i can get now. That was the reason even in LR3 for me to switch from aperture to LR. But – what I am missing is aperture`s light table function. I did use this in aperture a lot for creating my websites. It is the best and most simple way for me to get a feeling how the pics correspond to each other, how the arrangement of the pics looks like. And, please support in the lens correction department the panasonic and olympus M4/3 cams and lenses as well. I am using these cameras more and more for my street photography – less weight, less size, less conspicuousness on the street.

  • By Peter - 2:28 AM on January 30, 2012  

    Sorry, i forgot something really improtant question – why do i have always create a tiff file working with a plug in like silver effex. Corels After Shot Pro can do this in a very different way (Even with third-party plug-ins, AfterShot Pro keeps the edits non-destructive. I watched him edit an image with a black and white plug-in, then go back to the primary editing panel (like the Develop module in Lightroom) and make additional non-destructive changes to the RAW image. And then, AfterShot Pro updated the plugin edit settings to take effect after the primary edits.)

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  • By Earl - 8:16 AM on January 30, 2012  

    I was just about to upgrade to LR 3 when LR 4 was announced. Will I be able to upgrade from 2 to 4?

  • By Jim Greif - 10:25 AM on January 30, 2012  

    I have used LR since version 1, and it my basic editing tool. Having just played with LR4 for the first time in the past two days, I like many of the upgrades a lot, but I do find the nomenclature confusing.

    The Histogram has five regions–Whites, Highlights, Exposure, Shadows and Blacks. The Basic Panel then starts with Exposure–does that relate specifically to the midtone area as specified by the Histogram, or does that relate to the entire image, as it does in LR3? If this slider refers to the entire image, shouldn’t it be called something else, other than Exposure, which refers to the mid-tones on the Histogram?

    Beneath that are sliders for Highlights, Shadows, Whites and Blacks. Why have them in that order? Wouldn’t it be clearer to list them in the same order as the Histogram, i.e., Whites, Highlights, Shadows and Blacks? And, if the Exposure slider is for the mid-tone area only, shouldn’t that be in the middle of the sliders, not above Contrast? The Tone Curve is structured in that fashion, what is the purpose or mixing up the order? I know it confused me.

    Then, in the Adjustment Brush and Graduated Filter, we have Exposure, Highlights and Shadows. Whites and Blacks are gone. Do these corrections have different meanings here?

    On a different topic, the Camera Profiles should be at the top of the panel, not the bottom. I posted a question in a live webinar with Tom Hogarty, and he said that change had been considered and rejected. Nevertheless, I repeat that from a workflow perspective–which Lightroom has always championed–this placement of the Profiles is upside down.



  • By Jose - 10:59 AM on January 30, 2012  

    there is a bug in LR 4 Beta.

    im using a canon 550D.

    when i change the rendering from “adobe standart” to “canon standart” and then back to “adobe standart” the image does not look like “adobe standart” anymore.
    the colors are completely off.

    for example the red and orange of a sunset is then rendered violet.

  • By Jose - 11:02 AM on January 30, 2012  

    do the following:

    1) change rendering form adobe standart to “camera standart”.
    2) then change rendering from “camera standart back to “adobe standart”.

    you will see that the image has completely changed… at least here on my system with CR2 files from a canon 550D.

    sorry for my english i hope it is clear.

  • By Gerry Johnson - 3:20 PM on January 30, 2012  

    Just found a difference in LR4 printing and hope it is a bug; when using the “zoom to fill” feature, the individuals in the photo are distorted to fit. LR3 does a great job of keeping everything properly ratioed so hope that will continue in LR4.

  • By James F - 11:32 PM on January 30, 2012  

    Something I’ve been desparately hoping for and still doesn’t seem to be in LR4 is the ability to rotate video. I have no interest in editing videos as such (although I like they way they’ve done it in LR4) but I regularly have videos taken on a phone or my digicam that need rotating since the video doesn’t seem to make use of the orientation sensor. Is this something you guys are looking at?

  • By Shane A - 12:16 AM on January 31, 2012  

    Please please please please – can you modify the import function to all me to set keywords for each image or as a selection subset of the entire group? I import hundreds of images and many need different keywords, yet to set different keywords I would have to run multiple images. I know I can do it after with the spray can tool, but I find that difficult from a workflow point of view.

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  • By Jason - 5:41 PM on February 4, 2012  

    I’m enjoying playing around with the beta so far, but I have also requested many of the additional features. Looking good either way..

  • […] Your Burning Lightroom 4 Beta Questions Answered! […]

  • By Deborah - 10:46 AM on February 16, 2012  

    I’ve been using Lightroom 4 beta for about a week and really like it. I do have 2 requests for the adjustment brush.

    !. In the adjustment brush module. When you undo a stroke I would like the current brush to remain chosen.

    2. In the adjustment brush module. In Photoshop you can draw a straight line between the two points. I know you can hold down the shift key and draw a straight line, but it would be nice to have the 2 point method available.

    Thank You

  • By Deborah - 10:48 AM on February 17, 2012  

    I’m having trouble with the adjustment brush. I have several detailed masks on one photo. While creating the fourth mask lightroom became very sluggish. Its taking a minute or two for the program to catch up with my brush strokes. I tried clearing history and all other programs are turned off.

    I don’t think its my computer

    My Mac
    2.7 GHz Intel Core 15
    4G M
    Graphic card AMD Radeon HD 6770M 512MB

  • […] Your Burning Lightroom 4 Beta Questions Answered! […]

  • By nina - 12:43 PM on February 28, 2012  

    I have a quad core with the new Win7 ultimate.

  • By Victor - 4:50 AM on March 6, 2012  

    I ‘ve just bought Lr3 will you provide an update from Lr3 to Lr4?