Adobe Lightroom, Camera Raw release candidates support Retina displays, more cameras than ever


posted Friday, November 9, 2012 at 1:14 AM EDT

Desktop and notebook computers have improved in a lot of ways over the last decade: processors have gotten faster, storage capacities have soared, and so has the amount of memory. In one respect, though, there's been surprisingly little development for quite a long time. Although display resolutions have increased, they've climbed more slowly than have other metrics, and they've done so mostly only in proportion to the simultaneous increases in screen size. Pixel densities of desktop and notebook screens have largely stagnated -- or at least, they had done until fairly recently. Over the summer Apple launched its latest-generation MacBook Pro notebooks, and perhaps thanks to the success of the company's Retina-branded high-density displays in the smartphone and tablet market, it decided to include unusually high-res displays in its new MacBooks as well. It didn't take long for Intel to predict a similar step forward in the PC market as well.

Of course, hardware's only one part of the problem: your software has to support the higher-res displays as well, and that support has to come both from the operating system and the apps themselves. Apple's Mac OS X has offered support for Retina displays since 2011's OS X 10.7 "Lion" release, and the company further refined it in this year's OS X 10.8 "Mountain Lion". On the Windows platform, Microsoft has also been working on improved support for high pixel density displays, although early reports are that its results are somewhat spottier than those of its rival.

Apple's latest MacBook Pro notebooks have high-density Retina displays, but you'll need updated apps -- such as the new Lightroom release candidate -- for full support.

And then there's the final piece of the jigsaw puzzle: application support. Last August, the folks at Adobe promised to bring support for HiDPI displays such as Retina to both Photoshop and Lightroom, and a month later it debuted HiDPI support in Premiere Pro. Now, August's promise is fulfilled at least in part, with the debut of Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 4.3 Release Candidate, which newly supports HiDPI screens from within the Develop module. It isn't immediately clear if this applies only on the Macintosh platform, or whether there's also high-density support on the Windows version, where the hardware isn't yet widely available. Either way, though, the fact that Adobe is working to bring this support to still photographers and videographers is great news!

Adobe has also fixed quite a few bugs in Lightroom 4.3 RC, including the following:

  • Unable to upload a large panorama to Adobe Revel via the Revel Publish Plugin

  • Unable to add a second photo to a page layout in a Book. This only occurred when the "Show Unused Photos" filter is selected in the filmstrip.

  • A photo can be flagged as both a "Pick" and "Reject" at the same time when using the Toolbar to apply flags

  • Using multiple fonts within the same text cell inside a Book can sometimes cause Lightroom to crash

  • Exposure becomes the active adjustment slider in the Basic panel (within Develop) when moving from image to image

  • Customers using Photoshop Elements 11 were unable to upgrade their catalogs in Lightroom 4

  • Custom Cell padding options in the Book Module reset in between Lightroom sessions

  • 1080p video files shot on iPhone 4S flicker on replay

  • Leaving the Book Module after using multiple text colors in the same text cell can sometimes cause the book to be lost.

The Canon PowerShot G15 is one of a dozen cameras whose raw files are newly supported by the Adobe Photoshop Lightroom and Camera Raw release candidates.

At the same time, support is also added for raw files for twelve recently announced cameras, and improved for the Nikon D600 (which previously had only preliminary support). Newly-supported cameras include:

  • Canon PowerShot S110

  • Canon PowerShot G15

  • Canon PowerShot SX50 HS

  • Casio Exilim EX-ZR1000

  • Casio Exilim EX-FC300S

  • Olympus PEN E-PL5

  • Olympus PEN E-PM2

  • Olympus STYLUS XZ-2 iHS

  • Panasonic Lumix DMC-GH3

  • Pentax K-5 II

  • Pentax K-5 IIs

  • Pentax Q10

Finally, there's support for one new lens profile apiece from Canon and Pentax, along with no less than 24 newly-supported Leica lens profiles:

Canon EF mount lenses
Manufacturer Camera Model / Lens Name
Canon EF 24-70mm f/2.8L II USM
Leica R-mount lenses
Manufacturer Lens Name
Leica APO-ELMARIT-R 180 mm f/2.8
Leica APO-MACRO-ELMARIT-R 100 mm f/2.8
Leica APO-SUMMICRON-R 90 mm f/2 ASPH.
Leica APO-SUMMICRON-R 180 mm f/2
Leica APO-TELYT-R 280 mm f/2.8
Leica APO-TELYT-R 280 mm f/4
Leica APO-TELYT-R 400 mm f/2.8
Leica APO-TELYT-R 400 mm f/4
Leica APO-TELYT-R 560 mm f/4
Leica APO-TELYT-R 560 mm f/5.6
Leica APO-TELYT-R 800 mm f/5.6
Leica ELMARIT-R 19 mm f/2.8
Leica ELMARIT-R 28 mm f/2.8
Leica MACRO-ELMARIT-R 60 mm f/2.8
Leica SUMMICRON-R 35 mm f/2
Leica SUMMICRON-R 50 mm f/2
Leica SUMMILUX-R 35 mm f/1.4
Leica SUMMILUX-R 50 mm f/1.4
Leica SUMMILUX-R 80 mm f/1.4
Leica VARIO-ELMARIT-R 28-90 mm f/2,8-4,5 ASPH.
Leica VARIO-ELMAR-R 80-200 mm f/4
Leica VARIO-ELMAR-R 35-70 mm f/4
Leica VARIO-ELMAR-R 21-35 mm f/3,5-4 ASPH.
Leica VARIO-APO-ELMARIT-R 70-180 mm f/2.8
Pentax Q-mount lenses
Manufacturer Lens Name
Pentax 06 Telephoto Zoom

Alongside the new Lightroom RC, there's also a corresponding version of the Camera Raw plugin for Photoshop. The new Adobe Photoshop Camera Raw 7.3 Release Candidate fixes two issues, and adds support for the same list of cameras and lenses that were newly-supported in the Lightroom RC. The two bugs squashed in the new Camera Raw 7.3 RC are as follows:

  • The Windows taskbar appeared on top of the ACR window when operating in Full Screen mode.  (Windows 8 only)

  • Unable to open TIFF files in Photoshop from Bridge.  Browsing TIFF images caused Bridge to crash.

Both release candidate versions will expire at the end of January 2013, and Adobe cautions users that as Release Candidates, they are intended for evaluation only. Lightroom 4 owners will find that the release candidate will overwrite their existing installation, however Adobe states that the new RC version shares the same catalog format as the current release version, and hence you can revert to your existing release by simply uninstalling the RC and reinstalling the retail version. The update to Lightroom 4.3, when available, will be offered free of charge to all Lightroom 4 owners.