Updated May 5th, 2015 – We’re coming off the heals of the Lightroom 6 launch have just had enough time to play around with the new version to see what’s lacking in this release and start our wish list for Lightroom 7. Those of you on one of Adobe’s CC membership plans of course get to upgrade for free. Those of you that buy the traditional license, which we believe the days are numbered for Lightroom when looking at the trend the company is making with the rest of their software products, can take advantage of the 30-day free trial before making your decision if it’s worth upgrading or not.
But before we jump into our Lightroom 7 wish list, lets take a look at when we expect it to be released. Historically, the major Lightroom releases took place about 18 to 24 months apart from each other. As it’s still way too early to pinpoint any specifics (probably Adobe themselves don’t even know when it’s going to be released yet), we can safely assume version 7.0 will not come before October 2016 (even more likely would be a an early 2017 release). Plus, as we saw with the Lightroom 6 release, we don’t expect to have a publicly available Lightroom 7 beta in this upcoming launch.
Here’s a quick look at Lightroom’s release date history:
- Lightroom 6.0 – Released on April 21, 2015.
- Lightroom 6.0 beta – Never publicly available.
- Lightroom 5.7 – Released on November 18, 2014.
- Lightroom 5.6 – Released on July 31, 2014.
- Lightroom 5.5 – Released on June 18, 2014.
- Lightroom 5.0 – Released on June 10, 2013.
- Lightroom 5.0 beta – Publicly available on April 15, 2013.
- Lightroom 4.0 – Released on March 5, 2012.
- Lightroom 3.0 – Released on March 23, 2010.
- Lightroom 2.0 – Released on July 29, 2008.
- Lightroom 1.0 – Released on February 19, 2007.
What happens if you just bought LR6 right before LR7 was released?
If you just bought Lightroom 6 today only to suddenly learn that version 7 is being released tomorrow, then this is what you need to know: All purchases made at adobe.com are covered by a 30-day money back guarantee. Moreover, they usually extend an “unadvertised” free upgrade policy to 60 days from the release date of your purchase so be sure to contact their customer support team if you fall under this category of purchasers.
If you purchased Lightroom from a third party reseller, policies have changed at Adobe and you can no longer return products directly to them. You will need to work with that individual reseller to refund your product if they have a return policy in place for opened software.
Here’s more info about the Adobe’s free upgrade policy and return policy. And of course it goes without saying that all customers on either the Creative Cloud or Photoshop-Lightroom subscription plan will be able to upgrade for free to LR7 once it’s released.
Our Lightroom 7 Wish List
Keep in mind that our wish list stems from the original Lightroom 6.0 release so some improvements may come at a dot-release versus at the full 7.0 launch.
- HDR and Panoramic Merge Improvements – HDR and Panoramic Merge is a great addition to LR6 as the before you probably had to use your RAW files from Lightroom and change them to TIFFs in Photoshop. However there is no ability to fine-tune your images as the entire process is done automatically. For the images that we’ve tested it seems ink the software does a pretty good job but it would be great to have a little more control over the final outcome when needed. Plus, there is no option to queue up multiple images – You have to do each one manually one at a time.
- Facial Recognition Improvements – Maybe we’re all funny looking, but still, LR6 should be able to do a better job at recognizing the folks in my photograph collection. Seems like the current facial recognition is terribly inaccurate and even tries to match some of the background objects to some of my subjects (like a few car tires and trees). On top of that, when it’s running we see it dramatically slow down our computer’s performance (which maybe would be acceptable if it worked well).
- Reduced buying options – For all those upgrading from an previous version of Lightroom, your buying options have been reduced with LR6 from hundreds (i.e. Amazon, Best Buy, Newegg, Staples, etc.) to just one (adobe.com). Just like we saw with the CS6 launch a few years back, just before they completely killed standalone versions of Create Suite and mored to Creative Cloud, you can ONLY purchase upgrade versions of Lightroom at adobe.com. Not only will you not be able to find any cheaper upgrade licenses on sale like you usually can on Amazon, but you have no other choice than to give Adobe your credit card number and account info if you want to buy it. Ever since Adobe Systems was hacked last year, we’ve been fearful of giving them any of our personal info.
- Continue as a standalone product – We know that Adobe is evaluating whether or not to keep Lightroom as a standalone product. And looking at some of the impressive subscription numbers released but the company, we wouldn’t be all that surprised, albeit disappointed, if Lightroom 7 was CC only (i.e. only for those folks paying an active subscription Creative Cloud membership plan). We hope we’re wrong as there are plenty of users that give up on Lightroom completely if it moved it that direction.
What do you want to see changed in Lightroom 7?
So what do you want to see changed or improved in Lightroom 7? Let us know in the comments section below!