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Home > Tools March 13th, 2013

When Is Adobe Lightroom 5 Coming Out?

[UPDATE (June 10th) – The Lightroom 5 final release is now available!]

Last week Adobe Lightroom 4 celebrated its first birthday – yes, it was released one year ago this month – and so this is usually around the time when people start asking: when will Photoshop Lightroom 5 be released, and what new features will be included in it?

Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 5 (unofficial)

Adobe hasn’t said, and has not given advance notice in the past. But as shown in the chart below, Lightroom has run an average of about 20 months between releases (ranging from 17 to 23 months). So if history is any measure, then moving forward twenty months from when version 4.0 came out could put Lightroom 5 shipping in the fall of 2013…

But there’s more to the story. Every previous release of Lightroom has had at least one public beta period – and even all the dot-releases have had betas as well – so a beta release would generally be expected for Lightroom 5 too. These beta periods have lasted 2-3 months each. Adobe has not yet announced a Lightroom 5 beta, so it’s reasonable to assume that we should be seeing one on Adobe Labs well before the official release of the product. In other words, don’t expect (the final) Lightroom 5 for at least several months from now – or from the time the beta comes out.

There’s also the connection with Photoshop and the Creative Suite… Lightroom is so closely related to Adobe Camera Raw (they use the same processing engine and share the same file caches) that arguably they all would have to be released on about the same timeline. Indeed, whenever Adobe updates Camera Raw for Photoshop, they also update it for Lightroom as well. In fact, every major release of Lightroom over its history has been within two months of a major release of Creative Suite as well (CS3, CS4, CS5, CS6). So with the next version of Creative Suite forecast to arrive in the spring of 2013, Lightroom 5 is unlikely to be far from that window, especially since these two products are often bundled together with a discount.

 Adobe Lightroom
Release 1.0February 19, 2007
Release 2.0July 29, 2008
Release 3.0June 8, 2010
Release 4.0March 6, 2012
Release 5.0Mid-2013 (estimate)

So, what does it all add up to?  Putting together the anecdotal evidence and dates from the different analyses above, with luck we expect to see the release date for general availability of Adobe Lightroom 5.0 coming in the middle of the year, with the LR5 beta arriving a couple of months prior to that.

And hopefully, upgrades from all previous LR versions will remain at $99 or less.

What New Features Will Be in Lightroom 5?

The next question is what will be new and better in Lightroom 5? Well, some customers have found Lightroom 4 to be slower than version 3, and firstly hope that LR5 will restore improved speed and performance.

After that, there’s a long wishlist that users have submitted… Click on any link below for more information about each new feature – and importantly, VOTE on the ones that you would like to see!

New FeatureMore Info
More Photoshop-like clone/healing/content aware brushesdetails/vote
Add face recognition (ability to specify region metadata)details/vote
Multi-User / Multi-Computer (Shared catalog on a network)details/vote
Preference & preset syncing via the Cloud (Brushes, Actions, Tools, etc)details/vote
Mark a photo as the FINAL versiondetails/vote
Relative presets as opposed to only absolute presetsdetails/vote
Display camera focus informationdetails/vote
Provide support for Linuxdetails/vote
Ability to create custom book templates/sizes from scratchdetails/vote
A real plugin architecture to make TIFF files unnecessarydetails/vote
Allow for keyboard shortcut customizationdetails/vote
Support common image formats (EPS, GIF, PNG, PDF, BMP etc.)details/vote
Color-coding folders and collections to simplify navigation & catalogingdetails/vote
Ability to lock photosdetails/vote
Better Library Module performancedetails/vote
Gradient Eraser requestdetails/vote
GPU and multiprocessor accelerationdetails/vote
Ability to move Adjustment Brush Pinsdetails/vote
Lightroom app for tablets (iPad, iOS, Android, Windows 8)details/vote

Add your input – what would you like to see in Lightroom 5 for new features, functions, or improvements?  Leave your feedback below and/or at Adobe’s “wish list” suggestion box

For Lightroom 4

For Creative Suite and Creative Cloud

See Also

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  1. Allen Conway

    The way keywords containing characters carrying diacritical marks is unsatisfactory in that upper and lower-case letters carrying diacriticals are not considered to be identical and are not considered to be equivalent to the same character without the diacritical – ôsaka, Ôsaka, and Osaka, Saône et Saone, for example. To put it succinctly, Adobe hasn’t, I feel, put enough thought into localisation. This, admittedly, only concerns the non English/American world but it does deserve attention.

    I’ve already asked Adobe to do something about it. Whether they shall or not remains to be seen!

  2. Vlad

    Those are nice features, and I would add to them a support for RAW in external editors/plug-ins like HDR Efex Pro. TIFFs are a pain.

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