[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 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.
|Release 1.0||February 19, 2007|
|Release 2.0||July 29, 2008|
|Release 3.0||June 8, 2010|
|Release 4.0||March 6, 2012|
|Release 5.0||Mid-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 Feature||More Info|
|More Photoshop-like clone/healing/content aware brushes||details/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)||details/vote|
|Mark a photo as the FINAL version||details/vote|
|Relative presets as opposed to only absolute presets||details/vote|
|Display camera focus information||details/vote|
|Provide support for Linux||details/vote|
|Ability to create custom book templates/sizes from scratch||details/vote|
|A real plugin architecture to make TIFF files unnecessary||details/vote|
|Allow for keyboard shortcut customization||details/vote|
|Support common image formats (EPS, GIF, PNG, PDF, BMP etc.)||details/vote|
|Color-coding folders and collections to simplify nav. & cataloging||details/vote|
|Ability to lock photos||details/vote|
|Better Library Module performance||details/vote|
|Gradient Eraser request||details/vote|
|GPU and multiprocessor acceleration||details/vote|
|Ability to move Adjustment Brush Pins||details/vote|
|Lightroom app for tablets (iPad, iOS, Android, Windows 8)||details/vote|
For Lightroom 4
- Fast Facts: Our LR4 Release Overview
- How-to: Learn the Top 10 Techniques for Lightroom 4
- Adobe Product Comparison: Photoshop CS6 vs. Lightroom 4
- Four Hours of Free Tutorials for Lightroom 4, plus Other Resources
- What’s New in Lightroom 4 vs. Lightroom 3 vs. Lightroom 2?
- Lightroom Presets/Settings: How to Export Photos to the iPad
- Lightroom 4 Free Trial: Direct Download Links
- When is Adobe CS7 coming out, and what’s new?
- The 10 most common myths about Creative Cloud
- What are the differences between CS6 vs. CS5, 4, 3?
- Download free Adobe books (choose over 30 titles)
- Free Adobe CS6 Tutorials – 30 hours of video training
- Free Adobe Stock! Download 500K premium images
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