Lightroom Classic: Development in Tethering capturing

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As title say i would love to se any kind of devolopment in tethering capturing.I will not write what can be improved as i think from the competitors and recent market is obiusly that we need some chages in this part of program.Wish to see some changes in 2018
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Jure Ursic

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  • worried

Posted 3 months ago

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Stephen Newport

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It is rather embarrassing how overlooked this feature is. I can't recommend Lightroom to anyone needing tethering capabilities. 
Now imagine all the of the people who switch to CaptureOne to tether with... you think all of those people are reorganizing and importing their entire shoot back into Lightroom after they spent 5 days on a job shooting, adjusting, and organizing in C1? I do this.... but it's embarrassing to admit it, and I can't imagine many other people have the patience for that...
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Chandan Kumar, Official Rep

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Thanks for raising the concern. We hear you and yes we have not focussed on Tether in near times. It will help us if you could elaborate on how you would like us to evolve this functionality, preferably in order of importance to you. Whats your biggest pain point, which functionality is important to you, Camera support etc.

Thanks,
Chandan
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Stephen Newport

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Hi Chandan,
I work post production primarily, and also as a dedicated DT to photographers around the country. I have never seen a professional use Lightroom to tether, nor have I had them request me to use it, I notice this carries on to their studio workflow as well. The only people I know that use Lightroom are those that don't tether (i.e. download by card) and retouchers... though a lot of them are using C1 as well... Just to give you a 1st hand account. I get to witness and follow a lot of peoples workflows, and this is telling.
My first complaint is how unreliable it is. The number of times I have tried to use Lightroom to tether, program freezes and camera connection dropping probably every 10 minutes cause it to be unusable. Use the same camera on capture one and I can shoot all day without a problem, especially in recent C1 builds. If this can't get fixed there's not even a point of having it as a feature... it's the butt of a lot of jokes on set, to my Lightroom advocacy embarrassment.... or it used to be, now no one even talks about it as even being an option.
After that:
See what capture one is doing, they understand a lot of what you need on set. Then below:
1.  proper on the fly numbering and naming architecture to accommodate diverse workflows and folder structures: Scene, Day, Subject, Photographer, etc. This would fall over into  card importing also, as the custom naming number counter is 'dumb' and can't carryover numbering from the previous import. Dumping 50 cards a day, inputing the right start number every import is a huge hassle.

2. SPEED: Make things faster. I have the best MacBook you can buy right now, and Lightroom is still slow... even after the most recent upgrade. 
3. Live view, better camera controls. (is there really still no live view support?)
4. Client review, rating and edit platform: iPad, mobile, etc solution for the client to view images coming in without having to look over the photographers shoulder all day. This would include rating images, drawing on the images for retouching notes, etc
5. immediate preview building: Lo res for immediacy, with eye detection and preview building of just the small eyes area to check focus on the fly. This is a huge slow down and the cause of a lot of headaches on set and after. If you could just have a grid of full-res eyes previews fairly quickly in front of you, you could quickly narrow down what your options are. Even better if it could detect eye sharpness and reject bad focus!

I can't stress enough how many clients you are losing because Lightroom isn't even taken seriously anymore for the onset photographer, and you know that's carrying over into their studio. Having your main tethering platform freeze as the client is standing over your shoulder is one of the most embarrassing and amateur feelings you can have. "We flew in this guy from San Francisco, paying him how many thousands of dollars, and he can't even get his camera to start"
Hope this helps, but you'll need a lot of photographers input to make it right. I'm not sure anyone is even trying to tether anymore...?
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Amit Kumar, Senior Computer Scientist

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Thank you Stephen. We really appreciate your feedback.

I have a few queries.

>>My first complaint is how unreliable it is. The number of times I have tried to use Lightroom to tether, program freezes and camera connection dropping probably every 10 minutes cause it to be unusable.

Does this happen randomly or do you see any pattern in it? For example, does this happen only when you shoot several pictures quickly? Or does this happen when you disconnect and connect the tethering cable?

Which cameras do you use for tethering? Do you tether with multiple cameras simultaneously?

Regards,
Amit
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Stephen Newport

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Hey Amit,
I'll be honest and say I haven't tried in over a year out of frustration, but I can say I have tested with a variety of canon and nikon pro cameras, haven't tried with any Sony, fuji or Hasselblad. My main camera is a Nikon D800, so that's the one I've tested the most.
I try and always look for patterns, reduce and isolate variables... it really just seamed to be plain "bad," not working in any scenario. Sometimes immediately freezing, sometimes after a few shots, whether I left the camera still or was holding it, changing out tether cords, whether I taped the tether cord to the camera or left it free hanging, whether I took shots or not, whether I messed around in other areas of Lightroom or not, whether I had other programs up and running or not. I couldn't find a single reliable way to use it.
The only thing I can think of, with no understanding the underlying programing architecture, is that Lightroom doesn't know how to deal with slight connection blips that are inherent with tether cords and on-camera ports.. as they are inherently loose and the bane of the OCD. I know C1 had a hard time with camera dropping on occasion a few versions back, and it would similarly freeze requiring a force closing.... I can't recall one instance of this in the past two years though.
This is only tethering one camera at a time, never tried multiple.
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Chandan Kumar, Official Rep

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Hi Stephen, 

Thank you so much for writing such a detailed feedback. It is very constructive and really helpful in understanding your POV. Have shared it with the team internally and we would be reaching out to you for more information. E.g. as Amit already asked, we would like to understand scenarios where tether in Lr becomes unreliable. We have been working on general performance improvements for some time now, would evaluate tether performance as well. 

I would also encourage others to share their feedback. We would also need your help in understanding issues and testing. It may take time but I think we can work together to make a difference.

Thanks again,
Chandan
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Stephen Newport

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Thanks Chandan, it's nice getting some responses!
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Cristen Gillespie

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I don't know if you care about the amateur photographer, but tethering is the reason I use LR. I'm not working with anything that moves of its own accord, and from my experience, I wouldn't try to, either. I shoot with a Nikon D750 and a very simple, very small home studio setup. My tether isn't falling out of the socket—I don't tug on it at all. That isn't the reason it gets slower the longer I'm working with it. I almost never have LR drop its connection, either. But the longer I go with it, the more often it hangs. Maybe it has to do with LR being on a portable hard drive, which is LR's own fault <G>, even though the laptop has an SSD drive. But I don't know why that would get worse the more I shoot, the longer the session.

If I've shot 2 or 3 images before I notice the hang, I am sitting there far too long, hoping it will finish transferring, to use this in any kind of production environment, even if creatures that move weren't involved. If I did product or food photography, it wouldn't be cost-effective to wait on it this much.

I've noticed that if it hangs and I stop tethering and start again, that seems to clear up whatever is the problem—for awhile. If I had to work with this several hours a day, I simply wouldn't be able to stand it. It's because I'm not shooting for more than 30-60 minutes at any given time, and my shooting is at my own discretion,  that I don't mind enough to stop using it—at least its better than shooting without being tethered and I don't have to buy a new app for it.

However, On1 Photo Raw just came out with tethered shooting as a paid update to those of us who have 2018. It doesn't look like the features are any better than LR's, it wouldn't surprise me if there are bugs or slowness, but I will try it out sometime in the coming week to see how it behaves.  At least it's direct to computer, no catalog (on an external drive) getting in the way, so that might be a plus.

I really would like to be able to shoot with Live View, too. It isn't all that easy to set up my camera at odd angles and still contort into position to see through the viewfinder. That means I may end up giving up and taking the camera off the tripod. Not ideal. That brings with it its own limitations to what I can try to do.

So I'm definitely all in favor of Adobe upgrading the feature to be pro-worthy. Us amateur photographers will find life easier, too.
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Chandan Kumar, Official Rep

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HI Cristen,

Thanks for your feedback. Couple of questions:
  • Are you on latest version 7.2
  • Whats your machine configuration like and setup e.g. catalog size, which HD
We fixed slowdown over time in 7.2(feb release) especially on some configurations of WIN machines. It will help if we could replicate the slowdown.

Thanks,
Chandan
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Cristen Gillespie

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No, I haven't upgraded. I was waiting for news on whether or not there were any new problems with Nikon. I haven't heard a lot of screaming and got the help from Victoria I needed to plan how I was going to use the new LR Classic + LR CC, so it was on my to-do list. If that prevents hangs without preventing anything else, that's all to the good.

Catalog size. Tiny. I only use it temporarily. I'm on a MBP with SSD, but I am connected to an external drive so I can easily move between computers. Since I mainly use a Bridge/CR/PS workflow, this was the easiest way to handle a catalog that isn't going to ever be a permanent organization method for my camera files.

I guess now is as good a time as any to update, since you'll be paying attention to any problems we have with tethering.

Oh, I didn't say that I shoot Raw + B&W JPEG.
(Edited)
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Cristen Gillespie

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>Are you on latest version 7.2
  • Whats your machine configuration like and setup e.g. catalog size, which HD>
After testing On1's new tethered (so I knew I had an option if upgrading failed me), I just did what was supposed to be about a half hour tethered shooting in LR.  Enough shots that if there were going to be problems, there probably would be.

1.  Yes, display of tethered shots is MUCH faster now. I like that.

2. Except that transfer suddenly conks out altogether — 3 times in the shoot. On one instance, I had left everything idle while interrupted by another activity. When I came back, the tethered capture returned one half of a shot (Raw + B&W JPEG), and hung indefinitely on the other half. I finally killed the process. On another occasion, it hung on one of the two halves again, I waited a few minutes, then chose to stop tethered capture. This time it told me that an image wouldn't be transferred if I quit. I quit anyway, and that's when the image in fact showed up.  On the 3rd occasion, I was about to quit anyway. I waited, again for a few minutes while I picked up all around the shoot, and it suddenly popped in.

Dunno what to say about that, but the hang hasn't happened (yet) with On1's tethered capture. I'll have to do a closer comparison to say whether LR is faster or not than On1.

I'm still shooting to a portable drive that's plugged in (no WiFi), but was shooting to that with On1 as well. Since I will probably only use LR Classic on the laptop from now on, and go with LR CC on my other computer for use with LR Mobile, I might go ahead and create a catalog on the laptop just for tethered and see if that doesn't make a difference.

But faster? When it doesn't hang, it's pretty much instantaneous from my D750—not the largest files, I know. But both JPEG and RAW show up right away. No one would be embarrassed in front of a client at this speed.
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Jure Ursic

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Hi guys

Yes as Stephen say many people switching to C1 just because of tethering. 

Im a food photographer so my camera is many times above my head. When im tether on Lightroom i need to take several pictures before i place all props and plates in the frame nicely, this is where live view will come handy. Even i was looking on one tutorial of Andrew Scrivani I think his Adobe ambassador, the funny part was that he was working in Lightroom but keep saying that they are out there some programs with live view. Not sure why ambassador will say this.. so this is for me as well first necessary thing to be developed.

Second thing i can fallow on Stephen complain and tell you the pattern:

>>My first complaint is how unreliable it is. The number of times I have tried to use Lightroom to tether, program freezes and camera connection dropping probably every 10 minutes cause it to be unusable.

When i checking my pictures of what i take in develop module the camera get disconnected. Its still showing me that is connected but it doesn't fire on laptop and when i try fire on my camera, picture doesn't go nowhere. Its not transferred on my computer and its not capture on my SD card. So i learn that im not going back checking my pictures until the job is done.

Second i notice as well is when i change my lens i switch my camera off and when i switch back on it showing me camera that is detected but when I fire pictures are not transferred on computer.

As well if my laptop go to sleep mode Lightroom will not fire my camera after i wake him up.

im using Nikon D850 and Nikon D750 sometimes i tether both at same time. but im facing with some problems. Not always my settings apply to correct camera. So i don't bother my self again with settings before the job is done.

So many times i need to restart lightroom switch of my camera in front of client what is really embarrassing.

So to wrap things I think live view and control your camera in Lightroom will help a lot with overall experience. Sorry for my English its not my first language guys but hope you understand my frustration 
(Edited)
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Chandan Kumar, Official Rep

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Hi Jure,

This is interesting, you mention at least 3 scenarios of connection lost. Something to work with as we have these cameras in-house too. You say you tether both cameras together, at same time? and is that a regular workflow? Could you please share your usecase.

Thanks,
Chandan 
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Jure Ursic

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Hi Chandan

Yes sometimes i have one camera above my head (table top shot) and another from the side. Not my regular workflow but in some cases I'm using specially for food photography. Im not tether both camera together same time, but I'm mixing on shot from above one from the side etc.. Where i can find my use case in Lightroom?

Thanks for reply 

Best
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Stephen Newport

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I've never personally used Lightroom for a two camera setup, but if you're asking if this is a use-case that should be considered I can say that this is definitely the case. I've been in many scenarios in many shooting environments where reliability in this use would be helpful.
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Jure Ursic

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Hi all one more time

Here i will start posting links of different professional photographers around the globe that reviewing tethering and how essential this become in world of creativity.

F Stoppers article from Christopher Malcolm
March 8 2018
https://fstoppers.com/bts/how-capture-one-completely-changed-my-photography-workflow-and-streamlined-my-225291

F Stoppers article from Jeff Carpentr
January 14, 2018
https://fstoppers.com/capture-one/whats-better-tethering-capture-one-pro-or-adobe-lightroom-212396

F Stoppers article from Tihomir Lazarov
November 17, 2016
https://fstoppers.com/education/confessions-lightroom-user-trying-capture-one-pro-workflow-153879

Here is just few that I find today. If something more come up i will post. Hope this will help in developing.

Best regards

Jure
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Stephen Newport

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And to spin off of what I've said before. I'm a big advocated of Lightroom still, onset, but it's becoming harder. The most crucial thing to photographers is that they look good onset. Capture One is currently the only software that can almost guarantee this. I'll sometimes say that Capture One is best for onset, but Lightroom is best for file management, organization and portfolio evolution, but Capture One is edging into competing for image adjustments (some people will argue they have surpassed LR... I don't think quite yet, but very very close). 
But not many people are going to manage two different image workflows, and they will probably choose their primary piece of software based on the most crucial aspect... looking good in front of the client. They'll put up with Capture One's shortfalls in their own time with image management, but they won't risk looking like an amateur on set... and this is almost entirely based on one unreliable, weakly featured tool: tethering. Fix tethering and you'll instantly be back in competition with C1.
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James Kachan

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To the Adobe officials commenting in this thread:
First of all, thank you for engaging about feedback for the seriously lacking Tethering issues in LR.

As for the issues:

Quite simply, open up Capture One Pro and use it, then do the same with Lightroom.
The pain points are obvious.

  • LR is slower than C1P — previews of new captures while tethered show up painfully slow, exported images process slower, etc.
  • LR lacks "live view", software powered focus adjustments, and many camera related technical controls that C1P has.
  • There are no "overlay" options, Capture One Pro allows for an image to be overlaid so that a layout or composition can be composed to fit perfectly to an art directors layout.
  • There isn't even a keyboard shortcut for taking a picture while tethered in Lightroom. That's insane. Especially when you consider that  every pro photographer, assistant, or even art director knows ⌘+K (for Capture One)
  • There is nothing like "Capture Pilot" for monitoring and review on multiple platforms
  • Fully programable "Time lapse" features should be available, that would be a nice one up on C1P
  • etc.
I would say that Adobe's mission with tethering should be to  match every tether related feature that Capture One Pro can do,  and do that with the same superior speed of  Capture One too. (The speed issue though is more of a software wide disappointment with LR as compared with C1P though).

Tethering is of CRITICAL IMPORTANCE to commercial photographers, please make it important.

In general, make Lightroom Classic into "Lightroom Pro" — And deliver all the things us pros want, we would happily trade the lame facial recognition, book making, map, and print module for the stuff we actually could use, like better tethering support, SPEED and PERFORMANCE, and an "Output/Processing/Export" module that can be enabled to process out different formats and resolutions at once.
(Edited)
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Stephen Newport

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Agree with all this except the end. The Pro Commercial Photographer has a need for all of the things you listed, but the pro landscape, fine-art, etc photographer does have a need for maps, bookmaking, print module features as well and focus should continue to innovate and make those better. There's more than one type of 'pro.'
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Jure Ursic

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But what is more embarrassing showing fails in front of client that pay you or fails in landscape photography map that nobady is there...
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Victoria Bampton - Lightroom Queen, Champion

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There isn't even a keyboard shortcut for taking a picture while tethered in Lightroom

Is F12 not working for you?
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James Kachan

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Thanks, your right! There is a default F12 keyboard shortcut for camera triggering —  Sure enough Adobe does have a "Trigger Capture" menu item, buried within the "Tethered Capture" submenu.
I have from time to time looked though the software in obvious places, such as the onscreen keyboard shortcut ref that can be summoned (⌘ ?), and even googled around to no avail, I never managed to come across this  before.

Still, I have some issues Adobe.
  • Why is there no mouseover tool tip on the GUI capture button to hint at the keyboard shortcut?
  • A full official list of Lightroom keyboard shortcuts does not include  "Tethered Capture" f12 ?  https://helpx.adobe.com/lightroom/help/keyboard-shortcuts.html
  • Having a Function key (F12) is a poor choice for default. Many pro users set global keyboard shortcut keys to function keys. I for example, have F12 set to hide and show Apple's Notification Centre. And many users of course have their Media keys enabled over function keys, making the trigger a bit more awkward. Worse still, for anyone on a TouchBar Macbook Pro, that would then make triggering a capture a non tactile button? Weird...
  • While I am aware that keyboard shortcuts can be changed via the Mac's "Keyboard"  System Prefs (I just set mine to ⌘ K and reassigned the previous holder), doing so requires a bit of additional fuss. A Keyboard shortcut pane for setting and reassigning  should be there inside of Lightroom.
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Stephen Newport

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This just brings to light the continuing issue of no custom keyboard shortcuts in Lightroom


https://feedback.photoshop.com/photoshop_family/topics/custom_keyboard_shortcuts_in_lightroom
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Victoria Bampton - Lightroom Queen, Champion

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Good, you might find my more extensive list of keyboard shortcuts useful: https://www.lightroomqueen.com/keyboard-shortcuts/

I won't argue over the need to customize shortcuts, but at least it's one solution for now.
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john beardsworth

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There are no "overlay" options, Capture One Pro allows for an image to be overlaid so that a layout or composition can be composed to fit perfectly to an art directors layout.

View > Loupe Overlay was introduced specifically because of this requirement.

There is nothing like "Capture Pilot" for monitoring and review on multiple platforms

When you start tethering in LR, select a collection which is synced. New photos then appear on any device, local or remote, without installing any apps anywhere. I've used this to run a shoot in London for a client reviewing in Paris (not sure I could do that with built-in tools in C1). But I do like Capture Pilot.

Obviously C1 is better than LR at tethering. But given PhaseOne's market, it simply has to excel in that area.
(Edited)
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john beardsworth

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I agree about Loupe Overlay. It dates from Lr4, but I am not surprised if anyone fails to notice it or see that it relates to tethering.

By syncing a collection I am exploiting LrMobile. You probably know that any collection can be "synced", meaning images added to it are automatically synced up to Adobe's servers (as smart previews). And you can "share" that collection - ie make a url which others can see in web browsers. Now, back in the tethering startup dialog, you just tell LR to add new tethered photos to a collection that you have already "synced" and "shared".  They are automatically uploaded and can be reviewed wherever the viewer happens to be. People can "like" and add comments which you see in Lightroom, so they might say "can you crop out xyz?" and you then do the edit and can comment back "is this what you want?" etc. An option lets them download 2048 px images, and you can even set up remote editing (only if you share an Adobe account which is probably more useful for an assistant than a client). Sure, you can get similar remote access via screensharing, providing you have those skills/tools, but what I am describing is simply using Lightroom's built-in features and any device capable of browsing the web.
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Stephen Newport

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John,
The collection method is too slow for a production environment with a long delay between input and viewable states, and requires the end user to have an adobe account, which surprisingly many art directors do not have. This requires a conversation with each art director, "You see, you need to log in to your adobe account... oh, well you can make one? Oh you need to call your office tech for the password? Oh, ok, you'll just look over my shoulder at my screen then..."
It is a workaround, but cannot be used for comparison with C1's abilities. With C1 you share a web address and they instantly have access to viewing and rating abilities 
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john beardsworth

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Really? Well, I've used it in production environments such as I described. As for your imaginary conversations, it's not exactly rocket science to give the client the login to a spare Adobe account I keep for such things.... As I said, C1's tethering is better than LR's, clearly, but that is P1's niche.
(Edited)
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Stephen Newport

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John, 
I'm not sure what point you're trying to make. This thread is to make Lightroom better, and compete with C1, on topic of tethering on set with the client. You're giving workarounds and saying, "oh well, C1's just better at this"... yes, that's what we're saying, and we're offering ways that Lightroom can be better.
These aren't imaginary conversations, these are conversations I've heard on set as a DIT. I don't hear them anymore because I haven't worked with anyone in the past 3 years that still uses LR on set. We aren't looking for workarounds, we are looking for improvements in the software so that C1 users will be inclined to try LR again for tethering. If you're talking to a C1 user who still uses an adobe products, and he says, "So Lightroom doesn't have a dedicated remote capture/viewer option?" you think he'll be convinced by, "Well, you can automatically add to a collection, that collection will then sync eventually, and you can give your clients a web address with a user name and password and they can log in to view them. C1 users just click a button and it appears on their iPad app, or can be viewed on a web address, without having to make a mess of their collections.
Lightroom does have some advantages, but we're not talking about those here, we're talking about how it can be improved. 
(Edited)
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john beardsworth

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I am addressing specific points which the previous poster stated Lr couldn't do but which C1 can, so not workarounds. Your overheard conversations about setting up an Adobe account or collections seem to reflect a lack of knowledge of LR, because it's pretty easy to have the collection set up ready and provide logon details - it's just called preparation.

Anyway, I wasn't concerned about the rest of the thread, and I agree with some of the points you and others made earlier. I do just wonder if it's the best use of resources for Adobe to fight an uphill battle.
(Edited)
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Pratik Kumar

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Hello Lightroom Team,

I am have been tethering for past 6 years on both C1 and lightroom and I have to say C1 is exceptionally good at it. While lightroom has improved from the previous years (slightly more stable connection), it still lacks some key functionality to be considered in studio workflow tethering. 

Here is the list of key features required for anyone working on any level of commercial or personal project

Needless to mention - with "Stable connection"

1) Control to change shutter speeds, iso, aperture
2) Battery indicator
3) Live View with option to select focus 
4) Micro Focus adjustments
5) More control on placement of layout overlay
6) Control to adjust Focus point without live view
7) Option to allow images to be recorded to desktop only or card and desktop

A focus mask would great addition to the list. 

My question is Will we ever see these in lightroom with stable connection? I prefer the simplicity of UI of lightroom + the way we can manage Digital Assets but with constant need to tether, lightroom is very limiting and cannot continue to be the preferred choice if no improvements are made soon. 

Just to let you know, they way I currently work is I use Smart Shooter 3 to capture and then import images in lightroom with Auto Import feature. Shuffling between the two is a pain and not practical anymore. 

I hope the improvements to tethering is done sooner than later. In fact I hope there is a plan to make improvements in the first place. 

Would love to hear whats in the pipeline in development for tethering. 

Thanks
Pratik