When can we expect a Lightroom Roadmap?

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For two years, Lightroom customers have been asking for a roadmap what to expect from the new cloud-based Lightroom which misses many features from the Lightroom Classic product. Adobe employees/community voices have been saying that Adobe cannot give a roadmap since they are a publicly traded company (which I have called a BS argument from day 1).

Recently, Adobe Photoshop for iPad launched.... also missing many features from its desktop counterpart. Customer outrage followed and to my big surprise.... Scott Belsky publicly apologies and a few days later a roadmap for the product is published on the Adobe blog (https://theblog.adobe.com/photoshop-reimagined-for-ipad-the-journey/) which got applauded by many (https://petapixel.com/2019/11/22/yes-you-should-be-applauding-what-adobe-did/).

I have some questions for Adobe Lightroom employees:
  1. Why can Adobe suddenly publish roadmaps given the previously used argument by Adobe employees that they cannot do so since Adobe is a publicly traded company?
  2. Why does Adobe take its Photoshop customers very serious while ignoring its Lightroom customers (who also have voiced many complaints since day one of the new product) while there are ongoing struggles with the new product?
  3. When can we expect a 2020 roadmap for the new Lightroom product roadmap to learn where Adobe is taking this product in the next year, so we can make a rational choice wether to stick with Lightroom or move to another product that has a modern interface and codebase (like the new Lightroom) while not losing 70% of features in the process?
I think we are right to ask for answers since we're all paying Adobe monthly fees for a Classic product that is outdated and a new product that is not finished yet. I don't mind being part of a journey but it really frustrates me that two years later, I still have no clue if (1) new Lightroom is ever going to cater to both "modern mobile" and "traditional photography" workflow, or (2) will just focus on the new mobile generation and if so (3) if Lightroom Classic will still be modernised for the desktop focused photography workflow or just be left as is (I suspect this is not the case but clarification would help make decisions).

Finally, my favourite Adobe product/team is without any competition the Adobe XD team. I wish other teams would follow suit. They iterate very fast, come with great features that serve their core audience and are very good in touch with their audience. In two years, they have more or less catched up with their competition (Sketch, Figma) and are beginning to out-innovate them. Why hasn't this happened for the new Lightroom 2-years after its launch? It is still lacking basic features like versioning, file renaming, watermarks, hierarchical keywords, survey view and above all smart collections) and only just now got basic exporting features.

This brings me back to my often repeated argument: I really like new Lightroom and think it has some great features (Sensei, new interactive educational content, sharing)  and a good foundation and design direction but I really want to know what the future direction of the product to keep up an ongoing commitment and decide if that's what I need. 

I hope after the change for Photoshop we can also get some clarity soon.

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Floris van Eck

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Posted 2 weeks ago

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Carlos Cardona

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Question: exactly what part of LR Classic is outdated? Also you said you liked LR because it has “Sensei, new interactive educational content, sharing”. I believe LR Classic also has these things (but you do have to look harder)!

LR is a great “workgroup” app, when shooters, editors, designers and decision makers are in different locations (like, say the NBA photo staff). For one man operations, get stuff done by using Classic!
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Floris van Eck

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This all applies to Lightroom Classic (on Windows 10, i7, 32gb RAM, GTX 1080, multiple SSD machine):
  1. The interface looks terribly outdated and doesn't obey at all the Adobe design language which they use in more or less all their other apps (which I could ultimately live if performance is top of the bill which it absolutely isn't). Check Adobe XD to see the best example of modern Adobe design language (which Premiere Rush, Lightroom cloud also follow and I suppose Photoshop ultimately as well since the iPad version already has it)
  2. The lettertype/typography is very bad and sometimes barely readable on big screens 
  3. performance is sluggish overall, with many memory leaks slowing the application down in longer sessions
  4. when I switch between normal and full screen all kinds of Windows flash and I briefly see Windows 7 style blue titlebars pop-up behind the normal interface, which doesn't happen on any other app I interacted with (similar to this style in the screenshot). Image result for lightroom windows 7
  5. try using a bunch of smart collections and do a keywording session and see your system crawl to a stop
  6. gpu use within Lightroom is bare minimum and poor compared to basically every modern photo/video app (similar to how Adobe Premiere Pro is almost entirely CPU-based besides some effect rendering while DaVinci Resolve has super-fast GPU render pipeline).
  7. when doing face tagging, my system becomes slower and slower until I have to reboot it entirely to get snappy performance in Lightroom
  8. in general this is my experience with Lightroom Classic... after a while it just crawls to a stop due to what I suppose are memory leaks in certain processes
  9. "lightroom encountered a problem and needs to shutdown" error messages from time to time
  10. most Adobe apps now have in-app tutorials and lessons but not Lightroom Classic (not that I am desperate for these, it just shows that the codebase is not up there with the rest of the Adobe apps like Premiere, After Effects, Photoshop etc.)
Before people start saying my system is the problem... I have 0 problems with any other app on my system and I run many heavy applications. All modern Adobe apps (Rush, Lightroom, XD) also have none of these problems. This has been like this for years, on multiple systems, and after different installs and OS updates (clean installs... format drive, reinstall everything without restoring backups or configurations). Many of these complaints are regularly shared here as well. As you probably know, many Adobe applications were acquired which means codebases greatly differ. It is promising to see the new application line-up share a similar design language and I suppose code standards. 

It's just very frustrating since the core image editing foundation is good and I do really see benefits in Sensei/AI/sync/hybrid desktop-mobile workflows etc. But Lightroom Classic is just not up to modern standards (UI and performance wise) and the new Lightroom neither (feature and workflow wise). Some people might have few problems but too many do. 


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Christian Fürst

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My personal impression is that Adobe doesn't really care about customers. How else can they explain that they force a kind of new LR CC (or ist it mobile, or what) upon customers that looks okay but doesn't upload pictures taken with the built-in camera AP to the Adobe cloud and does NOT synchronize those images via cloud with my home-PC. and how come, dobe camera RAW still refuses to ope .HEIC pics taken with my new iPhone 13 PRO.  In this regard, the new LR Mobile (or is it LR CC) is pretty useluss to me. Coulen't Adobe Techies have checked such important details of a NEW program??

I really like Lightroom Classic a lot because of the close connection with their built-in library. However, if they can't solve that synchronizing problem, I will be forced to look for a new editing software
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Antoine Hlmn

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Agreed with the above analysis. And the lack of respect for its customers.

If you want a very crude answer: probably cash. People are still paying for LR, despite of everything said above whereas PS would be a “new” product and has to convince potential buyers. Good luck with a note of 1.4 (at this date) stars.

Also because LR mobile targets smartphone users which are less concerned with the general LR issues. PS targets more demanding users.
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Floris van Eck

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I think the defining question is: what type of company does Adobe want to be?

Scott Belsky is Adobe's chief Product Officer and he is in a position to change the company's ways almost overnight (as shown by the Photoshop iPad launch and quick response) and my hope is that he takes note of the XD team (which I am sure he did) and starts cascading this mentality across Adobe.

What I want to see is transparency, communication and community involvement. This forum is mostly a one-way street. We complain/suggest/talk to a black box and we will never know if or what is done with it until it shows up in the product. I don't think this is a fair exchange.

Requests (product ideas/bugs) should be marked with status flags (as happens in a rare case) as "under consideration", "not planned", "backlog", "roadmap 2020". If for whatever reason life takes a different exit and a feature doesn't happen, no problem, as long as there is communication.

This too me is how to do software development in 2020 and I hope Adobe is on board. I see some positive things happen, again the XD team stands out, and hope Lightroom customers will also benefit and finally get the respect they deserve for being so loyal after all the "accidents" in the last few years with confusing name changes, buggy releases and a subscription-only model that alienated many longtime customers.
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Christian Fürst

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Floris, this isn't quite fair. on several occasions Adobe Techies did respond to my problemsand tried to find a solution. They also did in case of my non-responding Adobe-cloud. I sincerely hope they will find a way to get the synching going again. You simply can't expect a big company like this to respond to each and every request or suggestion
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Floris van Eck

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I am talking about maintaining and actively engaging with feature requests. That's what this whole online forum (Get Satisfaction) was designed for. These statuses also exist but are not actively used/maintained very well besides the "implemented" tag.

Bug reports are handled very well.