Adobe Supercharges Lightroom Performance, Simplifies HDR and Panorama Editing

Anyone who picked up the $9.99-per-month offer Adobe has been running for a subscription to its Photoshop and Lightroom software is about to enjoy one of its biggest benefits. Adobe just released Lightroom CC 2015 and mobile apps. Subscribers will be able to upgrade from Lightroom 5.7 to the new 2015 version by simply downloading the update. Say what you will about the software subscription model – having the latest software ready for you the minute it releases is pretty slick.

Adobe is providing subscribers to Photoshop CC with the new version of Lightroom.

As you’d expect from a new version, Lightroom Creative Cloud (CC) 2015 has some new capabilities. One of them is facial recognition, which has been around for a long time in apps like Google Picasa. Facial recognition goes through your images to find faces and then groups them by person. Type in a person’s name on a couple pictures and Lightroom will start helping you name the rest of the images of that person.

The software also now supports some Photoshop-like capabilities, including Panorama Merge, which lets you create a wide-view image from multiple shots of the same scene. It supports RAW photos, which is a nice touch. Lightroom CC 2015 also lets you tweak photo coloring with HDR Merge.

Other bonuses include an improved slideshow creator with support for combining videos with you still photos, a filter brush that gives you more control over filter effects, and HTML5-compatible Web gallery templates. Lightroom now also uses your computer’s GPU to handles some of the workload, making for performance boosts in the Develop module and elsewhere in the program, according to Adobe.

On the mobile side of things, Android seems to be getting the most improvements, including support for importing DNG files (photos shot in RAW), support for specifying SD cards as storage, and a new app for Android tablets. IOS users get an improved crop tool and an auto-straighten function.