Adobe, Customer Support, Lightroom 6, and Responsibility

2 May
 

Latest Update: May 18, 2015 with italics and bold.

… or, Adobe did not warn us

© Adobe. All Rights Reserved.
Rumors of Adobe coming out with Lightroom 6 have been going on for some months, even back to September of last year, in fact at least eight of our workshops ago, Arnie, my husband and partner, and I were looking forward to the new features, whatever they might be.

We kept waiting for announcements, but the rumors did not become fact until very recently on April 21.

I certainly do not fault Adobe for waiting to release a product, but when my Creative Cloud announced Lightroom 6, it came with no warnings, no caveats. To me, that was irresponsible of Adobe. Why?

For example, at least one of our alumni wrote saying there were a number of reported incidents of problems with installing this new release. Neither Arnie, nor I, nor any alumna who recently came to me for a Lightroom consulting session experienced this.

What I did experience, however, were major crashes for the simplest of tasks. Moving one image to another spot for one of our web galleries, for example. Adjusting the exposure in the Basic section, for another. And the clone/heal tool? That was a challenge.

Arnie reported that Lightroom 6 was extremely sluggish. In addition, he has a new feature, one that he neither wants nor requested. When he imports his images, they copy as his camera RAW file before converting to DNG, yet in Preferences, the box by Embed Original Raw File is unchecked. Lovely! Now, this means that Arnie has to go into the folder where these images are stored and physically delete his native RAW settings as well as the sidecar, xmp files. What a bore and what a waste of time and energy! UPDATE: This is fortunately no longer an issue!

Knock on wood, I have not been subjected to this particular feature. Thanks, Adobe, for making Arnie’s and other photographers’ lives more complicated. As with many photographers, Arnie’s expertise, aside from photography, lies in cameras, NOT computers. Really, where are the heads at Adobe?

Adobe clearly knew about these issues; so there should, in me’umble opinion, have been an announcement that you needed to read before upgrading to Lightroom 6.

Before I continue, know that I have one simple work-around for some issues towards the end of this blog.

There have been a number of times when the very-polite-person in India and other overseas locations has just quietly hung up on me. They do not want to get a bad mark, I am sure, so we get “disconnected.” Most of us know the difference between a disconnected call and one where one can hear the very quiet click as the person at the other end hangs up. And then, you have to wait yet again to reach someone.

In my case, this time, at least, there was no “disconnect.” I was told by the automated machine that my wait time would be between 21 and 33 minutes. Fair enough. I am not their only customer by far, and with these issues, I could only imagine the flood of calls they were fielding. That said, my wait time was well over an hour and a half. I would respectfully suggest to Adobe that they reassess the parameters for their estimated wait times. If I know it is going to be that long, I can go inside and grab a quick lunch to bring back out to my office. I can make a call on our land line and know that I have time before Adobe is able to get to me. I can even embark on some chores that are better done without interruptions, balancing a statement, has for example. Sure, Adobe can put you in queue for a call-back, but I am no better off than I am staying on the line.

My Customer Support person knew immediately what to do and promised to pass my concerns on up to Adobe regarding unrealistic wait times and lack of warning before upgrading to LR6. He also gave me some excellent information.

First, unless your graphics processor is the latest and greatest with a minimum of 1GB of graphics memory and preferably 2GB, it will not be up to Lightroom 6’s requirements. Well, that is not necessarily true! Adobe has given their team in India erroneous information. I got my latest computer late in the fall. I have what is considered an excellent and up-to-date graphics processor — NVIDIA Quadro K1100M Card, updated yet again to latest driver released on April 26, version 9.18.13.4807, with 2GB of graphics memory! I even double checked with my computer company…© 2015 Margo Taussig Pinkerton. All Rights Reserved. From Barefoot Contessa Photo Adventures. For usage and fees, please e-mail TBC (at) BCphotoadventures (dot) com or contact us at 310 Lafayette Drive, Hillsborough, NC 27278 or at 919-643-3036 before 9 p.m. Eastern Time, ET.

And LR6 still crashed regularly. Thanks again, Adobe! And what about all those people out there who have an older computer? They cannot use Lightroom 6 effectively? Not everyone, including a lot of photographers, can just go out and buy a new computer!

The latest Lightroom CC update (Adobe no longer lists the release version in its “About”). still crashes far more than it should, regardless of the status of that box next to Use Graphics Accelerator. Mine has been turned off, and yet I do have an advanced graphics card with 2GB of graphics memory. For real!

Next glitch? I do a lot of panoramas and have won awards for them over the years. Usually, I use AutoPano Pro as being more reliable and fewer-pixels-losing than Photoshop. So, I tried a pano in LR6. Results? You can see for yourselves…© 2015 Margo Taussig Pinkerton. All Rights Reserved. From Barefoot Contessa Photo Adventures. For usage and fees, please e-mail TBC (at) BCphotoadventures (dot) com or contact us at 310 Lafayette Drive, Hillsborough, NC 27278 or at 919-643-3036 before 9 p.m. Eastern Time, ET.

In AutoPano Pro? …© 2015 Margo Taussig Pinkerton. All Rights Reserved. From Barefoot Contessa Photo Adventures. For usage and fees, please e-mail TBC (at) BCphotoadventures (dot) com or contact us at 310 Lafayette Drive, Hillsborough, NC 27278 or at 919-643-3036 before 9 p.m. Eastern Time, ET.and© 2015 Margo Taussig Pinkerton. All Rights Reserved. From Barefoot Contessa Photo Adventures. For usage and fees, please e-mail TBC (at) BCphotoadventures (dot) com or contact us at 310 Lafayette Drive, Hillsborough, NC 27278 or at 919-643-3036 before 9 p.m. Eastern Time, ET. Quickly done for this blog! The second one was done on 05-09-15, so the issue still exists.

When Adobe gets the panorama feature to work, I will be interested in using it. There are a number of other new features that are listed at https://helpx.adobe.com/lightroom/help/whats-new.html.

One strange glitch has shown up, or perhaps I didn’t catch it the first round of LR6. When I do more than one virtual copy, the individual proof copy names do not come through, only the original proof copy name one.

In my blog called Lightroom Setup, which I should probably update, too, I made some suggestions for setting up your preferences in Lightoom. I have already made some revisions to this blog based on input from both our readers and Lightroom expert Rob Sylvan of the help desk at NAPP as well as his own Lightroomers.

I do like the way the Spot Removal tool works. If heal doesn’t do the trick, I can switch to clone without starting over again. And I am not an Adobe basher. I have used their products for years and years now, from Photoshop whatever my earliest version was, to Dreamweaver, to Illustrator to … and to Lightroom’s first version.

Realistically, new versions have bugs, but Lightroom 6 goes way beyond a few bugs. Adobe needed to test it further and warn us so that we did not blithely install it.

Hopefully, Adobe will scramble to fix the problems. Meanwhile, go into your Preferences and click on the Performance tab and uncheck Use Graphics Processor. Worked like a charm for me for some issues, but others remain. And, by the way, that panorama feature came up with the same error message with that box checked or unchecked, even after restarting Lightroom, something that you should always do when making any changes in Preferences.

With Lightroom 6, it may be even more critical to read my previous blog on The Care and Feeding of Your Lightroom Catalog. Meanwhile, this Adobe user hopes that Adobe will improve its estimated customer wait times, make sure that their support staff in India or wherever don’t hang up on when there is a communication gap due to accents, and warn their users when they should be forewarned as with this latest (and eventually greatest) Lightroom 6.

Meanwhile, there is a lot of help out there. Two I have found to be terrific is Victoria Bampton, The Lightroom Queen, at http://www.lightroomqueen.com/, and our own Dave Robertson, whom many of our alumni know from his amazing help on Lightroom long after he has taught them a course on it. Those who wish to contact Dave should check with us, but you probably already have his information from the “Thank You and Thoughts to Take Away until Next Time” e-mail we send out after every workshop.

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10 Responses to “Adobe, Customer Support, Lightroom 6, and Responsibility”

  1. Bill Motley 05-03-15 at 1:02 AM #

    I was ecstatic I resolved all my LR problems when I upgraded my computer. Me thinks me will stay with LR5 for the time being.

     
    • TBC 05-03-15 at 8:45 AM #

      Bill,

      So glad to hear that. Memory was a major issue for you. Lightroom, Photoshop are memory hogs.

      As to Lightroom 6, I think you will be able to upgrade soon. I’ll post when enough of the bugs have been removed.

      Take care,

      TBC

       
  2. Victoria Bampton 05-02-15 at 4:40 PM #

    Hi Margo. Interesting post. Customer services… I share your frustration! I have no doubt they’ve been flooded with these launch issues, but at the best of times…

    The crashes… yeah, they should have really publicized the importance of checking for current graphics drivers. Most recent (in the last couple of years) graphics cards with more than 2GB of RAM will work great, but Windows Update is often reporting the drivers are up to date when they’re really not. And they really should have publicized that older graphics cards are better off being disabled in Preferences for better performance. They’re also investigating some conflicts with AMD drivers at the moment.

    The raw files shouldn’t be getting stuck there… the import is now a 2 step process, supposedly for speed, so it copies the raw files and then converts them to DNG, but the raw files shouldn’t remain after conversion. If that’s happening, make sure you report it at the the Official Feature Request/Bug Report Forum at http://feedback.photoshop.com/photoshop_family as I can’t reproduce it.

    I haven’t seen that error on my pano’s, but it’s early days. Adobe could do with seeing any files that fail, in order to improve it. Please report any failures at the Official Feature Request/Bug Report Forum at http://feedback.photoshop.com/photoshop_family or send me the files (using http://www.wetransfer.com to the email address listed on the contact page on my website) so I can pass them on for you. LR’s raw merge is a different ballgame, so they’re at the beginning of this journey.

     
    • TBC 05-09-15 at 1:10 PM #

      Victoria,

      Always great to get your input. You are not The Lightroom Queen for nothing! I have heard reports that the pano feature doesn’t work very well. That said, I have not tried it myself. One of our participants did, and I suspect that the pano did not have significant match points that Lightroom could identify.

      Meanwhile, the two-step import process seems to be working out, although many feel that it is actually slower. Fair warning, however, do not stop the import, as you will end up with your camera’s native RAW files.

      Take care, and thanks for commenting. Sorry for the delay in posting it. We were in the mountains with scant Internet.

      TBC

       
  3. rodrigo Garnier 05-02-15 at 11:10 AM #

    I Guess I will not be upgrading for some time! Thanks for the comments and the explanations. Best of luck with your upgrade paibs.

     
    • TBC 05-02-15 at 4:36 PM #

      Rodrigo,

      It may be fixed sooner than we originally thought. I will update everyone when I think it is “safe”.

      Take care,

      TBC

       
  4. Lynne Necrason 05-02-15 at 11:04 AM #

    Great! I finally just took the leap into Creative Cloud! Installation was ok but I found it sluggish. Thought it was me. I have yet to import any images using this program. I still have the standalone LR 5 on the computer but not sure it will be able to access my catalog now. Haven’t tried. I may do a test import to see if I have the same issues Arnie has had. Thanks for your blog here – I know it takes oodles of time but it is much appreciated!

     
  5. Benita Mayo 05-02-15 at 9:59 AM #

    Wow..yes…wow…yes – i thought some of the little “annoyances” were user error. As always love the insight and honest critique found in your blogs.

     
    • TBC 05-02-15 at 10:02 AM #

      Thank you, Benita. You are always so appreciative and gracious in your comments.

      No, not user error this time, I fear. I hope that Adobe fixes these issues soon!

      Take care,

      TBC

       

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