Today Adobe has announced the October 2018 release of Lightroom Classic CC (version 8.0). There are a handful of technology improvements in this update that many photographers will find helpful. The updates include:
Masking by Depth Map
It is now possible to refine a targeted adjustment in Lightroom based on distance ranges within the scene. The Range Mask feature for targeted adjustments has now been updated to include support for depth maps embedded in certain image formats.
At the moment this feature applies to HEIC photos. In other words, for now this is a feature for photos captured with the iPhone or other smartphones running the new Android Pio operating system. It is reasonable to expect, however, that other cameras will offer similar support in the future.
An HEIC capture can include an embedded depth map, which effectively maps out the distances from the lens for all areas of the scene being photographed. That depth information can then be used to refine the mask for a targeted adjustment, such as with the Gradient Filter, the Radial Filter, or the Adjustment Brush.
For photographers familiar with the Focus Area feature in Photoshop CC that enables you to create selections based on areas of a photo that are in focus, the concept of masking based on a depth map is somewhat similar. The key difference is that the Focus Area selection evaluates an image and attempts to determine which areas are in focus, while the new Depth Map feature in Lightroom actually uses depth information embedded in a supported photo.
With this feature you can apply adjustments to areas of a photo based on a range of distances. This can be incredibly helpful for applying adjustments only to foreground areas versus background areas of a photo, for example.
Merge HDR Panoramas in One Step
For more than three years (since April 2015) Lightroom has supported the ability to merge multiple captures into an HDR (high dynamic range) image, or to a composite panorama. With the new October 2018 release of Lightroom Classic, you can now merge captures into an HDR panorama with a single process.
Previously, to create an HDR panorama in Lightroom, two steps would be required. You would first need to assemble all of the bracketed exposures into individual HDR image, and then assemble the HDR images into a composite panorama. With the new update, you can simply select all of the captures that represent bracketed frames of the full panorama, and then merge all of the images into an HDR panorama with a single process.
Improved Tethering for Canon Cameras
While there aren’t any new features for tethered capture in the October 2018 update to Lightroom Classic CC, there have been improvements to tethered capture with Canon cameras. With tethered capture you are able to connect your camera to a computer running Lightroom Classic CC, control the captures within Lightroom, and have the tethered captures added automatically to your Lightroom catalog.
The improvements for tethered capture primarily relate to greater stability and faster performance when using Canon cameras for tethered capture. In addition, support has been added for a couple of additional Canon camera models (the Rebel T7 and the M50).
New Process Version
The October 2018 release of Lightroom Classic CC includes new Process Version 5. While a new process version has typically involved the addition of significant new features in the Develop module, with this release the updates are a bit more modest.
Noise reduction has been improved to help reduce the appearance of a purple color cast in photos captured at high ISO settings. In addition, the Dehaze adjustment has been improved to help reduce noise when you use a negative value for Dehaze.
HEVC Video Support
The HEVC video format is essentially the video version of the HEIC (or HEIF) capture formats for still images. With the October 2018 release, Lightroom Classic CC now supports HEVC video captures, so you can import videos created in this format. At the moment, this update primarily relates to videos captured with an iPhone using the latest operating system update.
Updated Camera and Lens Support
As with perhaps every other update to Lightroom, the October 2018 release also adds support for additional cameras and lenses. This translates to support for additional proprietary raw capture formats, as well as automatic Lens Corrections adjustments for photos captured with newer lenses.
New lenses supported in the October 2018 release are:
- Canon EF 70-200mm f/4L IS II USM
- Canon RF 24-105mm F4 L IS USM
- TAMRON 17-35mm F2.8-4 Di OSD A037E
- Venus Optics Laowa 15mm F2 Zero-D
New cameras supported in the October 2018 release are:
- Canon EOS R
- Fujifilm X-T3
- Nikon COOLPIX P1000
- Nikon Z 7
- Panasonic LUMIX DC-LX100 II