Laura Shoe's Lightroom (and Occasionally Photoshop) Blog for Digital Photographers

Should you upgrade to Lightroom 2?

In software on October 27, 2008 at 6:45 pm

If you are committed to Lightroom being the foundation of your digital workflow, then my answer is an unequivocal absolutely! And if you are on the fence about Lightroom being the foundation of your workflow, I also say absolutely. I expect that this release will get you off the fence and clearly on the Lightroom road.

Lightroom 2 introduces the ability to make local corrections to your images. With the new graduated filter and adjustment brushes you can burn and dodge, and make local saturation, contrast, brightness, exposure, color, clarity and sharpness changes. You are not able to make sophisticated selections and masks like you can in Photoshop, but for most local changes where a brush tool or a gradient mask is sufficient to specify the area to be worked on, you no longer need to go into Photoshop. For me this means huge efficiency gains in my workflow. Now I go into Photoshop on maybe 5% of my straight photographs. In my opinion, this is well, well worth the $99 upgrade price. My only word of caution is that these new tools are resource intensive. If your system is already struggling to run LR1, you will find that using the adjustment brush in LR2 is an exercise in patience.

Below are the minimum system requirements for LR2, as listed by Adobe. Of course, more and faster is always better.


  • Intel® Pentium® 4 processor
  • Microsoft® Windows® XP with Service Pack 2 or Windows Vista® Home Premium, Business, Ultimate, or Enterprise (certified for 32-bit and 64-bit editions)
  • 1GB of RAM
  • 1GB of available hard-disk space
  • 1,024×768 display
  • CD-ROM drive

Mac OS

  • PowerPC® G4 or G5 or Intel based processor
  • Mac OS X v10.4 or 10.5
  • 1GB of RAM
  • 1GB of available hard-disk space
  • 1,024×768 display
  • CD-ROM drive

Here’s a Julieanne Kost video on the graduated filter and adjustment brush:

Of course LR2 introduces other changes as well, including dual monitor support, improved management of multiple drives and libraries, and improvements to the interface. Here’s an Adobe blog post with more information on these and other changes.


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