I’ve been working with PhotoLab Elite 6 over the last couple of weeks re-editing some of my better images from the last few years. The more I work with it, the more I see the missing pieces yet to be included to make it a real competitor to Lightroom Classic, Capture One, and Photo RAW. And that’s making me question if PhotoLab Elite can really replace Lightroom Classic for me.
In my last post, I described some things I missed about Lightroom Classic and how I was working around them in PhotoLab Elite. I’m still doing that. But some of those shortcomings are getting harder and harder to tolerate:
- No metadata presets – copying and pasting from other images is a huge pain. Finding one with the right data and then navigating back to the target photo is no fun. Using Lightroom Classic to edit the metadata and then reading it into PhotoLab is tedious.
- Print presets, but also output sharpening for print – yes, Qimage provides those features (at a cost of $80). The process creates another TIF file in the PhotoLab library which is good (a record of the actual print) and bad (just more storage and another file to manage).
- Lag – switching from the PhotoLibrary to Customize, and back, always takes a bit while PhotoLab gathers itself. Lightroom Classic is nearly instant. And opening a folder in the PhotoLibrary requires PhotoLab to refresh all of the thumbnails, every time.
With PhotoLab Elite 7 expected this fall, it’s possible that some, or all, of these aggravations may be removed.
In the meantime, I am also experimenting with ON1 Photo RAW. It has its own problems, but it looks like another good alternative to Lightroom Classic. For those who are concerned, it is available with a perpetual license or a subscription, user’s choice.