Today’s Question: I haven’t yet upgraded to the latest update for Lightroom, but heard that the Import experience changed dramatically. Can you provide input on whether I should upgrade now, and how best to prepare for the new Import features?
Tim’s Quick Answer: I am not a fan of the new Import experience introduced with Lightroom 6.2 (2015.2 for CC users), and frankly I consider the new experience to be a bit dangerous for those who don’t realize that additional options are available. Adobe has announced that a future update will revert Lightroom to the previous Import experience, and so unless you need updated RAW support or other new features, I might suggest waiting for the next update before upgrading.
More Detail: My primary concern about the new Import experience introduced in Lightroom 6.2 is that if you don’t access the settings panel all of your photos will be downloaded into the “Pictures” folder for your operating system, without a customized folder structure. This can lead to some serious organizational challenges if you imported various sets of photos without being aware of the settings panel.
In addition, the update to a new Import experience removed the option to automatically eject the media you were downloading cards from. I considered that to be a very helpful feature, and was sorry to see it disappear.
The new Import experience also removes the option to preview what your folder structure will look like after the import, which can present a challenge to some users.
Understandably, many photographers were far more concerned about Lightroom crashing more frequently after the version 6.2 update. While these crashes seem to have affected a relatively small percentage of Lightroom users, there was most certainly a very significant issue for those who did experience the crashes. My understanding is that these issues have been resolved for most users via the version 6.2.1 (2015.2.1) update.
And, as noted above, Adobe has indicated that they will be reverting to the prior version of the Import experience with an upcoming “dot” release (presumably a version 6.3 update, but in any event a version later than 6.2.1). For those who don’t otherwise have a need to update to an interim version of Lightroom, I would suggest waiting until the update with a reversion to the prior Import experience.
I suspect the Import experience will change again in the future, as Adobe is obviously looking for ways to improve this feature. Even the prior Import experience could be a little bit cumbersome for some users, so a more elegant solution would be welcomed by many photographers, I’m sure. Hopefully we’ll see more significant improvements (without the loss of any features) in a future update to Lightroom.