Lightroom CC on an OLD Macbook Pro

Lightroom CC was just released and is getting a lot of hype. Kelby Training did a special webinar on it and posts from photographers have flooded the internet. However, the one major thing that no one answered for me was “Would this new program work on my outdated computer?”

This new release of Lightroom is much like Photoshop where it is a separate install. That had me worried a little bit as I knew that at least Lightroom 5 ran on my current system. It is slow but reliable. I had no idea what was going to happen when I installed Lightroom CC.

Embarrassingly, I am working on a late 2008 Macbook Pro with 4 gb of ram. Thus, this new version hammers the crap out of the ram. Overall, the installation we smoothly and there were no real snags. I updated the library and everything trudged along, slowly but surely. In the end, it loaded up fine and I was able to see the new features that everyone has been talking about.

Final HDR from Lightroom


With only 4 gb of ram, nothing is fast on my computer. I use an app called “Memory Clean” to free up space and turn off everything before running any version of lightroom. Thus, any increase in speed is wasted on me. The basic functions seemed a bit fast and by that I mean switching workspace modules. However, importing photos had a serious lag. The function of converting the raw files to DNG took a lot longer.

HDR in Lightroom
HDR in Lightroom

HDR and Panoramas

This was one that I was quite curious about. HDR has been incorporated into Photoshop for sometime now. It seemed natural that they would include into lightroom. Before I attempted making an HDR in lightroom, I made sure that I had as much ram as I could and then selected my photos. Usually, 5 photos from my 5D MKiii take a little bit of time to process using NIK’s HDR Efex Pro 2 or Photomatix but nothing really too bad. Lightroom took a loooooooooong time to process.

The funny part is that unlike 3rd party plugins, there are not many options inside the popup box. Now, I know you are thinking ” well duh, you will edit back in lightroom anyway” but still I thought there’d be a few more options than just auto align, auto tone, and deghost. I selected a low deghost setting and went and got a couple of coffee. After finishing my coffee, watching a bit of TV and taking a short nap, the HDR was done.

The quality was not bad but I wasn’t blown away by it either. I much prefer the results from NIK or Photomatix. After the time that it took to make the HDR, I didn’t even bother trying to make a panorama. Trey Ratcliff didn’t seem too impressed either

Screen Shot 2015-04-22 at 11.04.13 AM

The Bottomline

There are numerous better blogs to check out if you are looking for an in depth review of all the new features. I did notice a bit of an upgrade to the map module and that is cool. So, if you you have an old macbook and want to try the new Lightroom out and see what the hype is about, go right ahead. Just make sure you have upgraded your ram a bit and have everything else turned off. However, the main thing is that this program is made to work on a more recent computer with a little bit more power under the hood. Thus, if you want to make use of all the new features and not grow old waiting for them to finish, then upgrade your computer before upgrading Lightroom. Also if you want great looking HDR pick up NIK’s HDR Efex Pro 2 or Photomatix.

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