Lightroom Classic gets native M1 support, Lightroom gets Super Resolution and more with Adobe’s June 2021 update

Adobe has announced a barrage of updates for select Creative Cloud applications, including Photoshop, Lightroom, Lightroom Classic. In addition to updates, Adobe has also shared a detailed analysis from a third-party that shows how well the company’s new M1-native applications work compared to their intel counterparts.

Adobe Photoshop for iPad

First up is an update for Adobe Photoshop for iPad that adds the ability to import and download custom brushes. In addition to downloading one of the ‘hundreds of brushes’ Adobe offers through Creative Cloud, you can also create your own bespoke brushes using the Adobe Capture app.

Adobe has also added new Retouch features in its Photoshop Express mobile app. It’s now possible to use Adobe’s Skin Smoothing feature, as well as Content Aware Healing, Face Aware Liquify and Caricature tools, right on your smartphone. Adobe Photoshop Express is free to download on both Android and iOS.

Adobe Camera Raw and Lightroom updates

One of the new features Adobe is bringing to its entire lineup of Lightroom apps (as well as Adobe Camera Raw (ACR) is the addition of what Adobe is calling ‘Premium Presets.’ These presets, which are free for Creative Cloud subscribers, have been ‘created by a diverse and talented set of contemporary photographers.’ The first set of Premium Presets include presets in seven different categories: Portraits-Deep Skin, Portraits-Medium Skin, Portraits-Light Skin, Cinematic, Futuristic, Vintage, and Travel. Adobe says additional presets will be added with future ACR and Lightroom presets.

The first set of the new ‘Premium Presets,’ as seen within the Develop module of Adobe Lightroom.

Adobe has also added an Edit Collaboration feature for Lightroom (Android, iOS, macOS, web and Windows) that allows you to give other people the option to edit images in a shared photo album. Until now, other users you shared a link with could only view and add their own images. Now, those you share albums with can have creative control of their own for the shared images—so long as you give them permission to when sharing. Adobe explains the process as follows:

‘People who you explicitly invite will now be able to edit the photos in an album that you share with them, and their edits will appear right in your Lightroom library. Everyone’s edits are automatically saved as Versions, labeled with the editor’s name, so you can easily switch between edits from different editors, or revert to earlier edits.’

Now, in addition to just sharing an album, you can allow contributors to edit images within an album.

This collection of updates also sees Adobe’s Super Resolution feature leave the confines of ACR and make its way into both Lightroom (macOS and Windows) and Lightroom Classic. Like the ACR version, the Super Resolution feature in Lightroom will use Adobe’s AI-powered technology to increase the resolution of your photo four-fold. You can learn more about Adobe’s Super Resolution technology in this deep-dive article from ACR engineer Eric Chan.

A comparison image from Adobe showing the difference between using standard bicubic resampling to enlarge an image (left) compared to using its Super Resolution technology (right)

Last, but certainly not least, is the announcement that Adobe Lightroom Classic is now natively compatible with Apple Silicon. Adobe claims ‘most operations in Lightroom Classic on an M1 Mac are about twice as fast, including launch, import, export, and walking through photos in loupe view.’ While claims like this should normally be taken with a grain of salt, Adobe does specify their methodology in the last page of the above PDF. Also, although we were using different hardware than Adobe, we can confirm after running a few tests ourselves on an M1 Mac Mini that nearly everything we tested was substantially faster across the board.1

You can now enter custom aspect ratios for cropping in Lightroom.

Lightroom Classic also gains Tethered Live View for Nikon and Lightroom (macOS and Windows) gains the ability to create custom crop aspect ratios for those times when the presets just won’t cut it.

All of these updates should be available starting today on their respective platforms.


1If there’s enough interest, we will do a deep-dive into comparing the performance of Lightroom Classic on an Intel-based computer vs an M1-based computer.