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How bad is Lightzone?
Old 05-27-2006, 02:01 PM   #1 (permalink)
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I downloaded a free trial of Lightzone the other day after seeing a pop up ad on Glamour 1. What a joke? I have rarely seen a product that behaved so poorly. The ad said something about "If you were sick of Photoshop". Well I was sick of Lightzone within just a few minutes.

Lightzone is both a browser and an editor. I first tested it as a browser. I pointed it at a folder of 300 images and then sat there for several minutes while a little green bar moves across the screen while it built the thumbnails (these are RAW images). Finally it showed one page of thumbnails, but not all at once. It had to paint each one, one at a time and that took another 30 seconds. Then I paged down and it when through the slow painting process once again. I tested the same folder in PS CS2 Bridge and it came up with the first page of images in about 5 seconds. To make sure the test was fair, I had purged the Bridge Cache before starting. So basically I could start browsing my images withing 5 seconds of pointing to the folder as opposed to several minutes with Lightzone.

I then decided to do the same test with other Browsers. I tried Breezebroswer Pro and ACDSee 7.0. Both of them allowed me to starting browsing the images within about 3-7 seconds.

I then tried zooming in on an image in Lightzone. I double clicked on an image and it took over 45 seconds to show the image. It has a curious method of displaying the image. It shows little squares of the image and then starts painting in a circular fashion one square at a time which takes 45 seconds for the full image to show. By contrast, when I double click on an image in the other three browsers above, it takes only 2 or 3 seconds max to show the whole image. We are talking about seeing the image at the largest size that will fully fit in the browser window.

I continued my testing of Lightzones editor and found that it was ponderously slow for each function. It also seems to have a rather bizarre interface that is counterintuitive. Anyway, after an hour or so, I gave up testing this product. I also found their regions mode to be totally unusable.

By the way, I'm on a fast 2.66ghz Pentium 4 machine with 500gb of drive space, 2gb of RAM and fully optimized, and the other products mentioned had no trouble in doing each function I tested at speeds 5 to 25 times faster than Lightzone's speed for comparable items.

Has anyone else tested this program and what did you find?

Cheers,
rfs
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Re: How bad is Lightzone?
Old 05-27-2006, 02:44 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Just like you I saw the pop up AD on G1 and thought I'd give it a try.

I hated it.

I instantly regretted the download.

I can't explain exactly what happened, but my computer and PS never operated quite right after that. It was the worst experienve i've had with a download.
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Re: How bad is Lightzone?
Old 05-27-2006, 02:50 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Titan
Just like you I saw the pop up AD on G1 and thought I'd give it a try. I hated it. I instantly regretted the download. I can't explain exactly what happened, but my computer and PS never operated quite right after that. It was the worst experience I've had with a download.
In watching it install, I noted a number of JAR files, so its probably a JAVA app which often don't run cleanly on Window's machines. But the other thing I noted, is that when it first run it tried to access the Internet. My firewall asked if I wanted to permit this and I did not allow it. That will usually protect you from unwanted anomalies on new software.

Cheers,
rfs
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Re: How bad is Lightzone?
Old 06-08-2006, 11:52 PM   #4 (permalink)
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I was curious about this software...thanks for the 'heads up' and the subsequent responses.

It's too bad that this doesn't do the basics well. It certainly looked inviting.

Richard
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Re: How bad is Lightzone?
Old 06-26-2006, 01:39 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by R_Fredrick_Smith
In watching it install, I noted a number of JAR files, so its probably a JAVA app which often don't run cleanly on Window's machines. But the other thing I noted, is that when it first run it tried to access the Internet. My firewall asked if I wanted to permit this and I did not allow it. That will usually protect you from unwanted anomalies on new software.
Cheers,
rfs
It is a Java app, so it suffers a bit performance wise. on startup it checks to see if there is an update available from the Lightcrafts' site. harmless. I'm not sure why it's running so slow on your PC. I run it on a dual G5 Mac and it runs fine. In fact Java seems to run better on a PC so I'm surprised. Did you get their latest version and is all your Java up to date?

in order to give the app a fair shake, forget about approaching a picture like Photoshop and a mess of pixels. look at the areas you want to lighten, darken, sharpen, soften etc. and use their tools appropriately. it is a memory pig, but it really is pretty cool.

check this guy's site, he runs through a few good examples of how he uses it: http://www.8x10.se/pages/home.asp
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