LRTIMELAPSE 6 REVIEW
The Best Time Lapse software got a major upgrade!
Updated March 14th, 2022
So what is New and Improved in LRTimelapse 6
- NEW! Major Performance Improvements (application launch, loading sequences, camera previews)
- NEW! Native Apple Silicon Support (M1 Chips)
- NEW! Internal Workflow Without the Need for Lightroom (few limitations)
- NEW! Render Presets
- NEW! Enhanced Folder Management
- Additional Improvements and Features
- Enhancements in Long Term Filters
- Streamline Workflows
- Render in New Aspect Ratios
- and much more!
Why I Use LRTimelapse
MY evolution of becoming a professional Time lapse photographer
Before I started using LRTimelapse (2011), I was creating time lapses that were impressive to me at the time, but honestly pretty awful now that I look back at them. These sequences had enough flicker to make you think I was shooting near a strobe light and they are painful to watch. However I can't help but reflect on how this experience eventually led me shortly later to LRTimelapse that promised to remove the awful flicker that I was experience in my time-lapse videos.
I remember feeling very skeptical about this software. Like many photographers, I've spent hundreds of dollars on software, and plug-ins in the past, to only find myself disappointed time and time again. Many times software companies promise mind-blowing results, but yet many times it felt like the "average Joe" could not replicate the results promised. I decided to download the free trial to test drive the application myself! I'm very glad that I did!
Wow!!! LRTimelapse was different. It did EVERYTHING it promised and exceeded my expectations! I was honestly blown away by how easy it was to use and how intuitive the software was. It even allowed me to challenge myself to learn and master complicated "holy-grail" time-lapse sequences with the help of "Timelapse Photography (2020)" e-book written by Gunther Wegner, the creator of LRTimelapse.
MY Timelapse Work Published
Mastering Timelapse photography has become not only an enjoyable hobby, but it also has become something I've been able to do commercially too. My work has been licensed and featured in many documentaries including ones broadcasted on BBC, National Geographic, The Weather Channel and more! My work has also been used in major motion pictures as well as television shows. Finally my work has been used in keynote presentations, flight training and more! While I am very proud of these accomplishments, I know that this couldn't have been possible without LRTimelapse.
Over the years, LRTimelapse has greatly improved with each version. In the following blog, I'm excited to share with you my thoughts and honest opinion of the latest version of LRTimelapse, version 6.
Major Performance Improvements
One of the first things I noticed when loading LRTimelapse 6 was how the app appeared to launch and load sequences (camera previews) a lot faster, especially on my Apple M1 Mac Mini (2020 Base model with 8GB Ram and 256GB Storage). This was something promised by Gunther in the release notes. But how much faster? From the naked eye it seemed significant. However, to be completely authentic on this review, I felt the best thing to do was test the performance for myself and record the data. The results of these tests are recorded in the videos below.
My Test Computers
2020 Mac Mini M1 (Lastest Model)
Computer on the Left Half of the Screen
- Base Model
- M1 Processor (8CPU Core 8 GPU Core)
- 8GB Ram
- 256 Storage Drive
- MAC OS Monterey
2019 16" MacBook Pro
Computer on the Right Half of the Screen
- 2.3Ghz 8-Core Intel Core i9
- GPU AMD Radeon Pro 5500m 4GB
- 16GB Ram
- 1TB Storage
- MAC OS Monterey
My Performance Tests
In my first test, you can see that LRTimelapse 6 loaded the fastest on the my M1 Mac Mini Base model (7:29). This is pretty impressive, but not surprising when the M1 Chip has gotten a decent reputation for being fast. Thankfully LRTimelapse 6 runs natively with Apple Silicon chips like the M1 and the performance definitely shows. This is because it took nearly twice as long (13:34) to launch LRTimelapse 5 on the same M1 Mac Mini. This is because LRTimelapse isn't running native. Instead, it is running an emulator called Rosetta.
You may have also notice that performance on my Intel based MacBook Pro, didn't have much difference. Technically LRTL6 (LRTimelapse 6) did boot faster (9:57), compared to (10:50) for LRTimelapse 5 (LRTL5)...but only by a single second. This isn't that impressive by itself. In all honesty it was pretty minimal in difference. So where is the major performance increase promised in Gunther's blog on LRTimelapse.com? ("LRTimelapse 6 is released: with many new features and improved performance!") It's in the loading of sequences and their camera previews that I saw the most drastic performance improvements. This can be seen by watching the second video below.
LRTimelapse 6 Loads Sequences Drastically Faster!
It's pretty clear that LRTL6 loads sequences drastically faster. When you watch the video above you'll see the astonishing results that honestly kind of surprised me. I expected the M1 Mac Mini to win (running LRTL6) but not at the pace it did. The M1 Mac Mini took only 15 seconds to load the 446 raw sequence into LRTL6 compared to the 21:23 it took the 2019 MacBook Pro. Unlike the previous test, LRTL6 performance was noticeably faster as promised!
The M1 Mac Mini loaded LRTL6 almost 3x as fast (15:00) compared to LRTL5 in Rosetta emulation which was 40:50. Where as the 2019 MacBook Pro loaded LRTL6 (21:23) just over 2x faster to load, compared to LRTL5 on the same machine at 47:18
For those of you who are running faster chips on PCs with more cores such as an Intel or AMD CPU, or Apple M1 Pro, Max, or Ultra, then your performance should be even better than mine! Gunther in his LRTimelapse 6 release video basically states that more cores, faster SSDs = better performance.
While the sequence loading was the most noticeable performance improvements I've seen, I can't wait to test the performance of LRTimelapse 6 on a computer with significantly more cores than my M1 Mac mini 8 core or my laptop.
Believe it or not, it is now possible to completely render out a raw time-lapse sequence from start to finished without the need for Adobe Lightroom Classic. This includes the processing of more complex time-lapses such as Holy Grail's.
This is thanks to the internal editing sliders you will now notice on the right hand side of LRTimelapse 6. You can then edit your key frames, auto-transition them, de-flicker and then export using an internal render engine.
While this is impressive features, I must disclose that this features come with some noticeable limitations. Limitations that I think will limit many professional users from using them. Let me explain next.
The workflows have been reduced to two. 99%+ of users are going to use the Visual Workflow. This is because it can handle nearly any kind of time-lapse job. When you begin to edit your first time lapse in LRTimelapse 6, you may notice that the "reload" button has now moved from the left side (within the flow) to the right. This is because the reload button is virtually not needed like it use to be. When you get done editing your keyframes Lightroom, the updated metadata is automatically important and you can move straight to Auto Transition.
After LRTimelapse 6 calculates the "Auto Transition," the visual previews begin to build automatically. This is really nice, especially if you are a pro user trying to rendering the time-lapses are quickly as possible. I also believe that LRTimelapse 6 does a great job rendering out the visual previews slightly faster. It isn't as noticeable as what I see when it comes to loading the sequence, but because it can take full advantage of my M1 chip without running the Rosetta emulation, it will defiantly be a noticeable improvement for Apple Silicon computers.
Better Folder Management
There is a couple of new folder management features worth noting especially for users with a lot of time-lapses in various folders. Probably my favorite feature with folder management is the ability to restrict which folders you see. When you look at the photo on the left, you see lots of folders in which I personally do not have time-lapse in. Instead, I can restrict what LRTimelapse shows me to just my "Timelapse" folder as you see in the center image.
Finally depicted in the image on the right, is you can right click on individual Timelapse folders and add folder ratings. This includes star rating and other various icons that you can use to develop your own system.
Improved Render Menu
For those of you who use LRTimelapse to render your intermediary sequences (sequences that are exported from Lightroom) you now are able to render with presets with just one click. These presets atomically change render settings instantly. This is something that I personally like. This is because sometimes my clients require different formats, so being able to have a preset for those various formats, is time saving.
Finally I should mention for those of you that like to crop your time-lapses before you render this next feature is fore you. You now can choose various aspect ratios including vertical ratios. This is pretty cool for content creators that one to publish their time-lapses on social media, or their website without the need of using a non-linear video editing program like FCPX or Adobe Premier.
Feature Comparison Between Free, Private and Pro Licenses.
If you'd like to know what the difference between the Free (evolution), private and pro licenses, simply click on the box below!
Should You Purchase (New Users)
LRTimelapse 6 is a piece of software that EVERY time-lapse photographer (amateur or professional) should eventually purchase! It has many useful features that have helped take my work to the next level. The software is also fairly intuitive, and easy to learn especially after watching the tutorial videos found on LRTimelapse.com. If you are serious about learning time-lapse or want to take your work to the next level, then understand that LRTimelapse is that cornerstone potentially missing from your workflow..
However, at 99.00 € (Euros) for a private license and 249.00 € for a professional license, LRTimelapse 6 may not be in every photographer's budget. Photography isn't cheap, neither is excellent software. However, if you can't afford it now, then consider saving for it. Make it be your next photography purchase! In the meantime, check out the Free Evaluation version of LRTimelapse 6 and see for yourself how amazing this software is!
Is it Worth the Upgrade Price (Existing Users)
Apple Silcon (M1) Computer Users
If you are the user (professional or hobbyist) of an Apple Silicon Chip computer (M1, M1 Pro, M1 Max, & M1 Ultra) then this is a no brainer! Purchase the upgrade! You'll appreciate it, especially now that the software run natively without the need for the Rosetta Emulator. In my experience with my base model Mac Mini M1, the performance improvements are night and day.
If you are a professional, then the answer is YES! With the noticeable performance improvements and new time-saving features like Folder Management, & Render Presets, I personally think the upgrade is worth it. While the upgrade may seem like a considerable investment to some professional user, it's very comparable to what you would pay for the Adobe Creative Cloud Photography plan annually at $119.88USD or $9.99USD per month. and
In my personal opinion upgrading your private license depends on a few factors; including which version of LRTimelapse you have, if you have Apple Silicon computer, and if you think you'll ever sell any of your work. If you think you could sell your work, then consider the upgrade. If not or if you want more factors to weigh, then here is my opinion based on which version of LRTimelapse you have.
LRTimelapse 5 Users
For most LRTimelapse 5 hobbyist (unless you have or plan to have an Apple Silicon computer), I'm not sure it is necessary for you to upgrade. This is because LRTimelapse is already an impressive piece of software, and some of the new features that I like the most, seem to be geared more towards professional users. While I'm not against you upgrading, you will probably be ok with waiting a few more years before you upgrade to what will be Version 7. However, if you think you'll eventually license some of your work, or if there is a chance, then consider a cross grade of your license (private to pro). For more information about cross-grades, see the next section below).
LRTimelapse 4 Users
If you a user of LRTimelapse 4, then I would say this is defiantly a time to upgrade. Version 5 was a huge upgrade and you'll get all the features of LRTimelapse 5, plus the new features mentioned above by upgrading to LRTimelapse 6. Also if you think you'll ever license some of your work, then consider a cross-grade from your private license to pro.
LRTimelapse 5 introduced new features including:
- Multi-Pass Deflicker Tool
- Multiple Time Lapse Export/Rendering
- Render Preview Video With Shortcut Icon (Low-Resolution Video Created from the Visual Previews)
- Create Time Lapse Compositions
- High-Resolution Icons
- Workflow Indicators
- ImprovedHoly Grail Wizard. It is now more powerful and forgiving.
- Faster & Improved "Visual Previews" thanks to the software's ability to use all the cores of your Mac or PC
Why You Should Consider Crossgrading Your License (Private to Pro License)
One reason you may consider purchasing a crossgrade license is that you will be allowed to use the software commercially. The idea is merely for the ability to sell your work. I've been fortunate enough to capture something that went viral online (video below). In fact, at one point it was the #1 Trending item on Facebook. As you can imagine, I got calls from people and places all over the world wanting to use my time lapse in TV news, television shows, documentaries, and even for research.
The same thing could happen to you! While it may be tempting to give your work away for free or for "credit," you're only hurting yourself in the long run, and allowing people to make money off your work without a dime going back to you. Also, think about all the money you invested in your camera, lenses, and software. Why not try to recoup some of that investment? If your work has value, then let people pay you for it! There is nothing wrong in asking for compensation. Companies are willing to pay a fair licensing fee for quality content. A Pro license will also give you many other professional features including:
- Batch Processing (For Previews Creation, Deflicker)
- Higher Resolutions than 4K (5k, 6k, 8k, Orginal)
- ProRes 4:2:2 and ProRes 4:4:4 rendering.
- Advanced Motion Blur
- Timestamp and Watermark Overlays.
Disclaimer: While I am an affiliate of LRTimelapse, my original review (LRTimelapse 4 | Professional Time Lapse Software Review) was organically created out of my own desire to self-promote amazing software. At the time of this review, I AM a paid Pro License holder of LRTimelapse 3. However, in exchange for my reviews and promotions, I've been able to try out new versions of the software (LRTimelapse 4,5, and now 6). Please also understand that by clicking on any "Buy Now" link, you are clicking on an affiliate link. Affiliate links are designed to track the referral source of traffic. Any user who uses one of these links, and then ultimately makes a purchase at LRTimelapse.com (at no additional cost to you) will ultimately provide a commission to me as the affiliate. These commissions help fund this blog and allows me to create more content like this.
For more information this please visit my "Affiliate Disclaimer" page at the link in the footer below.