I have been running the retail code of Lightroom 5 this morning and it appears to work well.
As in the beta I’m particularly pleased that the delay in going from the library to develop module has been considerably reduced compared to Lightroom 4. The only other significant improvement is the smart preview technology which helps working on the collection away from base on a space restricted laptop.
Other new features are a bit so-so, nothing to dramatically improve client workflow other than the improvements mentioned above. You can read an independent review about the changes here:
It is possible to install Lightroom 5 alongside Lightroom 4 but I suggest existing clients not yet convert their working catalogues over to Lightroom 5 for a week or two just in case there are any surprises, if there is money involved then best tread carefully.
Lightroom 5 is available as a new or update perpetual licence though a cloud version is/will be available for those who like to spend more in the long term (and lose the right to use their catalogue it if they stop paying every month)
Having used Lightroom 5 across several updated catalogues as well as using it at a live capture NEXT flowers shoot supporting Clive Nichols I’m happy to report that I have not come across any glitches and consider version 5 to be my main choice when running Lightroom.
Updating older catalogues:
Make sure you have a backup of your main catalogue first:
Run Lightroom 3 or 4 and open your main catalogue. If closing the catalogue doesn’t give you the backup dialogue then open it again and select the following Lightroom menu item: Edit : Catalogue settings. From the General tab select “When Lightroom next exists” from the backup drop down. Exit Lightroom and make sure you select the “Back up” button.
Do not uninstall Lightroom 4 just yet.
Purchase the Lighroom 5 update and download it.
Install Lightroom 5, it should start up and offer to convert the most recently used catalogue, say yes to this.
That should be it, leave Lightroom 4 where it is for now but use Lightroom 5.