I'd skipped Lightroom 5, mostly because it included zero features that I thought were useful to me. Lightroom 6, however, featured several features that I thought were potentially ground-breaking:
- Photo-Merge: including merge to Panorama and merge to HDR. I hadn't been experimenting with HDR, but prior to Lightroom 6, I was using Microsoft ICE to stitch images. It got to the point where I used a pre-set to automatically export and merge using Microsoft ICE via the command-line. The benefit of Lightroom doing it all internally is that you end up with a RAW merged file, which means that you can use ND grad filters and other tools uniformly across the final image. This is huge! Suffice to say that I would have paid the upgrade price (albeit reduced because of an employee discount) just for this feature alone.
- Face recognition. I gave up tagging all my kids photos manually because it was too much work. It'd be nice for this to be fully automated.
- Performance. While my i7 920 is still faster than most machines out there (very impressive given its age --- but mostly an indictment of how laptops have taken over the world), I also have a high end GPU sitting in the machine that's just begging to be used. Lightroom 6 promised to make use of this otherwise idle silicon. More performance is always good!