Initial thoughts with Lr5 Beta
Spot Healing Tool - it's changed obviously. You can kind of draw the shape you want.
1. You can customize the shape
2. The "visualize spots" option is convenient and seems to work well
3. Have the ability to clone out some items as long as the surrounding area fits it pretty well
1. You don't have a lot of control (size, shape, opacity, clone, heal). That seems like enough, but "heal" will let the object you are trying to remove show through. Clone generally doesn't match texture very well, so you see the spot. Some amount of "feathering" would help here I think.
2. The "matching" engine sometimes chooses something wildly inappropriate for the area (this is when attempting to clone out something).
Overall it's a nice addition with improved functionality. I put it through a difficult test, but I think for simpler edits it may work just fine (taking a leaf out of the sky for example). I don't think it will keep you out of Ps if you have any heavy cloning/manipulation to do.
LAB color reading
SO happy to have this, I understand the coordinates much easier than looking at RGB percentages. Way to go Adobe.
Seems to work by isolating what's in the filter, though I haven't played with it extensively yet. Example, surrounding and object with it then decrease exposure.. everything around the filter decreases exposure. Your object remains the same as before. It does seem to feather the adjustment from the edges in. I can see this working pretty nice in certain situations.
***Edit: You can invert the behavior. I had an idea to use it to "fix" a sky where I used an CPL on a wide angle lens. I have to say, it works pretty darn good. You have all the same functions you would with a normal graduated filter.
Performance seems about the same overall, although I only imported about 50 images to play with. I'd say it's a worthwhile upgrade so far.