It does have RGB curves.
Brightness is no longer necessary.
Try this - use exposure to set midtones. Use contrast to set overall contrast, and use highlights and shadows to adjust those.
My experience is that the exposure is set about right when the highlights and shadows end up with about the same magnitude but opposte sign.
What I'll miss about Brightness is the simplicity of it: just a quick, broad midtone tweak. It was also very useful to match camera picture settings. For example, if I bump brightness in camera (I shoot a lot of arena sports where there are lots of shadows and highlights and the midtone bump is needed) a simple Brightness bump in the Develop module very closely matches the change when using the same Adobe picture setting (ex. Nikon Dx Mode III).
Would love to see this reintroduced right below the Exposure/Contrast sliders.
Lee Jay wrote:
It's different but still affects much more than midtone, but you can use contrast and highlights to bring the highlights back.
That's the point - multiple sliders to do what just one achieved in the past. Yes, the extra control is welcome and will undoubtedly benefit the quality of development that can be done. But where a quick fix is desired with minimal interaction one slider is better than three. As it is Lightroom is too slow and the additional sliders mean more lag time between adjust and result (performance still perplexes me as I work with a quad-core Mac Pro with 16GB of RAM and plenty of fast hard drive space).
And, again, I appreciate that there are other ways to do this be it combinations of sliders or creating presets. But these are all workarounds to what was previously a simple function which is the point I'm trying to make. Once I really start to play with it and get used to the new format I will adapt. It's not a deal breaker but simple is good when you're not dealing with critical images.
It is still simple. Just use the Exposure slider.
Exposure in 2012 has gotten "smarter." It knows where the highlights of your image are, and will try to protect them (the way Brightness would). It's actually better than the old Brightness because it wouldn't just roll off the highlights endlessly (resulting in muddy highlights). It's also better than the old Exposure because it wouldn't just clip the highlights (resulting in harsh digital look).
So it would seem now...
This seems more intuitive as before you would use Exposure to set white point.
Interesting find/tip: there are now five zones to the Development histogram. I tend to drag on this histogram directly rather than the sliders. Now the zones are, from left to right: blacks, shadows, exposure, highlights, whites. Very, very intuitive. Nicely done. That said, it is odd that the left-to-right order of the histogram zones do not have a corresponding up-down order for the sliders...
Histogram Zone Order (left-to-right)...
Slider Order (top down)...
Always a personal preference thing but the inconsistency is kind of weird. My brain is linear so the OCD thing is kicking in here.
The top-down thing is supposed to be the best order in which to adjust them for optimal results and intuitiveness. The left-to-right thing in the histogram has to follow the histogram, and doing it left-to-right isn't usually the best way.