Thursday, May 10, 2012

Lightroom 4 Beta – First Impressions

Adobe just released a new version of Lightroom in the market and it has created quite a buzz in the photography community.You can download it from the Adobe Labs site and use it for free till the 31st of March 2012.  What’s great is that you do not need a previous Lightroom version for this, all you need is to create a free account  with Adobe.
This version comes loaded with a variety of new features, although the interface still looks the same (Thank God for this!)
Here are the additions over Lightroom3:
Two new modules: Map and Book
  •  Book Module
This module is a whole new step towards simplifying photo-book creation. And once you are done creating your book, you can export it as a PDF. Another cool feature is the ability to publish the book  directly to Blurb.
  • Map module
This module is an excellent example of Adobe’s continuous innovation. It can find and group images by location, by reading data   from GPS enabled cameras. But if you don’t own a GPS enabled camera (like most of us!), then you can also assign locations to your images by simple drag and drop.
New local adjustment features
Now you can use the Local adjustment brush to adjust white balance, control noise and remove moiré.
New tonal adjustment controls
Shadows and Highlights have been introduced to the basic panel, replacing the old Recovery and Fill Light. These are far more powerful and cover the entire dynamic range.
Soft Proofing
We all have had experiences when we have our “perfect” images printed and they do not look so perfect anymore. Soft proofing can be used to work around this problem.
It allows you to work on a ‘proof copy’ and tweak images specific to the printer’s RGB profile.
Increased Video Capability
With Lightroom 3, Adobe just hinted at adding video editing features. What you could do at most was import and tag video clips, but for anything more we needed to use an external application. With the new version, Adobe has taken a deep plunge into video-editing! Now you can play the video, trim, extract frames, change its exposure and play with colour effects. And there is more; you can also share the video directly to Flickr and Facebook.
Lightroom now allows you to configure your Gmail, AOL and other email accounts, which you can then use to directly email images.
So overall, it is a well-rounded update of the software. This version did surprise me on few aspects, but till now they have been all pleasant surprises!

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