Lightroom 3 won’t officially be released until 2010, but tonight Adobe Labs announced the release of its first public beta. If you want to try it out, kick the tires, and join in providing feedback to Adobe on LR3, click here to go to Adobe Labs and download the software.
Is it all we need in LR? No (for one thing, we absolutely need soft proofing.) Is it a step in the right direction? Yes. There are feature enhancements, but importantly, Adobe has focused on improving performance by rebuilding the LR architecture. Adobe recognizes that we are building very large catalogs of images, and that we need LR to handle them quickly and efficiently.
Here are some of the feature enhancements Adobe Labs lists:
- State-of-the-art noise reduction to help you perfect your high ISO shots
- Watermarking tool that helps you customize and protect your images with ease
- Portable sharable slideshows with audio—designed to give you more flexibility and impact on how you choose to share your images, you can now save and export your slideshows as videos and include audio
- Flexible customizable print package creation so your print package layouts are all your own
- Film grain simulation tool for enhancing your images to look as gritty as you want
- New import handling designed to make importing streamlined and easy
- More flexible online publishing options so you can post your images online to certain online photo sharing sites directly from inside Lightroom 3 beta (may require third-party plug-ins)*
There are links on the Labs site to videos introducing the new beta features.
In addition, there are alot of little improvements throughout the program. For example, when using the adjustment brush, you can double-click on the word “Effects” to reset all settings, and on the word Color to reset the color swatch to none. Look for these improvements everywhere!
I’ll be curious to hear your experiences with performance… is it better? Much better?
Once you try LR3, you can provide feedback to Adobe in the LR3 forum. Remember, this is a beta release, so expect bugs and help Adobe out by reporting these bugs.