Adobe Lightroom 4 Beta
Posted by Mark Wilson , in Lightroom 10 January 2012 · 9,911 views
lightroom 4 beta
Exactly 6 years after the release of the first Lightroom Beta, Adobe have released the Beta version of Lightroom 4. Tom Hogarty made the announcement over on the official Lightroom blog: http://blogs.adobe.c...ghtroomjournal/
One of the best bits of news is that the Beta is free to all for the duration of the Beta program. You can download it from Adobe labs at: http://labs.adobe.co...ies/lightroom4/
The official forum for the release is at: http://forums.adobe....abs/lightroom4/
First things first, this is a shiny new toy but it is a Beta release of the software. This means that there are known issues in the product and Adobe may not have finalised all the features yet. Please makes sure you have back-ups of any photos and videos you play with inside Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 4 Beta.
Now you have been warned, head over to Adobe and download the Beta. Once it is installed fire it up. If you had a previous version of Lightroom installed, you will get a warning that your catalog is from a previous version. Basically you must start with a brand new Catalog, because it is a Beta and Adobe don't want you to break your precious photos and data!
You can install the Beta alongside Lightroom 3, although I haven't tried actually running both at the same time...
Once in Library, the first thing you will see is the Lightroom 4 Beta name...and a couple of extra modules - Map and Book. We'll look at those in a while.
Another visual update is the tips when you first enter a module. It gives you a quick run through the key features and I recommend taking a minute to see what they say.
As you might expect, there are a whole heap of improvements and changes to the product. Here are a few that caught my eye.
There are a couple of small changes in the Metadata with new panels for DNG and Video. This hints at some of the new functionality in the product, namely extra support for Video files and a new Export format - DNG with 'Lossy Compression'.
Talking of video...
It is now possible to play a video directly from within Lightroom 4 Beta and also there is the ability to:
- Change the Video thumbnail used in the grid and loupe (poster frame).
- Create JPEG snapshots that are stacked with the video
- Trim the video (In and Out)
- Export video
It is also possible to modify the video using the quick develop panel, even though video is not currently supported in the Develop module. The following adjustments are supported, either through direct controls or by applying a preset:
- White Balance
- Basic Tone
- Tone Curve
- Color Treatment
- Black and White
- Split Toning
- Process Version and Calibration
(Update: I have written more about video here)
The most obvious change is the new controls in the basic panel. These are designed to reflect the way we adjust our images and are very similar to those found in Adobe Carousel. Lightroom 4 Beta is on the left, Lightroom 3 on the right.
Behind the scenes, the new process version (PV 2012) has some significant improvements. My favourite is the improved detail from either end of the tone curve when applying adjustments. PV 2010 in Lightroom 3 looked very good, results from Lightroom 4 Beta look even better! The new content aware algorithms are excellent at finding and retaining detail in the shadows and highlights.
Chromatic Aberration has been updated and is now simply a tick-box fix option and the Clarity slider has been updated to improve results by reducing artifacts that can appear in certain situations (e.g. tree lines against a sky).
A significant change for those who print directly from Lightroom are the new Soft Proofing tools. These include visual previews, out-of-gamut warnings and use of virtual copies to save any profile specific adjustments you make.
Local adjustments have been updated to include Noise reduction, white balance and the new basic tone controls.
Before I forget, the presentation of presets is generally improved, allowing a structure to be built up rather than just a flat list.
Slideshow, Print and Web Modules
The three existing output modules have all seen a minor change - the ability to save the current output settings - a bit like a preset but specific to the selected photo(s). It made most sense to me in the context of creating a book (in the new book module, see below).
As part of the soft proofing changes, Print adjustment settings have been added to the Print Module.
Basically it is a geotagging module. The mapping is driven by Google, so will be familiar to many and you have the usual display options (roads, satellite, hybrid etc).
To tag a photo with a location, you simply need to drag and drop photos onto the right place on the map, just like geotagging in Flickr. The map then displays stacks of photos for each location, which can be saved for use later.
There is also the ability to import GPS tracklogs, which will then tag your photos with the location from the tracklog (assuming your GPS device and camera have their time synched correctly).
This new module pretty much does what it says on the tin - allows you to layout your photos in a photo-book. Adobe have included more than 180 page layouts, a clever auto-layout tool and easy to use drag and drop editing of the image locations etc.
Some of the layout options include:
- flexible cell padding
- dynamic location of photo captions
- Type tools based on those found in Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator
- Background graphics
A tight integration to Blurb even allows dynamic updating of price estimates as you create your book, simplifying the whole process of producing a physical book or you can output the book as a PDF and publish your masterpiece as an eBook!
So, there you have it. A quick overview of the features found in Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 4 Beta. There are plenty more new features and changes to the product as well as lots of detail to share on the new functionality and modules...but those will have to wait for another time.