What follows is brief breakdown of my favorite new features, module-by-module.
Tethering – It is now possible (depending upon camera manufacturer and model) to connect your DSLR directly to Lightroom. You can trigger the shutter as well as capture the images directly to your catalog.
Publish Collections – allow you to create collections of images stored in local locations or on the web. The feature allows you to leverage smart collections to effectively cull and add to existing collections whether on a drive or on a photo sharing service.
Extended Metadata – Metadata information has been extended to include IPTC Extension data. This is a welcome addition.
Import Module – Has been complete revamped and now looks more like a module than a dialog. It has a nifty left-right kind of flow and offers better functionality for previewing images prior to import.
Video Import – Cameras which shoot video can now have these assets managed by Lightroom on import. No editing functionality exists but your LR catalog will keep track of metadata and file operations for your video files.
Catalog Backup – By request this is now available at the end of your LR session. Not sure how I feel about it but it is a significant change.
Process Version 2010 – The RAW conversion algorithms have been reworked and the result is huge improvements in Noise Reduction, Sharpening and overall image quality.
Lens Corrections – LR 3.0 now allows you to correct for Perspective Distortions, Lens Distortions and Chromatic Aberrations. You can do this manually or with supplied and/or custom-created profiles for your lens.
Vignetting Enhancements – Post-crop vignetting comes of age in LR 3.0 with multiple priority choices to modify the feel of your Vignette.
Grain – To achieve a film look or to give your prints a little texture, the Grain tool has been added.
Point Curve – Editable, savable Tone Curves are now possible in LR via the Point Curve function. More control than ever before is now possible in Tone Curve.
Collections in Develop Module – The Collections panel has been added to Develop giving you access via the panel and the Filmstrip to get to any photo quickly without leaving Develop.
Quick Crop Orientation Change – X marks the spot. Having trouble with your crop being landscape when you wanted a portrait crop? X will do it for you. Another huge sleeper feature.
Export to Video – Slide shows are now exportable to a variety of video formats.
Better Sound Control – The sound controls are better in 3.0. You no longer have to work from a folder but can select a song directly. New tools show you how your song’s play time integrates with the number of slides, length of display, transition, etc.
720 DPI! – DPIs larger than 480 are now available. Epson fans will love the new 720 max DPI. Canon fans will love the new 600.
Custom Picture Package – Before you could get one page of many pictures-all the same size or one page of many sizes – all the same picture. Now you can get the best of both worlds: different sizes of different pictures on the same page!
Page Background Color – It is now possible to select a background color of your page so that you are no longer limited to printing on a white field.
Watermarking Feature – Watermarking with either text or graphics has been greatly enhanced in LR 3.0 with the new Watermark Editor. It is available from a variety of dialogs and offers you savable presets that you can use over and over again.
No More Grayscale – The Team scrubbed LR for any mention of the word Grayscale (a term long associated with graphic design) Now, this is a Photography program, and we take Black and White photos-not grayscale. A subtle change but one that underscores the idea that this is a photographer’s tool-unlike Photoshop which is a designer’s tool.
There are many more features, changes and augments that are included making Lightroom 3 worthy of a full upgrade. I am certain I missed some along the way but these are the features that excite me most. I can’t wait to make the new Lightroom part of my workflow.
Look for some new Lightroom 3.0 Videos on my YouTube Channel in the coming months.
For a more comprehensive list of changes check out the Lightroom Queen’s Blog.
Rikk Flohr © 2010