Greetings Lightroom enthusiasts,
On Monday, January 9th, 2012 at 9:00 PM Pacific Time, Adobe announced a public beta for the next major upgrade in its industry-leading photographic asset management software, Adobe Photoshop Lightroom. Here is a brief summary of what is new and what I find exciting about the new release.
My Ten Biggies
Some of these are the features the public clamored for and while they don’t appeal necessarily to all users, I think there is ample feature growth and refinement for everyone. The others are features that get me excited about the new release. I have detailed separately the crop-specific enhancements on my Holy Crop! blog. You can read that entry here. So, in no particular order…
- New Module: Maps
GPS and Mapping support has found its way into Lightroom. There is now a Map module designed to allow you to manage your shots and where they were captured. Maps is primarily a metadata management system.
- New Module: Books
The Book Module fills a gaping need in many people’s output workflow. The basic tools are there to layout your pages, add and format text and create a finished product ready for uploading. Right now, the output is designed around the PDF and Blurb engines.
- Library – Global Flags
In the past, flags were unique to collections/folder and the like. If you picked an image in a collection it wouldn’t necessarily be picked elsewhere. That lead to some convoluted workflow. More people should be able to get their heads around the new model.
- Library – Layout Overlay
The Layout Overlay is of particular value to the the tethered shooter. It provides the ability to overlay a graphic onto an image in the Loupe mode of the Library Module. Now, if you are shooting with the art director of Nat Geo, you can put their cover on every shot as it comes into the machine.
- Library – Drag Multiple Folders
In previous versions of Lightroom, you were limited in your disk clean up by the inability to drag more than one folder at a time. This has now changed and should ease a prominent pain point.
- Develop – Process Version 2012
This is a biggie. The Raw engine has been revamped again and wow! Images upgraded to PV2012 now have a different selection of basic development tools. Greater control over the Raw rendering process can be had through a series of new PV2012 Sliders. The Brightness. Recovery and Fill Light Slider are gone in PV2012 and are replaced with a Highlight, Shadows, Whites sliders. Each has positive and negative ranges to provide you with maximum flexibility.
- Develop – Soft Proofing
Probably one of the most-requested Lightroom features is the ability to soft proof for screen and print output. The tool bar in Develop is your ticket to a check mark that will enable a proofing dialog beneath the histogram. The ability to create a Virtual Proof Copy is a key component of this new feature. If you have a calibrated and profiled system, this should enable you to dial in your output with greater accuracy.
- Develop – Enhanced Local Corrections
Whether you are a fan of the Adjustment Brush or the Graduated filter, you are sure to be pleased with the additional adjustment available in LR4. The new Highlights and Shadows sliders are now available as well as the ability to brush in (or out) Noise and Moiré. Of special significance is the ability to control White Balance locally via a local adjustment for Temperature and Tint for those sunlight/shade images.
- Develop/Export – Lossy DNG
Lossy DNG may seem like one of those ‘why did they do that’ kind of features. It can cause some trouble for sure. It can also allow you to do some pretty cool things like archive in smaller space your not-so-perfect shots. It can also allow you to carry temporary versions of your catalog and use Develop module to change your images and reintegrate with your master catalog. You can always chose not to use it.
- Print – Adjust Print Brightness
If you are the ultimate print tweaker you will love this! At the bottom of the Print Job panel is a new Print Adjustment feature that allows you to further tweak a print after you just love it in Develop. If you are one of those people with overclocked brightness on your monitor or wondering why you always get a darker print, this new feature will save your day.
Those are my top ten features of the Lightroom 4 Public Beta. There are many many more features, augments and bug fixes and many of the other blogs will be covering them in detail. I recommend you check them out.
These are the links to the public beta pages:
Public Beta Site: http://labs.adobe.com/technologies/lightroom4/
Rikk Flohr © 2012