Adobe have just announced the release of Adobe Lightroom 3.0 Public Beta 2!
Here’s the official announcement: http://blogs.adobe.com/lightroomjournal/
And the download link, of course! http://labs.adobe.com/technologies/lightroom3/
So what’s new so far…? I’ve included the details from beta 1, for those who are interested, and the features new to beta 2 are in bright red….
Camera support brings it level with 2.6, so added:
- Canon 1D Mk4, 7D, G11, S90
- Leaf Aptus-II 5
- Mamiya DM22, DM28, DM33, DM56, M18, M22, M31
- Nikon D3s
- Olympus E-P2
- Panasonic DMC-FZ38
- Pentax K-x
- Sigma DP1s
- Sony A500, A550, A850
And also now adds preliminary support for:
- Canon 550D (Rebel T21/Kiss X4 Digital)
- Olympus E-PL1
- Panasonic G2, G10
- Sony A450
One of the primary improvements in 3.0 beta is image quality. Lightroom’s been taken back to its bare bones and the raw processing engine has been given a complete overhaul. Even the demosaic algorithms have been substantially improved to give a cleaner file which will respond better to subsequent noise reduction and sharpening.
While Lightroom was back on the drawing board, the underlying architecture has been completely reworked to improve the performance, particularly with large catalogs. It’s still a work in progress, but the basis is there for a great final release.
The preview system has also been redeveloped, so the thumbnail grid won’t keep going fuzzy as you scroll!
- Entirely new Import dialog, with compact and expanded views, depending on the level of control you need.
- It has panels like the main modules, including Source and Destination.
- Folder browsing has improved – you can now dock and undock folders to navigate through deep hierarchies.
- Destination folders that will be created by the import as shown in italics so you can see exactly what will happen.
- Import presets can now be saved and reused in both compact and expanded views.
- There’s a new Loupe view within the Import dialog for viewing embedded previews. Loupe view now works from memory cards as well as hard drives.
- The import backup now backs up with the new filenames if you’re renaming while importing.
- Performance has improved, and it doesn’t start scanning until you select a folder.
- CMYK files can now be imported, although all editing and output will still be RGB.
- Video files from most digital cameras can now be imported and managed like photos. It’s stopped crashing!
- If you right-click on a folder in Library module, there’s an ‘Import into this Folder’ option which opens the Import dialog and automatically sets the Destination folder.
- Publish Services
- Publish Services provides integration with photo sharing websites, keeping them up to date with the changes you make in your Lightroom catalog.
- Sync runs 2-way, so comments made on your Flickr account appear back in Lightroom.
- Flickr is the first to be available and more are sure to follow.
- Additional title options for uploading to Flickr.
- Added option to limit to kb size which automatically adjusts quality setting.
- Sync to hard drive is also available, and useful for syncing photos to your iPhone, screensaver, other networked computers, etc.
- Republishing a file now replaces the existing file for Pro accounts without breaking the link to the page.
- Publish will now allow you to upload a video too.
- Video Management
- Videos can be tagged, rated, filtered, added to collections, saved in smart collections, and managed just like the rest of your photos.
- The little video camera icon identifies the videos and shows the length.
- Double clicking on the video, or clicking on the icon, will launch the video in your default video software.
- Video support does not include editing within LR – that’s not its job.
- No need for extra software or watched folders – built-in tethering makes its debut!
- Limited set of certified cameras to start with, but more will be added. The officially supported list is: Canon 1Ds Mk2*, 1D Mk3, 1Ds Mk3, 1D Mk4, 5D*, 5D Mark II, EOS 40D, 450D, 500D, EOS 7D, EOS 1000D, Nikon D3, D3X, D3s, D300, D300s, D5000, D700, D90. Other Canon cameras may also already work, other Nikon options are a bit more limited at the moment.
- You can view the camera settings but you can’t change them remotely.
- Process Version
- Because so much work has been done on the base ACR engine, a ‘process version’ has been introduced to differentiate between the old process and new processes.
- Process versions 1 and 2 have been renamed 2003 and 2010, relating to the year that processing was introduced
- Any images with existing settings will be set to the old 2003 process version to get an almost identical rendering as previous versions. Any new images imported into 3.0 beta will be assigned the new process version.
- There’s a warning exclamation mark to the lower right of the image (it’s moved) if it’s set to the old 2003 process version – click it if you want to update. You can also find process version under the Settings menu, in the Calibration panel and the Sync dialog, as well as the right-click menus).
- New 2010 process version affects highlight recovery, fill light, sharpening & noise reduction, but not the post-crop vignette any more.
- 3.0 beta will not be fully compatible with any ACR version at this point in time. Rendering may vary depending on the settings used – for example, noise reduction for images set to PV2010 would render very differently using ACR 5.6 and LR 3.0 beta.
- Point curves make an appearance by popular demand!
- Noise Reduction & Sharpening
- Lots of work has been done on improving the noise reduction without losing fine detail.
- Color noise reduction is already vastly improved, and has been tweaked further for this beta 2.
- Luminance noise reduction is now enabled again for the 2010 process version, and it’s very very good.
- There are now extra sliders, but don’t feel you have to use them on every image – they’re there for control over particularly difficult images.
- There’s a new Edge Detail slider which refines the edges on extremely noisy images at extremely high ISO.
- Values have changed – old settings updated to the new process version may be too strong.
- There have also been subtle changes to the capture sharpening.
- The Develop preview now shows sharpening & noise reduction at less than 1:1 view when using PV2010.
- Film-style grain sliders added give a very natural looking grain.
- It shares a new Effects panel with Post-Crop Vignette.
- Post-Crop Vignette
- New more natural vignette instead of just painting white or black on the edges.
- Color Priority mode retains more natural colours under the vignette with softer shadow transitions.
- Highlight Priority remains heavily saturated under the vignette.
- Paint Overlay brings back the effect of the post-crop vignette in LR2.
- Highlights slider brightens the highlights under a dark vignette.
- Adjustment Brush
- The buttons are gone, so it’s now either a single drop-down and amount slider, or the range of sliders.
- New icon shows when no color tint is being applied.
- Show/hide pins and overlays are now in the toolbar when the Brush/Gradient are active, so no more having to remember the shortcuts.
- Oh, I missed one! The sharpening adjustment brush, when set to -50 or greater, now becomes a ‘blur’ brush!
- The list of crop ratios has been tidied up to combine identical ratios like 2×3 and 4×6.
- There’s now a keyboard shortcut to swap crop orientation, for those who hate the magic touch required to swap it – press the X key!
- Slideshows can now be exported to MP4 video format for uploading to video sharing websites, including your music track. It now prepares previews in advance so your slideshow doesn’t stall.
- Mac version is no longer tied to iTunes, matching the Windows behaviour.
- You can now sync the length of the slides to the music track length.
- Custom Print Package
- New custom layout option for different images in different sizes (without resorting to hacks!)
- Drag and drop to create a flexible layout.
- Images can now rotate within the cells for better print layout.
- Page background color can now be changed.
- Maximum print resolution has increased to 1200ppi.
- Website developers can now write in ActionScript3.
- New watermarking allows a simple text or graphic watermark to be applied in Export, Publish, Print and Web… and now Slideshow too.
- Watermarking has improved further in beta 2, allowing different positioning and sizing options.
- Export can now be limited to a kb size which automatically adjusts the quality slider – great for uploading to websites.
- One bug to look out for, which is yet to be fixed – don’t take a jpeg original and try to export over the top with it set to ‘overwrite without warning’ as it will delete the file. You have been warned!
- Backup has moved to quit rather than startup, by popular demand!
- There’s a new checkbox in the backup dialog to run optimize catalog after the backup.
A couple of keyboard shortcut changes
- Auto-Sync is Ctrl-Alt-Shift-A (Windows) / Cmd-Opt-Shift-A (Mac)
- Match Total Exposures is Ctrl-Alt-Shift-M (Windows) / Cmd-Opt-Shift-M
- Crop to Same Aspect Ratio is now Shift-A not S
- Switch Crop Aspect Ratio is new – X
- Hide Tethered is Ctrl-T (Windows) / Cmd-T (Mac)
- New Tethered Shot is Ctrl-Shift-T (Windows) / Cmd-Shift-T (Mac)
- Spot Removal is now Q, not N, freeing up N to go back to Survey mode, as per Library module
- I’m busy working on the updated shortcut sheets ready for final release
Other bits and pieces
- The breadcrumbs bar on the filmstrip now has a Favorite Sources option.
- The Select Catalog dialog has had a facelift.
- Library menu > Find Missing Photos creates a temporary collection of all missing photos instead of having to go through Synchronize Folder.
- Camera raw cache can now be increased to 200gb, from a previous limit of 50gb. That’s a great help for speed!
- Only English is officially supported for this beta, but it works in all of the standard Lightroom languages too.
System Spec Changes
- System specs have increased to a minimum of 2gb of RAM on Windows
- No more PPC for Mac, Intel processors only.
- No more Tiger – Leopard or Snow Leopard only.
This is still a beta – not a release candidate – so there are still bugs. It’s not likely to blow up your computer, but you are strongly recommended not to switch your entire workflow over to the beta at this stage. It won’t allow you to upgrade 2.x catalogs to the beta, but the final release will.
Lightroom 3 Beta is still not quite feature-complete – there’s more yet to come in the final release.
My Lightroom 3 book is already getting a great reception, and I’ve received loads of really positive emails, so thank you very much! I’m just finishing off the beta 2 update, which should be emailed out in the next day or so, and you can read the sample sections and download it right now from http://www.lightroomqueen.com/lrqebook3.php I’ll get back to finishing the formatting now, while you go and play with the beta! Have fun!