Lightroom 1.3 and ACR 4.3 have now been released! As usual, there’s a range of bug fixes and improvements behind the scenes, but here’s some of the important ones:
New cameras: Canon 1Ds Mark III, Canon Powershot G9, Nikon D3, Nikon D300, Olympus E-3, Olympus SP-560 UZ and Panasonic DMC-L10.
The Canon sRAW and Fuji compressed RAF formats are also now supported.
Leopard compatibility – the Print Module is now working again in 10.5.0 but can cause crashes in the new 10.5.1 release. Workaround for the moment – close the Preview panel, and don’t touch the ‘2-Up Greeting Card’ or ‘Triptych’ presets, as these consistently trigger a crash on Intel Macs. Avoiding the presets appears to prevent the crashes – normal controls appear to be ok.
Import from Device should now be working correctly again.
Noise reduction has improved further, fixing artifacts in edge transitions.
The previous performance hit when ‘Automatically write metadata to XMP‘ is turned on has been greatly improved, so it feels much faster.
Web Module has been given some attention and the Airtight Galleries (AutoViewer, Postcard Viewer and SimpleViewer) are now automatically included.
Minor UI adjustments include the Temperature and Blacks sliders which now move by more logical increments when you float over the slider and use the arrow keys to make adjustments. Temperature now moves in increments of 50, and Blacks moves in 1’s instead of 5’s.
The Export SDK (software development kit) has been released, which will enable third parties to build fully integrated ‘plug-ins’. These will initially be limited to Export only, allowing automatic FTP transfer, links with image sharing websites, direct communication with other programs, and so forth. There’s more information at http://www.labs.adobe.com/. Developers can post plug-ins or links to their plug-ins at http://www.adobe.com/go/lightroom_exchange
The Import dialog now has a dropdown menu for your preview rendering… you can now choose ‘Minimal’ (thumbnails), ‘Standard’ (normal previews), or ‘1:1’ (full size for zooming in).
Rendering previews on import has also changed slightly – it now imports and THEN renders the previews, so you can carry on with your next import while it’s working. Previously you had to wait for the import to complete.
By far the biggest change is Export. It has a brand new dialog!
Export presets have been extended and can be grouped into folders just like presets in the main modules.
There’s a new section at the top, which will allow third parties to add their own export options, such as export to FTP.
And the most obvious change is the resizing options. ‘Constrain Maximum Size‘ is gone, and has been replaced by a dropdown box of choices. You do still have the option of using Pixels, Inches or Centimetres in your measurements, and it now automatically converts your measurements when you flick between units.
This section has also gained a ‘Don’t Enlarge‘ checkbox – this will prevent small images from being upsized, whilst still downsizing images which are too large to fit your chosen dimensions.
So the new export options…
Width & Height
This behaves the same as the previous Lightroom releases, and like Fit Image and Image Processor in Photoshop. It fits the image within a bounding box in their current orientation.
It is width/height sensitive – settings of 400 wide by 600 high will give a 400×600 vertical image, but only a 400×267 horizontal image. To create images of up to 400×600 of either orientation, you’d have to enter a square bounding box of 600×600.
Dimensions works slightly differently. It still fits your image within a bounding box, but it’s a little more intelligent. It takes into account the rotation of the image, and it will make the image as big as it can within your bounding box, even if it has to turn the bounding box round to do so.
It is not width/height sensitive – settings of 400 wide by 600 high will give a 400×600 image, whether it’s vertical or horizontal. If your image is a different ratio, it will still make it as big as it can within those boundries. To create images of up to 400×600, you simply enter 400×600.
Longest Edge & Shortest Edge
These do exactly as the names suggest.
A setting of 10 inches long would give images of varying crops such as 3×10, 5×10, 7×10, 8×10, 10×10.
A setting of 5 inches along the shortest edge would give varying crops such as 5×5, 5×8, 5×10, 5×12.
Bear in mind that these measurements do still fall within the ACR limits to 10,000 pixels, so if your image will fall outside of this range according to the measurements you’ve set, Lightroom will simply make the image as big as it can.
A Final Reminder
Whilst every effort has been made to ensure that this release is as free of bugs as possible, it is inevitable that such a large group of users will find minor bugs. There hasn’t been time to add all of the new features that have been requested, but keep the requests going via the Adobe Feature Request / Bug Report page.
As usual, please make sure you have full backups before upgrading to the new release.
Feel free to drop by Lightroom Forums to discuss the new features! Have fun!