Adobe Systems Incorporated (Nasdaq:ADBE) introduced Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 3 beta software for Macintosh and Windows, a public preview of new and improved functionality to be delivered in the next major release. Available as a free download on Adobe Labs, Lightroom 3 beta delivers a preview of new tools that will be in Lightroom 3, including more intuitive importing, unparalleled noise reduction and sharpening tools, enhanced slideshow capabilities and direct publishing to online photo sharing sites like Flickr. Adobe encourages photographers to test this early selection of new features and provide the product team with their feedback.
“We are extremely fortunate that a strong community of photographers have rallied around Lightroom, helping to evolve the application and making it a meaningful part of their photographic workflows,” said Kevin Connor, vice president of product management for Professional Digital Imaging at Adobe. “While we’re still hard at work on Lightroom 3, we recognize the value our customers bring to the development process and want their input so we can deliver the best final product possible.”
Lightroom 3 beta has been completely redesigned with under-the-hood efficiencies to better handle growing image libraries and improve responsiveness with a higher-quality processing engine. In the Library module, a rebuilt import system makes bringing photos into the software more intuitive. Users can easily specify the source and destination of their images, and save common processing, metadata or destination settings as easy-to-reuse presets.
The Library module also includes new capabilities to publish collections on popular photo-sharing sites. Flickr users now have direct access to their accounts from within Lightroom and can drag and drop images directly into their Photostreams. Flickr Pro account users can automatically synch their images and even view comments made on Flickr directly within the Library. This functionality can be extended to additional sites by adding them as new plug-ins once they become available.
In the Develop module, an overhauled processing engine allows users to create the highest quality images. Improved Capture Sharpening and Color Noise Reduction tools provide superior results while still preserving an image’s edge detail and contrast. A new Grain tool adds a film-style grain to images, and two new Vignette modes help photographers get a more natural look.
Lightroom 3 beta also offers advanced output options, including the ability to export slideshows as videos with audio and title screens that can be posted to video-sharing sites or optimized for mobile media. New watermarking capabilities enable photographers to embed text or graphic information directly on an image and then adjust the size, position and opacity. In addition, photographers can customize print layouts and save settings for future use, giving them refined control over their images.
Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 3 beta is available as a free download to anyone on both Macintosh and Windows platforms. Visit to learn more and download the beta. Feedback can be submitted on the Lightroom forums: http://forums.adobe.com/community/lightroom. Users also can connect with Adobe at www.facebook.com/lightroom or www.twitter.com/AdobeLR, and can add the tag #AdobeLR3beta to tweets about the Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 3 beta.