updated 12:30 am EDT, Tue June 8, 2010
New 64bit release offers watermark, output options
Adobe on Tuesday morning announced Photoshop Lightroom 3, an update to its digital photography workflow solution that allows photographers to quickly organize, enhance and showcase images. First released as a public beta in October 2009, the final version of Lightroom 3 introduces a completely redesigned performance-focused architecture that better handles growing image libraries and provides a more powerful raw processing engine with noise reduction and sharpening tools. Now 64-bit capable, Lightroom 3 also includes new features that optimize workflows and allow images to be shared in creative ways, including support for DSLR video files and tethered shooting on select cameras.
According to the company, Lightroom 3 was re-built from its core to provide "almost instantaneous" image loading, while the import experience has been redesigned to be more intuitive, with added previews and default selections for quickly sorting through and finding images.
Adobe also added new photographic tools, including new luminance and color noise reduction tools to help produce a clearer picture from high ISO or underexposed images while still preserving details. It also included a new Automatic Lens Correction feature to improve their photographs by apply profiles that correct for undesirable geometric distortions, chromatic aberrations, and lens vignette effects. In addition, a new straighten tool helps with vertical and horizontal perspective and more additional presets enables users to apply more photographic adjustment styles; three new contemporary vignette styles and a Grain effect also add a more natural look to images.
Version 3 also brings more output options. Users now have the ability to publish collections on online sharing sites and Flickr users have the ability to sync their accounts to Lightroom with one click. Adobe also noted that integration with additional online photo sharing sites can be added via third-party plug-ins. Finally, users can also customize print layouts provide for more refined control over presentation of final images, while new watermarking features deliver options to modify text, size, location and style. Lightroom 3 now also includes the ability to export polished slideshows as video files with the option to add audio and title screens.
Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 3 for Windows and Macintosh is available for $300 for new users or as a $100 upgrade for qualified registered Lightroom users. Recommended system requirements are Mac OS X Leopard v10.5 or Snow Leopard v10.6 with Intel-based processor and 2GB of RAM.