Lightroom 3:

by Gavin Seim: Adobe is taking things up a notch once again. Lightroom 3 will bring lots of revamped and new features that should keep it’s current user base happy and continue to bring Lightroom converts into their fold.

Export HD video slodeshows with music.

Export HD video sideshows with music.

Yep, it just went into public beta and is available for everyone as a free download that stays active until April of 2010, so presumably the retail version will be out near then. The beta does not support upgrading of LR2 catalogs however. Obviously the final version will, but for now it’s still in the feedback stage so you’ll have to make a fresh catalog to use it.

Resource Links.

Lightroom 3 will bring major architecture changes under the hood to help speed things up and run faster, but also a host of new features and perhaps even more when the final version ships. Here’s a few quick and dirty screenshots, musings and details on whats new.

Slideshows:

  • Add a soundtrack and automatically match image speed to fit song.
  • Export slideshows as video, even 1080P HD

Performance & network drives?

  • Images can still be on your network drive (just like now) but you still can’t run your catalog from the network drive which is a real bummer. Adobe seems to be ignoring this which is not cool, but hopefully they’ll get it figured out before the final release.
  • Revamped import dialog new new interface, import presets and faster imports.
  • Faster performance when browsing thru images. This will be welcome for sure.
The new import dialog box

The new import dialog box

Brand new Effects panel.

  • Post crop vignette has been redone (it was pretty bad in version 2)
  • Improved noise reduction. Keeps images clearer during the process.
  • Grain sliders allow you to add texture back in (Remove nouse, now add it back).
  • Sharpening has been refined to produce better results.
Bteer noise reduction coming to LR3

Improved noise reduction coming to LR3

Print Module:

  • Custom Packages give you more control and allow drag and drop freeform print layouts.
  • Control background colors of too. I’ll certainly be adding smooth black backgrounds to my Projectics presets.
More fuctional pictures packages with more layout controll. And yes, finally controll of backgound colors.

More functional picture packages with more layout control. And yes, finally control of background colors.

Web module and more:

  • Fully functional watermark tools including image overlays. This works in export print and web modules. No blending modes though. Looks like the Mogrify plugin will still be useful.
  • Integrated tools for sharing sites using “Publish Collections” Set export settings, then simply drag images to the collection and click Publish.

No word on video integration with Lightroom. Product manager Tom Hogarty seemed a bit cagey about it in the press conference. That may mean nothing, but I sense they have some plans for video in the not too distant future.

Go try it yourself and see what you think. And if you’re looking to master Lightroom check out my Lightroom Power workshop.

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