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10th January 2012
Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 4 beta initial preview
by Ian Burley
8430: Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 4 beta initial preview

Improved video, geo-tagging, local editing and sharing options revealed in Lightroom 4 beta

Adobe has released the first public beta of the fourth generation of Lightroom. We don't know when Lightroom 4 will be on sale yet and going by previous public betas it could be some months away yet. There are no restrictions on the beta release and you don't need to already own Lightroom to download and run the beta, although I don't recommend replacing a stable release of Lightroom 3 with the beta as your main working software.

We've had a presentation from Adobe regarding the main changes to Lightroom 4 and here are some the screens from the seminar in the form of a brief tour:

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Lightroom's core three stage workflow philosophy remains but new modules to improve support for geo-tagging (Map) and sharing (Book) have been added. Video support has also been enhanced, as have some editing functions and there are also new soft-proofing tools.

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Map and geo-tagging support

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Many of us have been waiting for this for a long time; you can now see where your geo-tagged photos were taken via Google Maps within Lightroom. You can also geo-tag your photos based on locations you select on the map. If your photos were geo-tagged at the time of taking, you can also view a track of the time line of your photo record on the map.

Video

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Video support is more comprehensive. You can now preview your movies within Lightroom, for example.

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Basic editing of movie clips is now supported within Lightroom, like pruning start and end points. Adobe points out that video support is aimed much more at the photographer taking occasional movies rather than a mainstream videographer.

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You can also apply a subset of edit effects to movies. In the example above the movie has been converted to black and white.

Enhanced local editing

We can expect to find more adjustment options in the brush and graduated filter tools. You can now make localised adjustments for white balance, for example - ideal for scenes where artificial and natural light illuminate different areas of the image.

Soft-proofing

Pre-press soft proofing tools are now available in the Develop module.

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Book

Adobe has teamed up with Blurb and endowed Lightroom 4 with its own Book module. This appears to be a fairly comprehensive Blurb photobook builder, complete with an end-product cost estimator.

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We've only had a brief introduction to the improvements in Lightroom 4 and we'll take a more detailed look at selected features once we have had time to get used to the public beta soon. The public beta will be available from: http://labs.adobe.com/technologies/lightroom4/

 

 
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