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Adobe Announces Lightroom 4 Beta

Biggest LR4b Surprise

On Tuesday Jan 10th, Adobe announced a new beta version of Lightroom.  It has been a few days and I am still trying to put my arms around this new version of Lightroom 4 Beta [LR4b].  LR4b is not just the explosion of new capabilities but the expansion of existing tools for nondestructive digital image processing.  I have been viewing videos, reading blogs, taking notes, pulling and poking sliders in LR4b all with the thought of trying to distill this new version’s features and their effect on real-world digital image processing.

To say the least, LR4b is a very exciting release… it not only expands the scope of our processing capability but will change how we process and work with our digital photos. In this post, I offer my initial Most Exciting New Features, Biggest Surprise, initial video and blog links to explore along with considerations when using LR4b.

My (initial) “Short-list” of Most Exciting New Feature:
–   Soft proofing ability to preview how a color-managed image will look when output
–   Extend functions to the Adjustment Brush and Graduated Filter
–   Photo book creation from within Lightroom
–   E-mailing directly from Lightroom
–   Filter and search images by a saved /unsaved or conflict metadata property
–   Burn images to CD/DVD on Windows 64-bit platform
–   Extended video support to organize, view, adjustment, edit and share video clips.

Biggest Surprise! [Process Version 2012 /  Camera Raw 7.0]
Adobe has made a significant process change expanding the dynamic processing range of the digital image – they call this “Process Version 2012” (PV2012). The “Develop” module in LR4b has been optimized for content aware, shadow and highlight controls to extract all of the dynamic range in a single capture. Adobe claims that this new process version might even eliminate the need for HDR.  That seems a little extreme to me right now but at first blush the LR4b processed images appear to have smoother gradations, more tonality and an overall “dye transfer softness” quality”. However, this might just be me finding a new learning curve with PV2012 and the change in the sliders functions.  I will need to get more processing under my belt and feel this out a little more. I’m sure this will be the subject of future posts.

Major Changes in Develop Thought Process? (a.k.a. Develop-Head-Readjustment?)
LR4b Develop module’s “Basic” panel sliders have been… rearranged, renamed and effect the image differently!
      –   “Exposure” is “Brightness”; “Highlights” is “Recovery”, “Shadows” is “Fill Light”
but different!
      –   Some Sliders’ brighten/darken movement and values have changed
but not consistently!
   …Other than those few changes… not so much!

Cause and Effect?
For those of us who have a methodology with non-destructive processing in Lightroom 3 (PV2010 /ACR 6.x) and understand the difference between the “Exposure” and “Brightness” sliders… we may have to readjust our “develop” head a bit.

Adobe recommends that you approach the sliders from top-down. Now this was too easy a mantra when processing in LR 3 (ACR 6.x / PV2010) – and I did not believe the best approach.  However, in LR4b, with the sliders rearrangement and changes, this approach seems more appropriate.  Again more hours in the Development module will help sort this out.

Just a thought at this juncture… because of the slider functions and PV2012 fundamental changes, I think jumping back and forth between LR4 (PV2012) and LR3 (PV2010) might be a challenge and a head scratcher.

Best Lightroom 4 Beta “Overview” Videosand Websites (so far)
Of all the videos and blogs I have visited, these are links to the ones that said the most to me…
–  Videos: Julieanne Kost Adobe TV  – Clear, concise, full  [Click here]
–  Website: Ian Lyons – Best Synopsis Overview of LR4b  [Click here]

Considerations When Using Lightroom 4 Beta
LR4b:Lightroom 4 Beta:
–  will not overwrite or overwrite or upgrade previous versions of Lightroom installed
–  will not upgrade previous versions of your Lightroom catalogs
–  will expire after Lightroom 4.0 is available
–  catalogs will be able to be migrated to the finished version of Lightroom 4
–  Develop settings applied in LR4b are not guaranteed to transfer correctly to the final version

In my next post, I will offer a way for you to integrate LR 4b for version into your workflow while still working with your existing version of Lightroom.  I look forward to your comments – Bob

Categories: Lightroom, LR4 Tags: ,
  1. Paul Casco
    January 16th, 2012 at 09:28 | #1


    Bob DiNatale Reply:


  2. Hank
    January 14th, 2012 at 14:16 | #2


  3. Bob DiNatale
    January 14th, 2012 at 13:50 | #3


  4. Hank
    January 13th, 2012 at 17:40 | #4


    Bob DiNatale Reply:


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