*Cologne, Germany, September 28, 2006 – *Adobe Systems Inc. released the latest public beta version to its well-received Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 4 at Photokina this week. Adobe Lightroom beta 4 offers a new tone curve panel, support for additional cameras, and improved Library functions, which were demonstrated with a detailed program tour at Adobe's press conference today.
Since the public beta first launched in January, more than 325,000 people have downloaded the program, and over 3,400 users have posted feedback, a remarkable response, according to Adobe's vice president of product development Dave Story today.
"Photographers spend their time behind a camera," said Kevin Connor, senior director product manager. To get photographers back behind their cameras and less time editing in front of their computers, according to Connor, Lightroom offers a combination of managing and editing functions.
"Lightroom is a start to finish workflow solution," said Adobe vice president of product management for Digital Imaging Deb Whitman. With Adobe’s products ranging from entry-level consumer’s Photoshop Album Starter to the professional Photoshop CS2, Lightroom offers a combination of the best features from both ends – automatic tools for less time-intensive consumers and management options for large quantities of images.
One of the key new features introduced in Beta 4 is the tone curve adjustment. Users can fix tones by manually moving the tone curve slider or even better, users can adjust curves by laying the cursor over the image. The cursor-sensitive tone function then automatically highlights the slider, indicating which portion of the curve is affected by the image point.
Lightroom 4 also improves its Develop and Library modules. Among the new features, the Library function allows users to covert to DNG (Adobe Digital Negative Format) after images are imported into the library. Lightroom Beta 4 also supports over 125 file formats including JPEG and TIFF.
Lightroom beta 4 will also provide improved Print capabilities with enhanced proof prints. Users can create contact sheets with the same cursor movement method found in the other features. With a move of the mouse, the program changes the number of rows and columns for the contact sheet based on your movements.
Other features include an FTP menu panel and a Lightroom Showcase Gallery at http://labs.adobe.com/technologies/lightroom/gallery for users to post their images.
To further customization, Adobe boosts, users can set the interface with favorite panels. With Lightroom, users can pick their interface by hiding selected menu panels. "Take the tools, just the ones that you need, at your fingertips," said Dave Story. Using a module interface approach, unlike Photoshop CS2, users can personalize the program to fit their objective.
The new free version of Lightroom beta 4 adds support for the Nikon D2X, Sony A100 and "preliminary support" for the Canon Digital Rebel XTi and the Nikon D80, according to Monday’s press release.
"You will see more development before shipping the final product," said Connor.
Lightroom Beta 4 is now available at http://labs.adobe.com/technologies/lightroom. The final commercial Adobe Photoshop Lightroom will be available in spring 2007. Pricing and system compatibility have not yet be disclosed.