Lightroom 3 has been out for awhile now and I have to say from the use I have had so far it’s a pretty stable piece of software for a Beta version. For any of you who haven’t downloaded Lightroom 3 Beta yet you can download it from Adobe’s site here: Lightroom 3 download. I have used it off and on for the last months but haven’t been able to use it extensively yet. Next week i’ll be digging in and I’ll be showcasing some of the benefits of Lightroom 3 over the next few weeks but here is an overview of what’s different.
Lightroom 3 has been totally reworked and should offer a increase in performance espicially dealilng with large image catalogs. While the speed improvements might not be fully taken advantage of in the beta, Adobe does say that the final version of the software should see a good increase in performance.
New import module
The import module has been completely rewritten also to provide you with an expanded view as well as the compact view. Import presets can now be saved and reused in both compact and expanded views. You will have a little more control with the new import module in Lightroom 3.
Improved image quality One of the most important changes is an improved image quality. Adobe has worked to improve on the demosaic algorithms, sharpening and color noise reduction. For higher ISO images or shots that weren’t exposed perfectly these improvements in image quality should make a different in your output quality. This is something i’ll test out soon and post some samples in the coming week. There are also some good examples in the video below at around 12 minutes she gives some comparisons. The color noise reduction looks to be very much improved.
Film grain simulation tool This is something I have been wanting for awhile. Adding noise to an image in photoshop never really did it for me, it just looked fake and never has matched the image compared to a real film shot. I love shooting with high ISO films for that raw and grainy look but with film have never got that. It looks like Lightroom 3 has a pretty good option now to replicate the look of film grain.
Post crop vignette I love vignetting most of my shots but with Lightroom 2 it only vignettes the edges of the full frame so if you crop the shot you loose your vignette. Thankfully they have finally added the ability to vignette your images after cropping in Lightroom 3.
There are many other features to the new lightroom such as:
• Watermarking tool that helps you customize and protect your images with ease
• Portable sharable slideshows with audio—designed to give you more flexibility and impact on how you choose to share your images, you can now save and export your slideshows as videos and include audio
• Flexible customizable print package creation so your print package layouts are all your own
• New import handling designed to make importing streamlined and easy
• More flexible online publishing options so you can post your images online to certain online photo sharing sites directly from inside Lightroom 3 beta (may require third-party plug-ins)*
Look out for some comparisons coming soon!
Here is a great walkthrough from Julianne Kost over at Adobe: