Additional features and JDIs

We've covered the big ticket items, but there are other, smaller features that are worth your attention as well. We'll take a look at them when we review the final version of Lightroom 5, but for now, here's a brief rundown of what else the Lightroom team has been working on.

Book module update

The Book module gets a significant update in Lightroom 5 beta. You can now edit the layout templates, by adding page numbers (a big user request), and captions both for individual photos and entire pages. You can also change font style, color and size, using the same text technology that drives Adobe InDesign. Best of all, once you've made these changes you can now save them as a user template, which can be applied to any current or future book project.

Video slideshows

In Lightroom 5 public beta you can now create slideshows as video files, complete with a musical soundtrack. These slideshows can include both stills and video. As in Lightroom 4, you can specify the duration of the still images. Video clips will play to their conclusion, though you can shorten the clip to your desired length ahead of time using the Trim Video button. You can export the video at 1080p, 720p, 640 x 480 or 480 x 270 and upload it directly to your Facebook or YouTube account.

JDIs

Since 2010, Adobe has been leveraging user feedback to identify small adjustments to existing features that  their engineers can address alongside developing the latest versions new features. Called 'JDIs' (for Just Do It), here's Adobe's list of user-requested changes you'll see in the Lightroom 5 public beta. The list is long, but there are some hidden gems in there like LAB color readout and the ability to duplicate local adjustments and gradients.

Management

  • PNG file support
  • True Full Screen Mode
  • Configurable grid overlays
  • Windows HiDPI
  • Additional criteria for filters and smart collection
  • Lock zoom position preference settings
  • Keyboard shortcut to trigger tethered capture
  • Direction field in the EXIF metadata panel
  • 'Set as Target Collection' checkbox in Create
  • Collection dialogue
  • Drag photo directly to a Saved Location in the Map Module
  • Drag Saved Location to a photo in the Map Module
  • Integrity verification of DNG Files

Editing

  • LAB color readout
  • Keyboard shortcut to toggle between clone and heal modes
  • Duplicate local adjustments
  • Duplicate linear gradients
  • Aspect slider added to Manual Lens Corrections
  • Persistent clipping indicators between Lightroom sessions
  • Crop overlay aspect ratios

Sharing

  • Visual indicator of Favorite book pages
  • Improved visualization of select book elements
  • Transparent buttons for improved Text creation in Books
  • More page text metadata options

First Impressions

Apart from the speed with which Adobe has released a beta for a full version Lightroom update, we're impressed by the single-minded focus on image editing enhancements. The new Spot Removal functionality can benefit users looking to fix skin blemishes more efficiently as well as those who require more extensive image retouching. The Radial Gradient Filter adds a flexible new tool to your selective editing quiver.

The Upright tool is downright impressive, not so much in its results, which have long been possible, but with the automated ease of one-button operation. And Smart Previews are a boon to the workflow of any photographer who spends time traveling with their image collection. These headline features make Lightroom 5 public beta a significant upgrade and of course, there's usually more to come before the final version ships. we look forward to exploring it more in-depth.