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Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 5 Public Beta hands-on preview

By dpreview staff on Apr 15, 2013 at 04:01 GMT

Adobe has released a public beta version of its Photoshop Lightroom 5 workflow and image editing software and we've had some time to look at its latest features. Available immediately for free download from Adobe Labs, the beta introduces a more advanced healing/cloning tool, automatic image leveling and perspective correction, a new selective editing tool and the ability to edit files that are offline.

As with any pre-release software, please keep in mind that this is a beta release intended to generate user feedback and identify performance issues. The tools and features on offer may be changed before final release and we do not recommend using beta software for any mission critical work. And as always with Lightroom public betas, to begin working, you must import images into a new version 5-compatible catalog. You cannot update version 4 and earlier catalogs in Lightroom 5 beta.

Ready to get started? Click the links below to find out what's new and begin exploring the Lightroom 5 public beta on your own.

Download the Lightroom 5 public beta from Adobe Labs

Press Release:

Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 5 Public Beta Now Available

SAN JOSE, Calif. — April 15, 2013 Adobe today announced the availability of Adobe® Photoshop® Lightroom® 5 beta for Windows® and Mac. Adobe Lightroom is the essential photography workflow application allowing photography enthusiasts and professionals to enhance, organize and share photos. The Lightroom 5 beta offers a free, public preview of new features and tools that will be offered in the final release, expected later this year.

'Lightroom is the essential tool for busy professional and discerning amateur photographers, who are uncompromising in the pursuit for image quality or searching for artistic expression,' said Winston Hendrickson, vice president of digital imaging products, Adobe. 'The Lightroom 5 beta is highly valuable in ensuring the new features support and address the needs of our customers and we look forward to hearing feedback.'

Lightroom 5 beta offers photographers and enthusiasts many new features including:

  • Advanced Healing Brush allows customers to heal imperfections and remove distracting elements
  • Upright tool analyzes an image to automatically level horizons and straighten objects like buildings to correct a keystone effect
  • Radial Gradient tool creates off-center or multiple vignette effects
  • Smart Previews allow customers to edit images without needing the original raw file
  • Video slideshow enables customers to combine still images, video clips and music in a creative HD slideshow
  • Upgrades to the Book module enhancing the ability to create, customize and order elegant photo books using a variety of tailored templates

Lightroom 5 beta marks the fifth consecutive version Adobe has offered the software for public preview and testing prior to the final release. Adobe encourages customers to provide comments through its community forums on both new and legacy features. Feedback offered may be integrated into updates added before the final version of the software is released.

Pricing and Availability

Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 5 beta is available immediately as a free download on both Windows and Mac at http://labs.adobe.com/technologies/lightroom5/. Customers can submit feedback on the community powered feedback site: http://feedback.photoshop.com. Customers can also connect with the Lightroom team directly on Facebook (www.facebook.com/lightroom), via Twitter (www.twitter.com/lightroom) or on the Adobe Lightroom blog (http://blogs.adobe.com/lightroomjournal). For Lightroom how-to videos, visit http://www.youtube.com/lightroom

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Discuss in the forums

Comments

Total comments: 208
12
Joesiv
By Joesiv (Apr 15, 2013)

customizing book layouts! Yes!

and the new editing features, may mean I won't need to round trip to photoshop.

Kinda wish this was more of a 4.5 release though. Hopefully the upgrade price is low.

0 upvotes
photogeek
By photogeek (Apr 15, 2013)

Still no GPU acceleration. Epic fail.

5 upvotes
Lee Jay
By Lee Jay (Apr 15, 2013)

GPU acceleration wouldn't help much with the Camera Raw pipeline and that's why they haven't pursued with a lot of effort. GPU only helps with a very limited set of tasks.

5 upvotes
Combatmedic870
By Combatmedic870 (Apr 16, 2013)

but it would still help. But you would have to have a pretty old pc/laptop to have problems handling lightroom, or one that you just really need to clean up.
Also, if you at all are insterested in photo editing , you would need a pc with a dedicated GPU, or the intel 4000, the 3000 is sucky. But i have a 4 year old laptop that breezes through lightroom 4.

1 upvote
hjulenissen
By hjulenissen (Apr 16, 2013)

GPU acceleration is hard. It can give tremendous acceleration for a few "well-behaved" problems, and less so for other problems. It also leads to more hw dependencies, more intricate code, harder-to-test applications, and generally slower feature development.

I think it is fair to say that most people outside of Adobe can only guess at what the cost and benefit of doing the Lightroom thing on GPUs. I sure don't know. Is it an fixed-point or floating-point pipeline? Is it compute or memory bound? Are many (time-consuming) operations per-pixel, or is there a lot of spatial dependency on reads/writes? Is it written in C?

1 upvote
rbach44
By rbach44 (Apr 16, 2013)

GPU acceleration really isn't for photo tasks, more for video and 3d. And as someone who works with that stuff professionally, I can tell you that GPU acceleration is NOT an easy solution, and really ups the ante as far as hardware necessary to run things...

3 upvotes
photogeek
By photogeek (Apr 16, 2013)

Folks, Apple had GPU acceleration everywhere in Aperture for almost 8 years now. GPU acceleration on the Mac is not "hard". Imaging code ships right with the OS, including the goodies like color profile support and soft proofing. You just need to make use of it. As a bonus, all processing will not only be done faster, it'll also be done in _floating point_, to minimize processing error.

1 upvote
JamesInCA
By JamesInCA (Apr 15, 2013)

Still no face tagging?

1 upvote
BartyLobethal
By BartyLobethal (Apr 15, 2013)

These are all welcome changes, particularly the improvements to the Healing Brush and the addition of radial gradients.

If the upgrade is US$99, then I guess I'll be asked to pay AU$150 or AU$200 so that Adobe can provide me with their "bespoke customer experience". This is what they called it at the recent federal senate enquiry, we consumers simply know it as the Australia Tax. Will have to keep my eye out for specials, or work out how to implement the 'VPN workaround' recommended by Choice.

3 upvotes
Kodachrome200
By Kodachrome200 (Apr 16, 2013)

upgrade should be 79

0 upvotes
RobG67
By RobG67 (Apr 16, 2013)

Amen Barty. I'm so sick of being ripped off by every damn player in the photographic field here.

I considered buying PS, but at over $1000, Adobe can stick it where the sun don't shine. Even LR4 at $187 for the full d/l is criminal. I'm considering it, because NX2 is dead in the water, but it's hard to justify when the US version is $149.

OK, rant over. There's no point anyway, is there...

4 upvotes
BaldCol
By BaldCol (Apr 17, 2013)

It's like lenses. If you want the best quality you have to pay more, but there are more than adequate cheaper alternatives available. There is no point in ranting. If you don't want to pay the price adobe are charging then use one of the cheaper, or even freee, alternatives.

1 upvote
BartyLobethal
By BartyLobethal (Apr 17, 2013)

BaldCol, what you're apparently missing here is that we have to pay more for exactly the same product. It's not so much the price Adobe are charging, but the higher price Adobe are charging Australians. The senate enquiry found that Aussies were paying up to $1000 more for Photoshop than folk in the U.S. Our dollar has been consistently over parity with the US$ for some years, and this market-specific surcharge is simply greedy gouging. Bespoke customer experience my butt-hole.

0 upvotes
BaldCol
By BaldCol (Apr 17, 2013)

AH... well with that I can sympathise. US price for CS6 download is US$699 (equivalent to about £456). UK price is £660. Even taking off UK VAT the price is £550. So £100 more for the same product probably downloaded from the same server. Rip-Off-Britain we like to call it.

1 upvote
Bali_Mirage
By Bali_Mirage (Apr 15, 2013)

Wonderful.........crashing on startup.

1 upvote
dgblackout
By dgblackout (Apr 15, 2013)

Well it is a beta. File a bug report!

6 upvotes
Bali_Mirage
By Bali_Mirage (Apr 15, 2013)

Looks more like an alpha.

1 upvote
izubiaurre
By izubiaurre (Apr 15, 2013)

Same for me. Crash on startup

0 upvotes
dfrat
By dfrat (Apr 15, 2013)

Same here!

0 upvotes
chkproductions
By chkproductions (Apr 16, 2013)

And same here.

0 upvotes
Combatmedic870
By Combatmedic870 (Apr 16, 2013)

same here

0 upvotes
Stu 5
By Stu 5 (Apr 16, 2013)

Works fine for me. That is on a Mac Mini 2.3Ghz intel core i7 running 16GB of RAM. If it is crashing you really need to be writing about this on Adobes Lightroom forum where people from Adobe will read about. Along with the specs of your computers.

0 upvotes
Bali_Mirage
By Bali_Mirage (Apr 16, 2013)

LRuser24 has posted a fix here: http://forums.adobe.com/thread/1192494?tstart=0

And it's kind of strange that Adobe deleted several threads about the crashing.

0 upvotes
StanRogers
By StanRogers (Apr 16, 2013)

No, it's not, particularly if the cause of the crashing goes to the same route. In a bug tracker, you'd consolidate reports of a single bug wherever possible. In a public beta program, you acknowledge a problem and reduce the noise where possible. "Reduce the noise" doesn't mean "hide the issue", it means making it easier for people to see that the problem has already been reported -- folks have this horrible tendency to start new threads, and you have to open all of them to see if they're reporting the same problem you are experiencing. (I've been on the "other side" of public betas. Not sure they're a good idea, really: the public, to generalize a bit, don't know how to play the beta game, and it takes a lot of work to get useful information from the feedback. And a lot of that feedback isn't even in-channel -- you have to search the rest of the web to find out what's happening to your "beta testers".)

2 upvotes
duncanidaho25
By duncanidaho25 (Apr 15, 2013)

I've never used lightroom. I've always used photoshop. Is there a benefit to owning both?

0 upvotes
Lee Jay
By Lee Jay (Apr 15, 2013)

If you intensively process a few images a month, PS is your tool. If you need to moderately process thousands of pictures a month, Lightroom is 10-100 times more efficient.

15 upvotes
Kodachrome200
By Kodachrome200 (Apr 16, 2013)

lightroom allows you to organize and move images through a workflow a shoot at a time. if you do any amount of shooting you need this

0 upvotes
InTheMist
By InTheMist (Apr 16, 2013)

Yeah, the edits are easier-to-use (and much more limited) than Photoshop, but the power comes from the tagging, flagging, sorting, searching, uploading and other features.
As far as editing go, their is no save button! Quick tune and head to another image. In effect, you have all your images "open" at once. Edits are only permanently applied on export.

Wrap your head around that, and try it out, I bet you'll like it.

2 upvotes
duncanidaho25
By duncanidaho25 (Apr 16, 2013)

Thanks guys. I'll try it out.

0 upvotes
madeinlisboa
By madeinlisboa (Apr 17, 2013)

" tagging, flagging, sorting, searching, ...." It's called Adobe Bridge and it comes with Photoshop. Combine that with ACR and Photoshop, and Lightroom is a nice toy....

0 upvotes
AbrasiveReducer
By AbrasiveReducer (Apr 15, 2013)

I don't mind paying for yet another version of Lightroom. But I do mind having to change the OS. Just when I was getting Snow Leopard to be almost as trouble-free as Leopard (almost), I now have to start over, de-bugging Lion.

1 upvote
David Naylor
By David Naylor (Apr 15, 2013)

Wohoo! A real (kinda) clone tool!

0 upvotes
LensBeginner
By LensBeginner (Apr 15, 2013)

"There’s now a true full screen mode, which you can access by pressing the F key."

YEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE-HAAAAAAAAAAAAAW!!! (cheers)
...quite about time!

3 upvotes
photogeek
By photogeek (Apr 17, 2013)

Only a few years after Aperture, and without HUDs. :-)

0 upvotes
LiSkynden
By LiSkynden (Apr 15, 2013)

"...and share your digital photograph library"
So now we have to share the whole libray? haha.

Can you zoom while cropping already? Sorry im still on LR3 so i dont know if its on LR4.

0 upvotes
Lee Jay
By Lee Jay (Apr 15, 2013)

Crop enhancements in this released are nicely summarized here:

https://holycrop.wordpress.com/2013/04/15/holy-crop-lightroom-5-the-crop-enhancements/

0 upvotes
SirSeth
By SirSeth (Apr 15, 2013)

I might go from LR3 to LR5. For those complaining about corporate greed and incremental upgrades, just skip a few. I'm glad to see increased competition in RAW workflow with good programs like PhotoNinja and AfterShot Pro that fit many people's needs for less money, but Adobe really made LR pretty good from the start. The improvements seem substantial from where I'm sitting.

1 upvote
bohdanz
By bohdanz (Apr 15, 2013)

Work computer is Snow Leopard... no longer supported.
Have to wait till I get home to try the Beta, which sounds really really promising.

0 upvotes
smallcams
By smallcams (Apr 15, 2013)

I am so close to quitting Adobe.

5 upvotes
goldaccess
By goldaccess (Apr 15, 2013)

Because?

7 upvotes
smallcams
By smallcams (Apr 16, 2013)

Because their products are too expensive. And because staying current is too expensive. And upgrades are unnecessarily complicated and a hassle to install. And their customer service in India SUCKS. And their customer service in America SUCKS.

2 upvotes
Lee Jay
By Lee Jay (Apr 16, 2013)

Lightroom 4 upgrade was (is) $69. Too expensive?

0 upvotes
smallcams
By smallcams (Apr 16, 2013)

I thought I paid $99 for each upgrade. Add up the cost for Photoshop, LR and the upgrades through the years and, yes, I think it was all too expensive.

Snapseed on my mobile phone is a more useful application and it's free. Better looking results with no fuss.

0 upvotes
BaldCol
By BaldCol (Apr 17, 2013)

Smallcams, if you are only interested in moblie phone photography then LR and PS are not for you.

A much cheaper option that I think will work well is LR and PSE. I have an old version of PS myself but would now not upgrade it, I will get PSE instead.

0 upvotes
bills_pix
By bills_pix (Apr 15, 2013)

I wonder if it will be subscription only. Adobe is not making near enough money off it at $99 to keep them happy. Prepare for the worst with Adobe.

Comment edited 4 minutes after posting
3 upvotes
Lee Jay
By Lee Jay (Apr 15, 2013)

Unlikely.

2 upvotes
imprez25
By imprez25 (Apr 15, 2013)

At this rate isn't it an anual subscription?

3 upvotes
Lee Jay
By Lee Jay (Apr 15, 2013)

No, because your license is perpetual. You can choose to upgrade annually if you want, but if you don't your existing software doesn't stop working.

1 upvote
Julian
By Julian (Apr 16, 2013)

Can you skip out an upgrade though - and take the one after for the upgrade price?

0 upvotes
Lee Jay
By Lee Jay (Apr 16, 2013)

You have in the past. The LR4 upgrade would work on LR 1 through 3.

0 upvotes
Julian
By Julian (Apr 17, 2013)

Thanks ljfinger - good to know - then I will review the new features - and maybe wait for LR6.

0 upvotes
raztec
By raztec (Apr 15, 2013)

The mad rush to increase corporate profits. Keep making minor updates and try to render your previous versions obsolete.

I have LR3 and am doing just fine thank you.

3 upvotes
dannytang
By dannytang (Apr 15, 2013)

I don't mind the annual minor/incremental updates as long as they adjust the price accordingly. Apple's OS X is a great example of minor/incremental updates between Snow Leopard, Lion, and Mountain Lion, but at least the updates were only cost $29 each.

4 upvotes
Lee Jay
By Lee Jay (Apr 15, 2013)

You're missing out on a couple of amazingly-helpful features in LR4 - like making local white balance corrections which is a huge help in mixed lighting. LR5 adds a couple more, similarly helpful features that I use almost non-stop.

1 upvote
dboeren
By dboeren (Apr 15, 2013)

This is actually quite handy to me. If LR5 stays with similar pricing to LR4 then I'll probably buy it. If they change over to some stupid subscription model, then I'll probably get Aperture instead.

Speaking of Apple, I jumped from Snow Leopard to Mountain Lion for $20 skipping Lion altogether. Reasonably priced optional upgrades are fine.

2 upvotes
Lee Jay
By Lee Jay (Apr 15, 2013)

By the way, if you think this is a minor update, at least read this before you make that judgement:

http://www.lightroomqueen.com/2013/04/15/whats-new-in-lightroom-5-0-beta/

5 upvotes
wlad
By wlad (Apr 15, 2013)

major LR versions have never been minor updates

0 upvotes
izubiaurre
By izubiaurre (Apr 15, 2013)

For me this is a minor upgrade. And, somehow, it has broken 1 year and half life-cycle.

1 upvote
malabito
By malabito (Apr 15, 2013)

Of course it's intention is to make money, is not a charity company. If people don't agree agree with the terms just don't buy it and use Gimp. People now a days complain about everything, why should they give there work for free, I am not defending them, just saying that they are entitled to charge as they wish....

3 upvotes
jquagga
By jquagga (Apr 15, 2013)

It's still a beta. I'm hoping they put some more features into the actual release. I'm not seeing anything here worth an upgrade fee, but I do feel the upgrade from 3-4 is worth it just for improved RAW performance.

0 upvotes
Total comments: 208
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