Adobe has launched version 2 of its Lightroom raw processing and workflow tool. The result of feedback from professionals and a public beta process, version 2 of the software follows the basic structure of its predecessor but with a variety of tweaks and additions. The most obvious change is an increased ability to make localized changes. This include a gradient tool that allows alterations to be applied selectively across an image. Adobe Camera Raw has also been updated with support for the Olympus E420 and E520.
The local adjustment brush allows exposure correction, brightness, contrast, saturation, clarity, sharpening and toning to be 'painted' onto an image. The effects these painted selections have can subsequently be edited and refined, and the selected area modified.
Most of the other changes are in response to user requests, such as the inclusion of dual-monitor support and adjustments to the organization tools to improve the way it handles removable drives. The new 'smart collections' option automatically builds collections based on pre-chosen criteria.
In the long term, the most significant change to Lightroom 2 might be Adobe's creation of a software developers kit (SDK) that will allow third-party developers to create plug-ins for various aspects of the program.
Lightroom 2 will cost £175 (ex-VAT) in the UK and $299 in the US. Upgrades from existing versions will cost £69 (ex-VAT) and $99 respectively.
Adobe Releases Photoshop Lightroom 2
Major Software Upgrade Further Simplifies Photography Workflows
London — July 29, 2008 — Adobe Systems Incorporated (Nasdaq:ADBE) today announced the immediate availability of Adobe® Photoshop® Lightroom® 2 software, the photographer's essential toolbox for managing, adjusting and presenting large volumes of digital photographs. With new enhancements such as dual-monitor support, radical advances in non-destructive localised image correction, and streamlined search capabilities, Lightroom 2 is a compelling upgrade that simplifies photography from shoot to finish. As Adobe’s first application to support 64-bit for Mac OS X 10.5 Macintosh computers with Intel® processors and Microsoft® Windows® Vista® 64-bit operating systems, Lightroom 2 also provides improved memory performance for dealing with large scale images.
“A worldwide community of photographers provided valuable insight and feedback, as part of the Lightroom 2 public beta program, ultimately helping us deliver a better product,” said Tom Hogarty, senior product manager for Lightroom and Camera Raw at Adobe. “We’ve considered their requests which helped us develop useful features that make it easier than ever for our customers to quickly refine, enhance and present brilliant photographs.”
Photoshop Lightroom 2: Smarter, Faster and More Accurate
The enhanced Library module in Lightroom 2 helps streamline and accelerate photographers’ workflows. With the ability to visually organise images across multiple hard drives, Lightroom 2 and its powerful Library Filter Bar makes it easy for users to quickly find the images they need. The Suggested Keywords feature helps photographers keyword their images by making intelligent suggestions based on their own previous efforts. New dual-monitor support allows users to expand their workspace, giving them flexibility to edit and organise images in a way that maximises an additional display.
In the Develop module, the new Local Adjustment Brush lets photographers fine-tune specific areas of an image to precisely adjust colour, exposure and tonal range without affecting other areas of the image. The new Graduated Filter expands the toolbox in Lightroom, allowing for edits to larger areas by applying gradually diminishing or increasing adjustment effects such as exposure, clarity, and saturation, alone, or in any combination. Lightroom 2 also helps photographers print more efficiently by quickly arranging photos of multiple sizes on one or many pages with flexible and customisable templates to maximise paper and ink. Intelligent algorithms automatically determine optimal sharpening for screen or print, producing crisper images faster. Developers can further extend the Lightroom workflow with Web, Export and Metadata Software Development Kits available at the Adobe Developer Connection, http://www.adobe.com/devnet/.
Ground-Breaking Innovation in Raw Technology
New raw technology gives photographers access to flexible camera profiles. Camera profiles are the visual starting point for the raw processing workflow, but image preferences vary for every photographer. To minimise surprises, Adobe is supplying default camera profiles that closely emulate the visual looks that photographers are used to seeing from their favourite camera, while also providing the ability to create highly customised profiles to suit different tastes. Camera profiles are available for immediate download on Adobe Labs (http://labs.adobe.com) for use with Lightroom 2 and Camera Raw 4.5, along with the DNG Profile Editor for the community to test and create their own profiles.
The Adobe Camera Raw 4.5 plug-in and DNG Converter 4.5 are also now available on Adobe.com and support over 190 camera models including the Olympus E 420 and E 520 models.
“One of the big reasons why Lightroom has become such a phenomenon among serious photographers is that Adobe built it with the input of a very vocal user community,” said Scott Kelby, president of the National Association of Photoshop Professionals (NAPP). “Adobe really listens to the issues and challenges today’s photographers face and they’ve built a complete solution that not only meets the needs of photographers; it really feels like it was made just for us. The enhancements to Lightroom 2, combined with the power of Photoshop, give photographers the ultimate freedom to produce professional images quickly.”
Pricing and Availability
Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 2 is available now through the Adobe Store at www.adobe.com/store in English, French and German with the Japanese language version planned to be released at a future date. The estimated street price is £175 for new users with an upgrade price of £69 for registered users of qualifying Lightroom customers. Recommended system requirements are Macintosh OSX 10.4, 10.5 1 GHz PowerPC G4 or G5 or Intel® based processor, or Microsoft Windows® XP SP2 or Windows Vista Home Premium, Business, Ultimate, or Enterprise, Intel Pentium 4® processor, 1 GB RAM and a 1024x768 resolution screen. Additional information on product features, upgrade policies, pricing, and language versions is available on www.adobe.com/products/photoshoplightroom/.
About Adobe Systems Incorporated
Adobe revolutionises how the world engages with ideas and information – anytime, anywhere and through any medium. For more information, visit www.adobe.com.
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