updated 11:10 am EDT, Thu October 22, 2009
Adds noise reduction, watermarking options
Adobe has posted a free beta of Lightroom 3, the next version of the company's photo workflow software. Mainly intended for professionals, the software handles the import, export and organization of various filetypes, as well as some limited image editing tasks like exposure, colors and curves. Version 3 is said to be a major revision of the software, rebuilt with a new import dialog, new architecture for handling of large libraries, and a new RAW processing engine for enhanced sharpening and noise reduction.
Users can also travel in the opposite direction, deliberately simulating film grain. Other changes concentrate primarily around exports; a new watermarking tool has been added, along with the option of creating video slideshows, which can be viewed independently of Lightroom and assigned audio tracks. Customized print packages can be designed, and images can now be uploaded directly to some sharing websites.
The Mac software is a 68.1MB download, and requires an Intel Mac with Mac OS X 10.5, 2GB of RAM and 1GB of hard drive space. Users are cautioned that the beta will not upgrade catalogs from Lightroom 1 or 2; only the final version of the app will. The beta is free to use until April 30th, at which point it is set to expire.