Archive for the ‘Lightroom 3 Public Beta’ Category

Release Candidates of Lightroom 3.3 and ACR 6.3 posted to Adobe Labs

Wednesday, October 27th, 2010

I neglected to mention a new release of Lightroom and Adobe Camera Raw to Adobe Labs on anywhere other than Twitter. These are release candidates of Lightroom 3.3 and Adobe Camera Raw 6.3.

Many bugs have been fixed, new Lens Profiles have been incorporated and new camera models supported.

The latter includes:

  • Nikon D7000
  • Nikon Coolpix P7000
  • Nikon D3100
  • Canon PowerShot S95
  • Canon PowerShot G12
  • Panasonic Lumix DMC-GH2
  • Samsung NX100
  • Samsung TL350 (WB2000)

For more info and download links, check out Tom Hogarty’s post on Lightroom Journal

Lightroom 3 Released

Monday, June 7th, 2010

After many months on beta testing both public and private, Adobe has released Lightroom to the world.

The major new feature since the last Public Beta is Lens Corrections. These were outlined by Tom Hogarty (Product Manager) in video form at the end of April and released as part of Camera Raw 6.1 on June 1st. But there are other features that have been added. These include:

  • Profile-based lens correction that addresses:
    • Geometric lens distortion(i.e., barrel or pincushion)
    • Chromatic aberration
    • Vignette effects
  • Manual geometric lens correction
  • Horizontal and vertical perspective correction
  • Improved Web templates for updated color and design options
  • Additional Print templates to utilize the new creative layout options
  • New develop presets for creative B&W and Color adjustments
  • Focal length filtering available in the metadata filter
  • Updated SDK with publish collection functionality and access to collection and keyword metadata
  • Improved interactive responsiveness
  • Ability to upgrade Lightroom 1, Lightroom 2 catalogs as well as Lightroom 3 beta or Lightroom 3 beta 2 catalogs
    • Images edited in Lightroom 3 beta or Lightroom 3 beta 2 will migrate to Lightroom 3.0 with little to no visual adjustments.  Minor sharpening adjustments may appear.
  • Ability to migrate Photoshop Elements 6, 7 or 8 catalogs to Lightroom 3
  • Updated print resolution limits of 720ppi for local printing and 1200ppi for printing to a JPEG file.

Camera support is now on a par with Camera Raw 6.1 and a full list of supported cameras is available here.

As usual the community has responded with many posts aimed at enlightening users to all the new features. Sean McCormack has a list of these. Adobe TV has 10 videos available to explain the new features. Victoria Bampton has an in-depth look at the new features on her Lightroom Queen blog. Jeffrey Friedl has a post on his Plug-in updates. Lightroom help is also available here.

Lightroom 3 is available for Mac and Windows on the Adobe site.

Adobe releases Lightroom 3.0 Beta 2

Tuesday, March 23rd, 2010

Adobe has today released a second beta of Lightroom 3 for users to download and test out. Whereas the first beta was considered ‘late alpha’ quality, this one is much more of ‘beta quality’. It is not the final release, but we are certainly further down the road than Beta 1. It is available from Adobe Labs.

LR3 B2 will upgrade your B1 Catalogs but won’t upgrade Lightroom 1 or 2 Catalogs. Generally the safest course of action is to test B2 with copies of files, so you don’t interfere with your general workflow in earlier versions.

Many sites will look at all the changes in detail, so I want to highlight the features which to me add most value.

New camera support

Preliminary support for the following cameras has been added to Beta 2

  • Canon EOS 550D (Rebel T2i / Kiss X4 Digital)
  • Olympus E-PL1
  • Panasonic G2
  • Panasonic G10
  • Sony Alpha 450 (A450)

Video File support


Well it had to come and obviously with the move into Video from most DSLR manufacturers and rival software supporting video this was always going to come.

So you can now Import, Tag, rate, filter, add to collections and smart collections Video files. Most video files are supported from DSLRs and P&S cameras.

In the Library module you can click a video icon in the interface to launch the movie in your Movie Player of choice (for example QuickTime).

Import

More refinements have taken place to the Import module since Beta 1, and it is certainly a bigger step forward. You can now ‘dock’ favourite folders, to speed workflow. Browsing and Import is now much faster. Full-sized previews can be viewed on a card in the Import Loupe mode. Compact view is now more powerful and, as mentioned above, camera video files are now recognised.

Tethered Capture

Studio and field photographers will certainly appreciate the new Tethered Capture abilities of Lightroom 3. Whereas before the process needed the photographer to use the camera manufacturer’s software and then set up a watched folder, this is a simple process of connecting your camera via USB or Firewire and selecting File > Tethered Capture.

You will then see an organisational dialog box, allowing you to enter the shoot name, the file naming, the location and related metadata. After that you will see the Capture console.

For Beta 2, the following cameras have Tethered Capture support.

Canon

  • EOS 1Ds Mark II*
  • EOS 5D*

For the above cameras, support is not available on 64bit Windows systems.

  • EOS 1D Mark III
  • EOS 1Ds Mark III
  • EOS 1D Mark IV
  • EOS 5D Mark II
  • EOS 40D
  • EOS 450D (Digital Rebel XSi/EOS Kiss X2)
  • EOS 500D (Digital Rebel T1i/EOS Kiss X3 Digital)
  • EOS 7D
  • EOS 1000D (Digital Rebel XS/EOS Kiss F)

Nikon

  • D3
  • D3X
  • D3s
  • D300
  • D300s
  • D5000
  • D700
  • D90

Image Quality

This is probably the area which has had the most work in the Lightroom 3 beta process. As mentioned in the Beta 1 release post, the core engine of Lightroom has been stripped down and rebuilt and the benefits in speed and image quality have already been seen.

But now with Beta 2 a stellar quality Luminance/Colour Noise Reduction feature has been added to the mix, and I think you will find that the quality of NR is now class leading. Images should have more bite partly because there is less noise suppression in the demosaicing of images.

Grain will look different too, but the interaction of the new sliders should minimise the grain (should you want to) without making the image look mushy.

Using Fill Light and Recover will result in less haloing than in previous versions when you update to the new Process Version (see below).

Vignetting

Post-crop vignetting is now offered in 3 styles, Highlight Priority, Color Priority and Paint Overlay. The latter is similar to Lightroom 2, Color Priority will avoid Hue Shifts.

Point Curve (Hooooray)


Long have I, and others, campaigned for Point Curve editing in the Tone Curve and now Beta 2 introduces it. Point curves have existed in Adobe Camera Raw for many versions and it always seemed a bit obtuse that they weren’t in Lightroom. This lead to many hacks to edit the curves within Presets to produce negative and solarised effects.

Process Versions

Because of the huge amount of work that has gone into revamping the Develop module to get the best out of your images, it has been necessary to create tiers in the settings that can be applied. These are called Process Versions.

Process Versions can affect Raw, DNG, TIFF, JPEG and PSD files and will be incremented when major changes occur to the processing engine.

In the first beta, the Process Version changed to reflect the demosaicing, noise reduction, sharpening and post crop vignette. For this beta post crop vignette has been removed from the Process Version.

There are two Process Versions 2003 and 2010. The first is the default for all files up to this release. The 2010 PV will be applied to all new files in Lightroom 3 Beta 2.

There are several ways to see which Process Version your file is and then to upgrade it.

In the Develop Module an image will show an Exclamation Mark badge. Click this to be asked how you wish to apply the Process Version. You have several options:

  1. You can view a Before and After to see the differences
  2. You can update just the selected file
  3. Update all of the files in the Flimstrip, or
  4. Choose not to use the new Process Version

Other ways include selecting Settings > Update to Current Process in the Develop module, Selecting the Process Version in the Camera Calibration panel, or applying this simple Preset, which updates any files to the latest Process Version.

Watermarking

There have been several improvements to watermarking in this release:

  • Additional text options have been added including shadow controls for opacity, angle, offset and radius. (Not currently available in the Windows version)
  • The location of the watermark can now be set by relative anchor positions within the image or specific insets.
  • The size of the watermark can be set proportionally or to fit or fill the image dimensions
  • Watermarking is now available in the Slideshow module

Further info

Adobe releases Lightroom 3 Beta 2

Monday, March 22nd, 2010

(Note: reposted due to some WordPress scheduling weirdness)

Adobe has today released a second beta of Lightroom 3 for users to download and test out. Whereas the first beta was considered ‘late alpha’ quality, this one is much more of ‘beta quality’. It is not the final release, but we are certainly further down the road than Beta 1. It is available from Adobe Labs.

LR3 B2 will upgrade your B1 Catalogs but won’t upgrade Lightroom 1 or 2 Catalogs. Generally the safest course of action is to test B2 with copies of files, so you don’t interfere with your general workflow in earlier versions.

Many sites will look at all the changes in detail, so I want to highlight the features which to me add most value.

New camera support

Preliminary support for the following cameras has been added to Beta 2

  • Canon EOS 550D (Rebel T2i / Kiss X4 Digital)
  • Olympus E-PL1
  • Panasonic G2
  • Panasonic G10
  • Sony Alpha 450 (A450)

Video File support

Well it had to come and obviously with the move into Video from most DSLR manufacturers and rival software supporting video this was always going to come.

So you can now Import, Tag, rate, filter, add to collections and smart collections Video files. Most video files are supported from DSLRs and P&S cameras.

In the Library module you can click a video icon in the interface to launch the movie in your Movie Player of choice (for example QuickTime).

Import

More refinements have taken place to the Import module since Beta 1, and it is certainly a bigger step forward. You can now ‘dock’ favourite folders, to speed workflow. Browsing and Import is now much faster. Full-sized previews can be viewed on a card in the Import Loupe mode. Compact view is now more powerful and, as mentioned above, camera video files are now recognised.

Tethered Capture

Studio and field photographers will certainly appreciate the new Tethered Capture abilities of Lightroom 3. Whereas before the process needed the photographer to use the camera manufacturer’s software and then set up a watched folder, this is a simple process of connecting your camera via USB or Firewire and selecting File > Tethered Capture.

You will then see an organisational dialog box, allowing you to enter the shoot name, the file naming, the location and related metadata. After that you will see the Capture console.

For Beta 2, the following cameras have Tethered Capture support.

Canon

  • EOS 1Ds Mark II*
  • EOS 5D*

For the above cameras, support is not available on 64bit Windows systems.

  • EOS 1D Mark III
  • EOS 1Ds Mark III
  • EOS 1D Mark IV
  • EOS 5D Mark II
  • EOS 40D
  • EOS 450D (Digital Rebel XSi/EOS Kiss X2)
  • EOS 500D (Digital Rebel T1i/EOS Kiss X3 Digital)
  • EOS 7D
  • EOS 1000D (Digital Rebel XS/EOS Kiss F)

Nikon

  • D3
  • D3X
  • D3s
  • D300
  • D300s
  • D5000
  • D700
  • D90

Image Quality

This is probably the area which has had the most work in the Lightroom 3 beta process. As mentioned in the Beta 1 release post, the core engine of Lightroom has been stripped down and rebuilt and the benefits in speed and image quality have already been seen.

But now with Beta 2 a stellar quality Luminance/Colour Noise Reduction feature has been added to the mix, and I think you will find that the quality of NR is now class leading. Images should have more bite partly because there is less noise suppression in the demosaicing of images.

Grain will look different too, but the interaction of the new sliders should minimise the grain (should you want to) without making the image look mushy.

Using Fill Light and Recover will result in less haloing than in previous versions when you update to the new Process Version (see below).

Vignetting

Post-crop vignetting is now offered in 3 styles, Highlight Priority, Color Priority and Paint Overlay. The latter is similar to Lightroom 2, Color Priority will avoid Hue Shifts.

Point Curve (Hooooray)

Long have I, and others, campaigned for Point Curve editing in the Tone Curve and now Beta 2 introduces it. Point curves have existed in Adobe Camera Raw for many versions and it always seemed a bit obtuse that they weren’t in Lightroom. This lead to many hacks to edit the curves within Presets to produce negative and solarised effects.

Process Versions

Because of the huge amount of work that has gone into revamping the Develop module to get the best out of your images, it has been necessary to create tiers in the settings that can be applied. These are called Process Versions.

Process Versions can affect Raw, DNG, TIFF, JPEG and PSD files and will be incremented when major changes occur to the processing engine.

In the first beta, the Process Version changed to reflect the demosaicing, noise reduction, sharpening and post crop vignette. For this beta post crop vignette has been removed from the Process Version.

There are two Process Versions 2003 and 2010. The first is the default for all files up to this release. The 2010 PV will be applied to all new files in Lightroom 3 Beta 2.

There are several ways to see which Process Version your file is and then to upgrade it.

In the Develop Module an image will show an Exclamation Mark badge. Click this to be asked how you wish to apply the Process Version. You have several options:

  1. You can view a Before and After to see the differences
  2. You can update just the selected file
  3. Update all of the files in the Flimstrip, or
  4. Choose not to use the new Process Version

Other ways include selecting Settings > Update to Current Process in the Develop module, Selecting the Process Version in the Camera Calibration panel, or applying this simple Preset, which updates any files to the latest Process Version.

Watermarking

There have been several improvements to watermarking in this release:

  • Additional text options have been added including shadow controls for opacity, angle, offset and radius. (Not currently available in the Windows version)
  • The location of the watermark can now be set by relative anchor positions within the image or specific insets.
  • The size of the watermark can be set proportionally or to fit or fill the image dimensions
  • Watermarking is now available in the Slideshow module

Further info

‘The Gloves are Off?’ redux

Sunday, February 28th, 2010

Sean McCormark writes The Gloves are Off? on his blog which comments on the Lightroom -v- Aperture debate, which has begun again with the release of Aperture 3.

The Aperture ‘camp’ has certainly been raving about the new version and as part of the mix has been dishing it out to Lightroom. But there seem to me to be some fundamental issues with the two apps which are less mentioned.

Aperture is Mac only. I am a Mac user through and through, but I recognise that enough photographers use a PC in some way, shape or form to make Lightroom a more useful tool since it is cross-platform.

Aperture and Metadata. Aperture has changed the way metadata is written to files in version 3 and David Riecks of Controlled Vocabulary has written about this issue.

Aperture and Quality. I am not convinced from my use of the trial version that image quality is up to the level of Lightroom 3 Beta, let alone what might be released when Lightroom goes release.

Aperture and updates. This is perhaps the biggest issue for Aperture users; how they are treated. Over the last few months there were rumours of either a new version of Aperture or that the product was going to be canned. Of course, this being Apple, there was no word either way. If it had been the latter, then users would have been left with a decision about sticking with 2.0 or migrating (which is not for the faint hearted). When Aperture was released then it was of distinctly ‘beta’ quality. Users had issues over speed (especially with the Faces feature) and an update had to be made.

This is not to say that Lightroom doesn’t have issue with releases – they have had two or three where there had to be a rushed update, but their policy tends to be to put out a Release Candidate for the wider public to test and check that all is OK.

There is also the issue of camera support. With Lightroom and Adobe Camera Raw/DNG Converter there are at least 4 updates a year to cater for new cameras, and mostly these are release promptly either as ‘supported’ or ‘final’. Users will always protest that there is a small delay between their getting a new camera and it being supported, but the delay is rarely that long. For Aperture users that is not the case. Camera updates are sporadic, they are system level so it means that the updates have to go through full system grade QA, which takes longer. And many cameras don’t get supported for months at a time. While the general rule of thumb ought to be that you don’t buy a camera which is not supported by your software of choice, that will only wash for a short period.

DNG support is a major advantage for Lightroom users. Support is full, whereas Aperture’s is partial. DNG support allows for backward compatibility for the early adopters who are facing the lack of updates for a new camera with older software.

Sean has written about interface differences and that will always be a personal preference. I am a big fan of Lightroom’s interface, others are not. Use the shortcuts, modify the interface to your preference and I’m sure either one will meet your needs. But you really have to learn those shortcuts in both apps to get the most out of them.

Aperture has done a lot of catching up with 3. But then again it needed to! It does have some features which are the envy of Lightroom users, Books, Places possibly the Light Table (but to me that is from the days of film and not a modern digital metaphor), some aspects of the new Brushes and Backup. But Lightroom’s speed, stability, relative openness, Printing Module, Develop Quality, Graduated filters, Adjustment Brushes, Organisational/Storage capabilities and, in my case, the Interface.

As Sean points out, competiton is good – it will drive the software from all the vendors to new heights (this includes Capture1, Bibble, Nikon Capture and maybe even Canon’s software (!)) and that can only be a good thing.

But a user has to be pretty convinced about a piece of software (or hardware) to make a radical leap especially when the next release (of Lightroom in this case) is coming soon.

Lightroom 3 Help updated

Friday, December 11th, 2009

Lightroom 3 Beta help is now available on the Adobe Community Help AIR viewer. As a moderator this should prove a useful addition, and hopefully of benefit to you the users!
Commenting is now available on the forum and via the AIR viewer as well.

For more info check out the Adobe Phosphors blog.

Timelapse from Lightroom 3 Beta

Thursday, October 29th, 2009

As a novice devotee of timelapse photography, I was intrigued when I first saw the ability to Slideshow > Export to Video in the Lightroom 3 builds, and recent work by Sean McCormack, Andy Rahn, Lee Jay Fingersh and Matt Dawson has shown how versatile it is.

Sean has written Direct Timelapse Video Export from Lightroom for Lightroom News and it is well worth a read.

Lightroom 3 Beta: The Import Experience*

Saturday, October 24th, 2009

Wade Heninger describes some of the improvements in the Lightroom 3 Beta Import Dialog on his blog. He doesn’t seem 100% convinced and neither am I.

Import

Generally there is a lot to praise about the new dialog. Not only are there the different views, Expanded and Compact but there are many more useful options.

Compact View will be very useful for photographers who have a consistent workflow where they simply wish to import everything from a consistent source (say, a CF card) to a consistent destination. Import Presets will help apply your preferred settings too.

compact

The sooner that you are able to set up a consistent preset, the sooner you can use the Compact view, but if you want to check the files you are importing, maybe to decide whether to import or not (you can do this using P to select and U and X to unselect), then the Expanded View will be essential.

However, I find the Expanded view to be unhelpful and overwhelming.
In my other life, I am a UI Designer and for me the Expanded View breaks the visual link that you might expect between source and destination, beacuse they are too far apart. It is less obvious on a laptop screen, even up to 17″ but on a Desktop monitor with potentially 23-30″ of screen real estate the problems appear.

In part, this is down to the panel metaphor that Lightroom has. It works really well in the other modules, where sorting, organising and presetting occurs on the left and fine tuning is on the right. These are generally separate areas for the user to focus on and you don’t have to worry about what is occurring on the left side to use the right hand panels. Plus, of course, you can hide panels if you use them less frequently, or wish to have more real estate for the image.

The new Import Dialog appears using a ‘lightbox’ effect (like the Javascript effect you see on some websites). In Expanded View it retains the panel views from other areas of Lightroom, but this time you have to make this visual link between left (source) and right (destination) when Copying as DNG, Copying, or Moving. There is a lot to take in – lots of eye movement to work out what you are actually doing. The best method to approach it is probably to keep focused on the left side then look at the right side but not to flick between the two.

There are a couple of solutions to this.

The first would be to make the ‘lightbox’ itself resizable. At the moment you can resize the whole window, but if you do that you lose the advantage that the ‘lightbox’ offers which is to focus the eye on the content. If you make the ‘lightbox’ resizable then you can reduce the distance from source to destination. The downside being to make the Thumbnail/Loupe view smaller.

The second way would be to alter the panel setup just for this dialog. After all, the fact that it is in a ‘lightbox’ and not a normal view, means it doesn’t have to follow the same concepts so long as it still retains the basic look and feel.

So here I propose a rejig – it is not a pixel perfect reworking, just a quick rework to show possibilities.

ImportRevise

So here the source and destination are next to each other and the Thumbnail and Loupe are on the right. I have also rejigged the top panel to show, source, destination then import method as this makes more sense with the panel moves.

I haven’t used Aperture for a while now and I have a sneaky memory that this is not dissimilar to Apple’s Import dialog. But, firstly, if it works, then why not?, and secondly, it is not as though Aperture gets much love from Apple, so maybe it is on the way out.
The compact view could follow this pattern too.

Aside from these gripes, there are enough improvements to to make this a leap forward from the 1.x and 2.x Import dialogs. Import Presets, as mentioned, are a good addition allowing more automation. The speed and quality of the thumbnails and loupe is much faster. The Rename Panel has more options. and Thumbnail and Loupe mode really helps cull the cullable.And generally it looks prettier and fits into the Lightroom theme better than the old one ever did.

The other feature that I think will be really appreciated is that the Source panel also doubles up as a File Browser for all the images on your disk, wherever they reside.

And finally, the much requested addition to supported file formats has come to pass. CMYK, Lab and Greyscale (Black and White) files can be imported, but CMYK files will, in effect, be treated as RGB files for their colour space and for Export Original purposes.

(* thanks to John Beardsworth for reminding me I had used the word ‘experience’!)

Further Lightroom 3.0 Beta Resources

Saturday, October 24th, 2009

The initial feedback on Lightroom 3.0 is looking positive. There are naturally a few complaints about missing features (see comments on the last post) but ,as mentioned here and in other places, this Beta is a snapshot in time and there is more to come in the final release.

Michael Reichmann of Luminous Landscape takes a look at the Public Beta as well as the benefits to Adobe of the Public Beta process.

Ian Lyons also looks in depth at the new features at Computer Darkroom.

John Beardsworth has a round-up of other resources as well as six quick tips: Collections in Develop, Slideshow Export, Publish Services, Black and White (YAY!), Filter Lock and stickiness, and Auto-Sync.

Victoria Bampton, The Lightroom Queen, has updated her Adobe Lightroom 3 Beta: The Missing FAQ book, which is a rough cut ebook. Eric Scouten one of the Lightroom Team said of it. “I have to give her credit for teaching me a few things that were in the release.

NAAP has a Lightroom 3 Resource Center.