Test Drive The New Adobe Lightroom 4 Beta

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Test Drive The New Adobe Lightroom 4 BetaThere’s exciting news for Adobe Lightroom users. Adobe has released a public beta version of Lightroom 4. It’s available as a free download to anyone who wants to download and install it. You don’t have to have a current version of Lightroom installed to use it. Of course, it is beta software so it’s a work in progress and you may encounter problems. It also won’t update your current Lightroom catalog to Lightroom 4. Lightroom 4 is only meant for testing so you should really only use it on copies of your photos. That said, if you want to get a closer look at what Adobe has planned, there’s no better way to do that than installing the beta software and playing with some of your photos to find out what it can do. Adobe has released a series of short videos about the Lightroom 4 beta (see below) and I’ve watched them all to learn more about what we can expect from the new software.

Based on what I’ve seen in Adobe’s videos, there are a lot of big changes coming to Lightroom 4. Some of the most obvious are the addition of a Book Module, for creating photo books; mapping photos in the Library Module with GPS data; better video tools, including the ability to do some video editing; and the addition of “soft proofing” in the Develop Module. Most important, at least in my mind, is an overhaul of the tools in the Develop Module making them both more powerful and more intuitive – especially the Graduated Filter and Adjustment Brush.

Rather than try to explain it all to you, I’ll just let Adobe do it themselves, in the videos below. They’re not too long and you can pick and choose to learn about what interests you most. If you’ve never used Lightroom, you should definitely take a look at the videos below. Lightroom has become one of the most important and most-used photography tools since it was introduced a few years ago and all photographers should at least know what it’s all about.

Adobe Lightroom 4 Beta Intro Video:

Adobe Lightroom 4 Beta – Develop Module:

Adobe Lightroom 4 Beta – New Book Module:

Adobe Lightroom 4 Beta – Working With Video:

Adobe Lightroom 4 Beta – Mapping Your Photos With GPS:

I really like what Adobe’s got cooking in the Lightroom 4 beta. I wasn’t even thinking about the next version until the beta was announced. But now I’m psyched about Lightroom 4 – especially the Develop Module updates and the improved video options. How about you? After you watch the videos, let us know what you think!

Learn more & download Lightroom 4 beta software >>

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About the author: Photo-John

Photo-John, a.k.a. John Shafer, is the managing editor of PhotographyREVIEW.com and has been since the site launched back in 1999. He's an avid outdoor enthusiast and spends as much time as possible on his mountain bike, hiking or skiing in the mountains. He's been taking pictures for ever and ever, and never goes anywhere without a camera.

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  • Karen Guyton says:

    Loved watching these videos and can’t wait to start using Lightroom 4!

  • Pam (pweb) says:

    Looks good! I’ve been using Lightroom 3.x versions for about a year–these look like fine improvements, but I’ll pass on downloading the beta version. Instead I’ll practice my video skills to get ready for the new video tools.
    Thanks for posting their videos–their development module one is helpful!.
    Now if they would just add a few little things like panaromas, I wouldn’t have to think about also getting the newest Elements or even CS5…

  • Photo-John says:

    I’m glad you guys liked the videos. I liked them a lot too and figured I couldn’t explain anything better than the videos did :-)

  • Jeremy Hall says:

    The develop module improvements and the book module are of most interest to me, and I’m really excited about the possibilities they offer. Quick and editable book layouts are going to be very helpful. I can already see lots of people offering their layout presets for some great looks. The white balance and noise reduction on the brush are something I’ve wanted for a long time! Someday hopefully we’ll get even more features like HSL and tone curve on the brush I hope.

    The video seems still like a work in progress with some work arounds and limitations that still keep it from being all that useful. The edits to the video appearance seem nice, but you have to export to a lossy format to then later drop them into another editor to do any kind of joining & further editing. That said, I like the progress and look forward to when they get the video portion to the point that people can quickly join photos & edited videos into a nice presentation video.

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