Lightroom 4 Public Beta Available

Having used Lightroom since its initial release 6 years ago, I’m excited about the announcement and availability of each new version. Today Adobe announced the availability of Lightroom 4 Public Beta. This version introduces two new modules – Book and Map – and adds major new functionality to the existing modules.

New Features in Lightroom 4 Beta (from the Adobe Labs site):

  • Highlight and shadow recovery brings out all the detail that your camera captures in dark shadows and bright highlights.
  • Photo book creation with easy-to-use elegant templates.
  • Location-based organization lets you find and group images by location, assign locations to images, and display data from GPS-enabled cameras.
  • White balance brush to refine and adjust white balance in specific areas of your images.
  • Additional local editing controls let you adjust noise reduction and remove moiré in targeted areas of your images.
  • Extended video support for organizing, viewing, and making adjustments and edits to video clips.
  • Easy video publishing lets you edit and share video clips on Facebook and Flickr®.
  • Soft proofing to preview how an image will look when printed with color-managed printers.
  • Email directly from Lightroom using the email account of your choice.

Lightroom 4 Public Beta can be downloaded from the Adobe Labs website.

Tom Hogarty’s Lightroom Journal has a complete description of new features, system requirements and known issues, and a very comprehensive list of Lightroom 4 resources.

Michael Reichmann has a streaming video describing the new features on his Luminous Landscape site.

The new soft proofing feature is one of the most exciting and highly anticipated additions to Lightroom. Andrew Rodney, The Digital Dog, has a very compelling video on his website describing this feature.

Ian Lyons has an illustrated preview of Lightroom 4 on his site with links to other sites that describe the new release.

Scott Kelby’s NAPP Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 4 Beta Launch Center is up and operational.

Then there’s Adobe TV, where Digital Imaging Evangelist Julieanne Kost walks you through new features, workflows and enhancements in the latest release of Lightroom 4 beta.

In the coming days, many more descriptions, tutorials and reviews will appear on the Web. Stay tuned. And I would be remiss in not including the following caveats from Adobe:

This download will install Lightroom 4 beta and will work independently alongside your installation of Lightroom 1 or higher. The beta version is intended to provide an opportunity to give feedback and as such, does not read, upgrade or import catalogs from previous versions of Lightroom. If you currently own Lightroom, please continue to use Lightroom 1 or higher for your primary workflow needs.

When you install Lightroom 4 beta, the software will remain active through March 2012. Once the final version of Lightroom 4 is available, please follow the new installation instructions.

Note: This is a public beta, not a final product. Neither the quality nor the features are complete yet. We want to show you our direction and get your feedback so that we can incorporate it into future releases. This public beta release does not include all of the features that will be part of Lightroom 4, but instead gives you a preview of some of the new features.

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