Excerpt: Lightroom is tailored for photographers who often don’t need or want the robust image-manipulation tools offered by the pricier Photoshop. From its outset, Lightroom presented photographers with a logical, clean workflow that facilitated photo improvements rather than alterations. Lightroom 2 added 64-bit support and some refinements—welcome, certainly, but the second version didn’t seem like much more than an incremental update.
Excerpt: Adobe’s stand-alone raw app gives you all the granular photo-hacking horsepower of ACR, plus even more sophisticated photographic adjustments tools and a powerful database tool for managing your collection. And like any good raw app, Lightroom is a nondestructive editor, saving changes to metadata settings, rather than changing the pixels themselves, as Photoshop does. If you’re only familiar with image editors like Photoshop, Lightroom takes some adjustment.
Excerpt: The latest version of Lightroom is coming into full use as more and more plug-ins and export options come into play. This month Jon Canfield takes a look at the essential ingredients; next month we have another opinion about the latest version of Lightroom that takes a different point of view.
Excerpt: This application is, as the name suggests, the electronic equivalent of the darkroom except that it is used in the light. It has been around in free beta form for some months so it is well tested for bugs.
Pros: The interface is attractive and intuitive. It is a big improvement on Photoshop RAW and is much better than the crippled RAW converters that come with camera software. It is also faster in operation than any RAW converter we have used, with the exception of the excellent Bibble Pro .
Cons: We find Adobe’s curious redefinition of common English words to be misleading. As with all Adobe applications the learning curve is steep.
Conclusion: Lightroom 3 looks to be taking the software in the right direction, although for beta users you will be mainly seeing under the hood changes rather than anything that will visually knock your socks off from the get go. Adobe is clearly following Microsoft and the Windows 7 route here by allowing its user base to get to grips with the software in order to hear how they use it so the package can be improved.
Pros: New features, quicker, more options, flickr support, no current information on whether you'll be able to export catalogue into full version
Cons: Can't currently import Lightroom 2 catalogue, Not the full package, Beta runs out in 2010
Summary: Lightroom is a sophisticated, intelligent application, and I'd recommend it to professional photographers. I just wish its features were included in other Adobe apps; I'm a little annoyed that it's an extra expense.
Pros: Incredible array of searchable metadata elements, huge variety of colour and exposure adjustments, excellent printing features, photo edits are non-destructive
Cons: Felt sluggish on a 3.2GHz Pentium 4-based system