Slugline. Simple, elegant screenwriting.

Red Giant Color Suite, with Magic Bullet Looks 2.5 and Colorista II

  • Sony Alpha a7S Compact Interchangeable Lens Digital Camera
    Sony Alpha a7S Compact Interchangeable Lens Digital Camera
  • Panasonic LUMIX DMC-GH4KBODY 16.05MP Digital Single Lens Mirrorless Camera with 4K Cinematic Video (Body Only)
    Panasonic LUMIX DMC-GH4KBODY 16.05MP Digital Single Lens Mirrorless Camera with 4K Cinematic Video (Body Only)
  • TASCAM DR-100mkII 2-Channel Portable Digital Recorder
    TASCAM DR-100mkII 2-Channel Portable Digital Recorder
  • The DV Rebel's Guide: An All-Digital Approach to Making Killer Action Movies on the Cheap (Peachpit)
    The DV Rebel's Guide: An All-Digital Approach to Making Killer Action Movies on the Cheap (Peachpit)
    by Stu Maschwitz

Lightroom 3 Public Beta

Vignetty and grainy image made possible by Lightroom 3 public beta. With just a little more work this photo made with a $2,700 camera and a $1,600 lens could look almost as good as one made with a $30 Holga.

I am late in mentioning that Adobe has released a public beta of Lightroom 3.

I love Lightroom. It makes me so happy.

Here are my three favorite features of the new public beta:

  • Post-crop vignette no longer looks like a slightly-used dog’s breakfast. I posted a detailed rant about this issue after the feature was released in Lightroom 2. It’s so much better now. Not perfect, but better. There are many options to play with, including a choice of modes. Tom Hogarty implied in his blog post that Adobe would like to know which you tend to prefer. All I care about is that a post-crop vignette look as much like the real thing as possible.
  • Grain. In a release focussed on image quality, Adobe goes and gives us a feature to make our images more noisy. And that is because the lead Lightroom engineers are photographers, and they know that grain, like horses, is pretty. What’s not pretty is sensor noise, which lives exponentially more in the shadows. Lightroom’s grain is more perceptualy uniform, making it look very film-like. Remove noise, add grain, rule world.
  • And my third favorite feature is that there’s a public beta at all. With these kinds of applications, a dialog with the users is absolutely critical. As I’ve written in the past, Apple’s policy of black-box secrecy that works so well for iPods and iPhones is disaterous for software relied upon by the creative proffesionals who are traditionally supposed to be the biggest Mac fans. Kudos to Adobe for keeping the conversation open.

If you’ve ever wanted to try out Lightroom, now’s your chance to do it for free until at least April 30, 2010, which is when the current beta expires.

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Reader Comments (25)

I blogged about it as well a few days ago, and I love the new effects too. I think it's a great app.

However, I would have liked an HDR tone mapping workflow too. I mean, Photoshop's tone mapping tools are not as direct and easy to get with as Photomatix is, and in my opinion, it's Lightroom where such a feature should have been present.

Also, I think that masking would have been useful too. I mean, sure, Photoshop can do that, but when it comes to simple masking in order to change some colors or lighting, it should be in Lightroom too.

October 25, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterEugenia

If you haven't already, checkout the overview videos on the Lightroom page of Adobe TV ( )

October 25, 2009 | Unregistered Commenteradobe1

That's a helpful link but who the hell is "adobe1?" FYI, I hate anonymous comments and usually delete them.

October 25, 2009 | Registered CommenterStu

I wish they did support video library for now :(

October 25, 2009 | Unregistered Commenterfrancoistarlier

Oh, one more... I tried its secondary display ability, and it can only show in the secondary display the library thumbnails window, while what I was expecting to see there was the actual working image in full screen... I couldn't find a way to enable this and I found it very odd, because they did bother to add secondary display support, but not for the actual picture being worked on! :o

October 25, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterEugenia

But still no multi-user support! Hard to see how you can use LR in a pro environment without it.

October 25, 2009 | Unregistered Commentertobyn

It is the modal operation of LR that still drives me nuts. Its features are great, now waaay in advance of poor creaking Apeture, and it doesn't curl up and crash at 180 MB TIFFs from my Hasselblad.

But... in "normal" viewing mode you can press the cursor keys to go between images. If you have a tool selected, you need to press OPT-cursor, pressing just the cursor key does something different. The N key selects the retocuh tool, unless you are already in it, in which case it deselects it. Why can't hitting N take you to the develop panel and retouch tool WHEREVER you are and WHATEVER you are doing? I don't want to have to remember where I am at when I suddenly see that dust spot which needs removing. I want to push a button and do it.

Modal programming was something they were teaching me not to do in software design classes twenty years ago. Why should I care that the program is a bunch of separate modules? Make all the keyboard shortcuts navigate between them in a purely user-driven, non-modal, not-contextual, this keyboard shortcut always does THIS and only this way, then I won't have to know. Or care.

October 25, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterHywel Phillips

Nice. I just tried Lightroom for the second time today. And it's working out great. Much better than Aperture which actually slowed my workflow and hurt my backups (I know it won't do this for everyone, but kudos to Lightroom for working for me).

October 25, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterJason

post crop vignette was my nemesis... until now :)

October 25, 2009 | Unregistered Commenterjohn

1- your vignetting in the picture is too obvious to my taste... And Holga dont cost 30$ anymore! They are 70$ now!
2- totally agree with the post crop vignetting
3- that is why I am moving 180gig of pictures from Aperture to LR. Aperture is old, slow and never implemented features desired by photographers. For me, only Capture One and LR are real pro apps and I am prefering LR simply because C1 assumes too much that you are shooting in a studio with a make up artist (it has no pixel level correction tools).

October 25, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterAlain

Yeh, if LR3 production release works I will move my mutiple terabytes of images from Aperture to LR, too. Shame that both of them still need Phocus as a pre-processor for the Hasselblad's files: LR only reads the "really raw" 3FR files, Aperture at least reads the FFF files but the colours are nothing like as good as from Phocus. Non-corrected lens distortions I can live with, weirdo colour rendition I can't. (I think Phocus might be able to export DNG with colours fixed, which might be an alternative to 180 MB Tiffs clogging the place up).

At least LR3 deals well with 5D Mk II images, which tend to crash Aperture. And the Portraiture plugin works much more stably in LR than Aperture, too.

October 25, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterHywel Phillips

I'm so happy Adobe is willing to throw their software out into the wild to get feedback and gauge responses to their features. They can't address everything, but it is good to know they're out they listening. I'm sure the devs at Apple are listening, too (anonymously), but Adobe's method is so much better.

New tools are very nice, especially noise cleanup, grain, and a better vignette.

I would love to see support for video in Lightroom as well, but not because of image processing. It's amazing how much I've come to rely on the app as a database of my images (some would say life). I'm a tag hag and it has totally changed the way I keep track of my images....

October 25, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterJohn Montgomery

Tag hag! Love it!

October 25, 2009 | Registered CommenterStu

Hywell, that thing about the N key is probably a feature request that Adobe would like to hear. Other shortcuts do work the way you desire, for example you can hit R for cRop while in Library, even in the Grid view, and it will take you to Develop and activate the Crop mode.

I have to say that I never even think about LR's "modes," because I just keep my left hand on the G and D keys. G for Grid view, D for develop. I've long since forgotten that first-time-user confusion that most people have when they double click on an image in Grid view and are presented with no real editing controls.

October 25, 2009 | Registered CommenterStu

I love adding noise to my flawless 5DMkII shots too :P I love Lightroom as well. I started out as an Aperture user, but quickly switched to LR. Although I do most of my processing in PS, I always do final blacks crunching and vignetting in LR.

October 25, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterLisa Bettany

For me, the arrival of Lightroom meant the near death of Photoshop. I probably launch it once or twice a month.

October 25, 2009 | Registered CommenterStu

I can't wait to try the new LR 3 Beta. Same here, it's become my first stop for photo organization and processing. I only drop into PS when I need to do some serious paint work / touch up.

October 26, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterBoz

does Lightroom have a batch command option? i really would like to try noise removal and grain add to my image sequences...

October 27, 2009 | Unregistered Commenterdetox

@detoc Yes, it's called AutoSync mode and is shown by a switch in Develop. When you're in this mode, your adjustments are applied to all the images you have selected. It's much, much faster than using Sync or Aperture's awkward lift and stamp (copy and paste) two step process. Great for sequences - eg with dust spots in same place, needing identical WB adjustment etc etc

October 27, 2009 | Unregistered Commenterjohn


Can I migrate my libraries and albums (with tags and such) from Aperture to LightRoom? I have a 500GB collection in Aperture which is safely backed up in 3 places - what's involved in making the switch?

October 30, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterSteve Dorsey

I've never heard of a solution for importing libraries with tags intact. I think most people who switch keep their old stuff in Aperture and do new stuff in LR.

October 30, 2009 | Registered CommenterStu

So I'm rather enjoying LRpb3. I used it to tweak (IE massively adjust everything possible) a couple of pictures I took at a car race a week ago. I ended up with some pretty great photos of a Ford GT40 (the one from the 60's, not the modern Ford GT) and a Porsche GT3.

Kinda like Stu said in his Fact/Moment/Light post, the photos as I've tweaked 'em help convey the emotion I felt when I saw those cars in person. You can see the photos on my Flickr page:

Obviously, especially with the Porsche photo, that's not what it looked like in person. But as a car guy who grew up with a dad who drove Porsches for years, seeing one of the fastest, most advanced Porsches available stirs me in a way that the flat, low-contrast original photo doesn't do justice.

Oh, and since this is Prolost, I shot the photos with my 7D with the EF-S 17-55mm f/2.8 USM IS lens.

October 31, 2009 | Unregistered Commenterjim shields

Has adobe ever mentioned of LR being able to import video? That'd be slick. Get on it Adobe.

October 31, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterD.C. Josepjh

On Lightroom Beta v3:

I tried out the export slideshow to 1080p and put it up on vimeo. It works...HD video out from slideshow. Now got to go out and take better photos....

November 1, 2009 | Unregistered Commenterlaurence zankowski

Lightroom 3 also requires an Intel-based machine. That might be less important than it used to, but it may still be a consideration for some folks
VFX course

November 23, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterVFX course
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Sorry, comments are disabled temporarily while I tweak some stuff.
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