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 perceptually 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 disastrous for software relied upon by the creative professionals 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.