Today Adobe released a beta version of the next major upgrade to Lightroom…. Lightroom 2.0 Beta is being released to the public for testing and feedback.

According to Adobe this is essentially the upgraded feature set we can expect when the final public release happens. And there are a lot of exciting additions, including:

– Improved Filter Bar to search and refine images
– 10k pixel size limit raised to 30k pixels
– Four flexible modes for an alternate window:  Grid, Loupe, Compare, Survey  (Check out the Live Loupe mode!)
– Open files in Photoshop as a Smart Object
– Select multiple images to merge as a Panorama
– Merge multiple exposures into a single Photoshop HDR image
– Load multiple files or virtual copies into Photoshop as separate layers in a single document.
– Auto-add exported images to the Lightroom catalog
– Auto Output Sharpening for images on export
– Non-Destructive Localized Correction for dodging and burning specific areas of an image
– Post Crop Vignette
– Enhanced Print Sharpening based on PhotoKit Sharpener algorithms
– 16-bit Printing for Mac OS X 10.5

Here is the link to the Adobe Labs site, where you can download the Beta:
http://labs.adobe.com/technologies/lightroom/

Here are two helpful writeups of some of the major improvements:
http://blogs.adobe.com/lightroomjournal/
http://lightroom-news.com/2008/04/02/ian-lyons-overview-of-lightroom-20-beta/

And here’s a link to the Release Notes for this Beta version:
https://www.photographyessentials.net/distribution/lightroom2_b1_releasenotes.pdf

I’d recommend that — if Lightroom is an important part of your digital photography workflow — you stay tuned to these developments.

As Always:
– maintain current backups of your image files and Lightroom database
– in Beta software don’t do anything important that you can’t reproduce later if needed
– consider providing feedback to the development community

In my opinion this is great news and something to be excited about. Feel free to contact me directly if you have any questions, problems with links etc. or just want to chat about Lightroom.

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