Well, let the gadget hounds attack – Adobe has released a Beta version of Lightroom 4!  There’s a couple new features to it, but to be honest, it’s nothing I found really earth-shattering or  ground-breaking in technological terms.  These are updates I would have expected in a dot update release (say a Lightroom 3.5?) rather than a full feature update that we have to pay for. What are the nuts and bolts?  Good question!  Here’s the basics of what you can get now:

Lightroom 4 Beta

  • Maps Module *yawn* Other software does this already
  • Books Module *yawn* Should have been there in a 3.x update imho
  • Shadow/Highlights tools to add fake dynamic range for the HDR crowd (surprise surprise) – nice enough, but not enough to entice to buy
  • Video file support *shrug* How much would one use LR for video anyway?
  • Soft proofing *meh* I don’t print out of LR much anymore as my vendor takes care of prints for me….
  • Adjustment brush additions *meh* While the additions are welcome, again, hardly incentive to pony up for this…
  • Email photos direct from Lightroom *Huh?*  I know, this is surprising that it took this long to incorporate something this simple into the 4th generation of a product line

Will I buy the update?  Probably yes, because I am already “current”, and the price of not updating is more expensive long term ($99 versus $300)…  Also, in the interest of keeping current tutorials and such here on the blog for the readership is also present, so, that kind of colors my decision-making process.  For what they are releasing though – and the plethora of already existing outlets to do these additional tasks, I am not sure the regular photographer types will be justified in the upgrade pricing of $99-$120 (especially considering the economy right now…)

What about everyone else?  Worth the upgrade or not?

Sorry, there are no polls available at the moment.

6 thoughts on “Lightroom 4 Beta

  1. I think the new MAP module is a great addition. I already geotag 95% of my images in a different program before importing them to Lightroom and the ability to incorporate this ability in Lightroom for me is a real time saver.

    I also think you maybe mistaken when it comes to the shadows/highlights tool. Yes, when placed to extremes it create a faux HDR effect. But when used subtlety (less than 20% on the slider) you can pull an extra stop of light out of the shadows or highlights presenting you with an image with more detail than you may otherwise have.

    The books module should just be a part of the printing module. Video, I really don’t care about it, but I can see how some would find it useful. I have a plug-in for emailing from Lightroom that I have never used. I don’t think I will ever use this new “feature” either.

  2. So after years of us asking for features like easier collaboration etc we get a maps feature. Freakin awesome adobe 🙂 Better utilisation of faster computers, possibly even using the gpu for heavy processing tasks like outputting a few thousand images to jpg or creating thumbnails on import, all good things they could have done. This stinks of being a .5 release dressed up in daddies boots.
    I’m playing with it now, Lightrooms value is in time saved in front of a computer. The biggest chance of that happening with LR4 seems to be the books section, assuming it opens up to other labs, there are better templating options etc and perhaps even output to jpg / tiff.

  3. a very none enthusiastic reception in your household then? but as you say you have to stay current and in terms of value for mine from the Adobe stable LR is an absolute steal.

    i am a little busy planning my attack on 2012 but when i get sue time i’ll have to have a play.

    1. The NAPP community is rife with thoughts and perspectives. One that succinctly put it (and with which I wholeheartedly agree) said that:

      “In my mind, the primary purpose of products like Lightroom and Aperture is to act as a digital asset manager. It’s there to organize your media, first and foremost.
      …I find it interesting that none of the new features have anything to do with asset management. Yet, Lightroom is rife with need for improvement there. That catalog system is quaint, but antiquated.

      There are many things that I like in Lightroom and I think it’s a good product, but it needs to firm up its core”

      1. Interesting, I never really viewed it as an asset management tool (although am aware that is a strength of LR). After I shoot it allows me spend approx 90 minutes in post per hour shooting. For me that is invaluable and the main reason I use LR, a quick workflow that produces quality results with the safety of being non destructive.
        Shooting medium format would end up with most of the week spent developing a printing a weekends work. The early days of digital were pretty similar, days in photoshop dealing with a clumsy interface (for that purpose), a big reason I stuck with film for longer than most did.
        Adobe may have intended LR to primarily be an asset management tool that ties into photoshop for actual post work but I guess it took off as a workflow in one place solution, unintentionally, just like the 5d2 did for dslr video. Not only is LR cheap (and insanely so when on special offer for $99 for a full copy), but it is quick and produces quality results. I haven’t upgraded photoshop since cs 🙂

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