June 8, 2010 – Adobe just announced that Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 3 is available. You can download it directly from the Adobe website.
If you’ve been using Lightroom 2, you already know its power and limitations. Lightroom 3 adds some key improvements – such as processing speed – but doesn’t fix everything. You may remember that even Photoshop was pretty limited in its early versions. Lightroom is following that same steady path to perfection.
If you haven’t upgraded to Photoshop CS5, you can save 30% on Lightroom 3 by buying it together with Photoshop CS5. Click here to save 30%.
What’s New in Lightroom 3?
I’ve only had an hour or so to play with my freshly installed Lightroom 3. The most obvious thing about Lightroom 3 is that it looks just like Lightroom 2. So, you won’t have to learn a whole new user interface. You can continue to work as you did with Lightroom 2 and learn Lightroom 3′s new features as you go.
Lightroom 3 installs alongside Lightroom 2. So, you can use either version. You’ll need to upgrade your catalogs the first time you open them with Lightroom 3 – Lightroom handles this with minimal input on your part – but they’ll be saved with a new name, so you can always go back to Lightroom 2 and your old catalog if your prefer.
Bye the way, it works fine on my PC running the 64-bit version of Windows 7 Home Premium.
Adobe lists these Lightroom 2 vs. Lightroom 3 improvements on their website. I’ve added comments based on my first impressions.
|New Feature||Adobe Says||PhotoCitizen says|
|Superior noise reduction||new state-of-the-art noise reduction technology.||A huge improvement over Lightroom 2. Looks like I may not need Nik Dfine anymore.|
|Accelerated performance||it’s faster.||it is faster!|
|Supports DSLR video files||manage stills and video side-by-side.||Organize your videos in Lightroom. One click plays them in your computer’s video software. You’ll need other software for editing.|
|Image watermarking||embed text or graphical watermarks into your images||Finally! Real watermarking.|
|Easy image importing||faster and better interface||The interface is more intuitive. Import from folders listed on the left and save to folders on the right.|
|Perspective correction||reduce distortion such as buildings “falling over” caused by the camera pointing up||I might not need my DxO Optics Pro plugin for this anymore.|
|Lens correction||automatically reduce lens defects such as distortion and vignetting||Make a preset for each of your lenses. Not as automatic or as optically accurate as DxO Optics Pro.|
|Easy-to-share slide show videos with music||they can even be exported as high-definition video.||not as full-featured as ProShow Gold or Producer, but a huge improvement over Lightroom 2.|
|More flexible print packages||easily create your own print layouts.||Drag images from the filmstrip into your layout. Much easier than Lightroom 2.|
|Flickr integration||upload directly to flickr.||I won’t need my old third-party flickr plugin.|
|Tethered shooting||instantly import and view images as you shoot them (for select cameras).||Not much use for travel photographers, but studio pros will appreciate this feature.|
|Film grain simulation||use new sliders to easily control the amount, size, and roughness of grain.||Not something I’ll use everyday, but fun to play with when I’m feeling creative.|
Try It or Buy It
If you’re not sure about Lightroom 3, you can download a free 30-day trial version.
If you’re already a Lightroom 2 user, you know it’s good. And, at $99, the upgrade is cheap. The full version is $299. And, don’t forget about the 30% discount on purchase of both Photoshop CS5 and Lightroom 3.
If you use any link on this page to buy Adobe products, you’ll be supporting PhotoCitizen at no cost to you. Thanks for that.
With all the publicity generated by the release of Lightroom 3, I’m sure Adobe’s website will be inundated over the next few days. So, don’t be discouraged if it takes a few minutes to connect and download your software.
More To Come
I’ll be writing more about Adobe Lightroom 3 in the next few days, so check back.