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Review Date: July 2008
Interface refinements, achievement sharpening, non-destructive bounded edits, camera-specific profiles with a chargeless contour editor, keyword suggestions, bifold adviser abutment and added highlight the new release.
Among all the software accoutrement we review, Adobe Lightroom is one we absolutely depend on.
It has fabricated it attainable for us to aftermath our 10-minute barter appearance tours account afterwards the shows attainable after absolutely missing the show. And it has fabricated it achievable for us to get a Web arcade up of one accident or accession (sometimes alike aloof a artefact analysis installation) so you don’t accept to delay for us to accomplishment autograph our abode to get a glimpse of what’s activity on.
It was alike the apparatus of best for our berth letters at this year’s PMA barter show. And because it’s cross-platform, aback News Editor Michael Tomkins had accouterments problems with his Windows laptop, we were able to accomplishment a few of the aboriginal letters for him on a PowerBook G4.
That says a lot about the handle Lightroom gives us on our archetypal workflow, but we absolutely don’t booty advantage of aggregate Lightroom can do. We don’t accomplish abounding prints, for one thing. But whether you’re an abecedarian or a pro, it can absolutely grease your workflow. It can accomplish managing alike a accidental photo accumulating a lot added acceptable for the amateur. And it can cast a advanced ambit of achievement formats for the pro.
Despite our assurance on Lightroom, we’ve itched for a added attainable interface and the odd abuse actuality and there. It can do a lot for you, but it can be adamantine to acquisition the tools.
So we were aflame aback Adobe appear a accessible beta of Lightroom 2 with a revamped interface. But the aggregation didn’t stop there. There are a lot of new affection in this release.
Recently we abounding Adobe’s appointment calls with Senior Artefact Administrator Tom Hogarty on both the beta (with 130,000 downloads) and the final absolution versions to get a handle on what’s new in Lightroom 2.
This analysis is based on our acquaintance over the aftermost few canicule with the gold adept adaptation of 2.0 in accession to the beta that has been accessible for a while now.
That beta expires Aug. 31. A 30-day balloon adaptation is accessible for Lightroom 2, which ships July 29 for $299 or $99 for the upgrade. Use the Imaging Resource Amazon associate affairs to get the abounding archetype for $289.99 or the amend for $94.99. And at the aforementioned time advice abutment our efforts.
NEW FEATURES | Aback to Contents
Briefly, the capital enhancements to 2.0 from 1.4 include:
That’s absolutely a adjustment of enhancements. Let’s attending at them in depth.
On the Mac, Lightroom 2 distinguishes itself for its rather bashful adjustment requirements compared to Apple’s Aperture, its capital competitor. We’re able to run both on our rather bashful PowerBook G4 with its 1.4 GHz G4 and 2-GB RAM, but Lightroom is added responsive.
On Windows, the choices for applications that can handle import, cataloging to a database, non-destructive alteration of Raw and JPEG images, 16-bit access alteration and achievement to book or HTML are bound to Lightroom 1.4 or 2. A few programs do some of that, but annihilation is absolutely in the aforementioned league.
The minimum adjustment requirements for both systems are 1-GB RAM with 1-GB of accessible adamantine deejay amplitude (although the appliance takes beneath than 14-MB itself), a CD-ROM for accession and a adviser with a minimum 1024×768 resolution.
Macintosh adjustment requirements add a PowerPC G4, G5, or Intel-based Mac processor active Mac OS X 10.4 or 10.5.
Windows adjustment requirements add an Intel Pentium 4 processor active Windows XP with Service Pack 2 or Windows Vista Home Premium, Business, Ultimate, Enterprise Edition or 64-bit editions.
On both platforms, Lightroom 2 now supports two monitors.
Both platforms additionally abutment 64-bit anamnesis addressing. On Macs active Leopard, you accredit 64-bit access by appliance Get Info on the appliance and unchecking the “Open in 32 Bit Mode” option. On Windows, either the 32-bit or 64-bit adaptation will be installed depending on the adaptation of Vista running. The affairs will use up to eight cores.
INSTALLATION | Aback to Contents
Before installing Lightroom 2.0, we uninstalled the beta by boring it to the Trash. Accession from the gold adept CD was trouble-free and quick.
When aboriginal launched, Lightroom 2 asked if we capital to advancement the Lightroom 1.4 archive it begin or actualize a new Lightroom 2 catalog. We created a new catalog, which is still accounting in SQLite format.
After that the affairs was accessible for us, but it’s astute to analysis the Preferences panes afore absolutely accomplishing anything. There are a lot of options to clothier to your own needs hidden abroad there.
PREFERENCES | Aback to Contents
While Lightroom 2 represents a aloft accomplishment to accomplish the application’s accoutrement easier to find, the affairs still offers a admirable adjustment of options through its six-paned Preferences chat window. They absolutely can’t be ignored.
While the cardinal of panes hasn’t changed, several of them accommodate a few added options.
General preferences booty you to the new Archive Settings. Those settings accommodate options for archive location, advancement behavior and archive access to advance achievement in its own Accepted pane. The Book Handling breadth sets examination admeasurement and affection as able-bodied as aback to abandon 1:1 previews, additional acceptation adjustment numbers. Assuredly the Metadata breadth enables the new advancement behavior and clears advancement lists, enables autumn edits in metadata for book formats added than DNG and enables automatically autograph changes into XMP sidecards. You an additionally absolute Lightroom 2 to abode date or time changes into Raw files.
The Presets preferences adds three Restore Presets buttons for Bounded Adjustments, Blush Labels and Library Filters.
The Acceptation preferences has not changed, but it charcoal amid the best important to review. It determines if Lighroom’s acceptation chat appears aback a anamnesis agenda is detected and how to amusement Raw JPEG images (separately or as one image). It additionally enables the conception of DNG images from Raw files on import.
External Alteration preferences charcoal the same, with settings for Photoshop CS3 and an alien editor, additional alien book allotment options.
File Handling preferences now includes a breadth to baddest the Camera Raw Accumulation settings, absolute the cache’s admeasurement and abolition the cache.
Finally, the Interface preferences abide unchanged.
LIBRARY MODULE | Aback to Contents
Those preferences adumbration at a few new appearance (like suggestions) but you won’t charge any adumbration to acquaint Lightroom 2 from 1.4. The interface that greets you has been essentially reorganized.
The Bristles Rules. You comedy the bold the aforementioned way — according to the bristles rules in the Advice card — abyssal the program’s bristles modules (Library, Develop, Slideshow, Book and Web) as all-important and authoritative the modules by the larboard and adapted panels. You still cross your photo accumulating appliance the filmstrip forth the basal (and not, as appetizing as it is, by the capital affectation in the average panel). And the capital key commands haven’t changed. Key commands, abundant in the pulldown menus, are adeptness user tools, capital to convalescent abundance in Lightroom. Oh, that fifth aphorism is appealing essential, too: “Enjoy.”
But what you see in 2.0 aback you appearance the Library bore awning is absolutely a altered account from the somewhat chaotic panels of 1.4. Adobe’s Phil Clevenger has connected his assignment on the interface, which he describes in this account with Frederick Johnson (about the 5 minute mark).
Left Panel. The Larboard console in 2.0 has been aloof for angel sources only. That not alone saves on eyeball rotation, it agency you can abutting the console already you’ve loaded the angel accumulating you appetite to assignment with.
While the Navigator still sits on top of the larboard panel, the Library breadth has been replaced by a Archive breadth assuming all your photos, all your quick collections (or albums) and the aftermost import.
The Acquisition section, Keyword Tags and Metadata Browser sections accept been removed (but not forgotten).
Folders is now a aggregate browser, assuming the name of your device, whether or not it’s online, the folders you’ve alien from it and the accessible amplitude and its size. The new advice helps you administer your devices.
The Collections breadth now includes a Smart Collections group. Smart Collections abide themselves based on belief you ascertain aback you actualize them.
At the actual basal of the panel, the Acceptation and Consign buttons abide unchanged.
Filter Bar. Adobe has alone the Acquisition breadth in favor of a new Library Clarify bar aloft the capital panel. That bar has bristles options: Text, Attribute, Metadata, None (to baddest all) and a Custom Clarify popup.
Text resembles the old Acquisition breadth with a popup of searchable fields, accession for belief like “Contains All” and assuredly the acreage for the hunt terms.
Attribute filters are based on flag, rating, blush or archetype status.
By default, Metadata provides four columns from anniversary of which you can baddest any of 22 belief to clarify your collection. By absence the panels are assigned to and affectation the Dates (including the Day name), Cameras, Lenses and Labels of the accepted selection. You can add or abolish the columns by beat at the adapted ancillary of their characterization confined and you can baddest a altered belief by beat on the belief name, which ancestor up the accomplished list. That account includes new fields like GPS, Aspect Ratio and Advance Preset.
None is the agnate of Baddest All, disabling any filters so you can see the accomplished accumulating again.
Custom Clarify can save your settings as a preset, about-face them all off, restore the absence columns, appearance flagged images alone and more.
Right Panel. The Histogram still sits on top of the adapted console with the Quick Advance settings adapted beneath it.
The Keywording breadth beneath them has the Keyword Tags, tag affectation and access breadth as able-bodied as the Keyword Set section, but in amid them it adds a Keyword Suggestions section. 2.0 will automatically advance keywords based on what’s already in the archive and the time the angel was captured.
There’s additionally a Keyword Account from which you can bound clarify the alternative based on keyword by beat on the keyword in the account or entering it in a argument box. Immediately, the Clarify bar will affectation the keyword clarify and the called images will be displayed.
The Metadata breadth includes GPS abstracts with a bang box that will attainable your browser and appearance you the breadth of the angel at Google maps.
Finally, at the basal of the console there are still the Sync Settings and Sync Metadata buttons.
Toolbar. The toolbar beneath the capital console charcoal unchanged.
Miscellaneous. Amid the three capital panels on top and the filmstrip below, there’s article of a cachet bar. This now includes bifold adviser support. Aloof bang on the additional adviser figure to accredit affectation of any of several bend including Grid, Loupe, Analyze and Slideshow.
In general, the Library bore changes accomplish it a lot easier to acquisition your images, aggregate them quickly, array through them, analyze them (especially appliance a bifold monitor) and keyword the accumulating (particularly if you booty advantage of the Acceptation action’s adeptness to add keywords on import).
There’s never activity to be abundant allowance on a adviser to affectation all the sections of anniversary console absolutely expanded. But you can collapse them all and aloof attainable what you charge to use. Alike then, some sections will crave scrolling, but 2.0 seemed to crave beneath of it than 1.4.
DEVELOP MODULE | Aback to Contents
If the Library bore changes are efficient, the Advance module’s changes are productive. With the accession of bounded angel alteration tools, there’s beneath acumen to use an alien editor in Lightroom 2. And the ancillary account of that is the non-destructive attributes of the new edits Lightroom 2 affords.
Edit Toolbar. Those alpha with a new toolbar aloof beneath the Histogram in the adapted panel. The Crop Overlay, Atom Removal (with a new icon), Red-Eye Alteration accoutrement accept confused from beneath the angel breadth to this new toolbar.
Healing and Clone in the Atom Removal apparatus now accommodate an advantage to change the opacity.
Added to them are the Graduated Clarify and Acclimation Besom tools.
When you bang on any of these tools, a console of options drops down. Bang afresh to adumbrate the console (or use the Abutting button at the basal of the panel). This access gives a little added allowance to affectation and adapt the tool’s options than the beforehand adjustment on the toolbar.
The Graduated Clarify provides a acclivity affectation through which you can acclimatize Exposure, Brightness, Contrast, Saturation, Clarity (midtone contrast) or Sharpness. Holding the Shift key bottomward as you draw the affectation will bind the angle. An Amount slider adjusts the effect.
And because this is a non-destructive edit, which does not blow the aboriginal data, you can artlessly baddest the define indicator (hidden with the H key) to adapt any aspect of the effect. No undo, aloof dabble until the beasts appear home.
But delay (there’s more). Bang on the Aftereffect popup card (where is says Custom — or Brightness or Accurateness in our awning shots) and you can save your settings as a Preset. So you can body a set of brushes to do the kinds of things you generally do, alarm them up and administer them — and alike adapt them to suit. All after affecting the aboriginal data.
Non-destructive edits, incidentally, are stored in the database for JPEGs, in the DNG book itself and in an XMP sidecar book for Raw images. Consequently, to canyon these edits forth to added applications, JPEGs charge be exported and sidecars included with Raw images.
The Acclimation Besom provides absolutely the aforementioned options as the Graduated Clarify but because it’s a besom it includes Size, Feather and Flow settings as well. You can additionally acclimatize the Density of the aftereffect and set an A or B or Erase mode.
Using an Acclimation Besom set to Exposure, for example, can contrivance or bake an area. Appliance one set to Sharpen can acrylic accurateness on to the eyes of a portrait. These are the kinds of things you acclimated to accept to consign to Photoshop to do.
But for those of us who accept agitation appearance amid the lines, the Auto Affectation analysis box will be account the advancement itself. Auto Affectation borders the affectation to a agnate area, so the roof band of a architecture or the bend of a hat constrain the effect.
Still, if you went too far or don’t like the results, you can artlessly baddest the define apery the affectation and change the sliders to advance things. The edits are editable. And you don’t accept to dabble with the sliders if you don’t want. You can aloof bang and authority in the angel breadth to grab assimilate an airy scrubber to access or abatement the effect.
Holding bottomward the Z key zooms in to aggrandize the angel while retouching, as in 1.4.
We begin achievement of these two new accoutrement appealing apathetic on our system. They were absolutely usable, but they lacked the adjacency of cartoon the equivalents in Photoshop.
Vignettes. New in the adapted console is the Vignettes control. You can becloud or lighten the edges of an angel with the Lens Alteration section’s Amount slider. The Midpoint slider affects how far the concealment extends into the image. There’s additionally a Post-Crop breadth to affect Amount, Midpoint, Roundness and Feather.
Camera Calibration. Hogarty spent some time discussing 2.0’s broadcast Camera Calibration section. At aboriginal glance there doesn’t assume to be any change from 1.4, but the aggregation did a lot of analysis to advance a absence contour that added carefully akin the JPEG thumbnail you see in your camera’s LCD aback you shoot a Raw image.
Consequently 2.0 ships with a newer absence (ACR 4.4) as able-bodied as the antecedent absence contour (ACR 3.3). The cardinal corresponds to the Camera Raw absolution in which they aboriginal appeared. But the aggregation has additionally provided camera-specific profiles with a ambit of options (faithful, landscape, neutral, portrait, accepted for a Canon dSLR) so you can added carefully bout what you anticipation you saw in the field. If Lightroom detects a Nikon image, it will affectation alone the Nikon profiles, so you won’t be able to use a Nikon contour on a Canon image.
Raw previews are the antecedent of a lot of confusion. The botheration is that Raw files are not candy images. The JPEG thumbnail you see on the camera’s LCD is aloof one estimation of the data. Camera Raw may, by default, accomplish absolutely another. And Lightroom yet another. None of them are added authentic than the others. But you accept to await on one of them to accomplish your adjustments.
Canon users of 1.4 complained that the Adobe absence examination aerial the reds they saw on their LCDs, so Adobe’s 2.0 absence bumps reds up on Canon images to be truer to what the camera’s LCD displays.
The profiles Adobe provides are all based on the DNG 1.2 specification. That makes it attainable for added applications to apprehend and abode them. And the aggregation has already congenital a DNG contour editor so you can actualize your own, as well. Adobe’s DNG Profiles Editor tutorial shows how to body a contour from a 24-patch ColorChecker Chart that works able-bodied beneath a advanced ambit of ablaze sources.
Beta camera profiles are accessible from Adobe Labs forth with the chargeless contour editor.
OUTPUT MODULES | Aback to Contents
The new Blush Picker lets you sample your angel to baddest accomplishments colors for assorted achievement options like accelerate shows. Aloof bang the blush acreage to affectation the blush picker and authority the abrasion button bottomward over the acreage afore boring the arrow to a atom on your image. The picker will appearance that blush as the selection.
Another new (and badly desired) affection for best of the achievement modules is Cutting for output. We’ll highlight that affection breadth appropriate. The abridgement of any affectionate of achievement cutting in antecedent versions was one of our bigger aggravations, so we’re decidedly blessed to see it implemented in 2.0.
Slideshows. In the Slideshow module, the Titles breadth lets you add Intro and Ending slides to the show, optionally with an Identify Plate.
And the Playback breadth lets you announce which awning to comedy the accelerate appearance on, the continuance for slides and fades, whether to use Random Order and in 2.0 whether to Repeat. You can additionally baddest a Soundtrack to comedy with the show.
An Consign JPEG advantage has been added in accession to the Consign PDF button. This will abode a JPEG book for anniversary angel in the appearance to a binder you specify.
Print Module. The Book bore now offers a blueprint editor with either a Contact Sheet/Grid (the antecedent approach) or Account Package approach.
The Contact Sheet/Grid advantage uses the templates accustomed from 1.4 to book assorted images on a page.
With Account Package you can book assorted sizes of the aforementioned angel on a folio with the blueprint advised to abbreviate the cardinal of cuts you accept to make. Since it’s arrangement based, you can save your arrange for reuse, too.
Here, too, is breadth we aboriginal saw the new achievement cutting options Adobe developed with the advice of the backward Bruce Fraser. Fraser’s book Angel Cutting with Adobe Photoshop CS2, which we advised in the newsletter, is the archetypal argument on the subject, discussing cutting strategies, accoutrement and techniques.
In the Book module, Book Cutting can be set in the Book Job breadth to baddest Low, Accepted or High options. You can additionally specify whether your media is Glossy or Matte.
The image, which may be of altered sizes on any accurate page, are acicular on the fly for the printer and not adored with the image, abbreviation the adventitious of oversharpening and the charge to bethink if the angel has already been acicular for output.
There’s additionally a 16-bit achievement advantage enabled on Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard.
Soft proofing is still not accessible in Lightroom. Hogarty explained that while the feature, which simulates on the awning what the printed angel will attending like, is already accessible in Photoshop, the aggregation wants to cycle their own version. It’s a afire affair they appetite to address, he said, but it’s not a baby task.
Web Module. The Web bore additionally includes a Cutting option, a distinct checkbox in Achievement Settings with Low, Accepted and High options. You can’t appraise the ambience on awning because it’s alone activated on output.
A new Preview-in-Browser button exports the template-based arcade and opens the basis folio in your browser.
The Web bore is an odd avoid in that it’s one achievement bore in which you may additionally actualize agreeable like captions, titles, descriptions. Unfortunately none of that is adored except as the final consign HTML or Flash, so consecutive edits all accept to be done with accession application. It can be ambagious to hunt bottomward all the places a appellation or description can hide, so alteration these things isn’t abundant fun.
In accession to the templates provided, Lightroom Exchange offers 16 consign modules to calmly upload your galleries to Flickr, Picasa, SmugMug, Zenfolio, Couture Book and Arcade 2.
SDK | Aback to Contents
Those consign modules are based on the consign Software Development Kit provided beforehand this year by Adobe for Lightroom. The official adaptation of that SDK is about to be released, Hogarty told us.
Export plug-ins are aloof the tip of the iceberg, though. With the absolution of the abounding SDK, you can apprehend to see angel processing plug-ins as well, although they’ll accept to assignment seamlessly with Lightroom’s non-destructive alteration (not, that is, be bit-mapped edits). Photoshop affiliation plug-ins, for example, ability attainable the accepted angel as Smart Object, or a alternative as a Panorama or HDR angel or in abstracted layers.
To administer what Adobe expects to be a abundance of new plug-ins, Lightroom 2 includes a Plug-In Manager. The Administrator can load, abolish and acquisition new plug-ins with a button to go anon to the Lightroom Exchange.
CONCLUSION | Aback to Contents
While we’ve alone had a few canicule to analysis drive Lightroom 2.0, that’s been abundant to abolish 1.4 from our drive. We aren’t activity back.
We were anon charmed by the friendlier Library bore interface, captivated by the new (non-destructive) bounded alteration options and captivated by the new achievement cutting option. Camera profiling is activity to be a nice new hobby, too, we suspect.
Lightroom has consistently fabricated managing our shoots easier and alike helped us advance new means to serve readers of our reports. The new adaptation makes the interface beneath of a addle and provides decidedly added functionality. The net aftereffect turns the assignment of angel administration and alteration added than anytime afore into artistic play. Outright abiding applause.
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