I’m delighted to report that the 64-bit native Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 2.0 is now shipping for Mac and Windows. LR2 sells for $299 ($99 upgrade), and the 30-day tryout version is available for immediate download.
Tom Hogarty has posted a wealth of info on the Lightroom Journal blog, so I won’t attempt to duplicate everything here. Instead let me note some highlights:
- The Develop module now includes a highly useful gradient tool (screenshot), offering power similar to working with real-world graduated filters.
- Lightroom News offers a detailed list of all the improvements made since the introduction of the LR2 public beta.
- LR supports external editor presets, enabling easy jumps to/from apps like Noise Ninja and PTLens. Thus Lightroom handily matches Aperture 2.1’s ballyhooed plug-in support, while offering far superior Photoshop integration plus non-destructive localized image adjustment.
- Adobe Labs now hosts the new DNG Profile Editor. This is a big deal. In brief:
- It enables the rendering you get in LR (or in Camera Raw) to match what your camera renders as JPEGs–frequently a pleasing starting point for adjustments. As photographer Ian Lyons writes, with these profiles you can “approximate the in-camera JPEG rendering as well as the various styles and looks provided either in-camera or via the camera vendor’s own software solution.”
- It offers demanding photographers a new degree of control for finessing the appearance of colors (e.g. skin tones).
- In other words, we can put a fork in assertions of “Raw converter X looks like what I see on the back of my camera, so it must be more accurate than what Adobe shows” and “I just can’t get look/tone/value X in LR/ACR.” Expect to hear more soon.
- Camera Raw 4.5 for Photoshop CS3 (Mac | Win) has been released & offers full support for rendering edits made with LR2 as well as profiles created with the Profile Editor.
Tons of resources are going live now, so I’ll post links to what I’ve seen so far:
- Reviews and overviews:
- As noted above, Ian Lyons gives an in-depth tour and talks about how to pair Lightroom & Photoshop to support CMYK files.
- Scott Kelby scores Lightroom 2 Vs. My Lightroom 2 ‘Wish List'”
- Mike Pasini from The Imaging Resource posts a glowing review. (“While we’ve only had a few days to test drive Lightroom 2.0, but that’s been enough to remove 1.4 from our drive. We aren’t going back.”)
I’ll update this list as more links go live. In the meantime feel free to suggest resources via the comments.