I’m delighted to report that the first public beta version of Lightroom 3.0 is available for download from Adobe Labs. According to the press release, the LR3 beta offers “more intuitive importing, unparalleled noise reduction and sharpening tools, enhanced slideshow capabilities and direct publishing to online photo sharing sites like Flickr.” Lightroom PM Tom Hogarty writes,
For this latest release we went back to the drawing board and revisited what we believe are the fundamental priorities of our customers: Performance and Image Quality. Lightroom has been stripped down to the “engine block” in order to rebuild a performance architecture that meets the needs of photographers with growing image collections and increasing megapixels. The raw processing engine has also received an overhaul right down to the fundamental demosaic algorithms that now allows unprecedented sharpening and noise reduction results.
He also writes, “We’re not even close to finished in terms of features, performance, or image quality, but we want early feedback on our improvements so that we have time to make sure Lightroom 3 is your ideal workflow assistant.” Check out the rest of Tom’s post for a wealth of feature details.
PS–Can it really be nearly four years since the first Lightroom public beta? Wow.
Update: Here’s Adobe’s Julieanne Kost introducing some of the new features:
Check out parts 2 and 3 as well, plus Scott Kelby’s Top 10 favorite changes & a wealth of other LR3-related posts & resources.