Lightroom 3.0 public beta arrives!

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.

30 thoughts on “Lightroom 3.0 public beta arrives!

  1. Now, I’m a long time Aperture user, but I use the rest of the Creative Suite pretty heavily – are there any pointers or good guides in migrating from Aperture to Lightroom?
    Ideally I’d want to keep my adjustments, keywords, albums and other metadata otherwise it’ll be a painful process!

  2. Great way to start the day! (it’s 9 AM as I’m reading this)
    A little offtopic: it seems to me that the Macromedia acquisition (or was it a merger?) has proved beneficial for the community as it changed the corporate culture at Adobe. I don’t recall Adobe having public betas, employee blogs, feed aggregation (MXNA) and the Labs.
    [We were just getting those things going pre-Adobe/MM, but I agree that the MM DNA has been a great addition. –J.]

  3. why is it not possible to read a lightroom2 catalog ?
    i would love to test it in real world applications….
    can’t justify to spend times on 2 different catalogs

  4. So cool!!
    I hope there is a watermark tool now in there. Downloading now.
    @Armand I totally agree! The Macromedia spirit is alive! Still remember the birth of Lightroom. It was the 1st product of Macromedia Labs 🙂

  5. Still on my wish list: Lens distortion correction; soft proofing. And to a lesser degree, face recognition.
    Without those first two, this is a nice upgrade but not a “must buy” for me.
    I’ll patiently wait to hear what surprises are in store for Lightroom 3! I hope some major features have yet to be announced.

  6. Another vote for perspective correction, lens distortion correction, and face recognition. Non of these are deal breakers, but those will be great additions to LR, imho.

  7. Just a couple of questions if anybody has any insight:
    1)My Lightroom 2 trial is about to end and was planning on purchasing it, but am now hesitant with version 3 on the horizon. Do I have any other options other than waiting the 3 or so months (?) for the final version. That would be a big pain too, as I’ve been using it pretty heavily for the mast 26 days.
    2) I understand LR 3 Beta can’t import older catalogs, will LR 3 Final be able to import LR 3 Beta catalogs?

  8. Excellent news! I look forward to testing it out.
    Could I please suggest folder flagging though? …or maybe it has been added? I’ll find out soon.

  9. I see a lot of new features, and they’re nice. The performance improvements are also nice.
    What I don’t see are improvements in the forced workflow. I’m also not seeing an improved Keyword tagging system. The difference in keywording between Aperture and LR seems to be like the difference between an organized hierarchy and a pile of socks.
    I don’t wish to sound too negative, as I have no doubt that LR is a fine product. Since you specifically called out workflow, I have to say that’s exactly what keeps me from moving from Aperture to LR.
    I do want to commend Adobe for its open approach to interacting with the photo community. Clearly, Apple could learn a great deal from Adobe’s example.

  10. Hi John, are there any plans to include video import in LR? Currently this is a gap in my workflow as I am forced to use other tools to import video off of my cameras. I would love to see LR integrate this. Thanks.

  11. In real world output, you have to work extremely hard to find an image that benefits from 16 bit printing, so I really wouldn’t worry.
    Also, until the underlying OS printing system supports 16 bit printing on Windows, you’re unlikely to see it from applications since they’ve had to write their own system instead of using the OS.

  12. Will the XR JEPG (ISO/IEC 29199-2) be supported on Lightroom 3 ?
    [I haven’t seen plans to that effect. Know any cameras that shoot in this format? –J.]

  13. Windows 7 (and with an update Windows Vista) has a support for Win32 API for XPS printing (if one doesn’t like .NET). 🙂
    There is no problem to print in 16-bit any more.

  14. Will it be possible in later releases in this beta periode to use older catalogs? I would love to test LR3 – but I will not use two catalogs in the near future.

  15. 16 bit editing is great (even if you only start with 12 or 14 bits) compared to 8 bit for sure. But even if you do that, the printed output in the real world you won’t find images that benefit from 16 bit printing.
    You can create images where you can show the difference and there’s no real downside to 16 bit printing (it takes larger files, more data etc, but doesn’t slow down printing and storage space is less of an issue for the most part now), but not having it isn’t a real issue and having it isn’t going to suddenly result in huge improvements 🙂

  16. Is Lightroom ever going to take advantage of Shadermodel 2.0 / 3.0 hardware?
    The performance on my E6600 4GB RAM system is nothing short of appalling, yet I have a stupendously powerful graphics card sat there doing absolutely diddly squat… Given that the texture processing hardware on such cards is *made* for applying effects to, well, bitmaps, it’s a shame to see it go unused.

  17. I just looked at some of the features and a couple appear to be nice and helpful but a couple don’t seem to add much.
    1. I basically import with a preset and the new system looks like it makes it more complicated not less but will have to see.
    2. Music with a slide show. The next improvement needs to be to adjust the beat to each slide as Pro Show Gold does. It is annoying to have slides not follow the beat of the music.

  18. I was elated to see the addition of the Custom Package in the Print module, but I cannot get it to work properly.
    Here’s a good example: show me how to print three 4×6 images on an 8.5×11 sheet with NO IMAGE CROPPING and with AUTOMATIC IMAGE ROTATION. Two cells will be portrait, arranged side by side. The third cell must be in landscape orientation in order to fit on the page.
    This is no big trick in the PS CS3 Picture Package, (or in PS CS4 with that legacy feature installed). It works as advertised. How can I duplicate that capability in LR3 beta?
    Why did you remove Picture Package from PS CS4 without providing an adequate replacement? Is this shortcoming already on the list to be fixed in later beta versions of Lightroom?

  19. not true. i’ve seen 16-bit printing and compared it to an 8-bit print (same image) from a nikon d300 and i saw significant improvement in detail, resolution, and smoothness of tonality with the naked eye.
    the only problem is that 16-bit printing is not available on the windows platform.

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