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Adobe Announces Lightroom Beta

Digital-imaging workflow solution for pro photographers.




At Macworld 2006, Adobe announced the public beta of Lightroom, its new digital-imaging workflow solution for professional photographers. Lightroom is designed to takes the non-image editing features found in Adobe Bridge and Camera Raw further, adding a fully modular architecture that can be enhanced with third-party plug-ins. Images handled by Lightroom will be editable in Photoshop CS2 or Photoshop Elements; however, some non-photography file formats usable in Photoshop and Photoshop Elements will not be supported by Lightroom.

Some features of the new software include: Light-Out mode, which allows users to fade control panels and tools into black so the image can take center stage; Identity Plate, which permits photographers to apply their own branding to the images and output; split-toning controls for richer black-and-white images; and Quick One-to-One Zoom, which allows instant magnification of the images in the library. Images can also be quickly imported into personalized slideshows. Using Adobe's Camera Raw technology, Lightroom supports more 100 native camera RAW-file formats. Imported images can be converted to Digital Negative format (DNG) or renamed and saved using various parameters and metadata. As Adobe collects feedback, the software package will change.

“Lightroom Beta leverages Adobe's digital imaging innovation, in areas such as RAW-image processing, so that even in beta form photographers will find world-class technology that complements Photoshop,” says Shantanu Narayen, Adobe's president and COO. “We look forward to the feedback from the photography community as we refine the product over the next few months.”

Recommended system requirements are Macintosh OSX 10.4.3, 1 GHz PowerPC G4 processor, 768 Mb RAM and a 1024 x768 resolution screen. Lightroom is initially available only for Mac; it will later support Windows platforms as well.

Lightroom is available for free download from Regular updates to the software will be posted on the site, and Adobe expects to introduce the final product in late 2006. Pricing for the final product has yet to be determined, the company reports.





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