Yesterday Adobe released “Lightroom 5 beta”, only 13 months after releasing Lightroom four we now have a new beta version to play around with. This is open for anyone to download and will be free until 30th June when it will official release. It will run alongside your Lightroom 4 and won’t import your catalogue, which I wouldn’t recommend doing with the beta version.
Download link here: http://labs.adobe.com/technologies/lightroom5/
I myself downloaded it yesterday, first impressions are good, it still runs at the same speed on my Macbook Pro as Lightroom 4 does, so far it hasn’t crashed, but today I have read quiet a few reports of it crashing for others. There are some great new features that make the need to edit in photoshop far less. So here are the new features as expalined by Adobe:
Advanced Healing Brush
Easily remove objects and fix defects—even those with irregular shapes such as threads or lint—with a single brush stroke. Take precise control over what’s being removed as you make unwanted objects just disappear.
Straighten tilted images with a single click. Upright analyzes images and detects skewed horizontal or vertical lines. You choose one of four correction methods, and Upright can even straighten images where the horizon is hidden.
Lead your viewer’s eye through your images with more flexibility and control. The radial gradient tool lets you create off-center vignette effects, or multiple vignette areas within a single image.
Offline editing with Smart Previews
Easily work with images without bringing your entire library with you. Just generate smaller stand-in files called Smart Previews. Make adjustments or metadata additions to Smart Previews and your changes will be automatically applied to the full-size originals later.
Video slideshow sharing
Easily share your work in elegant video slideshows. Combine still images, video clips, and music in creative HD videos that can be viewed on almost any computer or device.
Improved photo book creation
Create beautiful photo books from your images. Lightroom includes a variety of easy-to-use book templates, and now you can edit them to create a customized look. Upload your book for printing with just a few clicks.
The new features are very good and a welcome addition to the Lightroom toolkit. For me the Advanced Healing Brush and Upright are the highlights along with faster image previews for RAW flies, mind you the difference was marginal.
Overall I would say it is most certainly a step in the right direction by Adobe, worth downloading and playing around with the new features but otherwise for the time being Lightroom 4 is more then capable of doing a professional job on your photos.