What’s New in Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 4
Lightroom is a tool designed for photographers to manage and edit images. When you edit images on Lightroom, the edits are not done over the master file, rather all the changes and corrections are applied as layers and this is known as non destructive editing. Adobe Lightroom is available for both Mac OS X and Windows. The latest version has video editing capabilities and has been loaded with new features. Lightroom retails at $149, which is half of what Lightroom 3 used to cost and the upgrade costs $79. Adobe’s price slash move has made Apple reduce the cost of Aperture, which costs $80 now. Let us have a look at Adobe Lightroom 4 now.
The latest version has dark color schemes and resembles the previous versions. The menu on the top left allows you to switch between the library, editing and other windows. On the left is a navigator that gives you a thumbnail view of the file that you are working on. Right below the navigator is the preset window that has a list of predefined settings. You also have your workflow history listed below that. On the right is a list of adjustment and color correction tools. The layout is easy to navigate and once you get a hang of the UI, you’ll feel comfortable.
The video editing options are primitive in Lightroom 4 and you cannot play a video within the application. Although most of the file formats from camcorders are accessible, it does not have codec support like VLC. You can trim the video and adjust the white balance settings. The changes you make appear on the video in real time.
When it comes to image editing, Lightroom 4 will get your work done. The work flow is neatly arranged and when you import a Raw or a JPEG image from the camera, it is saved in the library. You get to add meta data like keywords and the location where you shot the image, these help you to search and sort out images in a more efficient way. Once you pull up the ‘Develop’ menu, the image is automatically adjusted to fit the application’s window.
The first thing that you will notice is the improvements in white balance adjustments. The algorithm that determines the whites and the neutral grays is improved and you now have separate sliders to define the whites and blacks in the image. Although selective white balance in not available, it is a great improvement from the previous version.
Other correction options like contrasts, exposure recovery and saturation can be applied on selective zones. When compared to the previous versions, Lightroom 4 seems to render the sharpness and definition in a better way. The noise reduction tool has a wider range and even on a 20 megapixel image, it is fast.
The levels and curves have presets and you can add as many custom settings as you wish. Other than level correction on the luminosity of the image, you can also adjust the levels of individual color channels. The curves on the other hand can tweak the luminosity, but not individual channels. The adjustments over the levels and curves appear instantaneously.
Lightroom 4 also has the ability to read GPS information embedded in the EXIF data of the image. When you switch to the ‘Maps’ window, you have all the images pinned on a map. The application uses Google’s data to render the maps and you can view it as a satellite image or as a terrain. Lightroom 4 also gives you the ability to search images by location.
Overall, the improvements on Lightroom 4 are impressive and definitely worth the price.
Editor’s Note: This is a guest post by Dazzle Rogers of workwelltogether.com, a site that offers savings and current
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