Adobe Takes Training Wheels Off Lightroom 1.0

Following a beta-test process involving half a million photographers, Adobe Systems on Monday released Photoshop Lightroom 1.0.

Aimed primarily at professional photographers, Photoshop Lightroom is a software tool that allows users to import, manage and present large volumes of digital photographs. Using Adobe Camera Raw technology, it supports more than 150 native raw file formats as well as JPEG and TIFF. The Nikon D40 and D80 and the Pentax K10D are among the latest camera models supported.

Lightroom provides a wide range of importing, renaming and metadata stamping functions. It also allows photographers to assemble and output printed contact sheets, online Web galleries and slide shows, as well as easily track changes, including alternate versions.

New Since Beta

The product, which competes with Apple’s Aperture software, underwent a 12-month beta test period.

Since the last beta version, significant changes made include new advanced keyword tools in the Library module that help photographers filter through large collections. An improved import dialog, meanwhile, gives users more choice when determining file location.

A new Key Metadata Browser provides quick access to information tags using an improved ranking and rating system that incorporates color labels and a pick/reject system, Adobe officials said. Other new tools added include an adjustment tool for image edits and features for performing nondestructive edits to eliminate sensor dust.

A Collaborative Effort

“It’s an unlikely scenario that professional photographers would moonlight as software developers,” said John Loiacono, senior vice president of Adobe’s Creative Solutions Business Unit.

“Fortunately for us, they were willing to give it a shot. Everything, from image viewing and evaluation tools to time-saving editing features, was developed with the help of photographers,” he added. “This was truly a collaborative effort and we extend our thanks to everyone who provided invaluable feedback to help us deliver a powerhouse professional photography tool.”

Available for both Mac and Windows, Photoshop Lightroom is being offered at a special introductory price of US$199 through April 30. Later, it will be priced at $299. Lightroom beta will expire on Feb. 28.

Also for Enthusiasts

In addition to its target market of professional photographers, Adobe expects Photoshop Lightroom to be used by “passionate personal photographers” as well as educators and students.

“This is something the market has been waiting for,” Ron Glaz, a director at IDC Research, told TechNewsWorld. “One of the key things it brings to the table for professional photographers is an easy way to manage workflow. It really brings the analog workflow to the digital age.”

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