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Adobe announced tonight the official release of Lightroom 4. The biggest news is the pricing — the full version lists for $149, and the upgrade and student/teacher additions are $79 (compared to $299/$199 for Lightroom 3!)  This will open up Lightroom to a much broader market, and make the upgrade decision an easier one.

For me, the new more powerful Basic panel controls and new adjustment brush options alone are more than worth the upgrade.

Buy from Adobe at this link.

What has changed since the Beta release:
  • Reverse geocoding
  • Improved auto tone in Develop, tweaks to highlights, clarity and automatic chromatic Aberration
  • Increased range of local white balance controls (temperature and tint)
  • Re-added the Process Version checkbox in the copy/sync dialog
  • Updated Develop presets + added new ones for video
  • Maximum Blurb book size now 240
  • New cameras supported – D4, D800

Reverse geocoding is big — once GPS location is assigned (by your camera or by dragging photos to the map), location metadata — country, city, state and subarea can be automatically assigned to your photos and become searchable — so no more needing to keyword with location!

 What’s New in Lightroom 4

 

Here is a 20 minute overview video in which I present what is new in Lightroom 4. (For best quality, once you hit Play, click on the sprocket wheel in the bottom left and choose 720/HD):

For more detail, here is the 65 minute Lightroom 4 Beta recorded webinar that I did in January (just missing the reverse geocoding piece).

Stay tuned for  blog posts over the coming days and weeks highlighting new features and some of their subtleties.

Finally, to learn the features in depth, do check out my new Lightroom 4 Fundamentals & Beyond video series — over 3 hours of new content!! 10 1/2 hours of training on 55 videos. Available now!  (A second series will follow on Lightroom’s Output modules.)

Summary:

You should know right off, that your computer that ran Lightroom 3 may not support Lightroom 4. On the Mac, you must have Snow Leopard or Lion on an Intel 64 bit system, and on the PC, you must have Windows Vista or Windows 7.

New Modules:

  • A powerful new Book module, where you can design books and upload them directly to Blurb (or export them as PDF’s). You can choose from a fabulous number of page formats (with various numbers of photos and text boxes), drag and drop photos, change individual page background colors or add background photos or graphics, change your text settings and padding, and much, much more.

  •  Maps module, where you can easily assign GPS location to your photos, view them on a map, and find and select your photos. Assignment of location is by dragging and dropping or use of a GPS tracklog (from a GPS device or smartphone app).

click to enlarge

Once GPS location is assigned, by your camera, by dragging to the map, or with a GPS tracklog, Lightroom can automatically pull location metadata from Google Maps. This is called reverse geocoding.

lightroom-reverse-geocoding

Library Module:

Much Enhanced Video Functionality:

    • Most popular DSLR, compact camera and smart phone video formats supported including AVCHD (AVCHD is the native format for Sony DSLRs and many new Mirrorless Interchangeable Lens, MIL, cameras)
    • In-application playback of videos (no longer launches in your default media player)
    • Basic video editing — trim your video from the beginning and or end (no cutting from the middle), apply Quick Develop controls to develop
    • Set video poster frame (thumbnail in grid view)
    • Extract individual video frames as JPEGS — still photography from your videos
    • Export your edited videos as mp4′s, or as individual frames to import into Adobe Premiere.
    • Upload videos to Facebook and Flickr directly

Export Enhancements:

    • Export directly to email/webmail (just right-click on the photo and choose Email Photo!)
lightroom-4-beta-export-to-email

click to enlarge

 

    • Windows 64 bit: export directly to DVD (Mac and Win 32 already had this)
    • More options for stripping subsets of metadata
    • Export to Adobe Revel (Carousel)
    • New Metadata panel views for DNG and Video
DNG Enhancements:
  • Optional embedding of fast preview data for faster loading in Develop (set in preferences)
  • Optional lossy DNG compression on exported copies to reduce file size — results in minimal quality impact.
  • Optional DNG resolution/pixel reduction on export to share lower resolution copies without losing benefits offered by raw development.

Develop Module:

    • All new and more powerful Basic Panel controls (referred to as Process Version 2012) — Exposure, Contrast, Shadows, Highlights, Whites, Blacks, plus improved Clarity

lightroom-4-beta-basics-panel-tone

    • Soft Proofing — allows you to preview what your photo will look like when printed using a printer profile, or exported using sRGB (as you most likely export your jpegs) or any other RGB display profile.  Output often does not support really richly saturated colors that Lightroom does, so colors become muted — now you can see a preview of this before printing or exporting.  This will answer your question, “Why do my exported jpegs look washed out compared to what they looked like in Lightroom.”

click to enlarge

    • Additional adjustment brush and graduated filter local corrections — white balance temperature and tint, highlights, shadows, noise, moire

lightroom-4-beta-local-adjustments

 

    • Individual R, G, and B curves in the Tone Curve Panel, which allow you to shift colors of ranges of tones. For example, this curve warms up (takes out blue/adds yellow) to the shadows in the photo.

lightroom-4-beta-color-curves

    • Automatic chromatic aberration correction checkbox (c/a taken out of lens profiles)

lightroom-4-beta-chromatic-aberration

Output Modules (Book, Slideshow, Web, Print):

    • New “Creations” model of naming and saving work. Saved Books, Slideshows, Web Galleries and Prints appear in collections panel; regular collections and folders no longer store output settings.

lightroom-4-beta-saving-output

lightroom-4-beta-output-collections

Print:

    • Brightness and contrast adjustments, for those who consistently need the same adjustment in printing. (Addresses the “my photos always come out too dark” issue.)

lightroom-4-beta-print-brightness

Web:

    • Lightroom Flash galleries are color managed

 

Narrower-Impact Items (JDI’s):

  • On first new-user start up, Lightroom asks where to store the catalog and what to call it
  • Walkthrough tips in each module for new users
  • Right-click option to hide modules you don’t use
  • New zoom ratios (1:8, 1:16)
  • Stacks in collections available
  • Flag status global
  • Library Loupe view Layout Overlay for placing subjects in layouts (as you shoot tethered)
  • Language selection option on Mac via preferences
  • Collapse Tether toolbar down to the shutter button by Option or Alt clicking the close button.
  • Folders Panel: Windows — ability to move multiple folders at once
  • Ability to filter and search by saved vs. unsaved metadata.
  • New GPS badge
  • Folders Panel: Add Parent Folder/ Promote Subfolders wording changed
  • Publish Services: mark up to date option, button to link with Lightroom exchange to connect with more services
  • Pick and reject flags are now global (flags applied in a collection didn’t used to apply to the folder)
  • Import and edit 32 bit files (export as 8 or 16)
  • Import and quick develop preset drop-down now hierarchical, rather than one long list.
  • Develop Lightroom presets now in smaller folders.
  • Noise reduction adjustment is always displayed regardless of zoom level
  • White balance sampling control slider to control precision of selection

New Minimum Specs:

MAC

  • Multicore Intel® processor with 64-bit support
  • Mac OS X v10.6.8 (Snow Leopard) or v10.7 (Lion)
  • 2GB of RAM
  • 1GB of available hard-disk space
  • 1024×768 display
  • DVD-ROM drive
  • Internet connection required for Internet-based services (Maps, Publish Services, Export to webmail)

WIN

  • Intel® Pentium® 4 or AMD Athlon® 64 processor
  • Microsoft® Windows Vista® with Service Pack 2 or Windows 7 with Service Pack 1
  • 2GB of RAM
  • 1GB of available hard-disk space
  • 1024×768 display
  • DVD-ROM drive
  • Internet connection required for Internet-based services (Maps, Publish Services, Export to webmail)

 

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  7 Responses to “Adobe Releases Lightroom 4 with Dramatically Lower Pricing!”

  1. Hi Laura.

    Trying to view your 20 minute overview video on LR4. It keeps freezing at 5:04 and won’t go beyond. Am I the only one reporting this?

  2. Thanks Laura. The issue was with my PC – since resolved. Looking forward to receiving your discount coupon for the LR4 version of your Fundamentals DVD/download.

  3. Just a comment about buying Lightroom 4.

    If you’d like to help support this website, you might consider buying at BHphoto through the link on this website. It will help Laura, and it doesn’t cost you a dime more than ordering elsewhere.

    You can still download Lightroom 4 as a free trial right now from Adobe, and activate it when you get the physical shipment from BHphoto. BHphoto is offering free shipping.

    Laura Shoe has not asked me to post this. I just enjoy her site and find it very useful. I hope you do too.

    I am looking forward to using Lightroom 4, and I know Laura Shoe will help me use it correctly.

    • Hi Don, thanks very much for your suggestion! I had completely neglected to provide folks direct links … it’s on the to-do list now!

  4. Will you have a book out on Elements11?

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