After a long time in beta, Lightroom 3 is finally here. Let us take a look at some of the new feature they have added in the release. Many features, those who have been in the beta, is already covered on video in the Lightroom section.
A big welcome for everyone is that Lightroom 3 has rewritten much of the architecture under the hood. This allows for much improved performance with large catalogs and a better preview system with sharper thumbnails as you scroll through them.
It is also worth to note here that these upgrades also provide a base that they can improve on in future upgrades.
The import dialog is brand new, making it a lot easier for you to import your photos. It is now panel based and works in a workflow from right to left of the screen, in a logical fashion.
A big improvement is that your destination folders will be shown in italic in the destination panel so that you will see how you are affecting the folder structure and where your files will end up.
Tethering capture is now built into Lightroom 3, eliminating the need for extra capture software or watched folders. Here are the currently supported cameras:
Canon 1D Mk2 (firewire only, not Windows x64), 1Ds Mk2 (firewire only, not Windows x64), 1D Mk3, 1Ds Mk3, 1D Mk4, 5D (not Windows x64), 5D Mark II, 7D, 20D (Mac only), 30D, 40D, 50D, 350D / Digital Rebel XT / Kiss Digital N, 400D / Digital Rebel XTi / Kiss Digital X, 450D / Digital Rebel XSi / Kiss X2, 500D / Digital Rebel T1i / Kiss X3 Digital, 1000D / Digital Rebel XS / Kiss F
Nikon D3, D3s, D3x, D200 (Mac only), D300, D300s, D700, D90, D5000
If you work with video, you will be happy to know that videos can be imported, tagged, rated, filtered and yes you can do pretty much every management aspect with video too. If you double click the video, it will open in the editor of your choice.
To export your photos out of Lightroom, there is a new publish services section, integrating Lightroom with a number of online sharing websites.
Much work has been done with noise reduction and sharpening, resulting in a vastly improved tool for this, comparable to the third-party noise reduction software available.
The big thing is lens correction, where you can now pick a lens profile and have Lightroom 3 correct based on the specific lens. If you want to manually adjust, you can do that too.
Lightroom 3 is gaining many features that we saw in the Camera Raw 6 release together with CS5. Naturally this means that we now get grain controls and a more natural post-crop vignette.
Some fixes have been made to the slideshow module too such as the ability to export them to MP4 video.
For audio, on the Mac you are no longer tied to iTunes (meaning that you can select a track from any folder) and in general, you can sync the length of the slides to the music track length.
The print module now includes a custom print package, letting you do custom layouts for different images in different sizes, neatly. You are now also able to change the background color of the page.
The web module has had little attention in this upgrade except for the addition of ActionScript 3 for web developers.
A big thing to mention here is the much improved watermarking, allowing for simple text or graphics to be applied on export, publish, web, slideshow or print.
These are just some of the new additions, with more, little ones, being in the new release.
If you own a previous copy of Lightroom, you will be pleased to know that Lightroom 3 can upgrade Lightroom 1, 2 and 3 beta catalogs as well as Photoshop Elements 6, 7 or 8 catalogs.
As a previous owner, you can upgrade Lightroom for $99, while as a new user, you can pick it up, right now, for $299.
If you like to try it before you decide, a trial is available for you to download.