First Look at Lightroom Beta 3

by Derrick Story

Inside Lightroom

I just downloaded Adobe Lightroom Public Beta 3 and have been playing with some of its new features. This is a substantial upgrade from Beta 2, including a new module: Web.

That's where I started experimenting. The Web templates are quite attractive. You have 3 presets -- HTML gallery, Exif metadata, and Flash gallery. You have two options for exporting: Save to your hard drive or upload to your web server. You can enter your FTP settings directly in Lightroom saving you a couple steps.

The code Lightroom generates is XHTML compliant and looks fairly clean. It uses CSS and JavaScript to perform much of its appearance and navigation magic. I really liked how my generated site performed in both Safari and Firefox.

The Develop module also received some attention. You now have a set of tools above the filmstrip for Loupe View, Before View, Before/After, Crop Overlay, Hand Tool, and White Balance selector. In Beta 2, we just had the last three of those tools down there. You now get RGB value readouts too.

Overall, there are many UI refinements, and the performance was smooth... for the most part. I did crash the application once while working in the Web module. I'll continue to explore Beta 3 in future posts. For now, I recommend you download it and give this latest version of Lightroom a spin.

Oh, and still no word on the Windows version yet. For now, the beta is only Mac.


6 Comments

Jeremey Barrett
2006-06-13 10:12:22
Beta 3 is a big improvement over beta 2, IMO, but it's still rough around the edges. The web module is great in terms of workflow but the templates need a bit of work and some customization ability and the flash export needs to get colors right. But it's a beta, and a darn good one. Overall it's much more "usable" than beta 2 and I was already using beta 2 for my main processing workflow.
Gary
2006-06-13 11:35:09
Has anyone seen any indications for the price point for Lightroom yet?


I've got Photoshop CSI (oops - make that CS1) and have no great desire or need to upgrade to CS2 just now. My preference would be to wait until CS3 comes out and upgrade Photoshop then. However, if Lightroom was likely to be an affordable alternative, then I might be interested in spending that money sooner rather than later...

Rebel Shooter
2006-06-13 13:27:20
I wonder if they will include a way to upload images from LR to iWeb?
Chuck Toporek
2006-06-13 13:42:36
If you go to http://labs.adobe.com/technologies/lightroom/ (and sign in), you'll see a button to "Sign Up for Win Beta". Just click through on that and enter an email address so Adobe can notify you when the Windows beta is available.
Derrick
2006-06-13 17:01:51
I think Adobe is going to be very careful about what they include in Lightroom. Many tools will remain solely in Photoshop. They're going to want you to upgrade Photoshop and buy Lightroom. However, they might make you an attractive offer so you can get both reasonably...
Zac
2006-06-13 18:16:42
Just like Aperture, I don't think Lightroom will be a replacement for Photoshop. It is about workflow and making what you've got look great. Photoshop is more about changign what you've got.