Yesterday was a banner day for photo enthusiasts and general tech junkies. Apple and Adobe each released new toys for us. Lightroom 4 (which got downloaded last night) and the IPad 3 (which won’t be finding it’s way into my studio any time soon). Exciting stuff.
Lightroom 4 – What’s new and improved this time?
Incredibly enough I did not try the Lightroom 4 Beta at all. Why did I avoid experimenting? The short answer is Time. I’ve been too busy to really spend any amount of time on the Beta, so I’ve just been waiting until the full version came out. With the release yesterday I decided it was time to take the plunge.
The first thing you’ll notice about Lightroom 4 has nothing to do with the interface, editing, and working on your pretty pictures. It’s the price. New users now pay $149 and upgrades are only $79. This is a big change for first time users as the price used to be $299. Huge savings!
Beyond the price, what’s changed? A lot actually. Looking at the screen shot above you’ll find some new modules. Map and Book are the newest addition to the family of modules offered in Lightroom 4. Honestly I’ve found myself using the Library and Develop Modules 99% of the time since I started running the Canon IPF8300. Before that I used the print module a lot, but for my Canon the print module is of no help.
As a side note: I prefer printing from the Print Module. But Canon’s print plugin for the 8300 is for Photoshop only. And you HAVE TO print from the plugin otherwise you’ll get garbage results. Someday I hope Canon offers a plugin for Lightroom so I can go back to printing from the module.
What really jumped out at me immediately were the changes to the Develop Module. New stuff, altered stuff, and some of the same stuff as well. Right off the bat, the Basic panel has some major changes.
What’s changed here? Well, the image on the left is from LR 3, and the one to the right is from LR 4. Recovery, Fill Light, & Brightness are gone. In their place we now have Highlights, Shadows, and Whites. Big changes? Actually from my perspective they are. I’ll get used to the change, but I was a big fan of Recovery (use highlights now). Just gotta get the name changes and slight differences right in my head!
Additionally you can now do targeted adjustments with the Adjustment Brush and Graduated filter which you couldn’t do before. Temp and Tint have been added, selective sharpening and noise reduction too. Really slick.
Overall I’m pretty happy with the updates to LR4. And the upgrade price was nice too! Down the road I’ll post more on how LR4 works for me. And I’m retooling my most popular class (Lightroom Workflow) to go along with LR4.
I must say that Lightroom is the answer for most photographers out there. 9 times out of 10 the average amateur will find everything they need in LR. And for $149 (if you’re a first time buyer) it’s a huge saving over getting the full blown version of Photoshop. Most likely this will cover all the edits you want to make.
Big thumbs up!
The IPad 3…….not this week
The latest improvements on the IPad sound great. Unfortunately I’ve had my IPad 2 for less than a year. No justification to upgrade any time soon. My 2 rocks! And it will be a while before the newest apps don’t work on my 2. So this one is a pass for me.
For folks who don’t have an IPad yet…… Yeah, the 3 sounds great. Improvements in the screen, 4G network access, an improved camera, and some Siri like features. If I didn’t already have mine I would dash out and get the latest version.
So there you have it. 2 new additions to the tech basket in one day. I spent over an hour playing with LR4 last night (self control). Exciting stuff!