Exiting new tools in Lightroom 5 BetaThis cames as quite a surprise to me, but on Monday (15th April 2013) Adobe released a free public beta version of Lightroom 5 for download and testing by their user base. It's only just over 15 months since Lightroom 4 beta was released, and 13 months since the official launch of Lightroom 4, so with that in mind we should anticipate a final version of Lightroom 5 in just a few months time.
Lightroom 5 beta has some really exciting new tools, which Adobe describes with the following:
- Advanced Healing Brush – Easily remove objects and fix defects—even those with irregular shapes such as threads or lint—with a single brush stroke. Take precise control over what's being removed as you make unwanted objects just disappear.
- Upright – Straighten tilted images with a single click. Upright analyzes images and detects skewed horizontal or vertical lines. You choose one of four correction methods, and Upright can even straighten images where the horizon is hidden.
- Radial Gradient – Lead your viewer's eye through your images with more flexibility and control. The radial gradient tool lets you create off-center vignette effects, or multiple vignette areas within a single image.
- Offline editing with Smart Previews – Easily work with images without bringing your entire library with you. Just generate smaller stand-in files called Smart Previews. Make adjustments or metadata additions to Smart Previews and your changes will be automatically applied to the full-size originals later.
- Video slideshow sharing – Easily share your work in elegant video slideshows. Combine still images, video clips, and music in creative HD videos that can be viewed on almost any computer or device.
- Improved photo book creation – Create beautiful photo books from your images. Lightroom includes a variety of easy-to-use book templates, and now you can edit them to create a customized look. Upload your book for printing with just a few clicks.
My Favourite New FeaturesTop of the list has got to be the Advance Healing Brush, which now almost puts Lightroom on a par with Photoshop and is something Lightroom users have being crying out for since version 1. The restriction of just circular spot healing is gone and you can now paint an area to be healed or cloned. Your round-tripping to Photoshop may even become a thing of the past from now on. They have also added a Visual spots mode which makes it so much easier to identify any dust spots now.
Closely followed is the Radial Gradient Tool, which really aught to be renamed as it is far more than just a gradient tool. This now provides Lightroom with a tool more akin to the very popular U-point control point technology used by Nik Software. Once caveat though, it really should have the area inside the selection (the inverse selection) as the default mode not the outside area; watch the video below and you'll see what I mean.
Lastly they have added a couple of features that were omitted from the first version of the Book Module that appeared in Lightroom 4. You can now edit and save your own User Layouts, and finally you can now add Page Numbers. With the latter the book module has suddenly become so much more useful and we can, at long last, create proper books. All we need now are Chapters, Index pages and Contents, then the Book Module would be an absolute winner.
Download Your CopyYou can download the beta version fro the Adobe website here and use it for free until the on June 30, 2013 when product expires. You have to have a registered user account with Adobe. Do remember it is a beta version so not the final version and intended for testing and feedback purposes so most probably not bug free. Do by all means join the Lightroom 5 Discussion Group to assist Adobe and to voice your own opinions on the new features too. Your contributions can help shape the final release version.
Lightroom 5 Beta New Feature VideosThere are already a host of videos to be found online but here are my favourites on some of the new features contained within Lightroom 5 beta:
Top 5 New Features
Advance Healing Brush
Book Module Additions and Refinements
Using the Radial Filter Tool
I hope you all enjoy trying it out.