Lightroom 5 Pulbic Beta
Adobe has released Lightroom 5 as a public beta, with some exciting new features that I'm sure many members will love. Perspective fixing with "Upright", custom layouts in books, smart previews, radial filters, an improved healing tool and more.
Custom Layouts in Books
In the past it has been a little frustrating creating books in the book composer section of Lightroom. If you created a custom page you had to recreate it with each subsequent page you added. You can now save your custom layout as a "user page" to save you a bunch of time.
You've had that right? The time you've gone to show your friends that cool image you took, but you remember it's stuck on your external hard drive you've left at home and all you're seeing is the thumbnail with a little question mark on it.
Now you can generate smart previews. Smaller than most originals at around 2600 on the long edge, these are stored within your catalogue. You can use the smaller previews to view and even to edit.
A new checkbox to put your photo into a mode in which spots are more readily visible for healing. It looks like it's basically a threshold filter like in Photoshop, but all live and just the check of a checkbox. Makes the process of finding sensor dust much easier.
Improved healing tool
During our Lightroom Workshop event we talked about using the healing/cloning tool to clean up your image. One of the limitations of the tool was that it was a single spot tool and our advice was for any cloning/healing that couldn't be done in a single spot should go to Photoshop...
Not anymore. In Lightroom 5 there's now an improved healing tool that will allow you to use a "patch" to heal. You can paint over an area creating a patch that will match within the photo. It's a great improvement, but not going to work in every instance as your replacement area needs to be able accommodate the same shape as the patch you are replacing. For anything too complicated you'll still need to venture into Photoshop.
Video in slideshows
I don't do a lot of slideshows, but I know people like them. In the past you could easily push out a slideshow in Lightroom, but now you can also include video in your slideshow. When output, it will seamlessly flow from stills to video and back again.
True full-screen viewing
Pressing the F key in lightroom has always cycled you through different full-screen modes, but all had some area of the user interface included, there was no mode that showed just the image on screen. That's now been changed and the F key will now show you the full image.
For me this is probably one of the best. A radial filter can be used to add light to an image, create mood with vignetting, and even produce a faux-tiltshift image with a radial blur. I know folks will have a lot of fun with this new tool. You'll find it sitting up with the crop, healing, and touch-up brushes.
Upright (Perspective Correction)
A new tool in the Lens Correction panel will analyse your image and magically fix the perspective of your image. It will work with both vertical and horizontal perspective fixes. This is a game changer in architectural photos.
You can download the public beta of Lightroom 5 from Adobe Labs, however note: This is pre-release software for testing and giving feedback to Adobe for the final release. If you're going to use Lightroom 5 (which I haven't yet), I'd suggest you use it in addition to your current catalog. As the application is a beta, there are no guarantees from Adobe that it will operate beyond the beta period. Please be warned.
There is also usually a time-limit on these beta releases. If you don't download a never version before yours runs out, or if you don't buy the full-release package when it becomes available you won't have easy access to your catalog any more. Thankfully with the way Lightroom works that doesn't mean you will lose any photos, just the edits you've made to them... so again, be warned.
See these new features in action in Photoshop Insider's: The Hottest Features of Lightroom 5. You can download Lightroom 5 Public Beta directly from Adobe.
Thanks to Karen Malbon for the heads up on this one, if you find anything you think our members might be interested in, feel free to send it through to firstname.lastname@example.org