Adobe has just launched the beta version of Lightroom 5. As always, while in Beta phase, the download is completely free, so get it as soon as possible to enjoy the longest free usage. Some might find it is a bit buggy & crashes, but this will be a case by case scenario. I remember I used LR4 Beta for ages with zero issues. So just keep in mind that you don’t want to do any major client work on a Beta product should something happen.
Now the new features aren’t possibly as long a list as I would have imagined. Probably because LR4 is a pretty damn good comprehensive package as is. I use it extensively in my editorial (mostly) workflow because it makes it so much easier to do multiple adjustments & offers some really nice colouration tweaks that are more time consuming in PS. In any case, the mad scientists locked away in Adobe Labs have this to offer:
+ Advanced Healing Brush – Think clone stamp tool mixed with a bit of content aware brain
+ Upright – Straighten horizontal & vertical lines. While not totally new from Adobe (this is built into PS) it is nice to have it conveniently placed in LR. Helpful for those without a TS lens & shooting interiors perhaps.
+ Radial Gradient – Nothing terribly special on this one, but again it saves one several mouse clicks to achieve something.
There are some more features, but to be honest, none of them actually appeal to me personally. For the wedding guys, the photo book creation has gotten a revamp. I’d like to see some more work done to the different modules. Do some work to the speed of loading 1:1 previews & just beef up that whole area in particular. What I’d really like to see is a Loupe option like Bridge has. Something that allows me to check focus on a small area of the image instead of having to wait for the entire 1:1 image to load.
I’ll check it out comprehensively when I get back from my current trip. Until then, give it a go & let me know your thoughts in the comments.
Here is the download link: Adobe Labs