Today, one day before Photoshop Convention in Orlando, Adobe has released the beta 2 for Lightroom v3 which was near to expire at the end of April.

Curiously, yesterday there were a couple of leakages on this update: DPReview and Adobe Tv sites published something soon removed provoking an interesting debate on the imminent announcement.

Here are the good news:

  • support for video files. FINALLY! I made some tests and not all formats seem to be supported (especially MP4/H.264 have several variants) but it was a mandatory move. Supported operations on videos: tagging, rating, filtering, collection and smart collection, trimming the video and of course playing it with a double click. Video cannot be edited (of course since so far Lightroom is an image editing tool). A little video camera icon marks the videos format and shows the length.
  • improved performances for import and for rendering (the (in)famous "Loading" message during long rendering of images). Especially the import process has been significantly optimized.
  • support for tethered shooting for recent Canon and Nikon cameras. It''s a basic support: display but not change of parameters.
  • support for new cameras.
  • point curves: possibility of defining by placing individual points, practically like in Photoshop. We will see them used a lot in new presets.
  • improved noise reduction and sharpness: luminance noise correction is back again and new sliders are introduced. The effect of the new RAW engine is visible especially in terms of increased sharpness and better noise reduction for high ISO / low light shots.
  • improved watermarking feature, also usable now in slideshow.
  • a new option for exporting: limitation of file size, quite useful (and available in other products).

The bad news:

  • still missing the perspective correction and even more important...
  • the lens distorsion correction is missing. These two functions have been insistently demanded by users. This is not the final release so hopes are still here. These features are available in other products (like DxOptics for example).

A warning: if you try to export a JPG with ‘overwrite without warning’ option, the original file will be deleted. Pay attention!

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