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Adobe Systems Announces Photoshop Lightroom 1.0 & Adds Many New Features

After just over a year since its initial beta release, Adobe® Systems today announced that Adobe Photoshop® Lightroom™ 1.0 software is now available for pre-order, and will ship in mid-February 2007.

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The current Lightroom beta will expire on February 28, 2007, and continues to be available for download here.

I’ve used every Lightroom beta version since its initial release, and after seeing a demo of Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 1.0 on a press conference call, I observed and learned of a number of improvements to the most recent Photoshop Lightroom beta version 4. Here are nine:

1. A range of preview resolutions and preview quality settings for images in the catalog can now be selected via a preference pane. This is significant because after importing, if files are archived and then deleted from your system, you will still see a preview of the images, but you will now be able to set both the preview size and resolution to one of a few different options. This can help to reduce the size of the Lightroom Previews file that is stored on your hard drive.

2. There are new advanced keywording tools with better funtionality.

3. The new Key Metadata Browser adds a color label and pick/reject system to help sort and locate photographs faster.

4. New to the Develop module are Virtual Copies and Snapshot tools to help present multiple versions of the same image without having to save separate versions.

5. XMP data can be shared between Adobe Camera Raw and Photoshop Lightroom 1.0. I look forward to learning more about exactly what type of data can be shared, since Adobe Camera Raw’s adjustment options are slightly different than those in Lightroom 1.0.

6. Upon import from external media (such as a CF card), two destinations can be designated which means that the same data can be copied to two separate places. This can save time compared with manually backing up data to another folder or hard drive.

7. Non-destructive clone and healing capability across one or multiple images.

8. Lightrom 1.0 has the ability to stack groups of images for better sorting capability.

9. A new Hue, Saturation and Luminance targeted adjustment tool for precise and image edits. This is especially interesting, especially for reducing saturation on specific colors, and for better control over image conversions from color to black and white.

It’s also important to note that in additon to supporting over 150 native camera raw file formats, Lightroom 1.0 (and the previous beta versions) can also be used to adjust and edit DNG, JPG, TIFF and PSD file formats non-destructively.

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Lightroom 1.0 Library view (courtesy Adobe Systems Inc.)

Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 1.0 is a Universal Binary application that will run natively on PowerPC and new Intel-based Macintosh systems (OS10.4.3 or higher), as well as Microsoft® Windows® XP SP2. According to an Adobe representative, this version is not certified for Microsoft Windows Vista. It will run, though CD/DVD burning is not yet functional. When a Windows Vista certified update becomes available, it will be offered to Lightroom 1.0 owners at no additional cost.

The special introductory price to US and Canadian customers is US$199 through the Adobe Store, and will be available at that price through April 30, 2007. After April 30, Photoshop Lightroom will sell for an estimated street price of US$299. Teachers and students may purchase Lightroom 1.0 for $99 and for full details, visit this page.

The French and German-language versions will debut at the special introductory price of €174 (not including VAT). After June 28, 2007, the normal retail price of €249 (not including VAT) will come into effect. The Japanese-language version will debut at ¥22,000 (not including tax). After July 23, 2007, the normal retail price of ¥32,000 (not including tax) will come into effect. Photoshop Lightroom 1.0 will not be bundled or packaged with any version of Photoshop CS.

On a related note, Adobe released a beta version of Photoshop CS3 on December 14, 2006. To download the Photoshop CS3 beta, visit this page.

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