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Lightroom 4 Public Beta Now Available!

It’s January 9, 2012…and Lightroom 4 is now available as a free public beta!

It was January 9, 2006 when the team first introduced Project Lightroom, a “test drive” of sorts for a new workflow specifically designed for photographers. It’s the sixth anniversary of a public preview that became an opportunity for the team to define the concept for Lightroom. The goal was to gather as much feedback as possible and after four beta iterations over a 14 month period, the software was sufficiently poked, prodded and pushed to its limits by hundreds of thousands of photographers.

Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 1.0 was finally ready for prime time and released in 2007. Photographers had “moonlighted” as official testers and the Lightroom team had learned a tremendous amount about the demands of a photographer in the field and in the studio. This relationship is what inspired collaborative development efforts for future versions and over time, Lightroom has become an application that anyone who wants to focus on the art and craft of photography can use.

Tom Hogarty is the principal product manager for Lightroom and has been a part of the team well prior to that first public beta. Before he left for Florida to film this week’s KelbyTraining.com’s live webcasts, we sat down to catch up about Lightroom 4 Beta.

What do you hope to learn from this beta release?

Tom: We’ve come a long way since version 1.0! (The first public beta didn’t even have a crop tool!) Back then, we used the beta over a much longer period to determine exactly what Lightroom should be. With the last public beta – Lightroom 3 – we had so fundamentally changed the underpinnings of the application, we wanted to make sure users were getting the results that they wanted. Our focus then, was largely on performance and image quality. We even released another update to the beta with changes we made along the way, in response to the feedback we received.

For Lightroom 4, we can leverage all the work that was done on performance and image quality to offer features like better video support, the ability to geotag photos and create really slick, custom Blurb photo books. These are all customer requests that we spent this version tackling. Video is a new focus for us and we want a broad base of folks to test it out now. We also have a new layout creation feature in the book module and wanted some additional exposure around that. We just want to know – does what we’re offering work for you? As the software evolves, the beta process can be shorter because we’re mainly looking for public validation that we’re indeed headed in the right direction. We truly value that input.

What are some key changes Lightroom users should be aware of?

Tom: It’s important for us to balance the addition of new features with ease of use and simplicity for those who might be new to the application. Customer feedback fueled many of the changes and updates we made to this release. If you’re already familiar with previous versions of Lightroom, you might notice that there are more modules to choose from. You can hide modules by right-clicking on them. However, we feel these fit into the natural progression of the workflow and many will find it useful.

We’ve added all new basic tonal adjustment controls for stunning shadow details and highlights, additional local adjustment controls for Noise Reduction, Moire and White Balance. The tools are so balanced now that current Lightroom users will see that they’re able to achieve the visual results they desire much faster.
There are some fundamental differences between Process Versions 2012 and previous Process Versions. Since editing is non-destructive, users have the ability to pick and choose when to upgrade to Process Version 2012 for their older photos. We also aren’t supporting the ten-year old Windows XP operating system with this release. We’ve made changes in favor of committing resources to enhancing new features and capabilities. However, previous versions of Lightroom will continue to run on Windows XP.

If you’re curious about checking out this public preview, there are several opportunities for you to watch a live demo with Tom and ask questions.

Tuesday, January 10 (FREE)
WHAT: Kelbytraining.com day of live webcasts with Matt Kloskowski and Tom Hogarty
TIMES: 7 am PST, 9 am PST, 11 am PST, 1 pm PST
VISIT: http://kelbytraining.com/unveil

Friday, January 13 (FREE)
WHAT: Tom Hogarty lunch hour live demo and Q&A (online session)
TIMES: 9 am PST & 12 noon PST
DETAILS: http://on.fb.me/w0CGBE (9 am PST) & http://on.fb.me/z2vtXw (12 noon PST)

There are also eight new Lightroom 4 beta videos, hosted by Julieanne Kost – senior Digital Imaging evangelist at Adobe – available on our YouTube channel. Become a subscriber to catch all the latest video tutorials and behind the scenes footage from the team and our own Lightroom community.

You don’t have to own a copy of Lightroom to try the beta. Check it out today and let us know what you think!

TAGGED AS:

Looking forward to seeing how people run with the new option over the next while :)

I would love to test of the Beta Version LR4, but my MacBook is to old to run this version.
Very disappointed. But that means I will have to get a new Mac Book Pro when LR4 is released. Unless Adobe would like to send me a loaner.

MAC info:Model Name: MacBook
Model Identifier: MacBook1,1
Processor Name: Intel Core Duo
Processor Speed: 2 GHz
Number Of Processors: 1
Total Number Of Cores: 2
L2 Cache: 2 MB
Memory: 2 GB
Bus Speed: 667 MHz
Boot ROM Version: MB11.0061.B03
SMC Version (system): 1.4f12

I hope to see Lightroom 4 in the Mac App Store

Sad relly, if I wanted to make videos, I’d buy a video camera; If I wanted to edit videos I buy video editing software ~ but I only run Windows XP so I guess it won’t affect me. :(

    Umm, I think there’s an increasing need to be able to mix video clips with photos in slideshows. Most still cameras can now shoot video and movie clips have become a part of life for people under 40. It seems pretty odd to not be able to mix video and stills in a slideshow.

      Yes! Yes! Yes! Yes! Yes! PLEASE

I’ve been looking forward for this moment. I hope it will bring some of the healing and cloning functionality from Photoshop…

    Don’t hold your breath – it’s no different in the way the brushes work apart from more options as to what you are changing.

      Thank you Chris for the reply to my question!

I’ve been looking forward for this moment. I hope it will bring some of the healing and cloning functionality from Photoshop…

Do you have to uninstall any previous versions of Lightroom to use this beta for Lightroom 4?

    Nope – I’m running 3.6 and 4 Beta on the same machine. The Beta won’t import your old catalogues anyway at present.

I’ve setup a Windows XP machine (with on old license from a friend), which only purpose is to run Lightroom (everything else is Unix/Linux-based). I’m not willing to buy a Windows 7 license to additional to Lightroom 4 (and a newer PC by the way). As long WinXP or Linux (which would by my first choice) is not supported I won’t upgrade my license and will work with my current version or find something else. Even it is sad :(

    You need the latest version of Lightroom but don’t have a problem using an over 10 year old OS?

      So…When your tires become worn should you have to buy a new car? Windows XP works just great and shouldn’t have to be replaced because it is 10 years old. IMO.

      It is all about the dollars. How about an update instead of an upgrade. We are so conditioned to ‘buying-in’ to the NEW VERSION hype. A few changes here and there but in the end it is the same as adding more icing to a half eaten cake. New look but the same taste.

      There are other options out there that do more for way less AND they play real nice with Photoshop when extra processing is needed.

      Hope this makes it to the board.

It is very unfortunate that Adobe decided not to support XP, since there is still a very large and active user base of XP. I would like to know what the technical and/or marketing reasons were for that decision. If there are critical features of LR4 which cannot run on XP but do run on Vista(?), than maybe there is a viable reason for the limitation.

Migrating from XP to Windows 7 is a major effort which Microsoft has not made easy to do. Vista was not a viable option for professional users. So now XP users are unable to run the latest Adobe application? Not good!

    Are you just stubborn to switch? XP is a 10+ year old OS. It was never meant for high-end photo/video production. I think it’s time you break your 1990s piggy-bank and purchase an OS that was actually produced in the 21st century.

First Impression (10 minutes of use) The 64 Bit version now burns to disc! That’s been a while coming eh? Still no network/shared catalogues so that’s a negative – there HAS to be a way round this surely – even if it locked the catalogue file when one person is working on it, it would be better than continually importing external cats. Book module is nice especially if it gets more publisher support. Don’t much care about the GPS module – nice it has it but it’s a bit over emphasised in the interface for a niche module. Still can’t zoom in the Print module which is a royal pain when producing large layouts – very very difficult to produce accurately aligned prints. Develop presets on right click now show in folders – thank God for that!

    PS and still no multi-line identity plate in the print module! :-(

seems like an attempt to imitate a lot of iPhoto’s functions (highlight and shadow adjustments, mapping, book-making, video-importing, facebook sharing, email sharing etc) I would have preferred more retouching brushes, proof-marking batch processing, color temperature fixing and batch framing etc.
I will definitely give it a try, but from a professional photographer’s point of view, I hope this isnt an attempt to grab the domestic photographer’s attention with mapping and such.

All of you people complaining about no Windows XP support…really? I mean…REALLY? Are you still using a Sony Mavica that writes to floppy discs to capture your images? Windows XP is a DECADE OLD now. TEN YEARS. It’s the equivalent of driving a car where you have to hand-crank the engine to get it started. Quit living in the past and join the modern era. I fully support Adobe’s move to not waste resources coding and testing for an obsolete operating system.

I know I shouldn’t be critical of something I haven’t tried. But I sure hope that the folks behind Lightroom aren’t straying away from what makes Lightroom great. Which is a tool for serious (and not so serious) Photogs that want a streamlined, sophisticated photo editing software without all of the ancillary gingerbread that you get with PS Elements and the like. Improving LR, in my humble opinion, doesn’t mean adding a bunch of tools that don’t have anything to do with editing photos and stremlinging the workflow. If you want tools to create books, edit video, etc. there are plenty of other options out there (including software created, licensed and sold by Adobe).

Great just got certified in Lr 3 last week

if i have LR3 on my laptop will i be able to use the beta on a seperate computer?

I have been wanting to try lightroom for a while, but like others I am very disappointed that xp will not be supported. It may be old but it runs well so why pay for a new operating system in addition to Lightroom. Please remember that many of us use adobe products for a hobby not a profession. I hope that they will not be doing this to other products in the near future.

You can bet safely that CS6 will not be running on XP either, and probably the whole suite as well.

I like how they say they won’t be supporting the 10 year old Windows XP, to make it sound like a more reasonable decision. Windows XP was current until 2.5 years ago, so it would be as accurate, and more honest, to say they won’t be supporting the main OS of 2.5 years ago.

Absolutely disappointed in lack of XP support. I’m not wasting a time and money to blow more money on a few small upgrades.

Thankfully, other vendors are coming out with strong solutions that will run on XP. Hopefully Adobe will reconsider.

You do know that support for win xp ended for home users in 2009? Only commercial users still receive Microsoft support. http://windows.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/products/lifecycle

Why should adobe support an OS that has been abandoned by it’s creators?

Yes, you might get OEM support for a bit- but those days are numbered…

If you are relying on XP- it’s past time to start looking for a new option.

As far as not moving from XP is concerned, to those saying “why not upgrade to a more modern OS?” Well I would love to but my audio hardware (Edirol DA2496) only has drivers for XP and they will NEVER be updated, despite many people complaining.
So on top of the upgrade to Lightroom 4, which I would love to have, I would also need to spend £300-400 on a new 16 channel sound card plus Windows 7, just to use Lightroom 4.
The only other solution is to Dual Boot (which is an option, but I would rather not)

Anyway there are generally other reason other than people’s reluctance.

+1 vote for XP support. Switching to W7 is just as “easy” as switching to Mac OS X, so if i’m eventually forced to upgrade, it’ll be Hackintosh (coz in terms of specs my PC is just as modern, it’s just the OS that is bottleneck now).

Hitting “Abort” when LR first asked for a catalogue file crashed my system (vista64), crashed again after reboot when starting LR and even de- and reinstallation didn’t change anything for the better.
So this test is likely to pass me by :(

I am just a Zumba beginner but I bought some great videos for beginners and now I am having so much fun!

ohhh no. my computer not support for this software. my system win 7. i dont know what the wrong from my system

Please Adobe dropping XP support when it’s usage is still high worldwide is a mistake you are doing like Microsoft did with IE9. XP support SHOULD be dropped when it has less than 10% usage share worldwide, not earlier than that. You have already dropped Premiere Pro and After Effects support for XP, please if you really care about customers and listen to them, please support Windows XP SP3 and change this decision. XP with SP3 is far different from the 10 year old RTM release. If anything Vista support should be dropped as it has less than 10% of the usage share and you wouldn’t be losing customers. Please support Windows XP and Windows 7!

win7 isn’t bad once you get all the gingerbread turned off, however it wont work with much of my equipment such as my beautiful scanner, some quality printers, my screen calibrator and most of all my USB microscope and telescope. also it wont play most of my favorite games or ham radio utilities .. not even the pro version with virtual XP will play any of those things .. my new computer is factory configured to block dual boot so i cant even load XP or Linux as a second system. i could, as you suggest, toss out all my favorite things and start over. but why should i have to do that. XP worked for me. Win7 compromises what i want to do and seems to be fighting me. i would love light room to be on a computer that does everything else i need to do. that has been and still is XP. so now i maintain 3 computers, win7 winXP and linux. if Lightroom worked on win XP then that’s what i would use .. that’s because it does everything i need to do in one box. its fast enough and has almost no bugs left. if i am forced i will go with win7. but what happens with win8 or later. will i have to scrap everything again and start over. i am getting too old to have to worry about that. there is a reason why XP is still one of the most popular systems out there. XP is not a 10 year old system. its a system that has 10 years of experience.

The thing is, there is a difference between not supporting an OS and explicitly disallowing it.
I can’t even take the risk with Lightroom 4 as it won’t even let me install on XP.
By all means Abobe, drop “support” for XP, if I phone up with a query then tell me I need to upgrade to Windows7, but I should still be able to “try” to install it and run it at my own risk.
I have other programs that officially are not supported on XP, but still run fine. I was still allowed to install them, but with a warning.

Now maybe Adobe have used something that just does not work on XP, and in which case that’s kind of a different problem, but even so, allow me to install the Beta and I will be able to see if it works for me or not, and then take the risk as to whether to upgrade. Surely that’s my decision, if I want to spend £80 on an upgrade that doesn’t work that’s my problem isn’t it? Disallowing the installation will not stop someone from buying it from Amazon because they did not read the Minimum requirements.

And as lots of people have said, XP is NOT 10 years old in the traditional sense of age, The very first release is/was, but nobody uses that any more we are all on SP3, plus if it was fully dropped for support 2.5 years ago, how come I still receive updates.

By the same argument Photoshop is 22 years old, as it was released in 1990… Man that’s old software, we should drop it now, I’m amazed Adobe still support it… oh no that’s right they have been updating it. (Oh right just like XP)

To continue the XP thoughts:

If it’s due to video support, have you thought that some, and perhaps most, users of Lightroom may not care at all about video support?

Yes, video on high-end cameras is becoming more prevalent. That doesn’t make stills photographers videographers or cinematographers. I know I am not shooting video…neither are my friends.

XP still works and is still supported by the manufacturer, and will be for over 2 more years.

To you “why don’t you upgrade” people – some of us are stuck with other legacy software, some of us don’t want to spend money to “upgrade” something that isn’t broken. Some of us don’t use Windows except for hobbies such as photography and gaming. I drive a 10 year old truck…safety standards have improved over the years…should I change my vehicle because it’s too old for your taste? I don’t fear change, but I don’t understand needless change. Not supporting a prevalent, manufacturer-supported operating system that is still supported well in the latest release of the software seems like needless change to me.

Could we please have the system store more than 5 presets for crops? Never really got the reason for such a small number of presets.

First of all let me say that I have been using LR since 12/2006, so not quite from the beginning and have tested all beta versions up until now. Further I’m an amateur photographer. So when a professional photographer friend and book author showed me the just released beta version on Tuesday evening I was so excited to get my hands on it, especially on the book module with its zoom functions and wondering whether this zoom option was also available in the print module. So I downloaded it on Wednesday morning only to be disappointed as the message came up that I could not install it. Yes I am running XP on all my business computers as it is a well proven OS. Three years ago when we had our last hardware update, we even had the recommendation that we should downgrade to XP until the newer OS were well proven. Only yesterday my XP OS was automatically updated. So this talk of a 10 year old OS is a no ball, otherwise it would not be continually updated. I know that I will have to update to Windows 7 and have planned this for later this year when we completely update our hardware. I hope everything will go smoothly but I fear the worst as my photo dealer told me yesterday after we discussed these restrictions, that when he updated his OS, without new hardware, he had to get new passport photo printers as the existing ones had no drivers for Win7. That is another reason why XP is the most commonly used OS, the drivers work on it. So for me it means that for the first time I will not be a beta tester.
If the reason behind this restriction to win7 is the video options, as some believe then why not have this feature as an add-on that only runs with Win7 and have the rest running under XP without support and risk of those installing it. As many photographers are not interested in this option and the XP incompatibility it seems is a major sticking point for many users.
One feature that is not included, I believe, is the possibility of running LR on a terminal server with one catalogue. I find this so useful with my daily work, I can work on my projects from whatever computer I happen to be using at the time, whether notebook, desktop or whatever. With LR I have to continually wonder on which computer I was just working on and then export or import the catalogue from the other. With a terminal server based LR I would only have to do this for things done on location. Far easier to coordinate.
Those were my thoughts as, alas a non beta tester.

I agree with all other xp users: give us support for it Adobe! Now!

Where can I find the full list of LR hot-key shortcuts? And it could be useful to learn about some hidden tips & Tricks.

I feel as though I’ve fallen into the stone age with all this talk about holding on to XP.

Thank you Adobe for abandoning the ancient and moving on. I understand hobbyists wanting to stick with their 10 year old investment, but I’m currently enjoying Win7 running on a Sandy Bridge with 16GB of RAM (wish I had 32GB) and an NVidia 570 GPU for helping me crank through After Effects (AE) work.

I love LR3 and I like the first look at LR4 beta. Give me a reason to move to Windows 8 and a new Keplar GPU this spring – the tools are getting greater and way more fun. I recently had reason to learn InDesign (part of my CS5.5 Master Suite) and as soon as I’m finished with that project, I’ll be turning my attention to learning more about Mocha and Audition.

The fact is; you cannot adequately utilize all these new programs efficiently on a system that is locked into using 3.5GB of RAM, and who in this age is only using one program? I need Photoshop to compliment my work in Lightroom. LR and PS are both used for my work in Premiere (PR) and InDesign. I often have LR, PR, AE, Bridge, and PS running simultaneously.

It is time to modernize our workstations, or accept that some of these ever more complex tools needed by professionals require horsepower that is surpassing the hobby market.

Mind you, I am not a professional, but I do love my photography and working with the video I’ve been shooting. I dream of the day when my Win8 machine is a dual processor 16 core, 128GB of RAM, dual GPU SLI Keplar video card with 4GB of RAM, computer that lets me chop up 4K multi layer video with ease as I delight in what CS6 delivers.

Long live the future, bah humbug with the past.

So…When your tires become worn should you have to buy a new car? Windows XP works just great and shouldn’t have to be replaced because it is 10 years old.It may have been introduced 10 years ago but MS was happy to continue to sell XP as new two years ago. Does that make it 10 years old? IMO.

It is all about the dollars. How about an update instead of an upgrade. We know that won’t happen. We are so conditioned to ‘buying-in’ to the NEW VERSION hype. A few changes here and there but in the end it is the same as adding more icing to a half eaten cake. New look but the same taste.

There are other options out there that do more for way less AND they play real nice with Photoshop when extra processing is needed.
Hope this makes it to the board.

I have lightroom3 and I would so love to get lightroom4 beta. Can I use both on my mac?

Good post.. I had to read it twice to comprehend it all though, haha!

I have had to remove all photos to external drives (see below for explan) and finally thought I
found THE greatest software to house all the older jpegs and newer RAW files;
there are tons and tons of files on ext drives, and on picture cards, etc.I bought lots of books etc in order to learn Lightroom 3 etc so I would not screw anythign up, joined forums etc. Now I am in fear the next LR version will not
support xp pro so thank god I didnt go and place all my photos in it.. I am so gravely disappointed after all the effort I have put into this. that Adobe is abandoning those many users with xp and xp pro.
I have had some tough luck with OS. My vista 64 bit ultimate continually stops updating right after I uninstall and reinstall a new one, (ea yr since 2009). I finally gave up and so it is not updating at all…my 32 bit Home Premium is not working at all due to HPs malfunctioing screen..known issue not supported. Those are notebooks. My Sony notebook is also not working. My xp pro desktop is all that continues to update and work in every respect. I have a new Solid state drive for systems, new Mother Board as even tho it is an xpp it came with vista mother board. I have 2 TB SATA RAID 1 config drive, and smalr drive.Most of my very expensive software does not work on vista 64 bit at all eg older Adobe software bundled with CS2. I still have Photoshop CS2, although I have lots of other photo editing software by Adobe, Corel, and other mfg. I simply can’t afford to upgrade my OS now, or to upgrade all software.Since it is my choice where I spend money or not I choose to eat bottom line. Food costs money and so do other things. I dont like being forced to do anything. I wont give up my photography as long as I can manage it. Adobe is not making it easy. I would like to evaluate and use Adobe L/R obviously but dont think it is a wise decision use it footos dating from before 2000 to now.
I and techs I have spoken with believe that xp pro is one of the most stable OS around still. Matter of OP of course.W7 has not been her long enough to evaluate in my op. I have done alot of research and none of the camera mfg or other software affordable will do what I need it to but Lightroom seemed to;L/R seemed the best choice. Now that I realize it is primarily for RAW files, maybe its not the best for me afterall; most of my work had been jpg up til now. I found sw on Moosepeterson.com that handles RAW/JPEG files shot at the same time from proprietary equipment eg Olympus is what i have not Canon or Nikon, and what of it? I am often made to feel less than some others because my choice was to remain with Olympus when I switched from film to digital> I use an adapter for my older lenses. The camera is not too heavy for me (hand issues) but heavy enough for equipt I hope to use with it.People love my work. I am not rich, I was once, but had lots of money stolen from a safe deposit box at a single branch sm local bank.. its true so dont ask. I have no idea how. Also much tragedy in my family. I am mult handicapped as well and am lucky to have what I do here.
I used to have money and now am forced to make decisions on what to buy and waht not to that I otherwise would not have been. Want to buy some beautiful IMO, photos, Adobe? Better yet Adobe, why dont you sponsor some photo contests where even those of us loyal users who are forced to abandon you can submit work? WOW what a shame. After all the effort I as a former medical professional and artist, not a pro photographer although I have won contests…have been putting forth in order to learn..well at least i found out before I put my bodies of work into your software so to speak.
If Adobe manages to comprehend that not all of us are in the same boat, not even remotely so, and decides to offer future versions to us sorry, old sad sacks (in your OP) using xp and xp pro, I wont remove it from my pcs, otherwise, anyone want them? Take care, all, I need to find a better soln. I hope that can be found and that it is affordable. I aggree, essentially, very SAD Dont worry you wont see my long windedness anymore. Cher

Perhaps this has already been discussed. LR4 (and LR3) give vertical banding of RAW images at low ISO on the Canon 7D under the following conditions:
Shadow areas “pushed” to the right on exposure, then viewed at 50-100%.
The supplied Canon software does not do this, so I think this is purely a LR problem. It would be great if it could be fixed before the final LR4 release.

Les

Excellent job

A very well thought out and informative post, thanks very much

In looking at the dates for the Live Demo with Tom. Apparently these dates and days of the week don’t line up for my version of 1/2013.

Perhaps someone must have dug up an ancient copy of the Mayan Calendar and used that to set the dates!

Great article. You made some useful points.

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