Lightroom 2 was again first made available as a Beta version in order for users to provide feedback, and it would appear that Adobe felt there has been enough improvements over the 1.4 version to make this a full new version rather than an update. For the general feel of what this programme has to offer, please first read the review I did of Lightroom 1.4 here. I can then concentrate in greater detail on this new and improved version without going over what I had previously covered.
Overall, the 2.0 interface isn't too much different from Lightroom 1.4. The same main five panels remain, and some things, like metadata browsing by lens, rating, etc., have been put at the top of the Library interface. Nonetheless, the 2.0 interface does sport a few significant new features.
Improvements include the following:
Speed has been an Issue for some users of Lightroom 1.4, and the recent improvements here are very satisfying. Even on my laptop there is a marked increase in performance, and it makes better use of multiple processors for faster display of thumbnails and photos, and supports 64-bit systems running Windows® Vista® and Mac OS®.
Integration with Adobe Photoshop CS3
The real benefits of Lightroom 2 are that you will be spending less time in Photoshop doing edits. Of course some things are not possible to do within Lightroom, but the process of moving files to Photoshop has been made more intuitive than previously.
Work smoothly with Photoshop
Streamlined Library browsing
Support for larger file sizes
Local colour adjustments
New print options
Sharpen smartly for the web
Despite the mask editing options being rather limited, you may find that unless the Auto mask has worked its magic the first time, time lost in working upon localized editing may not be worth the effort for the small gain in image quality. But many users will welcome the simplification of this process, and it has to be said that the localized edits are a major improvement.
If you are fortunate to use a 64-bit system, the extra speed is a real bonus. I have not as yet been able to test this out properly, due to some incompatible software that is essential for other applications I use. But, with the New Photoshop CS4 on the horizon, very soon a dedicated system such as this will be a worthwhile investment for those who wish to make the most of this powerful software. I plan to upgrade my computer to take advantage of this and the extra memory that the 64 bit system can address. As mentioned previously, this still works very well on my fairly outdated laptop.
The commitment by Adobe to developing Lightroom continues, and even if there is still a way to go yet for this to be the perfect solution, this product is still faster than any other Raw Library applications on the market, and I can recommend it without reservation.
For more information, please visit the Adobe Web Site.
About Adobe Systems Incorporated
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Member of Renderosity since August 2002 and former Moderator of the Photography Forum and Gallery. I have had a few nominations for AOM in both photography and mixed medium. Aged 59, Born in Cornwall and have a special interest in Wildlife photography. I have travelled widely while serving in the Royal Air Force as a medic, and later working as mental health professional in the UK health service prior to retiring in 2005. Visit my website: http://www.digitalartzone.co.uk
October 13, 2008
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