Adobe releases Lightroom 4

Adobe has released the fourth version of its Lightroom software, adding video abilities and editing finesse.

Lightroom 4 lets people edit video with presets such as this old-style sepia look.
(Screenshot by Stephen Shankland/CNET)

Australians looking for pricing parity with the US will be disappointed. Locally, we will be paying AU$241 (inc. GST) for a new copy of Lightroom 4 and AU$122.38 (inc. GST) as an upgrade, for the boxed versions. Discounts are offered for downloading the software from the Adobe Store. In the US, it costs US$149 new and US$79 as an upgrade.

However, the local price is a significant drop from the debut price of Lightroom 3, which cost AU$412 for a new copy.

Lightroom is geared for photography professionals and enthusiasts, especially those who want to ease the difficulties of shooting with higher-end cameras' RAW photo formats but benefit from their higher quality. It lets people manage their photo catalogues, publish photos online or now in books, too.

At the heart of Lightroom 4 are new editing controls designed to let people get more out of their images, for example, boosting shadowed areas without blowing out highlights. Several more adjustments can be made locally, too, including white balance, noise reduction and shadow recovery.

I liked the new version's controls, which I've been using with the Lightroom 4 beta, but stay tuned for a full CNET evaluation. Another major feature is support for some basic video editing, including an ability to import settings from a still shot to adjust the tones and colour balance of an entire video. Photographers also can geotag images with location data using a built-in Google Maps interface.

Adobe also added some new performance and compression options to its DNG file format that make it somewhat more useful as an alternative to the hundreds of proprietary raw formats the software must support.

With Lightroom 4, the software no longer works on Windows XP. Minimum Mac requirements are OS X 10.6.8 or 10.7 with a multi-core Intel processor or Microsoft Windows Vista SP2 or Windows 7 SP1 on an Intel Pentium 4 or AMD Athlon 64 processor. You'll also need 2GB of memory and a 1024x768 or better display.


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Despite having purchased tens of thousands of dollars of Adobe Software in the past, I'm now fed up with this pricing model that charges Australian so much more. There is no justification offered or even any sympathy for the situation - if they will rip us off for price, then what hope for support? Frankly I've very disappointed with their silence on this issue and will agitate for the broader press to become involved.
Posted by jwowchuk

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