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Monday, January 09, 2006
Adobe Unveils Lightroom Public Beta

Adobe introduced the public beta of Adobe Lightroom, an new digital imaging solution for professional photographers.

With its task-based environment, Lightroom's goal is to deliver a complete photography workflow. Initially available as a beta for Macintosh, Lightroom will later support both the Windows and Macintosh platforms.

Lightroom Beta has been designed with a new user interface that puts the focus on what photographers really care about: the image. With one click, the control panels and tools fade into the background in Lights-Out mode, allowing the image to take center stage. The Identity Plate feature allows photographers to apply their own branding to the application and its output, so that it becomes their own personal gallery for showcasing work. Photographers also can scroll through hundreds of images and Quick One-to-One Zoom allows instant magnification of the finer points within the image.

Leveraging Adobe Camera Raw technology, Lightroom supports over 100 cameras and incorporates raw conversion into a single workflow experience. Adobe's new split-toning controls promises richer black and white images. This extends photographers' creative control, providing new parameters for making adjustments and more freedom to address precise areas of the photograph on the histogram. Upon import, files can be converted to Digital Negative format (DNG) or renamed and segmented by folder or date.

Images can also be showcased via slideshows with drop shadows, borders, Identity Plates and different colored backgrounds. The size and position of the images can be manipulated and delivered in Macromedia Flash, Adobe Portable Document Format (PDF) or HTML formats. A variety of templates are offered for contact sheets with the ability to add identity plates or produce a fine art print.

The public debut of Lightroom Beta for Macintosh OSX 10.4.3 will occur at Macworld 2006 on January 10, 2006 in San Francisco at Booth #1307 and is available for free download from the Adobe Labs Web site at Recommended system requirements are Macintosh OSX 10.4.3, 1 GHz PowerPC G4 processor, 768 MB RAM and a 1024x768 resolution screen. Regular updates to the software will be posted on the site, feedback will be collected and the final product is expected to be introduced in late 2006. Further details around pricing, system requirements and availability have yet to be determined.

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