Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 5 now in Public Beta / by Luke Cartledge

Adobe Labs has announced the public beta testing program is now open for version's ever-popular software Lightroom. This release comes with a list of very interesting new features that bring this software closer in post-processing functionality to Adobe's full Photoshop.

New Features in Lightroom

  • Advanced Healing Brush – Easily remove objects and fix defects—even those with irregular shapes such as threads or lint—with a single brush stroke. Take precise control over what's being removed as you make unwanted objects just disappear.
  • Upright – Straigha single click. Upright analyzes images and detects skewed horizontal or vertical lines. You choose methods, and Upright can even straighhorizon is hidden.
  • Radial Gradient – Lead your viewer's eye through your images with more flexibility and control. The radial gradient tool lets you create off-center vignette effects, or multiple vignette areas within a single image.
  • Offline editing with Smart Previews – Easily work with images without bringing your entire library with you. Just generate smaller stand-in files called Smart Previews. Make adjustments or metadata additions to Smart Previews and your changes will be automatically applied to the full-size originals later.
  • Video slideshow sharing – Easily share your work in elegant video slideshows. Combine still images, video clips, and music in creative HD videos that can be viewed on almost any computer or device.
  • Improved photo book creation – Create beautiful photo books from your images. Lightroom includes a variety of easy-to-use book templates, and now you can edit them to create a customized look. Upload your book for printing with just a few clicks.

The first of these features is definitely going to make workflows quicker as spot and defect cleaning is ofnow that images have to be round-tripped out to Photoshop for further work. This should save time and disk space as files can be kept in RAW inside the software.

The software can be downloaded here, and it should go without saying but this is still a beta testing phase so there may be some bugs. I would certainly not recommend using this as your main version of Lightroom. You will also need to log in with your Adobe ID to verify the download.

I will be testing this version out over the next few weeks and will write up my verdict on these updates.