Lightroom 5 Beta Now Available!

LRLogoAdobe announced that the beta version Lightroom 5, a major update to their photo editing and management product.  It is available for download – check out some details at the Adobe Lightroom blog page, which has a link for download.

The features I’m seeing put Lightroom way ahead of Apple’s Aperture.  It is a great tool to not only edit your photos, but keep them organized as well.  One of the really cool things about digital photography is the level of control you get in editing your own images.  The challenge is you have to edit your own images!!  If you shoot RAW (as I so often do because of how much more forgiveness and flexibility you get over JPEG), you’re nearly filling the role of developing your own negatives, though the software all gives you a lot help.

Honestly, I find all of these tools either overly simplistic (Picasa and the on-line editing features in Flickr) or really complicated (Photoshop, Aperture and Lightroom).  The good news is there are a LOT of resources out there to teach you how to use Photoshop and especially Lightroom.  A little bit of tuning can make a huge difference, and those are fairly easy to understand and use right away on virtually any of software solutions.

The new brushes and other tools I’m seeing in Lightroom 5 look like a big jump forward in capability while making some pretty powerful functions much simpler to use.  The “upright” feature looks great, too as it automates something that can be really complicated (adjusting for lens distortion when shooting buildings, etc.).

I’m going to download and play with the beta release, and I’ll probably grab the upgrade right away.  I’ll post some thoughts once I’ve had a chance to use the Lightroom 5 beta.

I’d love to hear your comments and thoughts about photo editing software!

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