Lightroom 4 is no longer beta software. Adobe has just released it. During my evaluation of it, I found enough things in it to like and thought that I would upgrade if it came in under $100 and it did. The upgrade is $79 + tax, if applicable.
After a few hiccups, I was able to download it. I think that the Adobe servers were quite busy this morning, so my automatic download would not start. I had to find the download and do it manually. It’s a 384 MB download and took about 12 minutes over my network.
It’s funny, the thing that I thought that I’d like the most, I no longer care so much about, the book module. I do really like the sliders for Highlights, Lights, Darks, and Shadows. It makes things a bit easier to fine tune, which is all that I seem to do. I rarely use CS4 and probably won’t do another Photoshop upgrade. I just don’t get enough use out of that big old sledgehammer!
New Processing Technology
Not present in the beta, is a new feature. There is an exclamation point that appears to the bottom and right of a photo when you are in Develop mode. Clicking on it will show a dialog asking you if you want to covert the photo to the new processing technology. I’ve done this on a few photos and, quite honestly, cannot tell much different save for, perhaps, a bit of opening in the shadows and maybe a little more vibrance in the colors, but nothing big. I’ll keep experimenting with it.
Also, when I first opened it up, it asked if I wanted to allow LR4 to communicate with Google Maps to do reverse GPS locations. That is, for all of your images that have GPS tags in them, LR4 will put their locations on a Google Map so that you can see everywhere you’ve been. Most of photos, save for the ones taken with the iPhone, are not tagged with GPS coordinates, so I turned this feature off.
For the most part, my Epson 3800 sits on the sidelines doing a fantastic job of keeping dust off of my desk. I don’t print much, but from time to time, I feel the desire to do so; however, the cost per sheet gets pretty high when you sit idle between batches. Soft proofing can be quite useful, assuming that you have your monitor profiled correctly and have the correct profiles for the paper that you are using.
I reviewed a video about soft proofing and really liked what I saw. Lightroom allows you to make adjustments to bring colors, etc, into gamut (printable on the device that you are using for output). I need some more photo black ink before I try, but perhaps Tom Dills latest post, Sign of the times, has given me the incentive to try printing again, if so, I’ll be doing my printing from within LR4. More on that later.
Overall, I like what I see and am glad for the upgrade. Perhaps it will help me expand my post-processing knowledge and make it easier. Most certainly worth the $79 upgrade.