Adobe on Monday released a public Beta of Lightroom, a digital imaging solution aimed at professional photographers. While the final release will be available for both Macs and PCs, this Beta runs only on Mac OS X v10.4.3. It expires at the end of June, and Adobe said it expects to ship the final version of the software by the end of the year.
Adobe emphasized Lightroomis Lights-Out mode, which enables users to relegate control panels and tools to the background as they work on an image. In addition, 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," the company explained in a press release.
Other Lightroom features include Quick One-to-One Zoom, which instantly magnifies a specific point within an image, and support for more than 100 native camera RAW file formats, as well as DNG (Digital Negative), JPEG and TIFF. In addition, images can be exported as Flash, PDF and HTML files, with templates available for creating contact sheets or even fine art prints.
This Beta is a free download that requires Mac OS X v10.4.3, a 1GHz G4 processor, 768MB RAM and 1024 x 768 resolution. Adobe noted that those are not final system requirements, which have yet to be determined, along with pricing. The company will showcase the software in booth #1307 during this weekis Macworld Conference & Expo San Francisco.
Ars Technica has posted a brief article that compares Lightroom and Aperture, Appleis own professional photography software that was released last October.
In addition, the National Association of Photoshop Professionals (NAPP) announced on Monday that this weekis edition of the Photoshop TV video podcast will focus exclusively on Lightroom. The Photoshop Radio podcast will also feature a discussion titled ?Apple?s Aperture vs. Adobe?s Lightroom: Who Comes out on Top??
Finally, NAPP has already posted a Lightroom Learning Center that includes QuickTime tutorials and other useful information.
1/9/06, 10:15 AM EST: Added information about NAPPis audio and video podcasts, as well as its Lightroom Learning Center, and posted a screenshot.