Adobe Rolls Out Photoshop Lightroom 3 Public Beta

Adobe announced the immediate availability of a public beta version of Photoshop Lightroom 3 on Thursday. The new version of the professional image management and editing application includes improved image touch up tools, enhanced slideshow features, and additional print output options.

The public beta includes updated noise reduction tools that help keep images sharp without washing out colors. The beta includes support for color noise reduction, and luminance noise reduction support is still in development.

The sharpness filter produces a more natural look thanks to updated algorithms. The previous sharpness filter is still available for users that want to stick with the look the older version offers, or for images that have been sharpened with older versions of Lightroom.

Slideshows can now be exported to multiple formats optimized for target devices such as mobile devices like the iPhone, or video sharing Web sites. The Slideshow feature also supports auto-timing presentations to the length of the music.

Lightroom's printing module added support for custom packages and easier watermarking with a new watermark editor. Contact sheets can now include any background color, too.

Adobe isn't setting a firm launch date for the release version of Lightroom 3. Instead, the company is waiting for feedback from users to see what needs to be changed before finalizing the product. Tom Hogarty, the Photoshop Lightroom Senior Product Manager, told The Mac Observer he would like to see the final version ship some time in 2010.

Photoshop Lightroom 3 public beta requires an Intel-based Mac running Mac OS X 10.5 or 10.6 and 2GB of RAM. It is available for download at the Adobe Labs Web site, and users can provide feedback at the Photoshop Lightroom forums.