Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 5 hits public beta, adds Smart Previews and Advanced Healing Brush

Adobe just announced its next-gen version of Lightroom, which adds some pretty nifty Photoshop features to the company's lower-priced editing and archival offering. Photoshop Lightroom 5, which is available as a free public beta beginning today, brings features like Smart Previews and an Advanced Healing Brush to the table, delivering access to tools previously only available with full versions of Photoshop. That latter tool, the Advanced Healing Brush, lets you paint in corrections, rather than using the round dropper to make tweaks. Smart Previews enables you to edit images even when you're not connected to your archive -- smaller representations of selected RAW shots will be saved locally, and any changes you make to them will be automatically applied to the original image once the source comes back online. In the meantime, you can publish shots online or even add them to book layouts, thought prints can't be ordered until the app can locate the original file.

And the fun doesn't stop there. Another tool, called Radial Filter, adjusts levels for a highlighted area while adding a gradual, natural-looking shift. Editors who often work with scanned prints and negatives might find the Visualize Spots tool to be quite useful, which helps you easily identify dust spots and remove them, while perfectionists can take advantage of Upright, the app's new perspective shift technology -- it's some crazy voodoo code that more or less works like magic (see screenshot above). Lightroom 5 beta is compatible with Windows 7 SP 1, Windows 8, Mac OS 10.7 or 10.8, and is currently available at the source link below. Keep in mind that the beta expires on June 30th, though, so prepare to hand over some (TBD) cash to keep going after that date.

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Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 5 Public Beta Now Available

Adobe today announced the availability of Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 5 beta for Windows and Mac. Adobe Lightroom is the essential photography workflow application allowing photography enthusiasts and professionals to enhance, organize and share photos. The Lightroom 5 beta offers a free, public preview of new features and tools that will be offered in the final release, expected later this year.

"Lightroom is the essential tool for busy professional and discerning amateur photographers, who are uncompromising in the pursuit for image quality or searching for artistic expression," said Winston Hendrickson, vice president of digital imaging products, Adobe. "The Lightroom 5 beta is highly valuable in ensuring the new features support and address the needs of our customers and we look forward to hearing feedback."

Lightroom 5 beta offers photographers and enthusiasts many new features including:
· Advanced Healing Brush allows customers to heal imperfections and remove distracting elements

· Upright tool analyzes an image to automatically level horizons and straighten objects like buildings to correct a keystone effect

· Radial Gradient tool creates off-center or multiple vignette effects

· Smart Previews allow customers to edit images without needing the original raw file

· Video slideshow enables customers to combine still images, video clips and music in a creative HD slideshow

· Upgrades to the Book module enhancing the ability to create, customize and order elegant photo books using a variety of tailored templates


Lightroom 5 beta marks the fifth consecutive version Adobe has offered the software for public preview and testing prior to the final release. Adobe encourages customers to provide comments through its community forums on both new and legacy features. Feedback offered may be integrated into updates added before the final version of the software is released.


Pricing and Availability
Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 5 beta is available immediately as a free download on both Windows and Mac at http://labs.adobe.com/technologies/lightroom5/. Customers can submit feedback on the community powered feedback site: http://feedback.photoshop.com. Customers can also connect with the Lightroom team directly on Facebook (www.facebook.com/lightroom), via Twitter (www.twitter.com/lightroom) or on the Adobe Lightroom blog (http://blogs.adobe.com/lightroomjournal). For Lightroom how-to videos, visit http://www.youtube.com/lightroom.