Adobe has released a public beta of Lightroom 5, the next major version of its photo editing and management application. The download is free for anyone to use until June 30th. Adobe says Lightroom 5 will ship later this year.
“With this release, our goal was to add some highly-desired features that allow photographers to quickly process and enhance their images,” according to Adobe. “We’ve added more robust healing options, the ability to create off-center vignettes, and a one-click auto perspective correction tool. We’ve also added the ability to edit photos when not connected to your original images. Each of these improvements is a result of feedback provided by the Lightroom community.”
The Spot Removal brush has been enhanced, and the new “Visualize Spots” tool removes dust spots from your camera sensor. The Radial Filter lets you adjust aspects of an image with a circular mask. One of the biggest new features is the ability to edit offline images by accessing a smaller version of the original image that is intelligently saved in the application. Adobe is calling these smaller files “smart previews.” You can edit a smart preview and have your changes automatically apply to the original, full-size image once it’s brought into Lightroom.
Apple’s answer to Lightroom is Aperture, another photo post-production tool that is available in the Mac App Store for $80.
You can download the free Lightroom 5 beta now from Adobe’s website. No word on pricing yet.