Take your photography to the next level and beyond...

  • NEWS

Why not join for free today?

Join for Free

Your total photography experience starts here

Abobe Lightroom Beta 1 RAW workflow software announced

Abobe Lightroom Beta 1 RAW workflow software announced - New workflow software is aimed at professional photographers and is available to download for Macintosh only.

 Add Comment

Other Software

Adobe Lightroom Beta 1 appears to be Adobe's answer to Apple's recently released Aperture Software, providing a complete RAW workflow solution for digital photographers that has never really been addressed by Photoshop and Adobe Camera RAW.

This Beta version of Adobe Lightroom is not a finished piece of software, Adobe are looking to receive feedback from photographers before the first finished version is released. The license for this Beta software expires at the end of June 2006.

Adobe Lightroom Beta 1 can be downloaded for free from the Adobe Labs website here

Abode provide a FAQ on Lightroom Beta 1 which answers most common questions about this software.

Adobe Lightroom Beta 1 FAQ:

What is Lightroom Beta?

Adobe Lightroom Beta is a new, exciting product built from the ground up for professional photographers. It is an efficient, powerful way to import, select, develop and showcase large volumes of digital images. It allows you to spend less time sorting and organizing images, so you have more time to actually shoot and perfect them. Project Lightroom aims to get direct product feedback from the photography community, via our new Adobe Labs web site, so that photographers will have a huge say in what Adobe actually ships.

Why Lightroom Beta?
To put it simply, Adobe Lightroom is unfinished. We want to make it available to you now, so you can tell us what you like, what youd like betterso you can help us shape it into as close to the perfect photographers application as we can possibly get. We also recently launched the Adobe Labs web site, as a venue for showcasing and releasing emerging technologies. Lightroom is the first end-user application to be made available through the Adobe Labs web site.

What is Adobe Labs?

Adobe Labs in the next generation of Macromedia Labs, which launched in October 2005 to share early technology access with software developers. Now that Macromedia is part of Adobe, Adobe Labs takes on the broader goal of being the source for early looks at emerging products and technologies from Adobe, including Project Lightroom. And not just for developers, but for technology enthusiasts everywhere. Here you can get early access to downloads, samples, documentation, release notes, tutorials and more. You can also ask questions, discuss, and share your feedback with Adobe.

Who will use Lightroom Beta?

First and foremost, Lightroom is the product professional photographers have been demanding, especially those who deal with large volumes of digital images. These include fashion and portrait photographers, photojournalists, wedding, landscape and commercial photographers. To these add the seasoned personal photographers who aspire to achieving the same results as the pros, and who demand the same level of quality in their tools.

How does Lightroom Beta differ from Adobe Photoshop CS2?
Adobe Photoshop CS2 is, and will continue to be, the industry standard in digital image editing. Photoshop will always hold an important place in the pro photographers toolbox, for detailed image editing and compositing. However, photographers face a variety of workflow concerns beyond image editing. The Adobe Bridge and Camera Raw components of Photoshop CS2 began solving these problems in recent years. Now, Lightroom takes these concepts further, in a very photographer-centric way. Lightroom is also different from Photoshop in terms of its software architecture. Developers and customers have long appreciated the ability to extend Photoshop functionality through third-party plug-ins and scripting support. Lightroom draws on the lessons learned through Photoshop and has been designed from the ground up with a fully modular architecture. All of the tasks you see in Lightrooms main interfaceLibrary, Develop, Slideshow, and Printare actually independent modules that have full control over your images, and which can use the entire screen to show you just the tools you need for the task at hand.

If Lightroom has a modular architecture, can third parties develop for it?
In the future, Adobe will be releasing a developer SDK for Lightroom, so that third parties can create additional modules that extend the application and the workflow in groundbreaking ways.

Does Lightroom replace Adobe Bridge or Camera Raw?
For some, it might. Having an interface that is 100% tuned to the photography workflow, plus the unique features that will be in Lightroom, will mean some people will use Lightroom in place of Bridge. On the other hand, some photographers will need or want the broad image capabilities of Adobe Bridgesuch as integration with Adobe Creative Suite 2, previewing PDF, InDesign and Illustrator documents, and workgroup management tools. Some or all of the time, these people will continue to use Adobe Bridge.

Why dont my Raw images look the same in Adobe Camera Raw and Lightroom Beta?
Lightroom uses a different method of implementing the current Adobe Camera Raw controls. We intend to have great XMP compatibility with Bridge and Photoshop by our final version 1.0 release of Lightroom, but complete XMP compatibility is not yet achieved in this first beta release.

Will Lightroom Beta be compatible with Photoshop CS2 and Photoshop Elements?
Yes. Images handled by Adobe Lightroom will be editable in Photoshop CS2 or Photoshop Elements. Some non-photography file formats usable in Photoshop and Photoshop Elements will not be supported by Lightroom, but this is in keeping with the mandate of Lightroom as a photographers application. Lightroom does provide a somewhat different approach to image adjustments than Photoshop, however, and this initial beta release is somewhat experimental. Thus, users should expect the integration between Photoshop and Lightroom to evolve over time.

What are the system requirements?
Adobe Lightroom Beta requires Mac OS X version 10.4.3 (Tiger) or higher, a 1GHz or faster PowerPC G4 or G5 processor (including iBook G4 or PowerBook G4), and 768 MB of RAM (although more is recommended), and 1 GB or more of free hard drive space. Windows requirements will be announced when that version is ready.

What about a Windows version?
A Windows version of Lightroom is already under development, but is not yet ready for its public debut. The final, packaged versions for both platforms should be released within a few months of each other. As Microsoft is gearing up for a major operating system transition, and since Lightroom is a brand new product from Adobe, we are spending extra time on the Windows side to deliver the best design that will support our Windows customers today, while also building for the future.

Is Lightroom Beta an image editing tool or a workflow productivity tool?
The concept behind Lightroom is to provide a single environment that has all of the functions photographers most commonly need to perform on their images. But were not interested in trying to pack more knobs and switches into Lightroom than Aperture, or than in Photoshop for that matter. The goal of Lightroom is to have the RIGHT knobs and switches, in the cleanest, least cluttered, easiest to use package. Its not about having every tool in the hardware store. Its about having a focused set of features that are just right for photography, are intuitive, powerful, and easy to learn. So yes, its an image editing tool, and its a workflow productivity tool.

Are there any training materials available?
One of the goals of Project Lightroom is to create an application that is so easy to use, you may never even look at the user manual. A basic tenet of the product team is that a new user should be able to get up and running easily after learning no more than five basic rules about a new application. Thus, Lightroom displays its five rules prominently when the application is first launched. Basic information about using Lightroom is contained in the Release Notes available with the product download. There is also a discussion forum accessible via links on the same web page. We encourage you to ask questions and talk about your experiences with Lightroom, as Lightroom product team members will be participating as well.

How can I download a copy of Lightroom Beta?
You can choose to download only a copy of the Lightroom application, or the application along with some sample content to get you started. Download Adobe Lightroom beta.

When will Lightroom ship?
Our current intention is to ship a 1.0 version of Lightroom later this year, but frankly, were not sure. We are seeking user input so we can be sure weve got it right. Photographer workflows can be varied and complex, and we believe the best solution can only be delivered after extensive input from pro photographers. So download, install, and comment on Lightroom. Well ship it when you tell us its ready.

How will developers create modules of their own? What kind of third-party support will Adobe offer?
Because Adobe Lightroom is being built using an entirely new open modular architecture, third-party vendors will be able to develop modules that plug directly into the Lightroom workflow, and work as first-class citizens with the Adobe-built modules. This will enable developers to deliver valuable enhancements and custom workflows for specialized digital photography requirements. After the final product is released, an SDK for Lightroom will be made available.

What file formats will Lightroom support?
Over 100 native camera raw file formats, DNG, TIFF and JPEGin other words, the formats primarily used in digital cameras, and more of them than any other developer. See a complete list of manufacturers and models supported in Camera Raw.

Why is Lightroom unable to read the white balance settings for my Nikon D50, D2X or D2Hs cameras?
These three camera models require additional support from Nikon. Adobe Systems and Nikon worked together to provide support for those cameras in Adobe Camera Raw, however Lightroom is a tool designed on an entirely new coding platform, and we are currently working with Nikon to provide a solution that will work with it, and will implement that solution in a later beta release.

Why dont my Camera Raw images look the same in Photoshop and Lightroom?
Lightroom leverages much of the same, core Adobe Camera Raw technology used in Photoshop. We will be addressing these differences later in the beta program.

Will Lightroom be available in languages other than English?
Yes. Adobe is a leader in delivering high-quality, localized versions of its software. Specific languages supported will be announced closer to the release of those versions.

When will the beta version of Adobe Lightroom expire?
The first release of Adobe Lightroom Beta will expire in June, 2006. However, additional beta versions with appropriate expiration dates will be released throughout the life of the project, so that photographers who have come to rely on the beta version will not have an interruption in their ability to use Lightroom.

I thought beta meant feature complete. Is Lightroom complete?
The technical term, beta software, generally means that the software is feature complete, but not yet fully tested. This Lightroom Beta 1 is actually not yet feature complete, so it is not a beta in the technical sense of the word. However, the general public understands beta to mean unfinished software that is not yet ready to be shipped, so weve decided to call this a beta. We will finalize the feature set based on the input we receive from you, the people who use it first.

Will Lightroom run on Intel-based Macintoshes?
We already have a version of the Lightroom beta running internally at Adobe on an Intel-based Macintosh, but the version we are initially posting to Adobe Labs only supports PowerPC-based Macs. We dont want to release to the public a version of Lightroom that runs on Intel-based Macs until Apple is shipping these systems, because there is always the possibility that there could be changes in the final shipping systems. We want to be able to test Lightroom on a production version of these new systems prior to making it publicly available.

Adobe Lightroom Beta 1 Minimum Requirements
  • Power PC G4 processor
  • Mac OS X 10.4 (Tiger)
  • 768 MB memory
  • 1024 x 768 resolution screen
Known Issues for Beta 1

There are some known issues with the application currently. These include:
  • It is important to not delete the Journal file next to your database file.
  • When using Lightroom with hundreds of shoots, or multiple thousand of photos, the app can be sluggish.
  • Some undo functions show the wrong text when undoing.
  • Mouse scroll wheel does not work in the side panels.

  • Lightroom does not read the encrypted data in some Nikon NEF files.
  • Import can be sluggish. We're working on it.
  • If you have a Tiff file and a JPEG file in the same directory with the same name (but different extentions) , Lightroom will treat the JPEG file as a sidecar file.
  • External HD with DCIM in root causes auto Import function that can not be stopped for a very, very long time on Powerbooks only.
  • With some Canon Rebel XT cameras, you cannot directly import into Lightroom from the camera.
  • 8 Bit Grayscale files do not import correctly.
  • If you edit a file in Photoshop, the EXIF copyright field may gain some garbage characters.
  • If you have no shoots, or your search results turn up no shoots, the count of shoots in the header reads 1 not zero.

  • If you want to drag and drop a photo on a slide to use as a backdrop to a slideshow, you must be in Slide view in Slideshow, not Grid view.
  • The Shoot name token is not working you will get nothing if you use it.
  • Identity plates are not exported with the slideshow.
  • In export via FTP upload, if your path does not end with a / (slash), the upload will go into the wrong directory.
  • The File > New > New Template menu in Print does not work.
  • If you bring many files into Print via the Filmstrip, Print will become sluggish.
  • The Shoot name token is broken. It will always add the text {image_shoot} to the filename.
  • LZW compression in TIFF export is not functioning.
Join ePHOTOzine and remove these ads.

Explore More


Will 16 1.8k United Kingdom
Any windows users curious about this can at least see a video overview of it here .

Join ePHOTOzine for free and remove these adverts.

According to the Adobe Labs download page, they are currently working on a Windows beta, so all you Windows users will be able to get a closer look at some point.
This looks amazing - I can see it being very helpful for RAW workflow, I have always found Adobe Raw Convertor slow to use.

Sign In

You must be a member to leave a comment.

ePHOTOzine, the web's friendliest photography community.

Join For Free

Upload photos, chat with photographers, win prizes and much more.