lr3b2

Adobe has just released a 2nd public beta version of Lightroom 3 (called Public Beta 2), with some new features, enhancements, and tweaks based on your feedback from Public Beta 1.

Here’s a quick look at what’s new/changed/updated in Lightroom 3 Public Beta 2:

IMPORT & LIBRARY MODULE
• There’s a significant overall all speed increase in the Library module, so you’ll find scrolling, viewing things in Loupe View, and just generally
• Lightroom 3 now supports the import of video shot with your DSLR, and it adds a icon in the corner so you can easily see which thumbnails are video. You can treat the video files like any other thumbnails (ranking and flagging them, zooming in to Loupe view, putting them in collections, etc.)
• It now display the time stamp so you can see the length of each video.
• If you click on the camera icon, it launches your default video player and plays the video.
• There’s a tweak to Publish Services for flickr.com uploads, where you now have more control over file naming, and you can limit the file size (instead of just the quality).
• Three enhancements to the Import Window: (1) You can start importing faster because it no longer renders all the images in folder’s you’re not looking to import; (2)  There are more options in the compact version of the Import window, and (3) They’ve made the folder browsing a lot easier using something akin to “Solo Mode,” where you double-click a folder (that has subfolders inside it), and it just shows that one folder.

TETHERED SHOOTING
Man, was I psyched to see this one!!!! I tried it this past week, and not only does it work just great, but it is, hands-down, the fastest tethering I’ve ever used—the Raw images appear faster in Lightroom than I’ve ever seen!!! This alone would have sold me. (By the way; at this point it supports tethered shooting from most, but not all, of the latest DSLR cameras from Nikon and Canon).

WATERMARKING
They added a number of nice tweaks here, including:
• An inset feature that lets you inset your text from the edges of your document
• If you’re using a text watermark, you can add a drop shadow to your watermark and control the opacity, angle, offset and radius. (This is not currently available in the Windows version of Lightroom 3 beta 2)
The size of the watermark can be set proportionally or to fit or fill the image dimensions

DEVELOP MODULE
• Enhanced Noise Reduction (the Luminance slider was grayed out in the first public beta, but it’s working now, and it’s really quite incredible).
• You can swap the cropping aspect ratio you can now just press X on your keyboard
• They added back in the choice of the original Post Crop Vignetting effect (By the way—yeech!)
• You now have the option to use a FULL traditional point curve version of Curves right in Lightroom (like the one in Photoshop).

SLIDESHOW
• There’s a checkbox for Prepare Previews in Advance, so your slideshow renders all the images first, so it doesn’t choke half way through your presentation (why you would ever turn this checkbox off—I have no idea).
• You can now have watermarks on your images here as well (helpful, since more people will be sharing slideshows now).

PRINT MODULE
• They added a “Rotate to fit” option and a “rotate cell” command to the new Custom Print Package layout tools (both good additions by the way).
• They raised the maximum print resolution to 720ppi

That’s a quick look at what’s new in LR3, Public Beta 2. Terry White did a great video touching on all the new enhancements and features over at his Create Suite Podcast, and if you’ve got a minute, I’d definitely check it out right here. To download the new free Lightroom 3, Public Beta 2, visit Adobe Labs (here’s that link).