Adobe Releases Lightroom 3, Public Beta 2


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:

$#x2022; 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
$#x2022; 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.)
$#x2022; It now display the time stamp so you can see the length of each video.
$#x2022; If you click on the camera icon, it launches your default video player and plays the video.
$#x2022; There’s a tweak to Publish Services for uploads, where you now have more control over file naming, and you can limit the file size (instead of just the quality).
$#x2022; 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.

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).

They added a number of nice tweaks here, including:
$#x2022; An inset feature that lets you inset your text from the edges of your document
$#x2022; 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

$#x2022; 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).
$#x2022; You can swap the cropping aspect ratio you can now just press X on your keyboard
$#x2022; They added back in the choice of the original Post Crop Vignetting effect (By the way—yeech!)
$#x2022; You now have the option to use a FULL traditional point curve version of Curves right in Lightroom (like the one in Photoshop).

$#x2022; 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).
$#x2022; You can now have watermarks on your images here as well (helpful, since more people will be sharing slideshows now).

$#x2022; 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).
$#x2022; 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).

  1. Oh. My. Goodness.

    You know what? I’ve been holding off with LR3. I really wasn’t all that impressed with the public Beta when it first came out and was quite content to continue using LR2.
    Curse you Adobe! Curse you for making it better!!

  2. This is fantastic news, especially after yesterday when there were rumours bouncing around on Twitter: some saying this was genuine, some saying it was a hoax.

    The list of enhancements you’ve listed Scott, and I’m sure there will be more as is always the case when Adobe release the final version, is fantastic but the tethering and increased speed in Library mode would be enough for me. I’ve recently had a complete ‘spring clean’ of my Lightroom Catalogue and discovered over 300Gb of unused, unedited images. This and starting a new catalogue have given Lightroom 2 a dose of steroids in the speed department so to read that Adobe have worked on speed increases in general is just fantastic.

    A great start to the day and it’s only 5.50am :o)

    1. I gave camera tethering a try using my Canon 40D. The results were disappointing. Besides the difficulty of figuring out how you actually use the feature, once I got the process going, it offered nothing useful. Sure, using a USB cable I could remotely click the camera shutter, but beyond that there was no control to speak of. The only usable option was to apply Lightroom presets to the images I took. But I can do that anyway without the bother of tethering. The system offered no preview of the image or any camera adjustment options. I realize to get the most out of remote shooting you need an expensive camera attachment. Without that equipment the tethering feature is all but useless. What’s the point, then? I must be missing something. Unfortunately, the video Adobe provided on beta 2 was short and left out more than it covered. It included no demonstration or explanation of tethering. Nor have I found anything yet on the Adobe web site that explains it. So color me ignorant if you like, but I’ve yet to see any light on the subject. Scott raves about it here but he doesn’t explain how he got the results he found so fantastic.

  3. I feel like I should know this, I am sure Scott and Matt K. have already told me this….but I am getting old…

    IF I use LR 3 Beta, can I move that library easily to the final release when it comes out? Are there dangers to using the beta, do I need to run parallel for a bit with LR 2 and LR3 Beta? I am seeing people use the beta as if it is final, so maybe that means that when the final gets released it will convert the library with no issues…

    I know I should know this :)

    1. Can I answer my own question?

      I knew that I should know the answer to my questions:

      Over at NAPP LR Beta site… (

      Should I use this instead of LR 2 now?
      Absolutely not! Remember that this is the Beta version of Lightroom 3- provided to play with and provide feedback on. One of the biggest things to keep in mind is that this program will not update your present version of Lightroom, nor will it transfer any Develop settings that you make in it during the beta period. When the Beta is over, you will need to uninstall it, and reinstall the final version of software. While Adobe does not expect any data loss, it’s also important to mention that there could be a potential of data loss as well.. even more of a reason for you not to abandon your Lightroom 2 installation just yet.

      So, I am going to interpret that to mean that no, any developing that I do to my images in LR3Beta will not carry over to the final version (right?).

      1. >So, I am going to interpret that to mean that no, any developing that I do to my images in LR3Beta will not carry over to the final version (right?).

        Some might, some might not and if they do, the appearance may be different. There’s no guarantee, that’s the point. So treat this as if it might not and keep your options open (like keeping your LR2 catalog up to date).

      2. Use along side LR 2 & Any images you work on just export them into a folder & save them. Then when Lr3 comes out just import them.

  4. Great news scott, the 2 main reason i still go into photoshop is the stamp tool and distortion of the photo using free transform, do you think that technicly they could be added on a non destructice workflow ?

    Serge ramelli

  5. THe new version is great. Improved noise reduction is great and the ability to use PS style curves is something they should have been doing from day one. Still no shift click in import, or am I missing something?

    1. my lightroom 2 now crashes everytime i hit the export button
      i can do some exporting by right clicking on the photo, but i do not get a dialog box
      reinstallation is not correct the probem

  6. The new noise reduction looks great and I can’t wait to play with the point curves to see what different effects you can get.

    An interesting comment from Tom Hogarty on the lightroom blog “we still might have a few new things in store for the Lightroom 3.0 release”. My fingers are crossed for soft proofing!

      1. I tend to agree with you Stephen, unless your using a CRT monitor I don’t usually find softproofing as reliable as a test print. I don’t have a pro monitor yet (HP w2207) but that is my next purchase and I might change my mind at that point.

      2. maybe you amateuers dont need it with your office printers.

        when i do a testprint it cost me a lot.

        and a softproof is accurate when you know how to do it.

      3. >and a softproof is accurate when you know how to do it.

        Agreed but the term “accurate” can be a red herring. 100% accurate (print to screen)? Nope, we can’t break the law of physics. A very high degree that, when properly setup, can reduce the number of prints needed to get to your goal, certainly. How would you even pick a rendering intent for output if you didn’t view the differences? Take a guess? Its been a feature in Photoshop since 1988, huge number of users find it effective WHEN setup properly (users who don’t knock it) and its a capability found in other applications that deal with images and output. All you have to do is turn it on and off (with the simulate check boxes on) and see a significant difference and ask yourself, how can the two be so different (answer, without soft proofing on, Photoshop has zero idea about the printing process, how on earth can it show you a preview correctly?).

      4. Well, when your printer is WHCC or MPIX Pro, you can’t just print a test. I would say that a good chunk of professionals do not do their own printing and require some sort of soft proofing, however inaccurate it is. Peace of mind thing, ya’know.

      5. klaus, why don’t you put your website in your comments so we can see how a “Pro” shoots. (I have 2 high end Epson printers). I get hired frequently but I still consider photography a passion and I don’t believe I am an amateuer

    1. You hook up your camera via USB to your computer. So when you are shooting in a studio your image will go straight to your HD, also you will get to see your images on your computer screen & not the 3” LCD on your camera .

      No more work around. Awsome

    2. Linking your camera directly to Lightroom so that it saves it directly to your computer and loads it into Lightroom for instant preview as you shoot.
      Kind of sexy – but I still move around to much when I’m shooting to make it a safe thing to do.

  7. One word:-

    1. Catchup – that is to Aperture 3. Long way to go!

    Import stuff – ok. Tethered shooting – about time! But very limited. Noise reduction – looks excellent. Water Mark – ok. Curve Adjustments – come on, lame! Look at Aperture to see how it can be done! Printing – fine. Video – lame, in fact pathetic!

    This wreaks of catchup and I can only assume that Adobe will attempt to release a more significant application. I hope that LR 3.0 is much more stable than 2.0. That release was unusable! To their credit they did upgrade quite quickly though. We will see!

    Thanks to Apple for raising the bar!

  8. I’m thrilled by the addition of tethered shooting and video importing, but mostly I’m just glad I can import into LR3 again! Beta 1 died on me after a month or so. I can’t wait for the production version!

  9. I agree with Kris, Beta 1 of 3 wasn’t that great but just shot high ISO images (3200) tethered using the Scott Kelby EDP preset then played with the noise and auto import to Flickr, this program rocks!

  10. I’m digi tech on a shoot tomorrow using LR3 tethered to a D3x. I will let you know how it performs in a ‘real life’ situation. Having messed about with it today I love the ‘shot 1,2,3 etc’ feature where can start a new subfolder within the tethered file through the floating tether control. So much simpler than C1.

    1. Pete, just tried my D3s and it works great( love the fire button). I have the d3 and d3s and I sure would like to try out the x! You can use thhe DX lens and still have 12mgs. I have my sights on the 400 2.8, guess I’ll wait on D4.

      1. Maybe I am missing something here, but why do folks want to hit the shutter release button from your computer? Tethered for import and review, yes….but firing the shutter?

  11. IMO, there’s still one tool missing and it’s the levels. So much easier to tweak B&W pics with this tool… Please Adobe, add it to LR3 final version !!!

  12. I downloaded this last night and I can’t believe the speed. Whatever they did between the releases has taken this from very slow to blazing fast. Cant wait for the release.

  13. Hi Scott,

    Sorry to hear that in LR 3 you can change the crop aspect ratio with an X. I did like your solution to force the crop window to portrait with a vocal ‘aaargh!!’. :-)

  14. Hi Scott,

    Sorry to hear that in LR 3 you can change the crop aspect ratio with an X. I did like your solution to force the crop window to portrait with a vocal ‘aaargh!!’. :-)

  15. sigh…
    and I am just getting the hang of lightroom 2. (I have a learning disabilty and it takes me a while to grasp things) Now lightroom three will be coming out.

  16. Here is what I want to know. Pardon me if I missed it. I’m so used to Capture One Pro that a switch would be a major workflow change for me.

    When you shoot tethered or just process files, do you have to still “import them” or can you just go to the menu hierarchy of were you place the raw files (like Capture One) and process away? I hated having to import the images when they were already in a raw file folder.

  17. It worked just fine tethered on a shoot today. It ‘lost’ the camera once, but I quickly restarted LR and it took up where it left off. It maintained the file naming at the correct point.

    @Jerry – If you shoot tethered you specify the folder you want the RAWs to go to, and it saves them there and ‘imports’ into lightroom all at the same time. If you don’t shoot tethered you do have to import the RAWs (although you can still leave them in the same folder)

    Unlike C1 you can save the metadata to the RAW files so you can then open it in PS etc and it has any adjustments you made in lightroom still applied. It depends on your workflow but for us that is a major plus.

  18. I love the tethered shooting in LR3.
    But i could imagine the guys over at Nikon are not so happy about that.
    Camera control Pro gives a lot more options – but nothing i would really need.
    So the tethered option in LR3 is just right for me and saves me 169 Euros for CCPro2.

    Thank you Adobe!

  19. one thing is driving me mad. I’ve been using the watermarking on export feature using my logo as the graphic. It’s recently stopped working. Now, I can’t get any graphic to appear on export only text. Anyone else use this feature.

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