Lightroom 3 Beta 2 Review

What has changed since Lightroom 3 Beta 1?


  • IMAGE QUALITY with the new noise reduction is much better.  You have to play around with the Luminance, Detail, and Contrast sliders in conjunction with the Sharpening amounts to get a look that you like.  I was trying some different settings with the Luminance slider and you can get some very strange looking texture in your images if you tune these things wrong.  The sample on the left is from LR 2 and the one on the right is from LR 3 Beta 2.  LR 3 is definitely cleaner, but you lose a little detail.  The settings were the same for both photographs. It would be nice if you could brush in noise reduction like in Aperture 3 rather than applying noise reduction to the entire photograph.

  • TETHER SUPPORT - this worked with my Nikon D700 for a few frames and then I couldn't get it to work again.  I am sure they will work the bugs out of this before it is released.  The implemenation is clean and simple and will be a great new addition.  Aperture 3 Tether left a copy of the images on my CF card as well as downloading them to my laptop, Lightroom 3 does not.  
  • VIDEO SUPPORT - this is definitely a reaction to Aperture 3 video support and it shows.  All Adobe did was allow you to import the video file into your Lightroom catalogue ... that is it.  What a joke.  You can't edit it, you can't include it in a slideshow. If you click on the thumbnail it will play in your default video player.  I hope a lot more is coming in the final release.
  • IMPORT - Adobe broke the import function in Lightroom 3 Beta 1 by adding to much functionality and slowing it down from Lightroom 2.  Lightroom 2 import was clean,  simple and fast.  LR3B2 import seemed quicker, but I still like the LR 2 interface better.
  • PERFORMANCE - Beta 3 does seem to be a little quicker overall than Beta 1 or even Lightroom 2.  This is where Lightroom just punishes Aperture 3. When you make a change in this new release, the image is changed immediatley. 

Compeition is good.  Adobe is definitely reacting to Apple's Aperture video and tether support.  They have a long way to go to catch up to the Aperture 3 video support.   Aperture also has book designing, faces recognition, location (GPS) support, and a slideshow feature with video support that puts Lightroom to shame.