Adobe recently released the beta version of Lightroom 4 for enthusiastic users to try out before the full release. I must admit, I haven’t downloaded and tried it myself yet, but from what I’ve seen it looks like a nice upgrade from Lightroom 3.
The two features that interest me the most are the shadow recovery tools and the beefed up local adjustment brush. Anyone who has been editing long enough will know that noise tends to rear its ugly head when you try to drag detail out of the shadows, so it will be interesting to see how the new process performs and whether it’s anywhere near as good as the highlight recovery tool. The expanded capabilities of the local adjustment brush are also very welcome and include the ability to perform local white balance adjustments. This is going to be a great tool for correcting shots that have been taken in mixed lighting situations and also for creating some cool effects.
You can download the beta for free at http://labs.adobe.com/technologies/lightroom4/ but please bear in mind that this is pre-release software – if you’re a professional you really shouldn’t be trying this out on your main machine. The beta expires on the 31st of March 2012.