Update: Lightroom 4 has been announced and is now available from retailers! My original estimate of a March 6th release was off by a few hours. The official release was announced on the evening of March 5th, 2012. Even better news, they have dropped the price to the more affordable price tag of $149 ($79 for upgrades).
The release date for the next version of Adobe’s Lightroom software is March 6th, 2012. This unverified information was published on Amazon.com, where Adobe is currently listing a pre-order for the Student & Teacher Edition of Lightroom 4 for $79.99. In order to be eligible for this price you may need to provide proof that you are currently attending or teaching at a school. From what I’ve learned, Amazon will ship you a DVD with a product code which you must then submit to Adobe who will verify your eligibility. Adobe takes this seriously and will request a copy of your student ID and tuition before they hand over a serial number.
If you read the product description on the Amazon page, it appears to reference the new photo book creation tool added to Lightroom 4. This signals to me that the page is indeed for the next version of Lightroom. For those of you unfamiliar with what’s new in Lightroom 4, check out this list of expected improvements:
- Photo book creation with easy-to-use elegant templates.
- Location-based organization lets you find and group images by location, assign locations to images, and display data from GPS-enabled cameras.
- White balance brush to refine and adjust white balance in specific areas of your images.
- Additional local editing controls let you adjust noise reduction and remove moiré in targeted areas of your images.
- Extended video support for organizing, viewing, and making adjustments and edits to video clips.
- Easy video publishing lets you edit and share video clips on Facebook and Flickr.
- Soft proofing to preview how an image will look when printed with color-managed printers.
- Email directly from Lightroom using the email account of your choice.
For the most part, these are minor changes. The three big changes are the map module (if you use geotagging), photo book creation tools, and basic video editing. What I am most excited about is the ability to use Lightroom to retouch video coloring. From what I’ve seen from the Lightroom 4 beta version, the workflow for dealing with video color still needs some work to remove some extra steps from the process.
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