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So finally, after months of public beta testing the new version of Lightroom is here. As good as the original was, Adobe has found a way to add more features and integrate it with features from Photoshop CS3 and presumably the forthcoming Photoshop CS4.
We first looked at the package in the beta review, which still had some bugs and didn’t have full integration with existing libraries from version 1.0, amongst other tools.
The final release isn’t too far removed from that of the beta, but it seems stable and now offers backwards compatibility with images and libraries from the previous release. This doesn’t just mean that it will open older libraries and offer the full benefit of the new features, it also transfers any presets you may have saved or downloaded, including web galleries, image effects and so on.
The library module of version 2.0 has been updated to provide better searching tools, including searching by keywords, filters and camera and image metadata. This is ideal for photographic journalists, but also useful for photographers wishing to compare bracketed shots, for example, or other parameters.
There’s now options to make Smart Collections, similar to Smart Playlists in iTunes. For example, all images that you have selected with five stars, or all images with the keyword ‘Christmas’ could be found in a Smart Collection with those criteria set. Keywording has also been enhanced, with Lightroom offering suggestions based on existing labels of similar images taken at around the same time.