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Adobe releases first public beta of Lightroom 5

16 April 2013, Mike Williams

LightroomAdobe has announced the first public beta of Photoshop Lightroom 5. And while a first look suggests this isn’t the most major of upgrades, there are still some worthwhile improvements to be found.

A new one-click Upright tool can analyse your images and detect tilted lines, for instance. You can choose a correction method, but otherwise the program will straighten images all on its own.

Lightroom 5 gains some more Photoshop-like technology with its enhanced healing brush, which can heal or clone with brush strokes.

A new radial filter allows you to apply your preferred Lightroom image adjustments to a circular mask, which can then be resized or feathered to produce a more natural effect.

Automatically straighten images with the new Upright tool

Automatically straighten images with the new Upright tool

A Smart Preview option helps you work remotely from your original images. Lightroom 5 can create smaller versions of these files, called Smart Previews; if you’re disconnected from the source images then you can work on the Smart Previews, instead; and when you reconnect, the program is able to reapply all your edits to the original pictures.

Elsewhere, more capable photo book creation includes book templates which you can customise to suit your needs.

And it’s now possible to combine video clips, images and music to produce your very own HD video slideshow.

While there’s no single killer feature here, the automatic perspective correction and enhanced healing brush are going to be very useful. And if you’d like to try them out, the beta of Photoshop Lightroom 5 is available now. (No need to worry if you have an earlier version; Adobe says it can be installed alongside an existing copy of Lightroom installation without overwriting anything.)

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