Adobe Lightroom 1.0 Completed

With the help of more than 500,000 beta testers, Adobe on Monday announced it had completed development of Photoshop Lightroom 1.0, the company's image processing application for professional photographers.

The software utilizes Adobe's Camera Raw technology to support over 150 native RAW file formats, in addition to JPEG and TIFF. Users can also import their photos to DNG, an industry-wide initiative to create a universal file format for solving workflow and archiving incompatibilities.

The RAW format, which provides uncompressed picture data, has become the centerpiece of digital photography, as once high-end cameras reach the consumer market. But RAW images are just that, raw data in proprietary formats, and require tools to process them into standard file formats.

Adobe's goal with Lightroom is to offer consumers the simplest such tool for managing RAW files, and the company says it has no plans to compete with Apple's Aperture feature-wise. Lightroom is intended to offer, "the RIGHT knobs and switches, in the cleanest, least cluttered, easiest to use package," Adobe says.

"Everything, from image viewing and evaluation tools to timesaving editing features, was developed with the help of photographers," commented Adobe senior vice president John Loiacono. "This was truly a collaborative effort and we extend our thanks to everyone who provided invaluable feedback to help us deliver a powerhouse professional photography tool."

Since Beta 4.1, Adobe says it has made a number of changes to Lightroom. New in version 1.0 are keywording tools to help photographers filter through large libraries, an improved import dialogue that gives users more choice when determining file location, and Virtual Copies and Snapshot tools that present multiple versions of the same image.

Photoshop Lightroom 1.0 will be available for both Windows and Mac OS X in mid-February. Until April 30, 2007 the software will cost $199 USD, after which the price will be raised to $299 USD.

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