Adobe releases new version of Lightroom 3 beta

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released an updated beta version of its Lightroom 3 professional photo management software on Tuesday. Available for download through Adobe Labs, Lightroom 3 beta 2 has made improvements and added new features based on feedback from users of the first beta—a program that has been downloaded over 350,000 times.

The new beta release includes a variety of new features such as tethering support for a number of Canon and Nikon SLRs, with more camera models expected to be added in the final release. There are also faster image importing speeds and new sharpening and noise reduction tools, including luminance noise reduction.

Another welcome addition to the Lightroom 3 beta is the ability to import and organize video files. The newest version of Aperture 3, released in early February, also includes video integration. That addition may have put pressure on Adobe to include similar features in Lightroom 3. Many photographers are taking advantage of the HD video capabilities in newer DLSRs like the popular Canon EOS 5D Mark II. Being able to integrate video files into a regular photography workflow will be a key issue as photographers choose their next pro photo management software.

Lightroom 3 beta 2 is available now as a free download and works on PCs and Macs running OS X 10.5 or higher with at least 2GB of RAM and 1GB of free hard drive space.

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