Adobe has released the first commercial version of its Photoshop Lightroom photographic software.
The software costs initially $199 in the U.S., rising to $299 after April 30. Adobe has said that Lightroom will not be included in the current or next versions of the Creative Suite.
Photoshop Lightroom was available as a free downloadable beta program since its announcement more than a year ago. The current beta 4.1 will expire on February 28, after which users will have to purchase the full version to continue using it.
The 1.0 release adds a set of new features to those in the version 4.1 beta. The Library module gains advanced keyword tools to help photographers filter through large collections, and an improved import dialogue with more flexible file handling to allow more choice when determining file location.
The new Key Metadata Browser provides quick access to key information tags. It provides an improved ranking and rating system, says Adobe, with color labels and a pick/reject system.
The Develop module gains Virtual Copies and Snapshot tools. These provide multiple versions of the same image for comparison, without having to save physical versions. A new tool provides precise controls over hue, saturation and luminance, and the final release offers Clone and Healing brushes for sensor dust removal.
Support for more Raw image formats has been added, including those used by the Nikon D40 and D80, and Pentax’s K10D. This brings the number of supported cameras to over 150.
Photoshop Lightroom runs under Mac OS X 10.4 or Windows XP, though Adobe has not said whether Windows Vista is officially supported.
The company says that the recommended system requirements for the software are a 1GHz Power PC or an Intel Pentium processor, 768MB RAM, and a 1024 by 768 resolution screen. The Mac version of Photoshop Lightroom is a Universal Binary application that runs natively on both PowerPC- and Intel-based Macs, as does an upcoming version of Adobe Photoshop.