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Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 3

Platform : Windows 7, Windows Vista, Windows XP, Mac OS X

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  • Platform:    Windows 7 / Vista / XP, Mac OS X
  • Media: CD-ROM
  • Item Quantity: 1

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) (May include reviews from Early Reviewer Rewards Program) 4.3 out of 5 stars 262 reviews
511 of 518 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Very Useful Program for Digital Photo Pre-Use Management 22 July 2010
By Dean C. Broome Jr. MD - Published on
Format: CD-ROM Verified Purchase
Those familiar with Photoshop might wonder why an additional product should be needed to manage digital images. I would offer this difference: Photoshop is a program for image manipulation; it's for folks who want to change their photographs or create new substance in an image. Lightroom is a program that, primarily, expedites photography workflow. [By using the term "workflow," I don't mean to imply that it's geared only to those who are in the profession of photography; amateurs and hobbyists alike (like I am), who also wish to prepare quickly and print images, can benefit from this highly-practical and time-efficient program.] You can "tweak" pics very nicely with Lightroom, but Photoshop's the paragon for substantial alteration.

Lightroom 3 simplifies enormously the process of preparing photo captures for use, whether as web or print applications. It facilitates quick organization & preview, raw enhancement, printing, and web uploading of photos.

The "library" module permits quick organization of picture groups. The amazing, work-saving catalog system allows rapid naming, labeling & flagging, copying, metadata editing & review, and filtering of files, then presents a robust preview for easy access to the rest of the photographic workflow. A stellar feature of the file handling is the (relatively) low memory burden placed on computer RAM -- most all of these activities originate from small files that make good use of the .dng formatting.

The "develop" module contains all of the necessary controls to adjust exposure, correct lens aberrations, establish a good white point to remove color casts, manipulate color and grayscale attributes, crop, retouch discreet areas of a photo, and, generally, to perform all the actions of an after-the-fact camera, insofar as these are possible, to improve the raw (proprietary or .dng) images that come from a digital source. White point color correction is particulary easy - and requires only a few skillful mouse motions (as opposed to Photoshop, in which color correction is either mindlessly automated or involves multi-step curve adjustments). One very fine feature in Lightroom is the ability to create instantly a "virtual copy" of your photo, which you can edit, change, enhance, etc. -- all without altering your original file.

The "slideshow" module lets you combine photos into a presentation for automatically viewing a sequence of photos as slides. Text can be added, as well as an intro slide and a conclusion slide. You can even add a music file to the background of your presentation, and the program will automatically time your slideshow to the length of your music clip. Slideshows can then be downloaded into a variety of different video formats (including mp4, which I use most frequently).

Finally, the "print" or "web" modules expedite the last-step output to the desired final product. There's a marvelous preview of your photo presented prior to the actual printing. Multiple photos or copies of the same photo can be easily grouped and previewed on a single sheet for cost-effective printing. Downloading to the web is a cinch. There's even a feature to upload your photos automatically to a Flickr account and (in the updated version) to Facebook.

Though a learning curve is associated with attaining mastery of Lightroom, I think the controls are quite intuitive. As a virtual neophyte who has had the product for only a short time, I've been able to output some very satisfying images to my printer.

I've been an Adobe fan since the dark ages of computer imagery in the 1980's [Pagemaker license number was issued by Aldus], and this product once again confirms their hegemony in the realm of computer graphics.

Conclusion: Lightroom 3 is a highly recommended program for those who like to snap and publish digital photos.
347 of 353 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars LR 3 Very good for for the right person 25 Aug. 2010
By Hank - Published on
Format: CD-ROM Verified Purchase
I'll start off by saying I thought $300 for a photo program was more than I wanted to spend. I had tried the 30 day trial when LR2 came out, but couldn't get in enough keyboard time during the 30 day trial period. I decided to try the Beta when LR3 B1 came out and actually got about 70 days under my belt before B2 expired.
I had bought and used Elements 3 and 7, and while pretty good enhancers, there organizational abilities were weak. By weak, I mean, once they were catalogued and or key worded, they were fine, but the key wording was tedious.

Enter LR3. It doesn't have the capability of Elements (or photoshop either, I assume) but it does have enough capability to handle 90+% of what I do. What I usually do is correct color and exposure, saturate or desatureate some colors to enhance the image or de-emphasize the back ground, sharpen things up a bit and or decrease noise, mostly luminous, and apply the lens correction feature. I have also used the curves feature and the section I think they call shade, saturation and Lumination to make local adjustment to brightness and color. All in all, I can make almost all reasonably exposed photos, (+-2.5 stops) look pretty good. The program doesnot have the capability to distort shape, color or texture for artistic purposes, which I do not do at this time. The program does have a perspective correction section which I have had reasonable success with on the small number of uses I have had with it.

I have dabbled in the other features, such as healingand red eye reduction (easy and effecetive), paint brushing, tinting etc. My experience here is limited, but the features seem to be effective.

Its real standout is organization. I had about 11,000 photos in my file which I reduced to about 8000 by using the easy to use "compare mode". I also keyworded these images in about 2 weeks of daily effort averaging 2 to 4 hours per day. ( a concentrated effort for sure). The keywords are easy to set up and the program's auto-type and table of recent keywords is very helpful and a great time saver.

In general, I say if your main goal is organization of your file, perhaps coupled with a desire for slide show, this program has a lot of features to consider, (I did not use the print or post to facebook sections at all). If you're into MAJOR image correction or enhancement, for artistic purposes, this program will fall short. I hope this helps.
23 of 23 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Very Powerful Program for Editing and Organizing -- Even for the Inexperienced Amateur 27 Dec. 2011
By a priori - Published on
Format: CD-ROM Verified Purchase
There are some excellently written reviews on Lightroom, and I encourage you to read them in order to get a better idea of the specific uses of Lightroom or the value of particular tools. If you have found yourself asking the following two questions, then please read on through my brief review (and then go back to read the more detailed product reviews noted by other readers as "Helpful"!):

1. I love being able to take all sorts of photos digitally, but how can I ever store and manage them efficiently?
2. I've tried editing my photos in Photoshop and/or Photoshop Elements, but the menu options alone are enough to set my head spinning, so I've given up and used only the most basic editing possible through Microsoft tools -- Is there anything better out there that I can use with ease?

When you start using Lightroom, you'll find that you can be successful (and happy) without even using some of the more powerful tools available. For me, this means I've been able to grow my photo managing and editing abilities/skills without frustration. Because the program is built around organization and management, you can return to previously-edited photographs and make quick adjustsments (or all-new edits) and neither destroy nor alter the original photo or previous edits.

I've been a rank amateur/hobbyist for nearly forty years (OK, maybe a bit longer), and I grew up in the film world. I took classes in photography when developing and printing your own film was part of the work. I was afraid of digital photography, and I've been a late convert. The whole concept of "White Balance" was like a black box to me, and it (along with ASA/ISO numbers above 800) made me uncomfortable to point of queasiness. Lightroom really has helped me enter into digital photography comfortably. Two years ago I didn't know what it meant to shoot RAW. One year ago I didn't know whether it only used up more space on an SD card or could have real value. Now I shoot only RAW,* and it is mainly because I know that I can make so many more adjustments, alterations and fixes in Lightroom that if I shot .jpeg files.

This software is not cheap, but if I know of someone just starting in digital photography -- regardless of whether they will use a point-and-shoot camera, or a "crop" camera, or even full-frame camera -- I will recommend they include this software from the very beginning. I wish I had!

* OK. Yes, there are some circumstances where RAW just may not work, but these are the exceptions. I venture to say that 98% or better of all my photos are RAW. If I didn't try to shoot indoor sports action, then I'd be much closer to 100%.
35 of 35 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Hesitant Picasa User 20 Sept. 2010
By R. Bard - Published on
Format: CD-ROM Verified Purchase
As a learning photographer, I was quite happy using Picasa to edit my pictures, but I was always reading photo magazines that talked about Lightroom and all the articles were geared toward that software (or photoshop). I don't have much money for photo equipment, but when the tax return came through, I immediately started looking for a new lens. It was my wife who suggested that I think about Lightroom instead. I downloaded the free trial version from their website. It's a complete installation with all the features, but it only lasts 30 days. Within a day or two, I was hooked.

I like the organization better than Picasa. I like the format better than Picasa (dark colors everywhere so you can see your photos better. I like the editing better than Picasa. You can do so much more, and it is so much easier to do it. Now I can give my photos that "pop" that I always envied in professional pictures.

There's much more that I could say, but you can try it yourself for free. Just make sure you are able to buy the software after your free period, because I don't think you'll want to go back to what you had before. And don't forget to take advantage of the free tutorial videos on the Adobe website or any of the hundreds that are out on the web. Lightroom has more features than you can learn by trial and error.
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wow. 3 Dec. 2010
By aw - Published on
Format: CD-ROM Verified Purchase
This is a great photo editing and management software. I have read where some professional photographers are even moving from Photoshop CS to Lightroom as CS is probably overkill in many cases and Lightroom has a much easier learning curve.

I had been considering either Lightroom 3 or Nikon's Capture NX2. Capture was OK, but it was a little buggy (OK, I found one bug), and Amazon had Lightroom on sale at a comparable price so I went with it.

Both Lightroom and Capture have lens correction capability, but NX2 is limited to Nikon lenses only while Lightroom has a database of different manufacturers lenses. But they do not (at least not yet) support Tokina lenses. One of my fav lenses is the Tokina 11-16mm Super Wide Angle, and unfortunately lens correction is probably used most of the time for wide angle lenses... Funny thing that they support both Sigma and Tamron lenses - which I feel are sub-par to Tokina, but not Tokina.

At any rate, you can custom enter your own correction for lenses not listed, but it is trial-and-error to get it just right.

Lightroom supports RAW files, which is good as RAW files work with post-processing retouching better than JPGs. I have gotten into the habit of shooting RAW+JPG in my Nikon D90 for that reason. It takes a bit more memory to do so, but I went out and bought some 8GB cards, which are not that expensive now-a-days. I can get about 400photos using RAW+JPG, Large, and Fine settings on my D90 (12MP).

The noise reduction capability of Lightroom is absolutely outstanding. I no longer fear pushing the ISO to the max anymore as Lightroom all but corrects any noise. This is like upgrading to a much more expensive camera, as the more expensive cameras typically have lower noise sensors.

Other great features include a graduated ND filter effect, spot removal, and watermark, as well as the traditional capabilities such as color balance, cropping, and red eye reduction.

There are also dozens of presets, from Black-and-White effects, to making your photos look aged, to a HDR'like effect (but Lightshop doesn't truly do HDR unless you purchase a 3rd party plugin). You can preview what each preset does simply by hovering the mouse over it, and watching what happens.

And there are literally hundreds of additional presets you can download from the Adobe website; some free, some at cost, and some created by professionals. You can also add your own presets.

Other features allow you to maintain your photo library, edit photos for the web, and so on.

One issue is that when Lightroom loads, it does take 15~20 seconds. But my PC is 4 years old, so its a bit slow I suppose. Perhaps it's time to upgrade 64bit or to an iMac (Lightroom comes with both Win and Mac versions, as well as 32bit and 64bit versions on the same disk).

Another thing I dislike about Lightroom is that you cannot edit a single photo without importing it into a library. At least, I have not figured out how you can, if you can. I typically like to edit photos one-by-one by loading them into the editing software rather than from a library of photos. I am sure this is done as Lightroom is both a photo management and editing application. But I am only really interested in the photo editing aspect, which means I like to edit photos individually. I suppose though that it's just the way I am used to doing it, and I guess I need to change.

But No... why should I have to change? Virtually every other editing software allows you to do this, so why not Lightroom? My idea of the digital workflow is a bit different, I suppose.
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