It's Lightroom 2.0 Baby! (Beta that is)

Hey folks! I bet I’ve got one heck-of-a surprise for you today. Ready for it? Adobe has released Lightroom 2.0 beta to the public (no, this is not a belated April fools day joke). Today kicks off Photoshop World and not only is Adobe going to demo the 2.0 beta but they’re letting everyone have it and download it for free. The first question everyone’s going to be asking is what’s it all about. I’ve included my top 10 favorite features in 2.0 right here. However, NAPP has an entire learning center website all set up with videos (by Scott Kelby and myself) on all the new features. I’ll give you the links at the end of the post.

First, the top 10 list1) Localized Corrections (AKA: Dodge and Burn) – If Lightroom 2 came out and this was the only new feature I’d upgrade in a heartbeat. Localized Corrections is the non-destructive dodging and burning that we’ve all wanted for so long. But I have to say this – it’s so much more. It goes WAY beyond what I expected from dodging and burning in Lightroom (which is why it’s called Localize corrections and not just dodge and burn) and I think you’re going to love it.
2) Better Photoshop Integration – Now you can open your files as Smart Objects, Merge to Panorama or even export straight to Photoshop’s HDR from Lightroom.
3) Post-crop vignetting – if you’ve ever tried to darken the edges of a cropped photo with the lens vignetting slider you’ll know it doesn’t really work. That’s where the post-crop vignette comes in.
4) Multiple Monitor support – can you say “Finally!”?
5) Picture Packages in the print module.
6) Output Sharpening in the print module and it really works this time around. I’ve seen tests compared to Lightroom 1 and the print sharpening is noticeably better.
7) Smart Collections – Collections were great in LR 1 but smart collections make using collections a lot easier.
8.) Printing directly to a JPEG file in the Print module. So if you send your photos off to a lab now you can save the files right from within Lightroom’s Print module.
9) Suggested Keywords – Get this… Lightroom will start suggesting keywords to you once you start keywording your photos. It’s weird to explain so make sure you stop by NAPP’s learning center to see it in action.
10) OK, I’m going to give you two here. First there’s a new filter panel in the Library module that makes getting to your photos easier and faster because it’s right there with your photos (instead of tucked away on the left side panels). Next, the Slideshow and Web modules both have Content panels as well as Collection panels. So now you can very quickly switch slideshows without having to jump back to the Library module and choose different photos.

Now for the links to find out moreI know I promised some links so here they are:
Download Lightroom 2 beta here
NAPP’s online learning center
John Nack’s Blog
Scott Kelby’s blog

Kelby Training Online Training Course
If you’re already a Kelby Training subscriber then you can also check out my Lightroom 2.0 beta Power Session. It covers all the new features in Lightroom 2 beta and you have access to it immediately as a subscriber.

As you can imagine, with Photoshop World this week and Lightroom 2 beta launching things are pretty crazy and sure to get crazier. I’ll have a lot more news, tips and tutorials as the weeks go on so make sure you stay tuned. Thanks for stopping by and thanks so much to all of the Photoshop World attendees who’ve already came by and introduced themselves. Take care!