Lightroom 3 Samples….Version 3 is here!

The wait is over folks.  The third generation of Lightroom was released yesterday and it comes with a few cool features and some under-the-hood upgrades making the program faster and easier to use.  Below is a list of Lightroom 3’s new features:

  • Accelerated performance
  • A new, and very cool, noise reduction engine
  • Support for video files
  • A redesigned import dialogue
  • Lens correction
  • Upload directly to Flickr, other social media outlets to come
  • Better watermarking
  • Exportable slideshows as video and PDF’s
  • Film grain simulation
  • Tethered shooting
  • Perspective correction

Remember shooters, all the new development features from the above list are also available in Photoshop’s ACR (Adobe Raw Converter) version 6 and are edits you’ll apply non-destructively.  That said, my favorite tools from the list above are the new noise reduction engine, better watermarking, support for video files, and the ability to export your slideshows to video.  This is not to say the other features aren’t cool.  In fact, quite the contrary, but for my workflow as a nature and underwater photographer they are the new features I think I’ll use the most.  Below are some examples:

Noise Reduction:

This could be the coolest feature to Lightroom 3.  For those of you who have been shooting digital for a while, feel free to pull out your old files from the Nikon D100 and Canon 10D days. Or, if you shoot often with high ISO’s using today’s cameras, this new tool is for you.  Below are a couple of samples of the results.  Sample one shows you Lightroom’s ability reduce noise in Lightroom 2 and then after the tool was redesigned.  Sample two shows you an additional result with an underwater image.

Lens Correction:
This is a very cool new feature and especially useful for underwater photographers.  We now have the option of manually correcting a lens, or creating a lens profile. Having a lens profile will mean you’ll upload images from a specific camera, say your underwater camera with your preferred wide lens, and Lightroom will automatically correct distortion and/or chromatic aberration.  Keep in mind that distortion correction can crop off pixels.  Of particular interest is the need to correct chromatic aberration.  It is a persistent problem when shooting wide underwater.  Different lenses with different domes produce different results, but it’s often present.

Exporting Slideshows:
It’s about time!  I’ve always thought it silly that Lightroom didn’t do this simple task—easy for me to say, right?  Poking at Adobe aside, we can now select images, and with a couple of clicks, make a slideshow at the following resolutions: 320×240, 480×320, 720×480, 960×540, 720p & 1080p.  Be it good or bad, Lightroom only lets us choose the output resolutions.  Adobe has kept it simple and optimized everything else for the export.  Either way I think they look pretty darn good.  Below is a sample, but Posterous (my blog service), has compressed it a bit so there’s some quality loss.

Watch on Posterous
Simply put, watermark your images now with whatever you want.  In the previous versions of Lightroom, the watermark was pulled from the copyright metadata field and you were stuck with Lightroom’s font, font size, and placement.  Now the choice is yours.  Here is a sample with my company logo.




  1. Jason Heller June 18, 2010 at 12:52 pm #

    J – great post. i love the noise reduction added to LR3.

  2. Anonymous June 18, 2010 at 3:45 pm #

    Great post Jason, appreciate the examples and info… will be upgrading in a day or two. Thanks!! : )

  3. Anonymous June 18, 2010 at 4:00 pm #

    Thanks for sharing your excellent visual examples of LR3 improved features and how it applies to the underwater photographer.

  4. Anonymous June 18, 2010 at 4:20 pm #

    Keep up the good work!

  5. Bradley Photographic June 21, 2010 at 4:27 pm #

    Thanks you guys. Stay tuned for a more detailed analysis in a multi part article soon to hit It will go over these features in more detail along with new features in Photoshop CS5.

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