Adobe Ships Finished Version of Lightroom 4; Read Our Early Review

By Theano Nikitas

After almost two months in public beta, Adobe has just released the finished version of its Lightroom 4 (download it here) image editing and organizational software. (The Lightroom 4 beta software officially expires on March 31, 2012.)

New features abound in Lightroom 4 ($149 full version; $79 upgrade), including some Develop module advancements, broader video integration, geo-tagging, book layout and direct-to-Blurb publishing as well as the oft-requested soft proofing functionality.

Other improvements, like more flexible DNG support, may be considered more like tweaks than updates but, overall, the differences between LR3 and LR4 are more notable than those between LR2 and LR3.

Rather than identify each and every new feature or enhancement, we’re going to concentrate on the most notable additions in this review.

Before you get too excited about Lightroom 4, those of you with older computers and operating systems — especially Windows XP — will have to upgrade to a 64-bit system. While I’m cross-platform and am covered on the Mac side, I’m a little saddened that I won’t be able to use Lightroom 4 on any of my Windows XP desktops. But XP is a little long in the tooth and we’re seeing a gradual transition away from the older OS. It had to happen sooner or later.

Still, minimum system requirements for LR4 are fairly modest. Beyond the 64-bit system, you’ll need 2GB of RAM and 1GB of free hard drive space. I worked with the beta on a 4.5-year-old Macbook Pro with 4GB of RAM and running OS X 10.6.8 (you’ll need 10.6.8 or 10.7 for LR4) and it ran fine.

Click here to read our full review of Lightroom 4.

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