Adobe Systems Incorporated, the maker of the popular photo-editing application Photoshop, announced today that a free beta version of Photoshop Lightroom 4 is now available for download. The software highlights several new features and enhancements over the previous version, most notably support for video and geotags. The latter allows you to pinpoint the exact geographical location of your photographs on a Google map. Geotags are automatically imported from photograph Meta data, but they can be applied manually as well.

Other features include minor drawing tool tweaks, the ability to recover blown-out highlights and shadow detail, support for built-in Blurb book publishing, soft proofing and more. Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 4 Beta can be downloaded free of charge at labs.adobe.com (it expires on March 31, 2012). The company will announce availability and price points of the final version in due time. The full list of new features and a video demonstration are right after the break (release notes here).

Additionally, Adobe’s free Carousel tablet app, basically the Lightroom for iPad, will be known henceforth as Adobe Revel. The app will gain additional features over time, Adobe said, and Lightroom 4 will feature an Adobe Revel export option. The company explained that “We originally chose the name Adobe Carousel because it was descriptive of core functionality in the product, in that photographs were viewed in a circular manner, like a carousel”. However, “additional photography solutions” are being developed for the app prompted Adobe to re-brand it as the Carousel name becomes “less narrowly descriptive of the current product features”.

New Features in Lightroom 4 Beta

  • Highlight and shadow recovery brings out all the detail that your camera captures in dark shadows and bright highlights.
  • Photo book creation with easy-to-use elegant templates.
  • Location-based organization lets you find and group images by location, assign locations to images, and display data from GPS-enabled cameras.
  • White balance brush to refine and adjust white balance in specific areas of your images.
  • Additional local editing controls let you adjust noise reduction and remove moiré in targeted areas of your images.
  • Extended video support for organizing, viewing, and making adjustments and edits to video clips.
  • Easy video publishing lets you edit and share video clips on Facebook and Flickr®.
  • Soft proofing to preview how an image will look when printed with color-managed printers.
  • Email directly from Lightroom using the email account of your choice.

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