Photoshop maker Adobe, Inc. today announced in a blog post general availability of its Aperture competitor Lightroom. A free beta of Photoshop Lightroom 4 was posted two months ago and today the software is available for education customers on both Mac OS X and Windows platforms. The company’s Vice President of Products and Creative Media Solutions Winston Hendrickson billed Lightroom 4 “a stunning new release that will enhance photography workflows and help photographs stand out from the crowd.”

Amongst the new features, Adobe touts the new shadow and highlight recovery capabilities, the ability to soft-proof images, improved auto adjustments to dynamically set values for exposure and contrast, and added local adjustment controls, such as noise reduction, moire, and white balance. The new Books and Map modules let you order photo books and display geotagged images on a world map with reverse geo-tagging controls, respectively. You also get new video controls to play, trim, and extract frames from video clips and export in H.264 to Facebook and Flickr.

More information about Lightroom 4 is available at the Adobe website. You can order the application for $149.99 as a standalone download or pay $79 for an upgrade. Alternatively, customers who purchased Photoshop CS5, Photoshop CS5 Extended, or any Creative Suite 5.5 edition can get Lightroom 4 for $99.

The full press release is below.

Lightroom has been growing popularity across the education sector in schools, colleges, and universities. As a keen photographer, it is easy to see why as Lightroom allows users to manage the workflow process from image capture to final publication. Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 4 software provides a comprehensive set of digital photography tools from powerfully simple one-click adjustments to cutting-edge advanced controls. Create images that inspire, inform, and delight.

Innovative Shadow and Highlight Recovery and Enhanced Digital Photography Workflows Mark A Milestone Release

SAN JOSE, Calif. — March 6, 2012 — Adobe Systems Incorporated (Nasdaq:ADBE) today announced the availability of Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 4 software for Mac OS and Windows. Lightroom is the essential digital photography workflow solution helping amateur and professional photographers quickly import, manage, enhance and showcase their images. First released as a public beta in January 2012, the final version of Lightroom 4 is now available for education customers. Lightroom 4 introduces refined technology for superior shadow and highlight processing, ability to create photo books, additional local adjustment controls, and enhanced video support.

“Feedback from our customers is invaluable in developing Lightroom and the real trick to a great release is to combine these insights with Adobe’s unrivalled image processing innovation,” said Winston Hendrickson, vice president products, Creative Media Solutions, Adobe. “Lightroom 4 is a stunning new release that will enhance photography workflows and help photographs stand out from the crowd.”

New Features in Lightroom 4
Lightroom 4 is a major release, adding significant new capabilities and innovations. New adjustment controls maximize dynamic range from cameras, recovering exceptional shadow details and highlights. The software features new and improved auto adjustments to dynamically set values for exposure and contrast, and additional local adjustment controls including Noise Reduction, Moire and White Balance.

Lightroom 4 provides photographers the tools to create beautiful photo books with text controls and a variety of easy-to-use templates, as well as a direct link for photo book creation from within the new Book module. A new intuitive Map module displays images already assigned a location, provides location tagging and reverse geo-tagging controls and saved locations for easy assignment of a photographer’s common locations.

Now, native video support gives photographers the capability to play, trim and extract frames from video clips shot on DSLRs, point-and-shoot cameras and smartphones. Video-specific presets and many standard Lightroom image adjustment controls can be applied to video clips, and adjusted videos can be exported as a H.264 file or published directly to Facebook or Flickr*.

In the Develop module, presets fully utilize new processing technology and the addition of soft proofing helps photographers tune images in a destination color space to ensure content looks its best. In addition, customers can now email images directly from Lightroom using an email account of their choice.

Pricing and Availability
Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 4 is now available for Mac and Windows at http://www.adobe.com/store. For more detailed information about product features, upgrade policies, pricing and language versions, please visit www.adobe.com/go/lightroom.

Users can also connect with the Lightroom team directly on Facebook (www.facebook.com/lightroom), via Twitter (www.twitter.com/lightroom) or on the Adobe Lightroom blog (http://blogs.adobe.com/lightroomjournal). For Lightroom how-to videos, visit http://www.youtube.com/lightroom

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