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Lightroom 4 Beta release.

In all the recent CES photo hubbub, I almost missed the release of the Lightroom 4 Beta.

TheLightroomLab.com cover some of the more interesting additions in detail with some video demonstrations. There’s lots of nice little refinements to the Library module, like moving multiple folders and integrated email. The new video editing and Develop module features should be interesting too, but one of the things I’m most eager to play with is the new Book module, which is tied in to Blurb for printing. I made a one-off photo book for my parents as a Christmas gift this year and was pretty pleased with the quality from Blurb, so I’m excited to have all that functionality right inside Lightroom. Hopefully the type controls aren’t too limited in this module—InDesign-level controls would be ideal.

By some accounts the beta runs pretty slow; hopefully that’s just due to still being a beta app and not Adobe’s penchant for feature creep. The new modules are great, but it would be great to be able to remove modules you don’t need/want, e.g., Slideshow module or video functions, for a bit of extra computing headroom.

As usual, the beta won’t upgrade your current Lightroom catalog (which it shouldn’t) so I’ll personally be waiting for a final release before getting my hands dirty on the new features, but I’m really looking forward to this new version.