Adobe has posted a beta release of the next version of its popular photo-management and editing software Lightroom.
Adobe made the announcement via a blog post and also listed the important new features in Lightroom 5. These are:
Advanced Healing Brush - Enhancements to the Spot Removal tool allow you to heal or clone using brush strokes. A new "Visualize Spots" tool highlights sensor dust spots for easy removal.
Radial Filter - Apply any of Lightroom's local adjustment attributes to a circular mask. The area of the mask can be resized, feathered or even inverted to give you maximum control over the focus of your images.
Upright - Automatically level horizons, straighten buildings, and correct other askew lines.
Smart Preview - Lightroom allows you to edit offline images by storing a smaller version of the original image, called a smart preview. Edits made to the smart preview will automatically apply to the original once reconnected to Lightroom.
If you wish to see some of these features in action, head over to the blog, where Adobe has posted videos showcasing some of these features.
Lightroom v1.0 was announced back in 2007, while the most recent major release, Lightroom v4.0 released in March last year. Adobe Lightroom 5 beta is now available as a free download for Windows and Mac. As with other beta software, user caution is advised while using it for mission-critical tasks.
Adobe Lightroom competes on the Mac with Apple's Aperture, which last received a major upgrade (v3.0) back in February 2010, though Apple has regularly issued minor updates for the same.