Adobe Lightroom 4 HDSLR video support explained.

UPDATE March 6, 2012. The full version of Lightroom 4 is available now and Adobe cut the price in half: The full version (which used to cost $299) will now be $149. The upgrade version will only cost $79. The beta version (which was downloaded more than 250,000 times) will expire on March 31, 2012.

My birthday was yesterday, and the present arrived this morning. Lightroom 4.0 (public beta) FULL VERSION is now available as a free download from Adobe’s website.

Important things to consider:

• You do not need a serial number and the beta version will not update your current Lightroom 3 (or earlier) catalog.
• The public beta comes in three flavors: Mac (OS X v10.6.8 Snow Leopard) or v10.7 Lion), Windows 32-bit, and Windows 64-bit. Make sure you download the correct version. Each compressed download is about 400MB.
• File support for Lightroom 4 beta, is exactly the same as in Lightroom 3.6 and Camera Raw 6.6.
• The public beta will expire on March 31, 2012, when the final Version 4 becomes available.
Adobe Lightroom 4 Video Support

Here are the new features, organized from super awesome to awesome:

• HDSLR video support (full details below)
• Soft proofing (found under the Develop Module, not the Print Module as one would expect)
• Photo book layout
• Email directly from Lightroom (works with Gmail, Yahoo, Hotmail, and AOL)
• Publish videos directly to Facebook or Flickr
• Geo location (via GPS metadata) with the Map Module
• Enhanced DNG workflows
• Adobe Revel (Carousel) export workflow
• Additional local adjustments including Noise Reduction and White Balance
• Powerful new Shadow and Highlight controls
• Simplified basic adjustments

Adobe Lightroom 4 Soft Proofing



Regarding Video Support this is what Adobe has to say:

“Lightroom 3 added the ability to import, manage and tag video files but as the popularity of video capture increases it’s important to provide a single, robust workflow solution that can support all of your imaging needs regardless if they’re still images or video captures. Lightroom 4 adds native playback for a wide variety of formats from mobile phones to high end DSLRs.”

Here’s what I have to say: In version 3, we were able to import video files along with our still images, but to see the clips Lightroom needed to access Quicktime. Now we can play the files inside of LR. Also, by using similar shortcuts from well established NLE (non linear editing) software applications like Final Cut Pro and Adobe Premiere Pro, now we can set In and Out points directly in Lightroom. Shift+I (In) and Shift+O (Out).

Develop settings like Exposure, Contrast, Saturation, and White Balance (among many other settings) are now available for video as well. You can easily set a “poster frame” which is the thumbnail that you see in the grid mode. You can also extract/export single frames from a video clip as a JPEG file (just like in Adobe Premiere Pro). The most popular HDSLR, compact camera and smart phone video formats are supported including AVCHD (some Nikon, most Sony and Panasonic systems).


Clearly, I am most excited for the HDSLR support. But there are also some new and exciting features for stills.

You can now adjust and refine the White Balance in specific areas of an image. Additional local editing controls also let you adjust noise reduction and remove moiré in targeted areas of your images (similar to Capture One Pro).

Stacking now works in collections even if the photos are in different folders, and Auto Stacking by “capture time” now works with 0 seconds. Yippee!

The book layout module is really slick. By default you get over 180 “professionally designed” page layouts with intuitive drag and drop behaviors for reordering pages or swapping image locations and a built-in Blurb plugin which is one of the best online photo printing services I have tested (and I have tested a LOT of them).

Adobe Lightroom 4 Book Layout

Adobe Lightroom 4 Book Layout

I am happy to inform that Photoshelter’s export plugin still works perfectly. No need for updates or any workarounds.

Adobe Lightroom 4 Photoshelter

Location-based organization lets you find and group images by location, assign locations to images, and display data from GPS-enabled cameras (similar to Apple’s Aperture or Hasselblad’s Phocus). The catch? Obviously you will need internet access to populate the maps.

Adobe Lightroom 4 GPS Location data

Adobe Lightroom 4 Geotagging

Not everything is perfect, mind you, but this is the first beta version. This version feels faster than LR3, especially during import, but it has crashed a few times, and there are a few known video issues:

• Black line can appear on right and bottom of videos when viewed in Loupe on Windows
• Video frames are occasionally played out of order on certain AVCHD video files
• There could be a memory leak when exporting over 500 videos at once

Please keep in mind that this is a BETA version, which means that some features might not work across all system, and certainly some things will change or disappear when the final version is delivered. That is the name of the game. I strongly recommend that you do not switch to the beta version in a middle of an important project, or  use it for clients images until the final version is available. I do encourage you to try it, test it, try to break it, see what’s new, and what can be improved. Adobe is really good at listening to, and implementing users feedback. Make your voice be heard! What a great birthday present I’ve got.

Video files are not supported on the Develop Module yet.

Video files are not supported on the Develop Module yet.