Adobe has just released the fourth version of Lightroom today, which brings a number of improvements but also a big price cut. Lightroom 4 can be bought for $149 new or $79 as an upgrade. That’s a far cry from the $299 (and $99 upgrade) demanded for previous versions. We’re sure that recent price cuts to Apple’s competing Aperture software played a large part in Adobe’s decision to lower the entry price to its own photo management and editing software.
We’ve been trying out Lightroom 4 since it was released as a beta in January and not much has changed in terms of features since then. The biggest change in Lightroom 4 is the new highlight and shadow recovery technology (replacing the previous fill light and recovery controls) that allows users to bring out even more detail from dark shadows and bright highlights.
Lightroom also finally gets some geotagging abilities. The new Map module shows your images assigned to a location, and allows location tagging and reverse geo-tagging. Another big feature in the new release is the ability to make local adjustments, including white balance, moire, noise reduction and shadow recovery.
Videographers have been receiving increasing attention in more recent versions of Lightroom and the software now has the capability to play, trim and extract frames from video clips. Finally you get a number of export and social options including the ability to create photo books using built-in templates in the new Book module.
Lightroom 4 is available now for Windows Vista and 7 and Mac OS X v10.6.8 and v10.7.