On January 10th, Adobe announced the long-anticipated public beta for its Lightroom 4 program upgrade.
But what is in it for the Cropist?
After the wealth of new cropping features and augments brought to us by Lightroom 3, I decided to dive through the new features in the Public Beta for Lightroom 4 and see what was here to excite the cropist in us all. While there is much in Lightroom 4 that is new and exciting to the photographer at-large, the Cropist finds very little in the way of new cropping tools or functionality.
1. The maximum value of the aspect ratio has been increased to 9999.999 to allow for greater precision and to enable the entering of screen resolutions as aspect ratios. Numbers larger than 20 entered into this dialog will result in a decimal shift to reinforce the concept of aspect ratio vs. physical size.
(i.e. entering 1920×1080 will result in a 19.2×10.8 value in the crop panel)
2. New Crop Ratio Choices in the Aspect Pull-down. These reflect ratios common to video and represent Lightroom’s further venturing into the video arena. Both the aspect ratio and the screen ratio are shown as hints.
That is about it for the crop features… No new or custom crop overlays like we were hoping for… No crop presets … no additional aspect ratios held beyond the five in our most recently used list…
Well, there is this other new thing…
I wouldn’t really call this a crop feature but it is a camera framing guide of sorts. In the Library Module, Loupe view mode, there is a feature which allows you to overlay a PNG file onto your image. Either in tethered capture or perusing previously captured images, you can now overlay a series of guides, like a magazine cover perhaps, to view your framing.
Imagine you are shooting a magazine cover and you want to show the art director each shot as they come off the camera in the context of the cover design. You can create a PNG file with transparency that will overlay your shot previewing the potential layout as you shoot-provided you are in a tethered environment. It lops off parts of the image that are outside the bounds of the Layout Overlay’s aspect ratio and puts the PNG file on top of your image. The Layout Overlay is located on the View>Layout Overlay> menu.
Here is an excellent video from John Beardsworth
That’s it so far for crop tools in Lightroom 4. Last time they delivered a couple of treats between public beta and final release. Let’s hope cropping gets another look.
For a more complete break down of what is in the new version of Lightroom, check out my link here.
These are the links to the public beta pages:
Public Beta Site: http://labs.adobe.com/technologies/lightroom4/
Rikk Flohr © 2012