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Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 3.3

One of the handiest new features of Lightroom 3.3 is the inclusion of video. Now it''s easy to sort and arrange your video right alongside your still images. Click image to enlarge.

One of the handiest new features of Lightroom 3.3 is the inclusion of video. Now it''s easy to sort and arrange your video right alongside your still images. Click image to enlarge.

Lightroom continues to improve while packing in the features, and the latest version is the most robust yet, with a bundle of new options and tools for video and photos. The program allows you to take massive amounts of images in almost any format and sort, organize, develop slideshows, print, perform touchups and produce web galleries.

One of the handiest of the added features is the new inclusion of video. Using Lightroom, I always felt like archiving and organizing my videos should be part of the process, and now it is. Support for most video file formats, including DSLR video files, has been much needed, and now it''s easy to sort and arrange your video right alongside your still images.

Another new 3.3 feature that is sure to boost your online marketing efforts is the ability to publish images and galleries directly to your Facebook page. But unlike other programs that just move the images along and upload, Lightroom gives you a lot of control over the final images posted. Once you set up your Facebook authorization and set what images you want to send, you can adjust an array of parameters that are applied to your images before they are uploaded. First off, you can apply a watermark, something as simple as text or even a PNG or JPG logo. You can strip some of the embedded metadata out, change and alter the resize parameters, custom rename the files and even set the sharpening amount. If your page includes dozens of images uploaded weekly, this is a tremendous timesaver. There is also now support for other online galleries such as SmugMug and Flickr.

Tethered shooting is new in 3.3, and it allows you to hook up your camera (support for Canon, Nikon and Leica) and instantly import and view images as you take them. Click image to enlarge.

Tethered shooting is new in 3.3, and it allows you to hook up your camera (support for Canon, Nikon and Leica) and instantly import and view images as you take them. Click image to enlarge.

Tethered shooting is new in 3.3, and it allows you to hook up your camera (support for Canon, Nikon and Leica) and instantly import and view images as you take them. Tethering software that ships with cameras is quite often a little clunky with nonstandard interfaces, but using Lightroom assures that you use the same slick interface and get speedy results as your shoot with your clients getting immediate feedback. And better to have clients over the monitor than over your shoulder anyway.

Video producers will love the new movie features, which allow collecting a group of photos, adding music and then exporting them out to an MP4 video file, complete with professional transitions and titles. Other programs do this, but something about having this right in the Lightroom interface, where all your photo catalogs reside, makes it especially handy.

Other new features include a comprehensive noise reduction mode, which does a tremendous job of eliminating grain from even the most troublesome images. This feature is perfect for DSLR images shot during low light and at night, so you can crank up the ISO a bit more than normal and fix the images in Lightroom.

The import interface has been restructured to make it even more user-friendly. Click image to enlarge.

The import interface has been restructured to make it even more user-friendly. Click image to enlarge.

Want to go the other way? The new 3.3 film grain simulation can add in realistic grain to simulate the look of film with a few clicks. Watermarking has continued to be extended with new features, including text or graphics with positioning, opacity and size adjustments. It''s very handy to be able to apply watermarking to hundreds of images at once. The import interface has been restructured to make it even more user-friendly. In fact, Adobe has been working hard to release constant updates to support just about all the latest DSLR cameras (as well as camera lenses) shortly after they are released. Finally, Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 3.3 has been recoded for even faster accelerated performance, ensuring that your work speeds right along.

Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 3.3 is a great tool to have for photographers, but also for video producers. With new features such as video slideshow creations, archiving and sorting of video clips, tethering options for real-time DSLR results, added filters such as noise reduction and film grain, robust online sharing features, easy watermarking controls and improved image importing, it''s a low-cost tool that does a lot for any media artist, video producer or professional photographer. Now that the DSLR world is converging between stills and video, Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 3.3 makes more sense than ever for any digital content producer.