Adobe announces today a public Beta version of their Lightroom 3 photo software. They've made several changes to Lightroom 2, and they hope to add to the list of improvements when the software is finalized for the full Lightroom 3 release.
This version attempts to re-configure the software architecture for a gentler learning curve for first-time users and better workflow for those already familiar with Lightroom. Lightroom 3 Beta will offer more options for noise reduction as well as an improved sharpening tool that they hope will achieve more natural results.
The import page has been given an overhaul, and Adobe has also added a full slate of tools to the watermark editor. Lightroom Beta 3 also adds options for uploading directly to photo sharing sites. This version also offers photographers more flexibility in the presentation of their images - users can create HD slideshows set to music, and contact sheets can now be customized in layout and background color.
Mac users will notice that the minimum system memory requirement for Lightroom 3 Beta is now 2GB, an increase from 1GB, though Adobe notes this is a guideline for best performance and not a strict rule.
To jump on board and download Adobe Lightroom 3 Beta, visit their website. Adobe has also created a forum for user feedback. The final Lightroom 3 software is likely to ship sometime in 2010.