Lightroom 4 Announcement

Adobe has just officially released its Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 4 photo management software. This was a rather quick release/update, since the beta version of Lightroom 4 had only been available for a few months. With the announcement of Lightroom 4 come very important and exciting news – Adobe decided to permanently lower the price of the Lightroom product line by half, from $299 to $149! That’s right, if you have never owned Lightroom before, now you can buy it brand spanking new for $149. The upgrade price also got halved. If you already own LR3, then you pay $79 for an upgrade. Now the recent price decrease of Lightroom 3 to $69 makes sense – if you add the $79 upgrade fee, it totals $148, which is what Adobe wants to charge for Lightroom 4.

Lightroom 4

So, what features are new to Lightroom 4 and should you consider upgrading from Lightroom 3? Let’s take a look at the new features and changes:

  1. Updated Lightroom storage engine, which makes Lightroom 4 faster
  2. New Image Process Version 2012 that unlocks new LR4 features (see below)
  3. Better highlight and shadow recovery
  4. New White Balance capabilities, including a White Balance brush that allows changing white balance selectively on images with mixed lighting sources
  5. New editing brushes for noise reduction and moiré removal
  6. Better GPS integration with maps
  7. Extended video support, including limited video editing capabilities, playback and video export
  8. Built-in soft proofing capability (previewing images for print)
  9. Capability to create Photo Books/Albums
  10. More online sharing options and integration
  11. Ability to email photographs directly from Lightroom
  12. Ability to import and convert LR3 databases
  13. One click Chromatic Aberration removal
  14. Ability to burn CD/DVD disks in Lightroom
  15. Support for Nikon D4, D800, D800E and Nikkor 85mm f/1.8G

There are many other new features and changes in Lightroom 4, which I will post in a separate article that compares LR4 and LR3.

See the videos at Lightroom 4 Launch Center.

To see the above in more detail, see my Lightroom 4 Review.

Lightroom 4 Availability

Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 4 will be available tomorrow, March 6 2012. You can get your copy / upgrade from the below links:

  1. Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 4 Full Version for Mac and Windows – $149
  2. Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 4 Upgrade for Mac and Windows – $79
  3. Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 4 Student and Teacher Edition for Mac and Windows – $79


  1. 1) John Richardson
    March 6, 2012 at 12:20 am

    Wow, I have resisted LR for sometime now, (using Aperture with Nik-Software), but the specs on this look great! Thanks for posting it’s off to the download center for me!

    • March 6, 2012 at 1:42 am

      Once you make the switch to LR you’ll wonder what took you so long!

      • 1.1.1) John Richardson
        March 6, 2012 at 2:15 am

        Oh I know, I can be such a donkey sometimes.

      • 1.1.2) MarkL
        March 6, 2012 at 7:59 am

        Once you switch from LR to RPP (Raw Photo Processor) and start to understand the science and theory behind color and photographic processes, you’ll regret the time waste wasted in LR and other similar converters.

        P.S. I do use LR since 1.x but only as a great way to catalogue my photo collection.

        • Marcus
          March 6, 2012 at 8:39 am

          LR isn’t the best RAW converter for ALL images. This isn’t exactly news.
          Most users will use it for what it is: An integrated utility set like a Swiss army knife including picture management, RAW conversion, image development, printing etc. etc.
          It’s not the RAW converter to end all other converters – it’s a “good enough” converter for most people and is flexible enough to integrate other converters, like RPP for example.

          And for those non-Apple users among us a platform change would be in order to benefit from RPP:
          “RPP is a Universal application that works on all G4 and higher PowerPC and
          all Intel based Macs with Mac OS 10.4, 10.5, 10.6 and 10.7.”

          • MarkL
            March 6, 2012 at 9:02 am

            I’m an exclusively Windows user and use RPP under VMWare running Mac OS 10.7; no need for a platform change. Getting the most out my RAW files is worth going that extra mile.

            I use RPP (to process), LR (to catalogue) and PS (to post-process and print) in my workflow. I do agree, though, that LR is a great “all-in-one” tool for someone who doesn’t mind its limitations and/or needs the speed and convenience of using one package.

            • Stefan
              March 7, 2012 at 8:04 pm

              How much better is RPP in converting the raw image comparing with Capture NX?
              I think Capture NX/NX view should “understand” every bit of information coded in the RAW images – since both come from Nikon and so the camera firmware.

            • MarkL
              March 8, 2012 at 6:51 am

              @Stefan There is no magic bit or bytes inside NEF that CNX would be privy to. I’ve used it for the longest time and primarily because of the colors it renders. For the past 2 years Adobe’s camera profiles have come extemepy close to Nikon’s and one might as well start using LR because of that.

              What makes the world of difference (and it’s better to see for yourself than to try explain it here) is the logic and math behind the engine that powers RPP. The mere fact that LR does not use floating point calculations speaks for the “quality” one can expect.

  2. 2) Bogdan
    March 6, 2012 at 4:23 am

    Superb specs! The brushes for selective noise reduction and white balance are very welcomed updates.

  3. 3) Adele
    March 6, 2012 at 4:41 am

    Adobe finally offers profiles for Tokina lenses with LR4/ACR 7.0 :-). This alone is enough reason for me to upgrade.

    LR lens profile support:

    • 3.1) MarkL
      March 6, 2012 at 8:03 am

      What profiles were missing? Speaking of which, PTLens supports a number of Tokina lenses and offers a much better correction compared to Adobe’s (

      • 3.1.1) Adele
        March 6, 2012 at 9:41 am

        In previous versions of LR/ ACR all Tokina profiles where missing.

        I’ve already tested PTlens and DxO Optics Pro. Both are great programs that deliver excellent results. But because I feel most comfortable with LR’s UI, I prefer to do all the basic stuff there (including lens corrections) and then I’d go to Photoshop or use some 3rd party LR plugins like Portraiture if needed.

        • MarkL
          March 6, 2012 at 9:45 am

          BTW, I use PTLens as a PS plug-in to correct my Tokina 11-16 distortions.

  4. 4) Nancy
    March 6, 2012 at 6:06 am

    I have only had LR3 for about 7 months and I love it. I am still learning it though and am wondering if I should take the leap to LR4. I can’t wait to see your article that compares the 2.

  5. 5) Mark de Vrij
    March 6, 2012 at 6:07 am

    Hi Nasim,

    Sorry for a dumb question but is Lightroom basically covering the same functionality as Apple’s aperture programme? Or does it do less/more or does it do a fundamentally different function?

    Kind regards,

    • 5.1) John Richardson
      March 6, 2012 at 11:13 am

      Hi Mark,
      I have used Aperture for quite some time now and only switched to LR4 today. I will go through the differences, drop me a line at in a few weeks and I will let you know how the two compare, at least how they compare to me.

      (I use NX-2 and Aperture with all of Nik-Plug-ins, so it will be interesting)

  6. 6) Maegan
    March 6, 2012 at 6:22 am

    Do you like Lightroom more than photoshop?

    • 6.1) Alan
      March 6, 2012 at 9:34 pm

      Maegan, Lightroom is similar to Bridge (which is shipped with Photoshop). Both provide the same Camera raw editing and extensive photo archiving . Lightroom features, other than ACR are more extensive with LR4 offering video editing also.

  7. 7) Alan
    March 6, 2012 at 8:39 am

    Half the features you mention are ACR features. Won’t these be available in Photoshop CS5 ACR

  8. 8) PS
    March 6, 2012 at 9:04 am

    For a nikon shooter how does LR compare to capture nx2 if workflow
    Is not a selection criteria.Is capture nx2 a more capable tool as it can read
    All the nef data.Looking forward to your thoughts on this.
    Thanks for the wonderful site

    • 8.1) Michael
      March 6, 2012 at 10:39 am

      This is very good question! I work with Capture NX 2, i like it even it is not a perfect software!

      But this time the price for new Lightroom 4 is very good and i may buy it!

  9. 9) GavIn LIster
    March 7, 2012 at 8:05 am

    Hi Nasim. One feature I am paying a lot of attention to is the use of lossy compression for DNG conversion. If you are taking 1000’s of photos in a sitting this could be a real benefit for potential D800 users. Changes in size vary from little to 70% reduction!

    I’m not too technical but it seems pretty good and have compared converted jpegs and so far have seen no difference at all in size or quality. Also if you have any doubts you can leave your ‘picks’ in RAW or uncompressed DNG formats.

    What are your thoughts on this? Can you see any significant disadvantages?

    Thanks for a great and informative blog.

  10. March 8, 2012 at 2:47 pm

    Those new brushes and white-balance tools look very interesting. I am in for those two features alone (as well as the one click CA thing).

    I wonder if Apple will ever release Aperture 4? I really like Aperture two but I switched to LR3 for features like the gradient filters and such.

  11. March 8, 2012 at 4:16 pm

    Hi folks,
    After a complete runaround from adobe regarding my unfulfilled purchase, I advise against dealing with adobe. Their customer service both online chat and phone is awful. No matter the 1-880 so called support # I call or chat I try, no one can find out what happened to my order. I got the usual ‘that is someone else’s department’, and that from sales! If you value your money, keep away from adobe.

  12. 12) Alan
    March 10, 2012 at 2:47 pm

    Hi Nasim, Do you know if the new version of ACR in LR4 will be available to Photoshop CS5 users
    either as a free upgrade or purchase?

  13. 13) davidas
    March 13, 2012 at 5:28 pm

    Love it…hate it….
    Adobe produce really powerful software – but they make it so hard to use! I am awaiting my LR4 upgrade from LR3 (and have used LR since it was first released). You’d think that using a metaphor for a lightbox and tagging and organizing photos into collections would be a breeze – but they make it harder than is necessary. I keep thinking about transitioning to Aperture (but am not sure if this is more intuitive). Am I alone? (Have you used Acrobat in it full version? How about using ‘unsharpen mask’ to sharpen an image? I understand the ‘darkroom’ history behind this, but really….)

  14. October 30, 2012 at 10:18 am

    I´m from Angola, and want know how can I get it here?

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