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What’s New In LR4 Beta That Will Help Real Estate Photographers?

January 19th, 2012

Since Lightroom 4 Beta has been out now for 10 days and I’ve had time to play around with it I thought would try to sum up the features from the point of real estate photography.

As of Lightroom 3 when Adobe added the Lens Correction features, I believe Lightroom became an essential tool for every real estate photographers mainly because 90% of your post processing can be done very quickly all from within Lightroom.

Now the question is, if you are using LR 3 will LR 4 be worth the upgrade price? My assessment of Lightroom 4 is there are a couple of key features that will be well worth the upgrade for real estate photographers:

  1. New Highlights and Shadows sliders in the Basic Panel: These sliders replace the recovery slider and work way better than the old recovery slider in LR 3 did. These sliders will be invaluable in adjusting bright windows and bright skies and dark shadow areas selectively. These new sliders can easily save you a trip out to PS or PSE to do masking.
  2. Improvements to the selective adjustment brushes: There are more adjustment brushes. One of these that will make a huge difference to real estate post-processing is you can brush on selective adjustments to white balance.

There are tons of other nice features in LR 4Beta but these two I believe will make it worth while for real estate photographers to upgrade. I don’t know what the upgrade cost will be but I expect it will be like past upgrades and be around $100. For a nice description of many for the top features, including the two I point out above see the NAPP LR 4 Launch Center where Scott Kelby and Matt Kloskowski describe the new LR 4 Beta features in detail.

What About Aperture 3?
For Mac users a natural question is how does Aperture 3 compare to LR 3 and LR 4? I have and regularly use both Lightroom and Aperture 3 and I dearly love many of the interface features of Aperture 3 and I like the nice integration that Aperture 3 has with other Apple software like iMovie, FCP X, my iPhone and iPad but even LR 3 is clearly a better  choice for real estate work just because of the Lens Correction features and LR 4 takes that margin of superiority to a new level. If you are a real estate photographer you need Lightroom (version 3 and version 4 when it is released). It will save you a huge amount of time.

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6 Responses to “What’s New In LR4 Beta That Will Help Real Estate Photographers?”

  • Larry have you tried any of the Lens Correction plugins for Aperture? With the massive price drop of Aperture there is definitely leftover money available to purchase plugins to address lens correction. I would love to hear your opinion on that.

    Also I haven’t found a great way to straighten verticals in Aperture, but maybe the lens plugins offer that?

  • I’ve been using LR4 Beta since the release and have found the changes to the adjustment brush with temp/tint, and the changes to the highlights/shadows sliders to be my favorite. I will definitely be making the upgrade to LR4.

  • I don’t use LR for editing (just cataloging) but I have to say, the video preview feature is pretty great! I’ll probably download LR4 just for that.

  • @Allan- Yes, PTlens for $25 @ http://epaperpress.com/ptlens/index.html works just fine as a Aperture plugin and it does everything that the LR Lens Correction features does. So this combination is a good alterternative to LR. The LR 4 Book, Map and video features are Adobe’s answer to features Aperture 3 already has.

    Also worth mentioning, Aperture brushes are smooth, intuitive and a pure joy to use whereas I feel LR brushes are unintuitive and hard to figure out.

  • As a novice real estate photographer who principally uses PSE I’d appreciate your explanation for what lens correction is and does in the Lightroom s/w, nd whether or not it’s available in PSE at all. Thanks so much.

  • @Angela- The Lens Correction feature in LR3 and LR4 allows you to straighten verticals and remove barrel distortion (where straight lines are curved near outer edges of photos shot with wide-angle lenses). Yes, PSE does that too and you can get by with just PSE. PSE is a least cost software editing solution for real estate photographers. When you get to the point that you are doing lots of shoots, LR will end up saving you post-processing time.

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