Lightroom 5 is here!

Well, wouldn’t you know it.  Last week I decided it was time for my first real blog update. Something with some real thought behind it.  I focus it on one of my favorite photography tools… one that I use all the time.  A tool that makes my photos really stand out and one that I think would benefit almost any photographer.  I dedicate the blog post to Lightroom 4… one of my favorite programs from Adobe.  So I get my thoughts down on how great Lightroom 4 is and a few days later Adobe goes ahead and releases Lightroom 5!  Now, we knew it was coming.  The beta release has been out for a few months, but I don’t think anybody expected it to be released so soon.

So it’s out and of course, I love it.  It’s not a huge change from Lightroom 4, and anybody who’s used to using the previous version of LR won’t have any problem upgrading.  However, there are a few new features that stand out.

A feature that’s sure to get a lot of attention is the Advanced Healing Brush, which lets you remove distracting objects from your photos. You can using it to brush away little objects, like dust, or you can make an entire person disappear.  This feature is great for removing ex-girlfriends from a photo (not that I’ve ever had to do that). :-)  Now of course major retouching will still need to be done with Photoshop, but this makes minor retouching much easier than it used to be using LR alone.  A new “Visualize Spots” tool also takes care of sensor spots really easily on your photo.

The upright feature is pretty cool and removes the need to laborious cropping and straightening of crooked photos.  You’d be surprised at how hard it is to take a truly straight photo which makes this feature really useful.  You can automatically level horizons or straighten buildings with a single click.

The radial filter is something I’ve been wanting for a while.  You can focus on specific points in a photo by creating off-center vignettes, or multiple vignettes within a single image.  Previously, your only option for vignettes was to create one standard overall vignette which only highlighted the center of the photo.

You can pick up the new Lightroom 5 for $149.  If you have an older copy of Lightroom, you can upgrade to version 5 for $79.