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Adobe has long been king of the hill of photo editing software. But not so much when you're talking photo management.
To fill that gap, Adobe introduced Lightroom - a combined photo editing and management software package that competes more or less head-to-head with Apple's popular Aperture. Lightroom doesn't have as robust a set of editing features as Photoshop, but it has the management tools Photoshop lacks.
Now, Adobe is releasing the public beta of Lightroom 3... and promising users a beefier set of features. Among those features are:
* Improved noise reductionfor shots taken at high ISO.
* Streamlined import of images - a welcome touch as image files grow larger and larger.
* A watermarking tool for protecting your images.
* Direct posting to photo-sharing sites from within Lightroom.
While lightroom may be a bit much for the average snapshooter, for serious amateurs and pros alike, it's been a hit. And the new features make Lightroom 3 a tempting upgrade.
For those interested in trying it out, Adobe is offering the public beta version for free at http://labs.adobe.com/technologies/lightroom3/. Access will be available until the beta version expires in April of 2010.