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Adobe's Lightroom 2.1 brings fixes, camera support

The latest updates to the company's photo-editing and cataloging software come with bug fixes and support for newer cameras. Plus: more camera profiles.

Updated 10:10 a.m. PDT with further Adobe confirmation.

Adobe Systems on Wednesday plans to release an update to its Lightroom and a related Photoshop CS4 plug-in for processing raw images, bringing the software up-to-date with many of the latest SLR cameras and fixing some bugs.

"The release and release notes will go live later today," Lightroom Product Manager Tom Hogarty said. Specifically, 9:01 p.m. PDT on Wednesday, Adobe added.

The new software has support for several new SLRs, Adobe said: Canon's newer entry-level EOS Rebel XS and brand-new midrange EOS 50D, Nikon's freshly released midrange D90 and full-frame D700, Pentax's newest entry-level model, the K2000, and Sony's ambitious 24-megapixel full-frame Alpha A900.

Lightroom is used to edit, catalog, print, and export photos, especially the flexible but labor-intense raw photos taken directly from camera image sensors with no in-camera processing. The new support in version 2.1 go hand in hand with Camera Raw 5.1, the processing engine used in the brand-new Photoshop CS4.

In addition, Lightroom 2.1 fixes a keyword problem for people who had upgraded from Lightroom 1.x, cuts down on crashes while using the Web module on 64-bit Windows Vista, and speeds performance on Mac OS X machines, Adobe said.

Those features had been promised in the Lightroom 2.1 beta, released last month. More of a surprise, though, are several new camera profiles, a feature that has dramatically improved the appearance of my own photos. Indeed, I dearly miss it for processing some images I took with an Olympus E-3, which doesn't yet have profiles. The profiles are on Adobe Labs, separate from the Lightroom and Camera Raw.

Profiles essentially recalibrate an image's basic colors to better match camera settings, such as portrait, neutral, standard, and landscape, and using them can make it easier to match the punchier, more saturated JPEG images that cameras often produce. Newly profiled cameras are the Leica M8, the Canon 50D and PowerShot G9, the Nikon D90, and Pentax models, Adobe said.

For ordinary raw support, Lightroom 2.1. also supports some higher-end compact cameras that can produce raw images, including the Sigma DP1, the Olympus SP-565 UZ, and the Nikon Coolpix P6000.

And some high-end models also are on the list: Leaf, the Aptus II 6 and 7 medium-format digital backs and AFi II 6 and 7 medium-format camera bodies, and the unusual Fujifilm FinePix IS Pro, an SLR that can be used to take infrared and ultraviolet light photos.

Adobe already had added support for the newer cameras in Camera Raw 4.6, a plug-in that works in Photoshop CS3.

(Via Photography Blog.)