Adobe enters public beta with Lightroom 5

Digital photographers keen to see what the fuss is about with the next generation of Adobe’s photo editing program Lightroom can now try it for themselves, as the program has entered public beta.

Announced this week, Adobe’s fifth version of Lightroom will bring in features from Photoshop CS6, such as the Advanced Healing Brush, which allows users to paint out pieces of hair or small objects, “healing” the image.

The healing brush in Lightroom 5 will allow you to remove hairs, trees, and even people.

Other new features include a quick and easy fix for skewed images, exporting a photo collection to video slideshows, and a way to make photo books from Lightroom using the online printing service Blurb.

Outside of these, you can still index your photos and process them, with filters designed to emulate old film types in colour, and black and white. RAW support is of course included, making the software ideal for anyone who wants to experiment with that “RAW” option on a recent digital SLR or mirror-less interchangeable purchase.

Distortion in your images? Fix it using the skew correction.

The beta is available for free from Adobe’s Labs website, and will work on both Mac (minimum of 10.7 required) and Windows (minimum of Windows 7 needed), though this public beta of Lightroom 5 will expire on June 30, 2013.

Beta programs come with the downside of having slightly more than the occasional bug and not every feature offered in the final release, so you’re warned in case it crashes or doesn’t perform the way you expect a final release Photoshop or Lightroom should.