From the Author
Superb noise control: The new processing engine does a superb job at controlling the digital noise that can mar low-light images. Luminance and color noise reduction are now as good as, or better than, the major third-party plug-ins. The most jaw-dropping results come when you combine Lightroom 3 with images taken with a newer camera that handles ISOs of 3,200 or higher. But even shooters with more ordinary cameras will benefit when capturing images in dim settings.
Automatic Lens Correction: Lightroom 3 can automatically correct a lens's inevitable distortions and color shifts. In effect, it liberates photographers from what had been a lot of time spent adjusting and tweaking images.
Audio/Video integration: At last, Lightroom 3 treats video files as full-fledged citizens. In contrast to the old version, Lightroom 3 sees any video file on your memory card and automatically imports them. While you can't edit videos in Lightroom, the same catalog features that make Lightroom so great for organizing still images--keywords, ratings, and such metadata as date and time--can now be used to keep track of your videos.
Lightroom slideshows can be exported as videos that leave intact the timing intervals for individual slides. In another improvement from Lightroom 2, you can include a soundtrack with the exported video, enabling others to hear your slideshow in all its multi-media glory. Lightroom 3 even gives you the option of syncing the soundtrack length to match the number of photos used in the slideshow.
Weird Name But Great Feature: The Publish Services enables you to track and update images exported from Lightroom. You can export directly to your Flickr account to share photos over the Web. Or export to folders that you use to sync photos to your mobile phone, a screensaver program, or even Web-based storage sites such as Dropbox.
Imports Overall Much Better: For Lightroom 3, the import process has been redone from the ground up, thank goodness. It's now much more intuitive, and it's always clear what you're importing from where. You can save frequently used settings as an import preset. You also can use Loupe view to inspect photos before moving them off the storage card.
Other Develop Improvements: The Develop module has been smoothed and buffed from top to bottom. Collections now appear right in the Develop module, eliminating the constant switching to the Library. The Adjustment Brush can now apply "negative sharpening," which you can use to creatively blur parts of a photo.
Printing: Creating custom photo packages has become as simple as grabbing and rearranging photos on a layout. There's also a rotate-to-fit option to help you build paper-saving layouts. Maximum print resolution has been boosted to 720 pixels per inch from the previous limit of 480 ppi.
There's more. But the best thing about my book and all Peachpit's Visual QuickStart Guides is its visual approach. With full-color screenshots, a clean step-by-step design, lots of tips, and a thorough index, you'll quickly find what you need so you can get back to shooting more photos.
--A note from the author