Get even more control with local adjustments, gradient masks and a healing brush in Adobe’s RAW workflow solution.

$299, street

Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 1.0 freed photographers to work in RAW without laboring in Photoshop, but its major drawback was that it limited you to global fixes. Not anymore. The biggest improvement in Lightroom 2 ($199 as an upgrade from 1) is the local adjustment brush for working on one area of your photo at a time. This time, keywording and collecting are easier, a new gradient tool mimics a graduated filter, and sharpening is more useful—now you can sharpen on export, not just when you print. As with Camera RAW, Adobe will no longer be adding new cameras to Lightroom 1, so if you get a new camera, you’ll have to buy this upgrade right away.

After the Jump, some screen shots of the cool new features.