| What's Hot • Non-destructive editing preserves original picture data. • Works with RAW, TIFF, JPEG and PSD files. • Supports both Windows and Mac OS. What's Not • Version 1.0 lacks image layers, dodging and burning, filter effects, and other standard Photoshop features. • No discounted bundling with Photoshop, but early adopters get a price break. • Lightroom Beta users will finally have to pay up. Bottom Line • Amazingly full-featured, all-in-one imaging solution for serious shooters. • "Virtual" processing technology points way toward further software advances. Related • Adobe press release. • Apple Aperture Review |
Most significantly, everything that happens inside Lightroom is virtual, not physical. That means that the photos you "import" into Lightroom's Library don't actually reside there but are represented by Lightroom-generated preview images and associated metadata. Since the software alters instruction sets instead of actual pixels, all visual edits (color, tone, cropping, sharpening, etc.) are non-destructive. So your actual images remain untouched, whether you're working with RAW, JPEG, TIFF or PSD files. This also means you can view changes in real time, batch-edit large groups of photos very quickly, maintain permanent edit histories, and create numerous virtual file versions instead of space-consuming physical duplicates. To share with others, you can export copies (never the originals) as single images or batches -- in whatever size, quality and file format they need.