Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 5 Public Beta hands-on preview


Adobe has released a public beta version of its Photoshop Lightroom 5 workflow and image editing software and we’ve had some time to look at its latest features. Available immediately for free download from Adobe Labs, the beta introduces a more advanced healing/cloning tool, automatic image leveling and perspective correction, a new selective editing tool and the ability to edit files that are offline.

As with any pre-release software, please keep in mind that this is a beta release intended to generate user feedback and identify performance issues. The tools and features on offer may be changed before final release and we do not recommend using beta software for any mission critical work. And as always with Lightroom public betas, to begin working, you must import images into a new version 5-compatible catalog. You cannot update version 4 and earlier catalogs in Lightroom 5 beta.

Ready to get started? Click the links below to find out what’s new and begin exploring the Lightroom 5 public beta on your own.

Download the Lightroom 5 public beta from Adobe Labs

Press Release:

Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 5 Public Beta Now Available

SAN JOSE, Calif. — April 15, 2013 Adobe today announced the availability of Adobe® Photoshop® Lightroom® 5 beta for Windows® and Mac. Adobe Lightroom is the essential photography workflow application allowing photography enthusiasts and professionals to enhance, organize and share photos. The Lightroom 5 beta offers a free, public preview of new features and tools that will be offered in the final release, expected later this year.

‘Lightroom is the essential tool for busy professional and discerning amateur photographers, who are uncompromising in the pursuit for image quality or searching for artistic expression,’ said Winston Hendrickson, vice president of digital imaging products, Adobe. ‘The Lightroom 5 beta is highly valuable in ensuring the new features support and address the needs of our customers and we look forward to hearing feedback.’

Lightroom 5 beta offers photographers and enthusiasts many new features including:

  • Advanced Healing Brush allows customers to heal imperfections and remove distracting elements
  • Upright tool analyzes an image to automatically level horizons and straighten objects like buildings to correct a keystone effect
  • Radial Gradient tool creates off-center or multiple vignette effects
  • Smart Previews allow customers to edit images without needing the original raw file
  • Video slideshow enables customers to combine still images, video clips and music in a creative HD slideshow
  • Upgrades to the Book module enhancing the ability to create, customize and order elegant photo books using a variety of tailored templates

Lightroom 5 beta marks the fifth consecutive version Adobe has offered the software for public preview and testing prior to the final release. Adobe encourages customers to provide comments through its community forums on both new and legacy features. Feedback offered may be integrated into updates added before the final version of the software is released.

Pricing and Availability

Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 5 beta is available immediately as a free download on both Windows and Mac at Customers can submit feedback on the community powered feedback site: Customers can also connect with the Lightroom team directly on Facebook (, via Twitter ( or on the Adobe Lightroom blog ( For Lightroom how-to videos, visit



Hey, I just downloaded LR4.4! Hope it’s a free “upgrade” for owners of previous versions (hahahahaha).


Did they get rid of (or have an option to turn off) the cataloging system ?


customizing book layouts! Yes!

and the new editing features, may mean I won’t need to round trip to photoshop.

Kinda wish this was more of a 4.5 release though. Hopefully the upgrade price is low.


Still no GPU acceleration. Epic fail.


Still no face tagging?


These are all welcome changes, particularly the improvements to the Healing Brush and the addition of radial gradients.

If the upgrade is US$99, then I guess I’ll be asked to pay AU$150 or AU$200 so that Adobe can provide me with their “bespoke customer experience”. This is what they called it at the recent federal senate enquiry, we consumers simply know it as the Australia Tax. Will have to keep my eye out for specials, or work out how to implement the ‘VPN workaround’ recommended by Choice.


Wonderful………crashing on startup.


Well it is a beta. File a bug report!


Looks more like an alpha.


Same for me. Crash on startup


I’ve never used lightroom. I’ve always used photoshop. Is there a benefit to owning both?


If you intensively process a few images a month, PS is your tool. If you need to moderately process thousands of pictures a month, Lightroom is 10-100 times more efficient.


I don’t mind paying for yet another version of Lightroom. But I do mind having to change the OS. Just when I was getting Snow Leopard to be almost as trouble-free as Leopard (almost), I now have to start over, de-bugging Lion.

David Naylor

Wohoo! A real (kinda) clone tool!


“There’s now a true full screen mode, which you can access by pressing the F key.”

…quite about time!


“…and share your digital photograph library”
So now we have to share the whole libray? haha.

Can you zoom while cropping already? Sorry im still on LR3 so i dont know if its on LR4.


Crop enhancements in this released are nicely summarized here:

Holy Crop! — Lightroom 5: The Crop Enhancements


I might go from LR3 to LR5. For those complaining about corporate greed and incremental upgrades, just skip a few. I’m glad to see increased competition in RAW workflow with good programs like PhotoNinja and AfterShot Pro that fit many people’s needs for less money, but Adobe really made LR pretty good from the start. The improvements seem substantial from where I’m sitting.


Work computer is Snow Leopard… no longer supported.
Have to wait till I get home to try the Beta, which sounds really really promising.


I am so close to quitting Adobe.




I wonder if it will be subscription only. Adobe is not making near enough money off it at $99 to keep them happy. Prepare for the worst with Adobe.




At this rate isn’t it an anual subscription?


No, because your license is perpetual. You can choose to upgrade annually if you want, but if you don’t your existing software doesn’t stop working.


The mad rush to increase corporate profits. Keep making minor updates and try to render your previous versions obsolete.

I have LR3 and am doing just fine thank you.


I don’t mind the annual minor/incremental updates as long as they adjust the price accordingly. Apple’s OS X is a great example of minor/incremental updates between Snow Leopard, Lion, and Mountain Lion, but at least the updates were only cost $29 each.


You’re missing out on a couple of amazingly-helpful features in LR4 – like making local white balance corrections which is a huge help in mixed lighting. LR5 adds a couple more, similarly helpful features that I use almost non-stop.


This is actually quite handy to me. If LR5 stays with similar pricing to LR4 then I’ll probably buy it. If they change over to some stupid subscription model, then I’ll probably get Aperture instead.

Speaking of Apple, I jumped from Snow Leopard to Mountain Lion for $20 skipping Lion altogether. Reasonably priced optional upgrades are fine.


By the way, if you think this is a minor update, at least read this before you make that judgement:


major LR versions have never been minor updates


For me this is a minor upgrade. And, somehow, it has broken 1 year and half life-cycle.


Of course it’s intention is to make money, is not a charity company. If people don’t agree agree with the terms just don’t buy it and use Gimp. People now a days complain about everything, why should they give there work for free, I am not defending them, just saying that they are entitled to charge as they wish….


It’s still a beta. I’m hoping they put some more features into the actual release. I’m not seeing anything here worth an upgrade fee, but I do feel the upgrade from 3-4 is worth it just for improved RAW performance.

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