Adobe will ship Photoshop Lightroom 1.0 in mid-February 2007, the company announced this morning.

Like Apple's Aperture, Lightroom enables professional photographers to import, manage and present large volumes of digital photographs which can be edited in Camera Raw format. The software employs Adobe Camera Raw technology and supports over 150 native Raw file formats, in addition to JPEG and TIFF.

Adobe is offering Photoshop Lightroom at a special introductory price of £125 until 30 April 2007. The price rises to £175 at a date following the release. Prices exclude VAT.

John Loiacono, senior vice president of Adobe's creative solutions business unit observes: “Everything, from image viewing and evaluation tools to time-
saving editing features, was developed with the help of photographers. This was truly a collaborative effort and we extend our thanks to everyone who provided invaluable feedback to help us deliver a powerhouse professional photography tool.”

Lightroom includes new functionality added since beta 4.1, with significant changes to the Library and Develop modules complementing improvements to the slideshow, print and web components.

While in the Library module, new advanced keywording tools help photographers filter through large collections, and an improved import dialogue with more flexible file handling allows more choice when determining file location.

The Key Metadata Browser offers access to key information tags with an improved ranking and rating system that now incorporates colour labels and a pick/reject system that sorts and locates photographs faster than ever. New to the Develop module, Virtual Copies and Snapshot tools help present multiple versions of the same image.

Additional tools added include a Hue, Saturation and Luminance targeted adjustment tool for precise and intuitive image edits. Clone and Healing features provide non-destructive edits to eliminate sensor dust across one or many images.

Recommended system requirements are MacOSX 10.4.3, 1 GHz PowerPC G4 processor or Microsoft Windows XP SP2, Intel Pentium 4 Processor, and 768 MB RAM.

In related news, the National Association of Photoshop Professionals (NAPP) announced a new online Lightroom learning centre.