Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 3 is a digital darkroom that will organise your photos, polish them to perfection with some exceptional editing tools, then help you share your favourites with the world.
The program will quickly bring order to even the messiest of photo collections, for instance. Lightroom automatically imports your existing images (and now videos can be included, too), then allows you to organise them into collections. Add your own keywords and attributes to existing metadata and it's easy to locate the images you need.
A stack of major new editing features starts with quality lens correction. This uses lens profiles to compensate for geometric distortions, colour problems and vignetting, and if you're lucky it'll work virtually automatically, noting the lens in your image metadata and applying the appropriate fix.
We say "lucky" because, understandably, there aren't that many profiles yet: most are for Canon and Nikon cameras. Lightroom comes with a tool to make your own profiles, though, and these can easily be shared with others, so there should be considerably more choice in just a few weeks.
Elsewhere, a revamped noise reduction tool does an excellent job of removing all the noise from high ISO images. But without any blur-type trickery, so it preserves all the detail in your original image.
You now also get powerful perspective correction, film grain simulation to give the look of film, and easy-to-use image watermarking. And these options join the existing editing features, which allow you to precisely adjust colour, tone curves, brightness, contrast and more, either across the entire image, or targeting particular areas to produce the exact look that you need.
And when you've fixed every defect, Lightroom provides a host of publishing tools that make it easy to share your work. You can quickly create slide shows, complete with music, for instance; export them as videos, perhaps high definition, for simple sharing; or print them out using your own custom print layouts.
Best of all, perhaps, is Lightroom's Flickr integration. Not only can you upgrade your images directly to Flickr from within Lightroom, but if anyone posts ratings or comments on an image then you'll immediately see their feedback within the Lightroom library.
LIghtroom 3.5 includes Camera Raw 6.6 and support for a wide range of modern camera.
Lightroom 3.56has strong photo management tools, truly professional editing features and excellent publishing options. If you're a Flickr member, then the Flickr integration alone will save you a great deal of time