Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 2.0 beta is now available. Adobe is making the beta software available as a public preview for testing of its new functions and improvements.

Like Aperture, Lightroom is a tool for professional photographers, capable of managing, adjusting, and presenting large volumes of digital photographs. The Lightroom 2.0 beta offers dual-monitor support, localised dodge and burn correction and will be the first Adobe application to support 64-bit for Mac OS X 10.5 Intel Macs and Microsoft Vista 64-bit operating systems.

An improved layout in the Library module makes it easier to find and filter photographs. A new feature called Smart Collections automatically updates collections with images that match desired criteria such as star-rating, keyword or other metadata.

“Photoshop Light room 2.0 beta provides early access to requested improvements over version 1.3 and continues our ongoing dialogue and open communication with the photography community,” said Tom Hogarty, senior product manager for Photoshop Lightroom and Camera Raw. “We’re excited not only for our existing customers, but also for the general public who will have an opportunity to take Lightroom 2.0 beta on a test run.” 

The Develop module has also been updated to provide the ability to correct specific parts of an image without affecting other areas. Now, fundamental photographic techniques such as dodge and burn can be performed using the same non-destructive approach, allowing unprecedented control within the Lightroom program.

Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 2.0 beta is available as a 30-day free trial for Mac and Windows. Existing Lightroom 1.0 customers will be able to test the beta for an extended period until 31 August, 2008 and can invite friends to take part in this trial period.

System requirements demand Mac OSX 10.4, 10.5 1GHz PowerPC G4 or G5 or Intel-based processor.