Lightroom 4 public beta offers improved features and is now available for free download

Adobe Systems announces Photoshop Lightroom 4 beta for Windows and Mac. Available as a free public download from Adobe Labs, Lightroom 4 is the essential digital photography workflow solution.

Lightroom 4 beta is a preview of new features and capabilities that will be offered in the final release of Lightroom 4, expected in early 2012. The beta features refined technology for superior shadow and highlight processing, expanded management capabilities including enhanced DSLR video support and the ability to create photo books.

New Features in Lightroom 4 Beta

- All new basic tonal adjustment controls extract the entire dynamic range from cameras for stunning shadow details and highlights. The software features additional local adjustment controls, including Noise Reduction, Moire and White Balance.
– New native video support gives photographers the capability to play, trim and extract frames from video clips shot on DSLRs, point-and-shoot cameras and Smartphones. Many standard Lightroom image adjustment controls can also be applied to video clips and adjusted videos can be exported as a H.264 file or published directly to Facebook or Flickr.
– Tools to create impressive photo books with rich text controls and a variety of easy-to-use templates, as well as a direct link for photo book creation from within the new Book module.
– A new intuitive Map module displays images already assigned a location, provides location tagging controls and saved locations for effortless assignment of a photographer’s common locations.
– In the Develop module, the addition of soft proofing helps to tune images in a destination color space to ensure prints and web content look their best. In addition, it’s now possible to email images directly from Lightroom using an email account (including Gmail, Hotmail and Yahoo).

Pricing and availability
 is currently unknown, though the full release is anticipated during the first quarter of 2012. To download your free beta copy of Photoshop Lightroom 4, visit Adobe Labs.