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Adobe releases Photoshop Lightroom 4, cuts price in half to $149

Adobe on Tuesday released Photoshop Lightroom 4, the latest version of its professional photography software for OS X and PC, with a $149 starting price that's half that of its predecessor.

Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 4 introduces refined technology for superior shadow and highlight processing, the ability to create photo books, additional local adjustment controls, and has enhanced video support. It's $149 for new customers, or $79 for those upgrading from a previous version.

"Feedback from our customers is invaluable in developing Lightroom and the real trick to a great release is to combine these insights with Adobe’s unrivaled image processing innovation," said Winston Hendrickson, vice president products of Creative Media Solutions at Adobe. "Lightroom 4 is a stunning new release that will enhance photography workflows and help photographs stand out from the crowd."

Adobe said on Tuesday that Photoshop Lightroom 4 features significant new capabilities and innovations, including new adjustment controls that maximize dynamic range from cameras for recovering shadow details and highlights. New auto adjustments dynamically set values for exposure and contrast, and additional local adjustments are now available, including "Noise Reduction," "Moire" and "White Balance."

The latest version of Lightroom also provides photographers with tools to create photo books with text controls and a number of templates. There's also a direct link for photo book creation within the software's new "Book" module.

Users can also access a new "Map" module that displays images already assigned a location, and also provides location tagging and reverse geo-tagging controls. Saved locations also allow for assignment of a photographer's common location.

Lightroom 4 also features native video support, giving photographers the ability to play, trim and extract frames from video clips shot on DSLR cameras, as well as point-and-shoot cameras and smartphones. Video-specific presets and many standard Lightroom image adjustments can be applied to video clips, and adjusted videos can be exported as an H.264 file or published directly to Facebook or Flickr.

The "Develop" module also offers presets that utilize new processing technology. The addition of soft proofing will also assist photographers in tuning images in a destination color space. Customers can also e-mail images directly from Lightroom using an e-mail account of their choice.

Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 4 is available for both Mac and Windows direct from Adobe. Free shipping is available through March 31, 2012, and users can also download a free trial of the software.