With May wrapping up it’s time to take another look at a question we first wrote about two months ago, “when is Lightroom 3 coming out?” Back then we concluded, “with luck we expect to see general availability of Adobe Lightroom 3.0 in June, 2010.” Since then, the evidence has grown that we could see the final LR3 quite soon, perhaps only a matter of weeks…
First, the current Lightroom 3 beta version will expire at the end of June, and remains free to download and use until then. But come June 30th this beta will stop working, and it seems unlikely that Adobe would ask its hungry Lightroom userbase to hold on for a third beta or a further extension before our beta workflows are switched to the final release – even moreso considering it’s been nearly two years since Lightroom 2 first came out.
Second, this week there’s been a big publicity push surrounding the launch of Scott Kelby’s new Lightroom 3 book, which is now on preorder… The consensus around the web is this means the final product must be getting close.
Lastly, and perhaps most interestingly, is the upcoming expiration date of a longstanding Adobe special offer whereby you can save 30% on Lightroom 2 by buying it together with Photoshop… This popular deal has been in place since Lightroom 2 launched on July 29, 2008, and it’s now ending on June 7th. So after almost two years, perhaps one can speculate – why would such offer terms now be wrapping up? Could it be because Lightroom 2 may soon no longer be available for purchase, possibly, and replaced with something else? Nobody outside of Adobe can say for sure of course, but we’ll soon find out how meaningful this might be – and if the LR2 offer could be followed by a similar one for a future version.
So put it all together and we could be looking at only a question of weeks now until the final release and delivery of Adobe Lightroom 3… One can hope anyway, and with a bit of luck the upgrade price will stay at $99.
[UPDATE (June 6th) – A new user report in the forums could be confirming: “Lightroom 3 is going to be annouced this monday or tuesday (7th or 8th of June). heard it from the adobe spokesman from pma australia 2010. he confirmed it when demonstrating Lightroom 3 Public Beta 2.”]
We think we know when Lightroom 3 is going to ship, but while we’re waiting Adobe yesterday released a new update to Lightroom 2, bringing the popular photo management package now up to version 2.7… Adobe has added support for new and additional cameras, plus some enhancements and corrections for issues in previous releases. There were also changes to improve compatibility with settings in Lightroom 3 beta 2, and lastly the Camera Raw cache limit was increased to 200GB. New camera models added include the Canon EOS 550D, Sony A450, and Panasonic G2 and G10 (see full list of Lightroom-supported cameras).
If you already own Lightroom 2, then the update to 2.7 is free and can be downloaded here for Windows or here for Macintosh (in English, French, and German). If you still have Lightroom 1 those same links can get you to version 1.4, though a full upgrade to version 2.7 is only $99. Or you can try it out first for free.
With all the activity this past week for the launch of Creative Suite 5 plus the availability of Flash/Flex Builder 4, a third development didn’t get as much attention – the release of the second beta version of Lightroom 3 from Adobe Labs. Some folks were a little surprised to see a 2nd beta, thinking instead the full and final product release might be next – here are a few reasons why…
One is that the timeframe between the first two releases of Lightroom was about 18 months (see chart below). Eighteen further months would have put the GA of version 3.0 at about now. Furthermore, the first beta of LR3 came out on October 22 and expires at the end of April – another factor which would point to the final 3.0 arriving soon. So what happened? Our guess is: CS5 happened. Adobe looks pretty busy right now and likely wanted to give a bit more separation between these two major launches, rather than on top of each other.
|Adobe Lightroom||Apple Aperture|
|Release 1.x||February 19, 2007||September 29, 2006|
|Release 2.0||July 29, 2008||February 12, 2008|
|Release 3.0||June/July 2010?||February 9, 2010|