• Price When Reviewed: 175 . 69

  • Pros: Fast, intuitive workflow for previewing, sorting, and processing digital photographs; now with 64-bit processing; improved keywording; remote volume access and localized retouching; available for Windows.

  • Cons: Handover to Photoshop Camera Raw is inconsistent; brushes are circular only; Apple’s Aperture is less expensive.

  • Expert Rating: We rate this 8 out of 10We rate this 8 out of 10We rate this 8 out of 10We rate this 8 out of 10We rate this 8 out of 10 We rate this 8 out of 10

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When you’ve chosen your images you can apply quick enhancements in the Library view, or switch to the Develop view for a more complete range of controls.

Finally, in the Print window you can add sharpening and choose single or multi-image page layouts. Lightroom 2 adds the ability to arrange selections of photos and print them in single or multiple sizes per page, using customizable templates (ten are supplied). Templates include contact sheets and greetings card layouts.

The Slideshow export window packages selected images into a series of JPEGs or a multi-page PDFs, with optional watermark overlays, backgrounds, captions and image data. Finally, a Web exporter window lets you write images into Web pages (with a choice of Flash, HTML and so on), with a decent choice of templates.

Lightroom 2 has improved non-destructive retouching tools: new Adjustment Brushes can apply (or remove) tone or colour adjustments to localized areas, with the size and softness of the brush controlled by you – in effect, it’s a paint-on reverse mask, which can be temporarily highlighted in colour so you can see where you’ve painted it.

This works best for broad-brush work – it can be used for small details but you need a steady hand, as there are no selection or join-the-dots constraint tools. The Auto Mask option, which confines the brush to areas of similar tone or colour, is less reliable.