[Update: that was quick! Lightroom 3 public beta 2 is out and it looks good. Luminance noise reduction that—at first glance—seems to work extremely well and an easier way to switch between the old raw conversion engine and the new. I’ll leave the rest of this post intact but it’s now outdated, less than an hour after it was posted as a pointer to a rumour.]
The free Lightroom 3 public beta was released in 2009 and was a big hit, particularly among low-light shooters, but the beta is due to expire at the end of April. Could it be that there’s a new version on the way before the final release? Take a look at this thread at the (usually very useful) Lightroom forum over at the Luminous Landscape. Apparently, there was an announcement that even made it to DP Review before being pulled. Perhaps by the time you read this, it’ll actually be out. This is the Adobe page to check.
If there is another public beta on its way and if it offers a peek at the new luminance noise reduction that Adobe has been working on, it will be very welcome. We’re keen to see how the luminance NR compares with third-part solutions like Noiseware, Noise Ninja, Topaz Denoise and Neat Image.