I am now using Lightroom 3, having upgraded from 2.6. Strongly recommended. Very strongly: worth every penny of the $99 upgrade fee.
If you do not yet know about Lightroom: you need it (or if you use a Mac, Aperture, the other option. For PC, Lightroom is the only option). The apps organize, keyword, rate and find your files, or rather allow you to do so; and they allow you to do 99% of the editing you’ll ever need, non-destructively and quickly. Much more quickly and conveniently than in Photoshop, which in spite of its name is aimed at illustrators.
Lighroom 3, which I will review in more depth soon, is superb. The major function is the noise reduction. 1600 ISO is the new 200. It is magic.
Look at this image of a student at the Henry’s imaging show recently (and I know you are reading this!). Shot at 1600 ISO with the Canon 1D Mark IV. Click on the image to see it larger:
But the original was more noisy, especially since I had to push it half a stop (yes, it was a dark room).
Here is a piece of that image. When you click it, you see it at its original size.
Now look what happens when I apply some noise reduction:
And that is just after dragging the slider,. I could play with the parameters to make it even better.
Magic, pure magic. I shall be shooting tomorrow’s Bat Mitzvah party muchly at 1600 ISO, I imagine.