Lightroom is one of my favorite programs.

Do you feel like me that you become somewhat of a master of Lightroom and can make your pictures just rock by turning them from this in to this, or this in to this, but when it comes to using the Premiere or Final Cut you don’t seem to get the same results?

With the new Lightroom 4 beta you can kind of feel that power again with your DSLR video footage.

With Lightroom 4 for the first time you can playback videos after you import your card you can also trim the footage non-destructively.

You can also take a frame grab or a hero shot if you will from the video and then make all the setting changes you want save that to a preset and then apply that preset to the video clip.

DSLR video with the Canon cameras can easily over saturate aย red shirt, desaturating the shirt in Premiere can take a little bit of time but Lightroom I can do it almost instantly.

You can tweak it to your hearts content, but only the following will be used on the video:

Some of the lens correction type effects are not supported because Adobe wants to keep it snappy and not slow it down with an intensive effect. However you can do some of these more advanced effects within PhotoShop like lens correction.

OK you might be thinking, Dave that is cool but I probably won’t use it. And I have to agree with you, I can’t see myself creating tons of presets this way. However, I can see using it when I have hit a white balance issue that I just can’t get right within Premiere, all I have to do it run through Lightroom and bam I got the corrected white balance I need.

Also another example you might not want to use this is on export you will take a quality hit as the bit rate maxes out at 25.

More about Lightroom

The main reason I am going to upgrade to 4 is the new highlights and shadow sliders, they work magic for increasing the dynamic range.

Lightroom 4 is not safe for production, Adobe suggests you work on copy.

Adobe will migrate from 4 beta to the new one when it is released.

Beta 4 will run totally separate from LR3, they run side by side, don’t touch each other.

You can’t take your entire library in to the 4 beta, they don’t want you to do that yet.

You can’t downgrade the library from LR4 to LR3.

No news on the upgrade costs yet.

You can purchase Lightroom 3 here.

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Used in this video
Canon 50mm 1.8


  • I agree with you about not wanting to create a ton of presets for each video I edit. I found that after I pull the still and make the color edits I want, I can just sync the settings from that picture to whatever video file(s) I choose instead of making a preset for it. This way I am not constantly making new presets I’ll only use one time.

  • Any options available for noise reduction on video? I love the job Lightroom does on reducing high iso noise on raw files. When LR 3.0 came out, it was like I had a new camera.

  • I’ve been color correcting a bunch of new footage in LR 4 that had the sickly fluorescent cast to it and I can’t believe how easy it it! Two clicks, boom, done. As a photographer, I wonder why it’s been so difficult to process, excuse me, color grade, video when it’s relatively easy in LR or PS or other photo tools. I am so happy about this, you can’t even imagine.

  • Also, Dave, love your videos but your music bed has been a bit too loud and distracting lately. I like the tunes but way, way underneath your voice. Everyone’s a critic.

  • If they are still shutting out AVCHD (after more than a year of heated customer complaint about the omission), they are morons.

  • Hey Dave, great review. As good as Lightroom works(yes, i do own it for photo editing), the process seems a bit tedious, not to mention the price of it alone is pretty hefty to use simply for video color correction. My personal recommendation is Red Giant “Magic Bullet Quick Looks”. at $99, you cannot beat it. It comes with over 100″preset” looks, and then you can upgrade it for an additional $29, to have full control over all aspects of the presets. All of the color correction happens inside Premiere, and it is much more powerful then anything that is built into the program. Just a little food for thought. Keep up the good work on the videos!

  • @eric m

    I got Magic Bullet Quick Looks. I really like it for color correction work as well.
    It’s something to check into Dave. The workflow is all in Premiere. This is a bonus for me.
    Looking forward to you grip stand review you mentioned a couple posts back.

  • Hi,
    just want to ask what is the difference between color grading a video & applying HDR effects? are they same?
    are there any other optional softwares for Lightroom?


  • Eric, John, and Dave, all of you; Colorista. Google it. There are a ton of great tutorials out there, and just like John stated, Magic Bullet is the parent program. I think the trick to getting ‘the look’ many videographers or hobbyists are after comes from understanding the basics of toning, and learning how to utilize the basics in programs like Final Cut, Premiere, and After Effects.

    I’ve been at this a while, and I can tell you that 99.9% of my friends, and I used to color correct footage in After Effects be it weddings, music videos, or even family events. You can use what is provided without spending more money – the plugins are nice to haves.

    Good luck!

    Awesome site Dave! ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Hey,

    I have a Canon 60D and the Canon 50mm f/1.8 II Lens and try as I might I can never get the sharpness you have on your videos (talking to camera/tutorial shots)

    I have watched your video where you touched upon sharpness settings but I was wondering if you could tell me:

    A) What aperture/F-stop do you shoot at in your videos?

    B) Do you sharpen in camera or in post and if so what settings?

    Thank you very much and fantastic site! ๐Ÿ™‚

  • @Dave

    The linked video was shot using canon’s default picture style on default settings but I have now swapped to Cinestyle with sharpness set at 0

    I render for web using the H.264 codec in Adobe Media Encoder in 720p at 5 Mbps


  • Like mike_tee_vee said, the noise handling is phenomenal. Especially the Chroma Noise reduction… it’s just magical. It would be awesome if it supported video as well. And just a question.. on the Mac version, does it support QuickTime output?

  • Thanks Dave, The possibilities of color grading of the video is huge , easy and impressive but i have some doubts about the quality of the exported movie files…the size is about the half of the original file. Therefore LR4 use H264 to compress the addition of original and the quick develop treatment. Please can you confirm the quality of the exported files ?

  • I’m using MAC OSX 10.8. LR4. Updated to 4.3
    I’m importing video and applying filters with no issues. As soon as I go to export, I’m receiving this error:


    Any fixes?