Adobe has announced today the release date and pricing for Lightroom, its RAW workflow solution for photographers.

Lightroom 1.0 is expected to ship in mid-February, around 19 February, and will retail for £125 ex VAT until 30 April, when the price will go up to £175.

The software has been in public beta for over a year, and the company says that over 500,000 people participated in it and gave feedback.

The beta will expire on 28 February.

The changes to the full release compared to the beta are expected to be significant. Library and Develop modules have been changed and complement improvements to Slideshow, Print, and Web components.

New keywording tools will help photographers filter through large collections, while an import dialogue has been improved to allow for more flexible file handling.

In addition, a Key Metadata Browser provides quick access to information tags, while the ranking and rating system has been improved.

Image editing tools have been added, including Hue, Saturation, and Luminance, while Clone and Healing features make changes non-destructively.

Lightroom looks to remain its own standalone program, not to be included with the Creative Suite or Photoshop.

The system requirements for the software are quite stringent; Mac users need OSX 10.4.3, 1GHz G4 processor, while PC users need Windows XP SP2, Pentium 4 Processor, 768MB RAM, and a 1024 x 768 screen resolution.