I am really liking Lightroom 4’s ability to pull out shadows and recover highlights. This was also possible in Lightroom 3.x but the engine on Lightroom 4 seems to do it very intelligently without adding a ton of noise and is in effect giving me more dynamic range than before. It’s almost as if I’m doing a one photo HDR and only in the parts of the picture that need it.
Sharpening also works much better. I used to not really even use sharpening before but now when I add it to a raw photo taken by one of Nikon’s sharpest lenses ever produced (14-24mm f/2.8), the result is amazing.