Photoshop Elements vs. Lightroom

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by mommy22, Jun 24, 2010.

  1. mommy22

    mommy22 TPF Noob!

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    Help.

    I bought PSE about a year ago, thinking it would be easier to navigate than the traditional Photoshop CS I had on my desktop. It works fine for what I am doing currently, but am not sure it has enough capabilities to do what I want to do (i.e. focus stacking, HDR to name a few things)

    I know Lightroom is a better choice for photographers and PS is better for digital designing etc..

    Do I reeealy need LR? Is it reeealy worth the 300 bucks?

    I don't shoot in RAW because my computer won't open the images.

    Any advice/experiance?
     
  2. Aayria

    Aayria TPF Noob!

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    I LOVE love love love (did I mention LOVE?) Lightroom 3. It has completely changed how I edit pictures, and the interface is incredibly intuitive. It's really meant to be paired with another program, for layering and masking edits.. cloning, healing etc.. But for just about all of my workflow it has made life TONS easier.

    Lightroom isn't just a photo editing program, keep in mind. It's primarily meant to be a photo database. So in addition to being a great program for editing your pictures, it will also help you organize, export, keep track of them, and make your entire workflow go so much better.

    I recommend it hands down to anyone serious about photography. I pair it with the free software "gimp" for all of my editing, but will probably pair it with elements or CS5 down the road.
     
  3. Big Mike

    Big Mike I am Big, I am Mike Staff Member Supporting Member

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    It's not your computer's fault. There are many programs that can open your RAW files...including software that should have come with the camera.

    Lightroom is (was mainly designed to be) a 'workflow' program. As such, it's really good at helping you to utilize a streamlined workflow for your images. It's especially helpful when you deal with a lot of images. As it has grown, it has added more and more image editing capabilities...most of the basic (and some of the more advanced) things that a typical photographer might do, can be done with Lightroom.
    I believe that most photographers who have added Lightroom, use Photoshop much less than they used to. Although most of them still have a need for a good photo editor like Photoshop.

    To be fair, practically everything you can do with Lightroom, can be done with Photoshop (especially with Adobe Bridge)...but LR just makes it easier.
     
  4. vtf

    vtf No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Theres an add on for elements to edit raw, its free and you go to their website to download.
     
  5. Aayria

    Aayria TPF Noob!

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    You could always download the trial from Adobe and start adding LR 3 to your workflow. After 30-60 days, you can determine if it's improved the way you personally do things =)
     
  6. KmH

    KmH Helping photographers learn to fish Supporting Member

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    Lightroom is a tool for photographers that make a lot of images (1000 a week or more).

    Photoshop is not a great tool for digital designing because it is a raster graphics application, but it has a lot of graphic design capabilities, which is why Adobe has Illustrator (a vector graphics application), which is a great digital design tool.

    The biggest advantage PSE has over LR is layers. The second big advantage PSE has over LR is the selection tools.

    There is virtually nothing, editing wise, LR can do PSE can't do.
     
  7. sovietdoc

    sovietdoc TPF Noob!

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    I usually process RAW in LR3, but I've heard people say that Phototools that come with Canon's cam's do RAW processing a lot better than anything else. Is this true?
     
  8. Big Mike

    Big Mike I am Big, I am Mike Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Are you asking about Canon's 'Digital Photo Pro'?

    I've seen some comparisons and read a few articles, and yes, there is a difference in the way that program converts RAW files, vs the way that Photoshop's RAW engine 'Adobe Camera Raw' does it. I don't know if one is essential better than the other, they are just a little different.

    The bigger factor, to me, is the workflow. It's a little more work to open the files in DPP, then save them and transfer you workflow over to Photoshop.
     
  9. KmH

    KmH Helping photographers learn to fish Supporting Member

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    Just like 3rd party lenses, Adobe has to reverse engineer each new version of a camera makers RAW, so the camera makers RAW conversion software usually has a bit more capability than ACR (Adobe Camera Raw) does.

    For Nikon's Raw .NEF files that would be NX 2.
     
  10. mommy22

    mommy22 TPF Noob!

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    I'll totally check that out...
     
  11. sovietdoc

    sovietdoc TPF Noob!

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    Ya I was talking about DPP. I did a few tests and it looked like DPP was a bit better but the workflow in it is pretty awful. Though one could convert those raw's to tiff's and then import that batch into LR. But thats just too much work if you ask me. I usually save the original raw's, full scale jpegs, and then reduced images after processing..
     
  12. Cpt.Beyond

    Cpt.Beyond TPF Noob!

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    My vote goes to Lightroom. It has an advantage when you're working with a lot of photos
     

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