Photoshop Elements 6 vs. Lightroom 2


TPF Noob!
Apr 10, 2009
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I am an amateur photographer who is looking to become a bit more serious in her amateurish-ness. I use a digital SLR camera, and often take photos in RAW. I have just gotten a new computer, and am trying out various photo software. I don't need all the power of a full Photoshop CS4, but am trying to decide whether Lightroom 2 or Elements 6 is better for me (I have a Mac and they don't seem to have Elements 7 for Mac yet). I've downloaded free trials of both, and see advantages to both. I really like a lot of the options in Lightroom, but Elements allows more variety and detailed editing, as well as allowing me to process RAW and stitch Panoramas (neither or which Lightroom does). Any suggestions or recommendations as to which would be best (or both)??

Well 1, you can definitely process raw's in lightroom. But there really made for two different things, lightroom is made to do most edits and organize/file your photos. Photoshop does more detailed editing, you choose if you need to do the really detailed editing.
I use Elements and have played with the trial version of Lightroom.

I shoot Canon so (for me) Lightroom is DPP (Canon software) on steroids - for what I was doing (RAW to JPEG), DPP was sufficient. But I'm sure I barely scratched surface of LR capability - I think I got general idea. I see LR like a "Photo Lab" where you can develop and archive your photos digitally.

Canon does not offer anything "free" that does what Elements can do so it is more useful to me.
Welcome to the forum.

Lightroom and Photoshop (Elements in this case) are really for two different purposes...or at least, they come from different directions. Photoshop is for editing photos and gives you all the tools to do so. Lightroom is a non-destructive workflow software that is really good for organization and quick workflow, especially with a large number of images. The latest version of Lightroom has added several image editing tools, which does allow it to 'take the place' of Photoshop, to some extent...but it's still not a replacement. The newer versions also have a pretty good way of allowing you to use both at the same time. From Lightroom, you can take an image and 'Edit in....' Photoshop and then bring it back into Lightroom. So ideally, I'd say that 'both' is the best option...but it's your money, not mine :)

If I had to choose one...I'd take Photoshop.
Thanks for the feedback. I'm able to get Educational prices, so buying both is quite a reasonable option. The more I've played with them though, I am really liking Elements. I have software for my SLR (Olympus) that does some things fairly well, but is nothing compared to PS. The clincher came when I stitched together some panoramas... fantastic! And I was able to beautifully rescue some horribly over-exposed waterfall shots that my Olympus software couldn't do anything for. There are a couple of things in Lightroom that I like too though... we'll see. I've still got a few weeks on each.


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