Welcome Dialog

Welcome to the Community!

We have a brand new look! Take a tour with us and explore the latest updates on Adobe Support Community.


Photo editing capabilities: Lightroom vs Photoshop/Photoshop Elements

New Here ,
Sep 27, 2010 Sep 27, 2010

Copy link to clipboard

Copied

Hi,

I have a question about the features in lightroom. I'm not yet a photoshop user so I hope people can understand if I don't use the right terms. It seems from the web site that lightroom is a photo editor and a image file organizer. If I don't need a image file organizer is there any reason to buy lightroom instead of photoshop or photoshop elements. Does lightroom have image editing features that are not in photoshop elements or not in the full version of photoshop?

Thanks

Message title was edited by: Brett N

Views

183.9K

Likes

Translate

Translate

Report

Report
Community guidelines
Be kind and respectful, give credit to the original source of content, and search for duplicates before posting. Learn more
community guidelines

correct answers 1 Correct answer

LEGEND , Sep 27, 2010 Sep 27, 2010
1) Smart sharpening  My understanding is this is a newer and better algorithm than unsharp mask.2) The layer blending modes: "darker color" and "lighter color:3) Adjustment layers - where you can change the parameters of an existing layer without having to undo and go back to when you added the layer.4) Noise reduction with separate controls for luminance and color
1, 2 and 3 are not in Lightroom (no layers in Lightroom at all)4 can be done in LightroomMany people use Lightroom to do the initial ...

Likes

Translate

Translate
Community Beginner ,
Nov 29, 2012 Nov 29, 2012

Copy link to clipboard

Copied

" Lightroom is non-destructive..."

I am quite new to Lightroom, and have spend some time with Elements, but it seems to me that this so-called "non-destructive" behaviour you mention is quite the same as in Elements...

It is always your personal choice to "destruct" and even do a "overwrite" and not to blame the software?!

Likes

Translate

Translate

Report

Report
Community guidelines
Be kind and respectful, give credit to the original source of content, and search for duplicates before posting. Learn more
community guidelines
Adobe Community Professional ,
Nov 29, 2012 Nov 29, 2012

Copy link to clipboard

Copied

@flageborg

I am quite new to Lightroom, and have spend some time with Elements, but it seems to me that this so-called "non-destructive" behaviour you mention is quite the same as in Elements...

Absolutely not! Elements is not a "non-destructive" Software in the same sense as LR is.

With Elements you always have to save your editings to either the original (overwrite!) or to a full, new copy of the file.

Likes

Translate

Translate

Report

Report
Community guidelines
Be kind and respectful, give credit to the original source of content, and search for duplicates before posting. Learn more
community guidelines
New Here ,
Jun 19, 2013 Jun 19, 2013

Copy link to clipboard

Copied

I'm aware this is an old post, but may be helpful for anyone stumbling across it, looking for lightroom and elements differences/comparisons ...

From: http://helpx.adobe.com/photoshop-elements/using/processing-camera-raw-image-files.html

"Photoshop Elements does not save your changes to the original raw file (non-destructive editing). After processing the raw image file using the features of the Camera Raw dialog box, You can choose to open a processed raw file in Photoshop Elements. You can then edit the file and save it in a Photoshop Elements supported format. The original raw file remains unaltered."

Likes

Translate

Translate

Report

Report
Community guidelines
Be kind and respectful, give credit to the original source of content, and search for duplicates before posting. Learn more
community guidelines
LEGEND ,
Jun 19, 2013 Jun 19, 2013

Copy link to clipboard

Copied

Yes, that's correct BLC1002 --  McLion is correct about how PSE handles non-RAW files, but McLion is wrong about PSE's behavior with RAW files. PSE saves your edits to a RAW in a sidecar file, and so it is completely non-destructive when editing RAW files.

Likes

Translate

Translate

Report

Report
Community guidelines
Be kind and respectful, give credit to the original source of content, and search for duplicates before posting. Learn more
community guidelines
New Here ,
Jul 16, 2013 Jul 16, 2013

Copy link to clipboard

Copied

I convert my RAW files using either Adobe Camera Raw or RawTherapee to create Tiff files).  I then use PS Elements for all my organizing and editing.  I sometimes need the layer editing that I can get from Elements and I definitely need Elements  for running my NIK  plugins.  The question I have is what does Lightroom give me that I don't already have with this setup?  If I use the NIK plugins in Lightroom, I won't be able to selectively turn them on or off by checking the layer enable box.

Does LR give me better quality than the editing filters in Elements?  For example, I notice that Elements will not support 16-bit color files with layers.  It will always prompt me with a screen that says, "Convert bit depth?"  Does Lightroom keep everything in the 16-bit color domain even when working with NIK plug-ins?  If so, I could see the advantage of doing everything in Lightroom and only using PS Elements when I absolutely need to use layers.  Thanks in advance for any replies.  

Likes

Translate

Translate

Report

Report
Community guidelines
Be kind and respectful, give credit to the original source of content, and search for duplicates before posting. Learn more
community guidelines
LEGEND ,
Jul 16, 2013 Jul 16, 2013

Copy link to clipboard

Copied

Lightroom provides non-destructive, 16 bit editing without the extra step of converting to TIF. Many people use LR for primary editing and organizing and then Elements for advanced editing; which seems to me to be a more streamlined and efficient method than what you are currently using.

Does LR give me better quality than the editing filters in Elements?

For some things, yes it does, in my opinion.

Does Lightroom keep everything in the 16-bit color domain even when working with NIK plug-ins?

Yes, everything in Lightroom is done 16bit. I assume (but I don't know as I have ever used the NIK plugins) that if the NIK plugins work 16bit, then you don't lose the bit depth going back and forth.

Likes

Translate

Translate

Report

Report
Community guidelines
Be kind and respectful, give credit to the original source of content, and search for duplicates before posting. Learn more
community guidelines
New Here ,
Jul 16, 2013 Jul 16, 2013

Copy link to clipboard

Copied

Thanks, dj_paige.  So now my big question will be whether I want to continue to use Elements as my Organizer and just use LR as an editor, or whether I use LR as my primary organizer and editor, and then use PS Elements as a secondary editor.  Any thoughts there?  I guess I may need to download a LR trial version to see how stable it is and how well it works with the NIK software and Elements.   

(Dang, my son was right.  When I first downloaded PS Elements, he warned me that it was the gateway drug to Lightroom, then full Photoshop.  

The best price I can find for Lightroom 5 is $129, but I realize it just came out.  Is it realistic to expect that to go on sale for say, $99 in the next few months?   

Likes

Translate

Translate

Report

Report
Community guidelines
Be kind and respectful, give credit to the original source of content, and search for duplicates before posting. Learn more
community guidelines
LEGEND ,
Jul 16, 2013 Jul 16, 2013

Copy link to clipboard

Copied

my big question will be whether I want to continue to use Elements as my Organizer and just use LR as an editor

In my opinion, this is an absurd way to go.

Lightroom was designed to seamlessly work with the Phtooshop Elements Editor. Not true the other way around, you have to jump through hoops to make the PSE Organizer work with the Lightroom editor (as in lots of extra steps, which I don't particularly recommend). So if you are going to use Lightroom and PSE together, the only sensible way to go is to organize and do primary editing in Lightroom, and extra editing in PSE.

Yes, definitely download the Lightroom trial.

Lightroom has not been a "gateway drug" to full Photoshop for me, and in fact you can read many people in these and other forums who say that 99% of the time, they don't even need another editor (in other words, they are using PHotoshop or PSE less and less)

I have no comment regarding pricing issues.

Likes

Translate

Translate

Report

Report
Community guidelines
Be kind and respectful, give credit to the original source of content, and search for duplicates before posting. Learn more
community guidelines
New Here ,
Jul 17, 2013 Jul 17, 2013

Copy link to clipboard

Copied

Thanks again.  I think the biggest concern that I have at this point is how this catalog transfer process will deal with my PSE images that I have stored offline on DVDs.  Let me explain...

To save disk space, my process is to import RAW files into PSE Organizer, tag them, rate them, then move the images to a DVD.  This allows me to see the image as a large thumbnail in the Organizer, complete with all the tags, but keeps the huge files off my hard drive and puts them on inexpensive, reliable media.  Then, if I ever need to access the full image, I simply put in the DVD and the full image is instantly available, where it can be moved back to the harddrive if needed for edits or printing.  I probably have 30 or so DVDs of images and the PSE organizer tracks all of them flawlessly.  I've even moved .psd files to DVD to free up harddrive space, and the Organizer still lets me know that I have that offline .psd file available and also the name of the DVD of where it lives.  I love this approach... keeping the big image files separate from the catalog (especially images that I rarely need access to, but don't want to remove from the catalog). I'd say 80% of my Organizer catalog is comprised of these offline images and having only the thumbnails in the catalog works great for me.   

From your earlier replies (#9 and #13 above), it sounds like Lr won't transfer these thumbnails when I move the PSE Catalog to Lr.  If I need to move ALL of those offline images to my harddrive before I do the "Upgrade Catalog" command, that will be a huge problem.  I simply don't have the free space available.  So Ideally, I want to transfer the thumbnails, tags, metadata, and offline file location information from my PSE Organizer catalog to the Lr Organizer, and I would like to do that without having to load DVDs.  Is this possible?  If not, I haven't been able to find any procedure outlined anywhere that addresses this specific situation... Can it be done one DVD at a time?    Thanks.        

Likes

Translate

Translate

Report

Report
Community guidelines
Be kind and respectful, give credit to the original source of content, and search for duplicates before posting. Learn more
community guidelines
LEGEND ,
Jul 17, 2013 Jul 17, 2013

Copy link to clipboard

Copied

I don't know what needs to be done in your case, as I have never been in the situation where my photos were offline. My GUESS is taht all the images have to be online before you convert the catalog to Lightroom.

If I have any recommendation for you at all in this situation, it is that external hard drives are not expensive these days, use PSE to put all your images on an external hard drive, and the problem goes away.

Likes

Translate

Translate

Report

Report
Community guidelines
Be kind and respectful, give credit to the original source of content, and search for duplicates before posting. Learn more
community guidelines
New Here ,
Jul 17, 2013 Jul 17, 2013

Copy link to clipboard

Copied

Fair enough, thanks. I'll guess I'll do that as a last resort. 

But just to be clear, do you know for a fact that offline images won't transfer to the Lr catalog from Elements if those images are on CD or DVD?  I got the impression from your earlier post in this thread that this was indeed a problem.   

I've read elsewhere that Organizer Albums and Notes are also lost during the transfer to Lr, so it's becoming apparent that the catalog upgrade isn't without some shortcomings and I just want to understand what all those limitations are before committing to Lightroom and external hard drives.   

Likes

Translate

Translate

Report

Report
Community guidelines
Be kind and respectful, give credit to the original source of content, and search for duplicates before posting. Learn more
community guidelines
LEGEND ,
Jul 17, 2013 Jul 17, 2013

Copy link to clipboard

Copied

As I said, I have no experience with offline images. It is my understanding/guess that the images must be online when you upgrade to Lightroom.

PSE Organizer Albums will become Lightroom Collections when you upgrade the PSE catalog.

PSE Notes will not transfer via this process. There have been threads here somewhere or at ElementsVillage.com regarding how to use ExifTool to transfer the PSE Notes to some other metadata field so they can indeed be transferred to Lightroom. I leave it up to you to search for them.

Likes

Translate

Translate

Report

Report
Community guidelines
Be kind and respectful, give credit to the original source of content, and search for duplicates before posting. Learn more
community guidelines
New Here ,
Nov 26, 2012 Nov 26, 2012

Copy link to clipboard

Copied

This thread was extremely helpful. I've been trying to decide whether I should use Lightroom in addition to Elements or instead of Elements. Now that I know the two can work together, I plan to use them both. Thanks!

Likes

Translate

Translate

Report

Report
Community guidelines
Be kind and respectful, give credit to the original source of content, and search for duplicates before posting. Learn more
community guidelines
    • 1
    • 2