Lightroom Advantages vs. Camera Raw

New Here ,
Nov 17, 2012

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I have Photoshop CS5.1 right now.

As I understand it, the main advantage that Lightroom has versus Photoshop and Camera Raw is the workflow features that are especially optimized for handling large amounts of photographs.

Is there anything image-editing-wise that I can do in Lightroom that I can't in Camera Raw?

How essential are the workflow options?

Do you recommend I buy Lightroom? (Cost is not an issue, although I'd rather not waste 80 dollars)

Thanks.

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Lightroom Advantages vs. Camera Raw

New Here ,
Nov 17, 2012

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I have Photoshop CS5.1 right now.

As I understand it, the main advantage that Lightroom has versus Photoshop and Camera Raw is the workflow features that are especially optimized for handling large amounts of photographs.

Is there anything image-editing-wise that I can do in Lightroom that I can't in Camera Raw?

How essential are the workflow options?

Do you recommend I buy Lightroom? (Cost is not an issue, although I'd rather not waste 80 dollars)

Thanks.

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Nov 17, 2012 0
LEGEND ,
Nov 17, 2012

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As I understand it, the main advantage that Lightroom has versus Photoshop and Camera Raw is the workflow features that are especially optimized for handling large amounts of photographs.

Yes, I agree this is a big advantage of LR over Camera Raw. It's been a long time since I used Camera Raw, but I think another advantage is that you can create presets in LR to give you various different looks/edit settings. The cataloging/organizing/searching in LR is also much more powerful than Photoshop/Camera Raw/Bridge.

Is there anything image-editing-wise that I can do in Lightroom that I can't in Camera Raw?

You should be able to get the exact same results in both, as far as the final edited image is concerned. LR might get you there quicker, as discussed.

How essential are the workflow options?

Do you recommend I buy Lightroom? (Cost is not an issue, although I'd rather not waste 80 dollars)

I can't judge what is essential to you. I do know that many people and domesticated animals who use Lightroom, including myself and my pets, make statements similar to "I don't know how I got along without it". Yes, I recommend it. But please don't go out and waste 80 dollars (although I thought the cost was much higher). Instead, download the free trial, view some tutorials, and try it for yourself. And please please please do not skip the viewing tutorials part (or equivalently reading FAQs and other beginner materials), this is where many people go wrong, because LR does not work the same way that other photographic software works. Many people just assume it works the same, or "how different can it be", or I can figure it out myself, and that is the downfall of many potential LR users.

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Nov 17, 2012 1
People's Champ ,
Nov 17, 2012

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I would second dj_paige's comments about watching the tutorials. It cannot be over-emphasized that Lr is very different than Photoshop in many aspects and just "jumping in" and doing things mostly ends in frustration.

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Nov 17, 2012 0
Mentor ,
Nov 17, 2012

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One other point: the practical benefits of LR (as experienced by those who find it beneficial) derive from and rely largely on, foregoing the use of strict file-based thinking, and getting instead, into picture-that-you-see based thnking.  This is disconcerting, but it's necessary to get past that panicky, missing-stairstep feeling.

LR will not truly pay off in simplicity and efficiency terms, unless used as an entire replacement for Bridge, IMO. It just risks complicating matters further, whether used as an adjunct or as a competitor Bridge.

Analogy: like adopting a healthy diet: it is not enough to start  eating all the new good stuff - you also have to stop eating the old junk stuff. If you eat both together, you are not only still unhealthy, but also feeling very full (grin) and there's no point in blaming the dietician.

BTW I am NOT saying ACR or Bridge is "junk" here - very far from it. I am just pointing out that images need to have a single point of management, not multiple ones getting in each others' way. I would recommend anyone who has decided they need to use Bridge/ACR for some significant widespread reason, to commit 100% to that (possibly with some file-centric DAM to assist) and stay clear of Lightroom - under the exact same argument.

To really see the point of LR, it is IMO necessary to at least try giving it a chance: to stop micromanaging things  with workflow folders and special file naming, stop using Save As to make different versions of your pictures, stop using Save for Web, and so on.

There's no point or profit either, in trying to force onto LR, methods and tasks it was specifically designed to let people get away from. It is not going to be well suited to those things, or even any good at them - why should it be?

There are so many laborious but (through familarity) invisible "of course you have to..." assumptions implicit or explicit in the standard approach:

one image version = one file

order of operations is crucial

a camera Raw and a camera JPG pass though different kinds of editing

save your work or it will be lost

put lots of effort into your library folders and filenames or you will have trouble finding anything

you need to constantly monitor and ensure where everything goes

best to keep different filetypes separate

move your images through different workstage folders so you can quickly see which ones have been worked on

make a new differently named file, to explore each variation in processing

you can't do anything with a Raw file, like print, unless you first convert it to a bitmap image

you'll need to make a folder somewhere and come up with suitable filenames, for uploading to the web

save a separate copy for each printing setup, scaled to print size at the right PPI

bulk working needs some advance planning, make and test suitable Actions

at a given moment you are working on a particular set of images

etc etc

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Nov 17, 2012 3
New Here ,
Nov 17, 2012

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Thanks for the input, everyone.

As Richard said, I do find it annoying and painful to manage thousands of images and have to create multitudes of folders to keep them organized.

I think I'll trial LR and test it out.  We'll see how it goes.

Thanks everyone,

Yoyo

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Nov 17, 2012 0
People's Champ ,
Nov 17, 2012

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Another advantage is hard drive space.

My Raw files from the D600 are about 29 MB. All Lightroom edits are stored as metadata in the Lr catalog and don't increase the size of the image file.

The same file edited in CS5 as 16-bit image and saved as psd with two layers has a size of 381 MB. And flattened it still has 134 MB.

Although external hard drives are huge and not overly expensive - a size difference of 1:13 (in the case of the psd with two layers) matters in my opinion.

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Nov 17, 2012 2
Enthusiast ,
Nov 17, 2012

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HI,

Depends on what you are doing with your images. You can not do compsings with lr. You can not remove objects like wires or so.

BUt you can do image optimzation. All the things with colors, light, dodge and burn annd all that cool stuff. In a very efficient way! No layers, no mask! Just painting.

LR is the last program i would delete drom my computer, ever! Download the trail and have a test!

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Nov 17, 2012 0
LEGEND ,
Nov 17, 2012

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Mod.Yoyo wrote:

How essential are the workflow options?

Non-essential to some; absolutely essential to others - including me:

Publish services, plugins...

For example, in Photoshop/Bridge/ACR, there is no way to synchronize changed photos with online services; in Lightroom - just click 'Publish' when you're ready...

And of course some people use the map, book, slideshow, print, and web modules. I don't.

Cheers,

Rob

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Nov 17, 2012 1
Community Beginner ,
May 07, 2014

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A huge disadvantage of LR for me is the issue of redundant thumbnails.  Since my work flow over time requires a movement of images between files, LR captures a thumbnail for each prior location, which renders LR incapable of managing my inventory of images.

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May 07, 2014 1
Adobe Community Professional ,
May 07, 2014

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Then adjust those aspects of your workflow.

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May 07, 2014 1
LEGEND ,
May 07, 2014

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Gray Drake wrote:

...the issue of redundant thumbnails...

Lr only generates one thumbnail (well actually a "stack" of a half-dozen or so different sizes), per photo, no matter where you move it.. - there should be no "redundent" thumbnails in Lightroom.

Out of curiosity, how did you reach this conclusion? Unless your Lr is seriously broken, I don't see how..

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May 07, 2014 0
Community Beginner ,
May 07, 2014

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As mentioned, this single problem is why I abandoned PSE, purchased LR and then abandoned LR.  I move images between folders often, so over the course of a year many have been moved, some more than once.  Both LR and PSE, retained a record of the original location of the image, in addition to the new location.  Therefore in scrolling thru your total inventory using LR, for example, the "old" thumbnails were still present; but the actual file could not be opened via  these obsolete thumbnails.

Has this condition been corrected in the current versions of LR and/or PSE.

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May 07, 2014 1
People's Champ ,
May 07, 2014

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Gary,

You're really, truly doing it wrong. If you move the images using Lightroom, it forgets the original location and only knows the new location. I suspect that you're using the operating system to move images and are then re-importing them, which will lead to the kind of problem you describe.

Hal

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May 07, 2014 1
Adobe Community Professional ,
May 07, 2014

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Besides using LR to move your photos via drag-and-drop in the Folder area in Library so its links to them remain current, if you insist on doing things outside of LR that it knows nothing about, you can Synchronize Folder to remove orphaned images.

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May 07, 2014 0
LEGEND ,
May 07, 2014

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Gary - I agree with both Hal & ssprengel - it's a really bad idea to move photos outside Lightroom, especially if you don't follow-up and remove them in Lightroom too, e.g. via the folder resynchronization. In fact, most people *never* move their photos once imported - "re-organization" is handled using metadata instead. I think if you learn how to use Lightroom properly you will appreciate it more.

To be clear: you're right - if you move a photo outside Lightroom, then re-import it, there will be redundent thumbnails, and redundent everything else kept to honor the vacated photos left as ghosts...

It's not a condition that will ever be corrected, because it's the on purpose design and is for (what many of us consider to be) good reason..

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May 07, 2014 0
Community Beginner ,
May 07, 2014

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Thanks for the input by everyone. I interpret from the several comments, that drag and drops within the LR inventory of images will not create “ghost” thumbnail files within LR or PSE. I will be reactivating my LR software to give it a trial.

Perhaps my earlier problems were issues that existed in prior versions of LR, PSE, or perhaps my problems were self inflicted.

Thanks again.

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May 07, 2014 0