Use Photoshop CS5. Why Aperture or Lightroom

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by PhillyAnt, Aug 24, 2013.

  1. macrumors regular


    Jan 5, 2013
    Hi folks,

    I use CS5 for fun right now. I am not a hardcore photographer. I just do some basic editing and making flyers. I am purchasing the new Sony RX100M2 today and I plan on getting a pro DSLR in the future. I am really excited about the purchase I am going to make today. I played around with that camera in the store and was very impressed with what that small thing is capable of. Anyway, is there a reason that I would want to purchase Lightroom or Aperture if I am using CS5 now? Are they different types of programs or does CS5 already do what they can do? Do they make doing certain things easier? Are they completely different from what CS5 is?

    Thanks for taking the time to educate me. Much appreciated!
  2. macrumors 6502

    Jul 2, 2009
    I use both LR and Photoshop.

    My usual workflow is to copy the RAWs to a working drive using a directory structure of /volume/camera/YYYY/YYYY-MM-DD

    I then add the directory into a specific LR library.

    I then process the files in batch for metadata based on that given photographic gig/project/shoot.

    Then I run through those photos to flag the ones I want to use.

    Then for each picked, I'll do the basic edits (WB, curves, whites, blacks). If I can use it after that, I'll do the export in LR to jpg. If not, I'll kick it to photoshop for further processing (specifically portraits) where I'll do clean up (e.g. hair, clothes, errant objects) and skin retouching (via frequency separation). When I save in PS (to separate PSD directory), it automatically gets picked up by LR and brought into the LR library. I'll then do a Virtual Copy of that PSD and do any more further LR edits if necessary and then export to JPEG.

    LR is a better management application than Bridge, in my opinion. I know a lot of people that like Bridge. I just never cared for it. LR is a good standalone app in itself. But when you add Photoshop and the roundtrip integration that it has with LR, and you've got a nice platform for editing.
  3. macrumors 6502a

    Jul 22, 2010
    First, if you're shooting RAW (and you should), PS CS5 will not support image editing of Sony RX100M2 RAW files. The Release Candidates of Lr5.2 and Adobe Camera RAW 8.2 (for Photoshop CC and CS6) do support this camera. The latest Digital Camera RAW update from Apple includes support for this camera also.

    Lightroom and Aperture are Digital Asset Managers - they are designed to catalog your images, provide image editing, the ability to create slideshows, books, prints, etc. Lr's image editing features are the same as what is in Adobe Camera RAW and can sometimes provide better results than Aperture. However, the slideshow and book modules of Lr aren't as good as Aperture.

    If you're planning on getting a pro DSLR in the future, I'd personally recommend skipping the Sony camera, and looking at a Nikon or Canon midrange DSLR now. What makes the difference in the image quality is the lenses. "Pro" lenses have a larger aperture and higher quality glass. They're also more expensive, but can be worth the investment.
  4. macrumors 603

    Oct 22, 2007
    An Island in the Salish Sea
    Lots has been written already on this topic. Do quick search on this forum.

    But, as stated above....Lightroom and Aperture are different than CS5. In my case I do 90% of my editing in Lightroom, reserving CS5 just for really heavy duty stuff. CS5 (or any editor) should be considered as part of pair of Editor and DAM (digital asset manager) like Lightroom and Aperture. imho, only of course.

    Also, just imho as well, ocabj is working too hard by creating a directory structure before importing. Lightroom is capturing all that information in any case and it is far easier to simply do a search when needed, or to set up a Smart Collection that updates on the fly if you search on date and camera often.
  5. fcortese, Sep 2, 2013
    Last edited: Sep 2, 2013

    macrumors 68000


    Apr 3, 2010
    Big Sky country
    As has already been stated, you want to use LR or Aperture for the organizing and managing of all of your photo library. CS5, CS6 or the new CC are really for any special effects or special changes in a photo. Probably 90% or more of what you need done on your original RAW photo can be done in Lr or Aperture. You should be able to get either one on a trial basis. There is a definite learning curve with each. I happen to use Aperture and I'm very happy with its set up and I am very use to it and have no problems using it with CS6. Both LR and Aperture are great management systems with their own pros and cons when compared to each other. Basically, imho, it comes down to what you are most comfortable with. Whichever one you choose, I don't think you can go wrong. But one of these is a must. You can not stand on CS5 alone.

    One other thing to consider is your computer and in particular your HD. Shooting RAW adds volume of space to your HD. LR has all of its files stored as referenced in either a folder on your HD or on a totally external HD. Aperture files can be referenced (mostly on an external HD) or what is known as managed, i.e., within Aperture's on library or libraries and on your HD. So if you have a laptop, like I do, you can work on the managed files wherever you go. I have about 1/2 of my photos as referenced (my older photos up until 2011) on an external HD and the rest on my laptop. So, the bottom line is that the combo of RAW and either LR or Aperture means that eventually you'll need either a larger HD on you computer or an external HD. Fortunately the external HDs are getter larger and less expensive as thy have been in the past. Good luck.
  6. macrumors 6502

    Apr 3, 2013
    Scotland, UK
    The short answer to your question is: workflow.

    As others have mentioned, one of the biggest strengths of both Lightroom and Aperture is the ability to easily manage all your files.

    Alternatively, for pure file management you could use bridge, but both Aperture and Lightroom are far more powerful (using folders / collections / albums / etc to manage all your files can be extremely useful).

    Another huge advantage of Lr & Ap is the ability to apply edits to large numbers of files at once. Lightroom uses the exact same raw engine as Adobe Camera Raw, however if you wanted to lower the exposure, or change the white balance of 50 images in ACR it could take forever to open each one up individually. This kind of change only takes 2 or 3 seconds in a dedicated raw converter.

    Personally I import all photos from a shoot into Aperture to sort & rate them. When I've decided on the images that I'll deliver to a client (perhaps 10%-15% of the shoot) I export these images to PSD and apply automated edits through a photoshop droplet. This workflow allows me to get the maximum amount done from the minimum amount of time sat on front of the computer.

    Hope that helps.
  7. thread starter macrumors regular


    Jan 5, 2013
    Thanks for your thoughts everyone! I appreciate you taking the time to comment. I am leaning towards aperture right now but am holding off to see if Apple is going to surprise us with a new version soon. One question though. Right now when I import all of my photos, they go into iPhoto which I then use to put the photos I like on my iPad. Will Aperture work the same way or will I upload everything into Aperture and then transfer it to iPhoto to get them on my iPad?

    Another question... Some of the photos that I edit in photoshop will not transfer onto my iPad. I have a folder made up in iPhoto that I put my photoshop jpegs into. They will transfer to my iPhone but not my iPad. Anyone else have this issue?
  8. macrumors 68040

    Aug 9, 2009
    Portland, OR
    Once you start using Aperture, there is no real reason to use iPhoto anymore. There are few differences in creating books etc... but for the most part... Aperture is a much more complete DAM than iPhoto. I would recommend that you learn Aperture well, and just stop using iPhoto once you switch.

    Yes, you can choose which Aperture photos get loaded into your iPad. Both work through iTunes sync of your iPad... and iTunes lets you choose your Aperture library as the source.

  9. thread starter macrumors regular


    Jan 5, 2013
  10. macrumors 68000


    Aug 26, 2009
    Adding to the pool. I really like Lightroom's print module. If you miss iPhoto/iWeb gallery. You can create a photo page in Lightroom if you have a webpage.

    btw Lightroom and PS user.
  11. macrumors 65816

    Sep 5, 2013
    Oregon, USA
    I've used all 4 programs. Having relied on iPhoto for many years, I kept getting stuck in the edit/export process to PS. Edits tend to be a single (even larger) file. Often, I'd export, edit, then discard the edit work when I was done. I tried to get away from this with Aperture but for some reason couldn't make sense of the interface (odd both because its apple and I'm normally a natural with software).

    Lightroom was the proverbial fresh air. Edits are not made to the file, but are stored in a universal 'changes' file, apart from the raw. So changes are stored tiny and perpetual. Exports at any point are easily launched into PS, but as was mentioned above, can often be avoided for the easy stuff that LR can do built in. And the workflow encourages experimentation. Together, PS becomes an almost optional extension to LR.
  12. macrumors 68020


    Oct 25, 2008
    Most of the comment pretty much covered the advantages of Lightroom and Aperture for file management and that they do pretty much the most typical "edits" that one might use on images.

    I have Lightroom and CS6. I found Aperture to be similar enough to Lightroom that it became a matter of taste as to which one to use. What is nice about each of them is the additional "filters/apps" that may be used to make them even more powerful and more often than not, avoid PS for general stuff.

    For me PS is a must but not for photography but for image editing (retouch and restoration). For photography, I am not married to either option as I admit an emotional bias where Aperture is not being for my taste aggressively updated by Apple and Adobe is a monopolistic bastard with its cloud services and then some. I am lucky that Lightroom is not at this time being forced into the cloud. However, because my raw files don't play perfect with Lightroom or Aperture, I am using Capture One Pro which is mediocre as a file manager but excellent for raw (Fuji X cameras).

    Beyond my rant above - you should find either one suitable for file management and with a few add ons, you might consider not bothering with PS but for exceptions. Nik, Alien Skin, OnOne and a few other add ons are absolutely terrific (and yes they also usually do fine with PS as well).

    In my estimates, Adobe Bridge should be merged into Lightroom. Aperture should expand itself via Apple offered add ons so it can function similar to PS but more tailored and efficient. - Thus you get Aperture and if you need "more" tools you simply add them in to expand the power of the tool set.

    Just my peanuts tossed from the gallery.

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