Any point of LR5 if you have PS6 already?

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by robo456, Dec 4, 2013.

  1. robo456 macrumors 6502

    robo456

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    Mar 3, 2008
    Location:
    New Jersey
    #1
    Hey guys... Altho I do have a white 2010 Macbook, my primary hardware/software is a PC. (so Aperature is realistically not on the table)

    I'm beginning to play around with my T3i a little more and currently have the Photoshop CS6 design suite. I'm still learning the ins and outs of adjusting levels and everything, but I was curious if there's any point of picking up Lightroom 5 instead of using CS6 for post-editing the RAW files?

    I know CS6 is way overkill for the photo and graphics editing I currently do, but wasn't sure if LR would be have a more 'noob-friendly' learning curve to it?

    Thanks for any opinions!

    --rob
     
  2. Apple fanboy macrumors P6

    Apple fanboy

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    #2
    LR5 is very user friendly IMO. Also it gives you a way to manage your photo library. I don't have photoshop, but I'm not sure if I could ever justify the expense given all the software I currently have.
     
  3. Laird Knox macrumors 68000

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    Jun 18, 2010
    #3
    LR and PS are two different things.

    LR is a digital asset manager with some editing capabilities.
    PS is an editing powerhouse.

    LR's strength is in managing your photos and allow for quick edits and culling. It excels at making overall adjustments quickly but does not do serious retouching.

    The two programs work well in tandem.
     
  4. swordio777 macrumors 6502

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    #4
    Photoshop and Lightroom are completely different pieces of software.

    Lightroom's biggest asset is for photo management rather than photo editing (although it obviously contains tools to do that too). It will let you view & compare different photographs, create multiple versions of an image from the same raw file, and much more - these things are much harder to do if you're only using the finder / explorer / the bridge.

    If you're comfortable managing your photos in Adobe bridge and you don't need to edit large batches of photos at a time then you might manage without Lightroom, however I think it's very versatile and definitely a worthwhile purchase.

    Photoshop will still be a far more flexible photo editing tool and is able to give results that Lightroom simply cannot. However many users are satisfied with the editing tools in Lightroom to the point that they rarely use photoshop any more.

    As for the learning curve, it's a no brainer - you can learn lightroom in an afternoon. The same cannot be said of photoshop ;)

    Hope that helps.
     
  5. robo456 thread starter macrumors 6502

    robo456

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    New Jersey
    #5
    Thanks for the replies all...

    Honestly I just have my pictures in folders by date, never did anything with bridge or any more organizing than that! :)

    --rob
     
  6. themumu macrumors 6502a

    themumu

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    #6
    If you try a half decent photo management app (Lightroom, Aperture, even iPhoto), I doubt you will want to go back to "pictures in folders by date" system. ;) It's much easier to review, rate, adjust, and publish photos from within an app like that, where "publishing" would include both online sharing and printing.
     
  7. Designer Dale macrumors 68040

    Designer Dale

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    #7
    There are people on this forum with libraries of hundreds of thousands of photos. Pictures in folders by date would drive them nuts...

    Ditto:: What everyone else has said regarding LR/Aperture and PS being different animals::

    One of the nice things about LR/Aperture is that after you add names and dates to those folders that they create for you on import is you can sort them like a database. I can enter "Rainier" and find everything I shot at the mountain or "Rainier June" and find just those trips in that month. Helpful.

    Get organized before it's too late.

    Dale
     
  8. swordio777, Dec 5, 2013
    Last edited: Dec 5, 2013

    swordio777 macrumors 6502

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    #8
    When you've only got a small number of photos that's fine. But as you take more & more you'll definitely want a better way to manage them. The sooner you start using something like lightroom / aperture / iphoto the better, because importing a huge number of photos at a later date can seem overwhelming.

    One thing to bear in mind about lightroom - for any images that you import/reference you MUST NOT move those photos outside of lightroom. This can be hard to get used to if you're used to shuffling folders, but if you reference a folder in one location and then move it in finder/explorer afterwards then you're breaking lightroom's referenced link. Lr won't know where you've moved the folder to so will just give you a message saying your photos aren't there and you have no idea why. Can be VERY scary the first time it happens.

    Hope that helps

    PS - Adobe do a 30 day trial of lightroom. The best way to see if you like it is just to download it and try it out. Start small and only import maybe 20-30 photos, if you like how it works start adding some more. Chances are, before long you'll wonder how you lived without it.
     
  9. BJMRamage macrumors 68020

    BJMRamage

    Joined:
    Oct 2, 2007
    #9
    just to chime in here and add info basically already stated.

    I used to do all photo work within Photoshop. I tried bridge but didn't understand it. Then in the switch to Mac I started using iPhoto and that was great...need fine details, use PS.

    Today, 98% of my photo stuff is done within Aperture.


    I used to think DAMs were nothing more than an application that had a file structure view....I could/can see all my thumbnails within Windows and on Macs why would I want to do that in a program. BUT This program allows for mass editing and defining of the photos.

    Think of Lightroom/Aperture/iPhoto as iTunes. Sure, you could organize and keep all music out of iTunes and simply find and open the music you want when you want to play it. BUT iTunes (some say it has gone overboard and sluggish) allows you to make playlists, tag the songs, adjust sound if needed, add artwork, lyrics, etc.

    I'd almost say you could use Lightroom as your main and Photoshop Elements (whenever you deem necessary to upgrade).

    **I've been pulling photos for a 'year in review' of my daughter's first year. using Aperture and tagging and stars has really helped.
     
  10. Prodo123 macrumors 68020

    Prodo123

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    Nov 18, 2010
    #10
    I'd go absolutely bonkers going through my folder system to find a single photo out of the many thousands I have accumulated. Lightroom, Aperture and the like allow you to tag photos, search by metadata and EXIF data and have other management tools unavailable to simple Finder or Windows Explorer. Photoshop is therefore reserved for heavy editing and perspective correction for my use, when it's not being used for general graphic design of course.
    Another feature that Photoshop lacks that Lightroom has is its ability to quickly process RAWs and give you previews right away. Photoshop has the same Adobe RAW engine, but instead of storing the edit data in a centralized location (i.e. how Lightroom manages edits), it creates a sidecar XMP file which clutters up your filesystem even more.
    In other words, like everyone else said. It's simply much more efficient to use a photo management program.
     
  11. robo456 thread starter macrumors 6502

    robo456

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    #11
    Thanks again for all the insight... I really appreciate it!

    --rob
     
  12. snberk103 macrumors 603

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    #12
    There are some great discussions about Lightroom and some tips for it in the digital photography thread here. It is worth spending some time searching for and reading them. As well, the Adobe user forums are full - chock full - of really good tips on using Lightroom. Whether it's Ps or Lr - if I have a question I head over to Adobe first. Much better than a random web search. Good Luck.
     
  13. MCAsan macrumors 601

    MCAsan

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    Atlanta
    #13
    maybe a better question....

    Any point of PS6 if you have either LR or Aperture plus Pixelmator?
     
  14. swordio777 macrumors 6502

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    #14
    Pixelmator is fantastic for the price, but photoshop is honestly in a different league. I wish Pixelmator were as good so I could drop adobe products from my workflow, but there's a reason PS is still the reigning champion.

    Having said all that, it really depends exactly what you want to do. Personally, I cannot work without channels, adjustment layers, and automation. Pixelmator does not offer these tools. However, if you're just looking for a decent app with a bit more flexibility than the raw converters that'll let you do cloning & blend layers then it's hard to justify Photoshop's massive pricetag.

    Hope that helps.
     
  15. phrehdd macrumors 68040

    phrehdd

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    Oct 25, 2008
    #15
    I'm with you about Pixelmator. I might add that if Pixelmator could use all the 3rd party plugins that Adobe products have (NIK, OnOne etc.) that would make it awesome. Candidly, sometimes I think it would be interesting if there was a software with just the basic tools/ framework found in Photoshop and did require certain 3rd party plugins to complete. - This way you can custom the software to one's liking.
     
  16. MCAsan macrumors 601

    MCAsan

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    #16
    When I import to LR, I convert the files to dng format. That file contains the sensor file, the jpg preview, and the edits. There are no separate XML sidecars to get lost.
     
  17. phrehdd macrumors 68040

    phrehdd

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    Oct 25, 2008
    #17
    I use CS6 Photoshop and deal mostly with scanned images (photo restoration and retouch). However, I also do photography for personal enjoyment and I don't think that Photoshop is the best choice. Many here were right on in pointing out that items like Lightroom are by design, excellent tools for catalogue/management of photo files.

    I wont debate what is better - Aperture or Lightroom as to each their own. What I do like is that they take 3rd party plugins that really do help avoid the need for Photoshop if you are trying simply to get a very good output from your image file. In fact, some 3rd party plugins do better than Photoshop and most work well with both Aperture/Lightroom and Photoshop.

    For my needs, I use a more primitive management tool but it is superior for my RAW files which are atypical. For Fuji X RAF files, Capture One is superior to all of the above. It does have some management tools but I will be honest - Lightroom and Aperture are superior.

    I think that a combination of Lightroom and Photoshop is a good choice if you are relatively new. Focus more on Lightroom (or Aperture) and learn a bit about post processing THEN on to Photoshop for specialty work.
     
  18. MCAsan macrumors 601

    MCAsan

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    #18
    Agreed on the LR or Aperture focus. Lower cost alternatives would be LR or Aperture plus:
    • Photoshop Elements
    • Pixelmator
    • Acorn
    • Nik plugin collection
    • Topaz plugin collection
    • OnOneSoftware plugin collection

    Much depends on exactly what you want/need to do beyond LR or Aperture capabilities.

    Peronally I will never spend big bucks on PS again. So much can be done with less expensive tools.
     
  19. nateo200 macrumors 68030

    nateo200

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    #19
    My friend put it well about Lightroom and Photoshop. He spends 90% of photo organizing and editing in Lightroom and 10% in Photoshop. Reason why is Lightroom is so easy to batch edit a ton of photos, believe me its a pain to use Photoshop for a ton of photos, what I do is start with Lightroom and if I have a problem photo I go into Photoshop. So they are different tools...Lightroom is also 100x more user friendly...you can figure it out like that....that said its frustrating because its features are limited and Adobe doesnt add some basic thinks to Lightroom you might find on other photo editors but lightroom is more organizing than editing and like I said thats what Photoshop is for.
     
  20. gdeusthewhizkid, Dec 11, 2013
    Last edited: Dec 11, 2013

    gdeusthewhizkid macrumors 6502a

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    #20
    for a while I just used aperture but now I see how powerful lightroom 5 one day I will learn photoshop...
     
  21. nitromac macrumors 6502

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    Jul 29, 2012
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    US
    #21
    I use Lightroom for general editing. When I find a 'special' photo then I do simple adjustments in Lightroom and bring it out to Photoshop for final touches.

    I find that editing all my photos in Photoshop is too time consuming -- it's much easier and nicer to do it in Lightroom.
     

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