Lightroom necessary with PS CS4?

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by Fogtripper, Feb 18, 2009.

  1. Fogtripper macrumors member

    Apr 19, 2008
    Am about to receive the upgrade to CS4 from CS2. I've been using Nikon Capture NX to process my RAW files, and had considered getting Adobe's processor. Does PS CS4 Extended cover all the bases for RAW or would I still do well to process with Lightroom/Capture NX?
  2. jaseone macrumors 65816


    Nov 7, 2004
    Houston, USA
    Lightroom and Photoshop really do two very different things...

    Lightroom is a database that allows you to manage your photo library via meta data like tags, ratings and various other structures you can implement, it also allows you to do the majority of post processing.

    Photoshop can do the post processing that Lightroom does and then some, a typical workflow would involve doing most post processing in Lightroom (or Aperture if that tickles your fancy more) and then doing any advanced editing in Photosop.

    Adobe Camera Raw (ACR) handles all the RAW file processing and is the same between Lightroom and Photoshop, however Photoshop can't edit actual RAW files they must be converted first. Lightroom doesn't directly edit the RAW file either but rather stores any edits made in a sidecar file that are applied to the RAW file.

    Some folks still also add CaptureNX into that mix as well as they prefer the processing of the RAW files by CaptureNX.

    How were you managing your library previously? Bridge? I would recommend just checking out the trial of Lightroom to see what you think, also give Aperture a try as well.
  3. Kronie macrumors 6502a


    Dec 4, 2008
    No, adobe's raw editor in CS4 pretty much covers anything lightroom would offer, as far as editing photos. Lightroom was really designed for photographers who need to process lots of RAW files at once. If that's you then you may want to consider lightroom.

    I use lightroom for single conversions just because I like the interface. I also use it to catalog my photos.
  4. Fogtripper thread starter macrumors member

    Apr 19, 2008
    You assume I managed my libraries at all. :eek:

    It is one of my weaknesses. Most of my images simply get heaved into an external drive to be sorted through here and there.

    I guess my question was pretty much covered. I would gain image management with lightroom, but for actual "work" I will likely stick with NX + PS. I was hoping that PS CS4 would encapsulate all that Lightroom does. (RAW processing as well as PP manipulation)

    ah. So it WOULD contain the process ability that Lightroom offers. Nifty.
  5. SLC Flyfishing Suspended

    SLC Flyfishing

    Nov 19, 2007
    Portland, OR
    Yes Adobe Camera RAW does contain all the PP ability that Lightroom does. Lightroom is nice mainly as a DRM (Digital Resources Management) application.

    You won't gain any additional post processing ability if you buy lightroom with CS4.

    I got lightroom and the CS3 design premium bundle together, but only because Adobe sent me them for free. If I were spending my own money, considering the amount of photos I usually take, I think I'd forgo Lightroom.

    But it is nice, and I will say that the user interface is a million times better in Lightroom!

  6. Kronie macrumors 6502a


    Dec 4, 2008
    I think you can do this now with your CS2 (I could be wrong), just download the latest version of A.C.R and see if it works.
  7. Fogtripper thread starter macrumors member

    Apr 19, 2008
    I think I actually have that installed already in CS2. I purchased NX right after I began shooting digital, mostly due to word of mouth at the time that Capture processed the Nikon images more accurately.

    When I get my CS4 (tomorrow in fact) I'll do some experimenting between PS's ACR and Capture.
  8. Edge100 macrumors 68000

    May 14, 2002
    Where am I???
    Lightroom 2 is feature-matched with Camera Raw CS4. CS3 is feature-matched with Lightroom 1, so if you're processing RAW files with CS3 or earlier, you are missing out on some features (though, admittedly, this may not affect your own workflow to any great extent).

    As others have stated, the main advantage to using LR2 in addition to PS CS4 is to gain a great RAW management tool. The fact that you get RAW editing tools on par with Camera Raw is a bonus if you have LR.

    So the short answer is you don't need both if all you want to do is edit RAW files. If you want a nifty RAW management tool as well, LR2 + PS CS4 is a great combination (and if you happen to know a student with an educational discount, you can get both for an absolute steal!)

    I personally use both; LR2 for management and most editing; PS CS3 mainly for layers, perspective correction, sharpening, and adding borders and watermarks.

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