Looking for Photoshop/Lightroom Advice

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by Alonzo84, Nov 27, 2011.

  1. Alonzo84 macrumors 6502a

    Alonzo84

    Joined:
    Dec 18, 2009
    Location:
    North Carolina
    #1
    I have played around a little with both the Elements 10 and CS5 trials and am torn between the two. I shoot exclusively in RAW and I much prefer the RAW processor that comes with CS5, and I can get the student edition for under $200. My issue is that I try to get as much right in the camera before I take the shot and find that most of the time all my adjustments can be done in the RAW processor with very little need for Photoshop editing. While using the trial all I used Photoshop for after making some adjustments to the RAW image was to add a layer or two. My question is does the RAW processor that comes with Lightroom 3 perform similar to the one supplied with CS5? I can get the student edition of LR and Elements 10 together for less than the discounted CS5. I find CS5 incredibly confusing but there are plenty of books and video turorials to help me learn, but as a somewhat serious hobbyist I feel it may be overkill since CS5 is geared more toward graphic desing and less toward photography. There are many creative things I would love to be able to do with my shots as I often order large prints from Mpix.com and display them around my house. I don't want to outgrow Elements if I can get CS5 for such a deep discount. But at the same time Elements seems to offer much of the same ability at a fraction of the price.

    Any advice is greatly appreciated.
     
  2. cupcakes2000 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Apr 13, 2010
    #2
    I don't use Lightroom, but I do use Aperture. I also have Photoshop cs5.
    I very rarely use Photoshop, for most photo editing Aperture suffices, and for ease of use excels over Photoshop.
    I only really use Photoshop to remove unwanted compositional elements, or to do more advanced editing requiring layers etc..
    I'm not sure what elements of Photoshop Elements 10 omits though. Maybe to much for your needs. Only you know this.
    I would imagine a Lightroom/Elements combo is perfect. The good thing about Aperture and (I presume) Lightroom, is that they use a photo management library system, something that Photoshop lacks (well other than the outdated Bridge).
    I don't know this for fact, but I would imagine that CameraRAW is the same for Lightroom as it is for Photoshop? It's a plugin after all, and I doubt they would go to the trouble, or even have a reason, of creating two.
     
  3. Alonzo84 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Alonzo84

    Joined:
    Dec 18, 2009
    Location:
    North Carolina
    #3
    Well that is essentially what LR (and Aperature) are, a DAM program with a secondary RAW processor. I never played with Bridge during the trial but have Elements 8 and I rather dislike their Organizer (sort of like bridge). I also tried the Aperature trial but wasn't a big fan. Plus, I currently have a desktop PC and a MacBook Pro so having the ability to run the same program on both OSs is essential. My copy of Elements is PC only so I need to upgrade since the new one is dual platform. From what I have read the RAW processor for LR and CS5 are similar, but not quite the same. I'm just not sure if the differences are in the layout, design, interface, or something else. If all the tools are the same in both then LR would be a much cheaper solution. I am fairly confident that Elements 10 would be plenty for what I need but the RAW processor included is definitely lacking compared to CS5. If LRs RAW processor is essentially the same then I would be set.
     
  4. OreoCookie macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Apr 14, 2001
    Location:
    Sendai, Japan
    #4
    AFAIK the RAW converter in both Lightroom and Photoshop is the same, and thus for better or worse, there will be no difference in how these apps develop RAWs. This is an advantage of Lightroom, if you have a compatible version of Photoshop,* you can do round tripping without the need to render the image to a tiff or jpg.

    Honestly, I would not even consider a RAW image workflow without Lightroom/Aperture. I'd use either Aperture or Lightroom to import, sift through, tag and process my photos. I can still use whatever other software on my picks.

    * Compatible means both must use the version of the RAW converter.
     
  5. chrono1081 macrumors 604

    chrono1081

    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2008
    Location:
    Isla Nublar
    #5
    Lightroom is a digital asset management and raw workflow program that can do some photo enhancements.

    Photoshop can process raw files but is used more for enhancing photos and has horrible digital asset management (I don't know anyone who uses Adobe Bridge).

    Basically it call comes down to what you do in photos. If you are getting the shots right in the camera then Lightroom is probably what you will want. Its vastly superior raw workflow wise to Photoshop's built in raw processor. Its hard to explain until you actually use it but you'll process much faster in Light Room.

    If you do a lot of cosmetic retouching for portraiture or composite images you may want to consider Photoshop instead.

    I personally don't use Photoshop at all for images as I get what I want with Aperture (I used Lightroom from Beta until last year so I'm definitely familiar with it).
     
  6. Alonzo84 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Alonzo84

    Joined:
    Dec 18, 2009
    Location:
    North Carolina
    #6
    It's funny that you linked Scott Kelby's site as I really enjoy his books. I'm a little confused by your "compatible" statement. Since Elements uses a different RAW processor than LR and CS5, are you saying that using LR with Elements would not work as well?
     
  7. OreoCookie macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Apr 14, 2001
    Location:
    Sendai, Japan
    #7
    Compatible means that both apps need to use the same RAW converter, that's all. So CS1 and Lightroom 3 won't work. The same goes for Lightroom 2 and CS5, for instance. So in the future, if you upgrade one app, it's quite likely that you need to update the other as well.

    Note that round tripping (continuing to edit your photo in Photoshop/whatever) will still work, but Lightroom will render the RAW file to a tiff or jpg. If Lightroom and Photoshop use the same RAW engine, this is done non-destructively (Lightroom transmits the »values on the sliders« only).

    As I said before, I think you should base your workflow around Aperture or Lightroom. I would not limit myself to just considering either, since both apps feature user interfaces with very different philosophies (Lightroom uses modules while Aperture is more free flowing). Plus, there are things one app can do while the other cannot (e. g. Aperture has more flexible file management, better backup capabilities and books while Lightroom uses the same powerful tools as Photoshop). Before buying, I'd download the demos of both apps and try them for a few days (they're both pro apps, so you need time to get a feel for each).

    After deciding which one to get, I'd complement that with Pixelmator, Acorn or Photoshop. (I personally use Aperture and Pixelmator.) If you start noticing the limits of the image editing app, you can still upgrade to Photoshop CS5 later.
     
  8. Alonzo84 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Alonzo84

    Joined:
    Dec 18, 2009
    Location:
    North Carolina
    #8
    I really appreciate your insight. As I said before I have tried demos of all apps mentioned and prefer LR to Aperture. My only real dilemma is determining whether to complement it with CS5 or Elements 10 for further tweaking or creative touches. I demoed these products at different times so I am unsure of how well each one would work with LR.
     
  9. chrono1081 macrumors 604

    chrono1081

    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2008
    Location:
    Isla Nublar
    #9
    Make sure you throroughly test the demos! I didn't do this at first (and didn't bother to learn the Aperture keyboard shortcuts the first time around). I stayed with LR for a few years then retried Aperture, learned the keyboard shortcuts and ended up switching because for my workflow, Aperture worked better..

    Both programs will give you the same result, if someone tells you otherwise they haven't used both of them enough I assure you. I can do exactly the same things in both programs, its just which one YOU prefer that matters. I wish I'd of taken the time to learn Aperture more before I stayed with LR, it would have saved me a ton of time in the long run (from switching projects from LR to Aperture).
     
  10. mofunk macrumors 68020

    mofunk

    Joined:
    Aug 26, 2009
    Location:
    Americas
    #10
    Same here. I downloaded the trial for LR and Aperture. And went with the one that works best for me.

    I agree with the above saying how if you use LR3 and try to edit RAW in PS. I have PS4 and tried to export my RAW image from LR3. I was able to use my RAW settings but it converted down to PS4. There wasn't any quality lost though. So I wouldn't worry about it. Plus you said you can buy the Education Version. I want to move to CS5. After playing with it in the Apple store, the features are more effective vs CS4.

    A few issues I did encounter. I had a few B&W photos I wanted to print. The camera lab didn't come close to what I saw on my computer. A photographer told me to run them through PS after using in LR. I tried that with the second batch of photos and it worked. For me, PS CS5 comes in handy when you need to fix a photo. It doesn't have to be just for design. Although you can create special projects inside PS. Editing out backgrounds and applying layers for maybe a poster or flyer. Make some extra cash to put towards a new lens is a plus.

    Overall its the best investment I've used. Lightroom works well basic editing and PS for the heavy stuff. Also, I use Aperture for printing projects like photo books, calendars, and cards.

    You can get Lightroom for $95 ($89 education version) Photoshop $199. It pays for itself.
     
  11. richpjr macrumors 68030

    richpjr

    Joined:
    May 9, 2006
    #11
    If it helps, I see that Photoshop Elements 10 is on sale for $50 through November 29th.
     
  12. sandimacd macrumors regular

    sandimacd

    Joined:
    Nov 17, 2010
    Location:
    FL
    #12
    Missed sale of PE 10

    Had Elements 4 which included Bridge but when I upgraded to Lion this week neither worked. I upgraded to Elements 10 and no Bridge.

    I can't figure out how to import RAW files from camera. I bought the upgrade just to do this because that is how I did it in SL. I have tried various plugins/downloads/updates from both Panasonic and from Adobe. They install fine but nothing comes with Instuctions on how to import RAW files. There is no FILE Menu in PE 10 that lets me select the file type as TIFF or RAW or BOTH. It was so easy in SL using PE4 and Bridge. Or in Aperture 3

    Is there a way to get RAW or TIFF files imported from my Panasonic Lumix into a folder in Lion using PE10?

    I am really bummed about this $80 upgrade from PE4 to PE10. The Aperture 3 Trial allowed me to import as BOTH TIFF and JPG and worked well but I didn't want the learning curve of how to use it for editing so I didn't buy that one. Guess I should have bought that instead of the PE 10 upgrade which turned out to be even more complex (and useless for what I need!).
     
  13. Ruahrc macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Jun 9, 2009
    #13
    I suppose I'm way late to the party but pretty much the only reason you'd be going into photoshop in the first place is to do "destructive editing" of some form, and you're going to have to render to TIFF/PSD in PS to get it back into LR anyways, so does it really matter that you have to render to TIFF beforehand?

    If you're concerned about it, just make the photoshop editing the first (or in the early) part of the workflow, then import the resultant TIFF/PSD back into LR and do the nondestructive edits later.
     
  14. Keleko macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Mar 26, 2008
    #14
    You can just insert the card into a reader and copy the files directly to a folder. Does importing from the card to iPhoto or Aperture not work? Adobe and Panasonic do not get involved since those programs handle the RAW files natively.
     

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