Photoshop Elements vs Light Room vs iPhoto

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

  1. Zisa macrumors member

    Feb 10, 2009

    Does anyone know the difference? I already have iPhoto 08 on my Mac? Do I still need Photoshop Elements AND Light Room?

    There seems to be a lot of overlap - all have a database to store your photos - Adobe Photoshop comes with Bridge. Light Room is a database, and so is iPhoto.

    I have over 20,000 pictures and am in the process of scanning all my negatives (8000-12000 pictures) using a Nikon Coolscan.

    I want to correct some of the scans, remove scratches, do some cropping etc.

    Will iPhoto be enough?

    If I have all three, does that mean I have three copies of all my photos?

    Can Light Room do everything Photoshop Elements can do?

    Reason I am asking now is that, I whilst I was running Tiger, I have iPhoto for managing my library and Photoshop Elements 2 for quick fixes.

    I upgraded to Leopard, but Photoshop Elements 2 does not work. This leaves me a choice - upgrate to 6 or go for Light Room instead?
  2. Zisa thread starter macrumors member

    Feb 10, 2009
    to add, should I ditch iPhoto and just use one product - be it Light Room or Bridge?

    or will I miss out on things that only iPhoto can offer, in terms of organising my photos?
  3. jaseone macrumors 65816


    Nov 7, 2004
    Houston, USA
    iPhoto - Mainly an organization program storing your photos in a database with some limited editing capabilities that are non destructive. Has some unique features like face detection and Places in the new '09 version.

    Lightroom - At it's core it is a database similar to iPhoto but allows much more post processing than iPhoto and allows you to streamline your post processing workflow, many people don't need to go outside Lightroom for their editing needs. LR is more tailored to those more serious about their photography, it's alternative is Apple's Aperture, they both do similar tasks but do them differently.

    Photoshop Elements - A trimmed down version of Photoshop that meets most people's needs (am not aware of the differences but from what I keep reading then Elements should be fine for most users, what are the restrictions anyway anyone know?). I didn't think Elements included Bridge though but after some Googling it seems at least version 6 on the Mac does. I have never really used Bridge so can't comment much on it.

    What I would recommend is to download the Lightroom 2.2 trial that is good for 30 days and use it for a few batches and see how you like it as I think that would suit the majority of your needs the best.
  4. wheelhot macrumors 68020

    Nov 23, 2007
    Okay, here is my answer. It all depends on your need cause all those 3 software is meant for different level of usage.
    iPhoto - Basic photo management application, does cropping and basic adjustments.
    Bridge - Similar to iPhoto, but Im not sure its extend of photo manipulation, I just know that it some sort of basic photo management application.
    Lightroom - More advance photo photo management application, of course it have extra features that you will or might not need. Also, since you are considering Lightroom, do also consider Apple Aperture while you are at it.
    Photoshop Elements like the previous poster said is a stripped down version of Photoshop. Regardless Photoshop or PSE is for more serious photo editing, so not all the time you will use Photoshop or PSE unless you are looking for certain stuffs that is not offered in the photo management application.
  5. Cliff3 macrumors 68000


    Nov 2, 2007
    SF Bay Area
    Bridge is a component of Photoshop Elements (PSE) and Photoshop. It is a file browser with the ability to manage metadata values, such as image rankings, keywords and EXIF/IPTC attributes. Since it is file-based rather than based on a database, its ability to search on these fields is more limited than Lightroom's. It has no editing tools, but it will launch PSE. I used it as a companion to Photoshop prior to Lightroom's release to sort through and rank new images and identify candidates for further processing.

    PSE (v6 for OS X), Lightroom and Aperture are all available as trial downloads.

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