When it comes to editing a picture, Adobe has designed the most powerful software of all time and that is Photoshop and Lightroom. But which one is right for you? Which one is better?
Before getting into the differences between these two let's find out what's similar:
At the core level, they both are designed to do the same thing, Image editing.
Both are programmed to handle multiple file types like JPEG, PNG, TIFF, and the most favorite of photographers, and RAW. Since both are designed by Adobe they use Adobe Camera RAW (ACR) processing engine to handle RAW files.
If you have used both you would have observed that both have similar controls and editing options when doing things like adjusting saturation, working with curves, and correcting for lens distortions, etc.
Both the software serve extensive manipulation tools that allow you to do everything from Basic edits like cropping and adjusting exposure, to advanced editing like working with brushes, tone curves, and graduated filters.
Even if they have similarities, they do their jobs differently. Here are the differences between both the software which will give you a better understanding of which software is best suited to your needs.
1. File Handling:
This is one of the most significant differences between the software. Lightroom doesn't really edit the picture and it doesn't move your images around different folders on the computer. Instead, all changes you make are saved in a separate file called the Catalogue. Since it keeps the original file intact, you can make changes to your edits whenever you like.
On the other side, photoshop operates very differently. When you edit a picture such as JPG, PNG, or RAW in Photoshop, the whole work will be processed on the original file itself, unless you save a copy of Photoshop original format PNG which eats up several MBs of your computer.
Both of them might look similar on the surface but the major difference is Lightroom keeps all your changes and originals in a relatively small space or catalog as we know it. In Photoshop, all the changes are saved in unique files for every single image. You will end up with multiple files of each change and it will cover a lot of memory on your hard drive.
Photoshop has all sorts of brushing, a big array of filters, and many tools that can change an image into something else. But more than that it lets you work on different layers, which makes it easier to edit.
On the other hand, Lightroom works linearly and doesn't allow to create different layers. It has limited tools and controls as compared to Photoshop.
Working with layers gives you much more control over the edit and makes your editing process more flexible.
If we keep aside the above points, Lightroom has its trump card; its end to end workflow for photographers. It arranges everything from importing from memory cards to arranging images to editing them to sharing them to finally printing them within the same program. All these things mean a lot to photography enthusiasts and professionals.
On the other hand, Photoshop doesn't transfer, arrange, or make any slideshow for your photo book.
There's no doubt that Photoshop is presently unbeatable in terms of editing photos with its numerous tools and easy editing through layers. So, if you are a Photoshop enthusiast you can manage the workflow by using another software called 'Adobe Bridge' it can manage all the things for you as Lightroom does.
So both the programs have their pros and cons and depending on your need/proficiency level will suit your requirement better.
We hope by now you have realized which one will work better for you. So, think about the kind of expectations you have from the software and then move ahead to learn it deeper.
Cheers and all the best.