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Thread: Photoshop Elements vs. Lightroom

  1. #1
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    Photoshop Elements vs. Lightroom

    Which editor do you prefer and why?

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    Re: Photoshop Elements vs. Lightroom

    Quote Originally Posted by sonicbuffalo View Post
    Which editor do you prefer and why?
    The better question would be do you need either? If you were entering a photo contest and post processing wasn't allowed (other than cropping, adding a border) what would be your course of action? And i would assume that in a "no post processing' contest that in-camera edits are allowed.
    Last edited by Shadowman; 14th April 2013 at 03:55 PM. Reason: added last sentence

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    Re: Photoshop Elements vs. Lightroom

    Hi there,
    for me Photoshop elements. It does everything I need, is easy to use and is cheap (around 50).

    If you want a free piece of software try 'FastStone Image Viewer 4.8'. This software does all the basic editing you woud require and is very easy to use. http://www.faststone.org/download.htm

    Also many members here used 'Gimp'; but I understand it has a bit of a learning curve; but once mastered is a very powerful piece of software. http://www.gimp.org/

    What are you using at the moment?
    Regards
    John

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    Re: Photoshop Elements vs. Lightroom

    Hi "sonic",

    Many members that started with LightRoom have found it won't do everything they needed (although some functionality can be imitated), so they end up adding Elements, or full Photoshop, afterwards anyway.

    Elements is arguably a more "comprehensive" product than LightRoom (LR), so if you start there (I did), you probably won't need to add LR later, but it does have limitations, so you may want to step up to full Photoshop after a couple of years (as I did, when offered 1/2 price because I had bought and registered my copy of Elements).

    Depends upon your appetite for PP (Post Processing), but as John (JPS) says, many survive with GIMP and that's free and (I gather) not too dissimilar to Elements in capability.


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    Re: Photoshop Elements vs. Lightroom

    Quote Originally Posted by sonicbuffalo View Post
    Which editor do you prefer and why?
    I prefer a non-destructive editor (LR) because:

    1) My skills are improving and I want to be able to reprocess the original RAW files (I'm currently going over images taken from late 2006 to present).

    2) Software is improving - refer to 1) above.

    Glenn

    PS: It surprises me that the price (or no price at all) is a governing fact in selecting software. The camera gear usually far exceeds the cost of software, and I'd hazard a guess (admittedly based on my own experience) that the cost of purchasing other accessories that were somewhat useless is more than that of software. Does anyone here want to buy a couple of expensive ballheads? Or a closeup lens? Or an extender? Or a tripod or two? Or a 90 degree angle bracket?
    Last edited by Glenn NK; 14th April 2013 at 04:33 PM.

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    Re: Photoshop Elements vs. Lightroom

    I have Photoshop Elements 6 and LR 4.4.

    PSE is primarily a photo editor that has organization features and LR is primarily an organizer that has editing features.

    The PSE editor works at the pixel level, has layers, allows you to combine photos and has panorama capability. You work on one photo at a time. I found working on RAW files to be inefficient. The organizer is buggy. It is my understanding that the organizer has still not been sufficiently fixed even in the latest version (11 or 12?).

    LR allows you to work on one photo and then copy those changes to a group of photos. This increases workflow speed enormously. Working on RAW files is fast and easy. The organizer is solid.

    I use LR primarily and PSE for the times when I need to do something LR cannot do.

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    Re: Photoshop Elements vs. Lightroom

    LR is primarily an organiser with editing features
    In my opinion, no, in spades, doubled.

    LR has extensive, powerful and, crucially, non-destructive editing features. It is improving all the time (see the features in the new LR5 beta). It also has an easily climbable learning curve. Of course, CS is more powerful but if I had to choose between PSE and LR (I also have both) it would be LR every time.

    I have now switched to shooting only in RAW, and it is just so well integrated it is transparent.

    Dave

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    Re: Photoshop Elements vs. Lightroom

    I haven't used Lightroom on a full scale import yet but I am sure it is just as slow as Elements. The Organizer is the one portion of Elements that I try to avoid using. I will use another program to sort my photos, these are photos already on my internal harddrive, not photos being imported directly from the camera. Long story is I need to get all of the photos off my internal harddrive.

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    Re: Photoshop Elements vs. Lightroom

    >>I have now switched to shooting only in RAW, and it is just so well integrated it is transparent.

    We are in agreement.

    Perhaps I should have said "LR is primarily an organizer with editing features important to photographers". PSE is more geared to graphic artists, though it does most of the things that photographers need. But, it has limitations, for example, the RAW developer is crippled compared to Photoshop or LR.

    LR's organizer is so much more robust than PSE there is no comparison.

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    Re: Photoshop Elements vs. Lightroom

    The programs are different in what they do so choices will depend on what direction you see yourself going in the near future. I say that because eventually, if you like to explore, you will have both or something similar.

    Both software packages are from Adobe and at the outset each was aimed at different user groups. Elements started out as a junior version of the full photoshop suite. A pixel level editor for making changes to the contents of the photo. It was aimed at photographers who did not require the full graphics design capabilities the larger package came with. Somewhat later, Lightroom came out as an organizer for professional and serious amateurs who pumped out a zillion photos a month. Through structure and keywords it let the owner have a greater level of control filing and finding photos for personal use or for customers. Both packages have evolved over the years and overlap somewhat but each retain their original priorities and have capabilities the other does not.

    Each of us has a different background and direction we take in our photography and that includes editing so while our explanations might help they can also be confusing to someone just starting out. My suggestion is to spend a few days watching some of the many basic YouTube videos to get an idea of what each does. Compare that to your own ideas at this time then download a free trial of the one you think best represents your direction. Get to know the basics and the advantages/shortcomings for your particular leanings in photography then download the other and give it a try as well. Get as much knowledge as you can in a month or so then opt for the one that fits the best for you right now. Others are sure to follow.

    A good start http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fY6fWUciWFk

    Good luck.
    Last edited by Andrew1; 16th April 2013 at 08:13 PM.

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    Re: Photoshop Elements vs. Lightroom

    It is a bit like asking which is better transport a truck or a car. It totally depends on what you want to do.

    I edit some photographs totally using lightroom but if I am adding lettering, doing extensive cloning or creating a montage I move to Photoshop.
    Last edited by pnodrog; 17th April 2013 at 03:13 AM.

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    Re: Photoshop Elements vs. Lightroom

    I also have both LR4 and PSE 11. Got PSE 9 first, found it difficult to use in some ways, probably because the manual for using it is incomplete/confusing. When I started shooting RAW, it would not read my images. After purchasing LR4, I found it very intuitive to use, but also bought Scott Kelby's book to help. There ARE things that Elements will do that LR cannot, so that is why I upgraded to PSE 11 - it will read my RAW files. Currently trying out a free online course (through the library system in Vermont) on Elements to try and understand it better.

    My vote is for LR4. Easier to organize, easier to edit.

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    Re: Photoshop Elements vs. Lightroom

    Quote Originally Posted by Green Mountain Girl View Post
    I also have both LR4 and PSE 11. Got PSE 9 first, found it difficult to use in some ways, probably because the manual for using it is incomplete/confusing. When I started shooting RAW, it would not read my images. After purchasing LR4, I found it very intuitive to use, but also bought Scott Kelby's book to help. There ARE things that Elements will do that LR cannot, so that is why I upgraded to PSE 11 - it will read my RAW files. Currently trying out a free online course (through the library system in Vermont) on Elements to try and understand it better.

    My vote is for LR4. Easier to organize, easier to edit.
    Regarding PSE and its inability to convert RAW images, that probably occurred between new software versions for a particular camera brand. I still use PSE8 and it could read files converted with View NX but not View NX2. I don't believe they ever updated PSE8 to work with the newer software. As you noted, LR doesn't have a problem with the two software versions.

  14. #14

    Re: Photoshop Elements vs. Lightroom

    It's not LR vs PSE it is LR + PSE.

    There is a fundamental difference between developing RAW files and editing image files.
    Lightroom is an image organiser and full featured RAW developer - but it does not do image editing.
    PSE is a cut down RAW developer with less features than LR, but it has some image editing features that LR doesn't have.

    If you are just starting out developing RAW files then PSE is probably sufficient. I started out with PSE9 and used the cut down RAW development module (Adobe Camera RAW) and also the image editing features. I needed the image editing features because my photographs weren't that good and often needed extensive editing. As my photography improved I did more and more in ACR and less and less in the editor.

    After a year of using ACR I got curious and downloaded the LR4 trial. My RAW developing had improved to the point where I could understand and make use of the extra features that LRs RAW developer has over PSEs ACR. The (selective) Adjustment Brush is worth the cost of the software on its own. I now do 97% of my work in LR and only occasionally use PSE when I need to do some pixel editing.

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    Re: Photoshop Elements vs. Lightroom

    It's not LR vs PSE it is LR + PSE
    +1 to Dan's whole post. At my level as a photographer, I do just as he does.

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    Re: Photoshop Elements vs. Lightroom

    I am quite sure that this talk of 'non-destructive' programmes is a load of tosh becuase if you organise your system properly in the first place you never work on your original camera file but keep it ...the precious negative in film termology ...in a master folder and are always working on a duplicate from and to your 'working folders'.
    Then secondly if you use a proper editor you will have adjustment layers which do not 'touch' the background layer which remains pristine at the bottom of the stack and the Al's can be duploicated and toggles on and off as you try different approaches.
    But first of course you need a 'proper' editor such as Paint Shop Pro or Photoshop [ or GIMP? ]
    I'm saying nothing against Lightroom which I gather is a useful programme which many enjoy using. But since it doesn't have layers which I am used to and use in some form or other for most of my shots I didn't bother to buy it.

    The more I read about RAW and the problems people have when they buy a new camera whose raw files are not compatible with the programme they have the more I think it is a can of worms ... for all the claims for it ... which I don't doubt for a moment.
    How wonderful jpg and tiff are which appear to have remained workable since digital started ... there is a message there I think.
    So long as Corel don't change the pspimage system I will remain happy
    Last edited by jcuknz; 20th April 2013 at 11:50 PM.

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    Re: Photoshop Elements vs. Lightroom

    Quote Originally Posted by jcuknz View Post
    I am quite sure that this talk of 'non-destructive' programmes is a load of tosh becuase if you organise your system properly in the first place you never work on your original camera file but keep it ...the precious negative in film termology ...in a master folder and are always working on a duplicate from and to your 'working folders'.
    If you're shooting RAW, I'm not aware of ANY program that saves permanent changes back over the RAW data.

    When people say the likes of Lightroom has an advantage due to it being non-destructive it's simply not true with respect to RAW captures.

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    Re: Photoshop Elements vs. Lightroom

    Colin ...
    That [17] reads to me like a contradiction between paragraphs?
    Lightroom IS non-destructive like most other programmes?
    I have been aware that the 'save' command is destructive but 'save as' gives you the opportunity to not destroy since I started with computers.
    Maybe Adobe is treating their customers as dummies and have arranged the 'LR Save' to avoid the destructive nature of just 'save'?

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    Re: Photoshop Elements vs. Lightroom

    Quote Originally Posted by jcuknz View Post
    Colin ...
    That [17] reads to me like a contradiction between paragraphs?
    Lightroom IS non-destructive like most other programmes?
    I have been aware that the 'save' command is destructive but 'save as' gives you the opportunity to not destroy since I started with computers.
    Maybe Adobe is treating their customers as dummies and have arranged the 'LR Save' to avoid the destructive nature of just 'save'?
    LR is a parametric editor - it doesn't destroy pixels - it just creates a list of "things" to adjust each time the image is opened ... and this list can be reset at any stage. The original data is never touched.

    Thing is ... all other programs work either (a) the same way, or (b) make you save the data under a new file name (assuming you're starting from a RAW capture).

    So when people say "LR is non-destructive" it's perceived by some to be saying "other programs are not non-destructive", but that's really not the case. If I shoot RAW (which I do) - but don't use LR (which is also the case) - my original RAW data is just as untouched as anyone using LR. So it's no advantage at all -- not sure why people even mention it TBH.

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    Re: Photoshop Elements vs. Lightroom

    Hesitate a bit to step in here, but maybe the reason for the non-destructive / destructive confusion is something like this:

    If I use only a parametric editor such as LR then I can go back to any intermediate point in the edit, though of course if I change anything I lose the subsequent edits. (Incidentally, one enhancement I would like to see in LR would be the ability to make a virtual copy at any point in the edit that preserves all the edits up to that point.)

    However, if I hand the image over to PSE, say, to do further editing which I end up saving as a TIFF or jpeg or whatever, I have two different image files with a break between them and the changes made in PSE baked into one of them.

    So it's the way I use the software that makes the difference?

    I suppose another point is that LR also edits jpegs parametrically?

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