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Thread: Photoshop, Lightroom, Elements??

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    MariaMaria's Avatar
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    Photoshop, Lightroom, Elements??

    I am preparing to buy an Adobe photo editing software (My trial expired, bummer). Do I really need Photoshop or will Lightroom/Elements be enough? Or is there a different platform that works just as good or better?

    Thanks!

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    Moderator Donald's Avatar
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    Re: Photoshop, Lightroom, Elements??

    Elements is a very powerful tool in its own right. Okay, it doesn't have all the bells and whistles of the full blown Photoshop. But for, probably, 90+% of amateur photographers, it is more than powerful enough.

    Free-to-use is, for example, The GIMP. That's what I started with when I got back into photography and am a great fan of it. For many people the support is not as accessible as it is for the Adobe products and this puts folk off. But if people are willing to take on the task of learning that is required, I think The GIMP is a great tool.

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    MariaMaria's Avatar
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    Re: Photoshop, Lightroom, Elements??

    Thanks Donald, I will look into GIMP!

    Quote Originally Posted by Donald View Post
    Elements is a very powerful tool in its own right. Okay, it doesn't have all the bells and whistles of the full blown Photoshop. But for 90+% of amateur photographers, it is more than powerful enough.

    Free-to-use is, for example, The GIMP. That's what I started with when I got back into photography and am a great fan of it. For many people the support is not as accessible as it is for the Adobe products and this puts folk off. But if people are willing to take on the task of learning that is required, I think The GIMP is a great tool.

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    Re: Photoshop, Lightroom, Elements??

    You'll get at least as many opinions as replies.

    If you shoot jpeg, you may well find that Elements is all you need. IMHO it's quite good.

    If you shoot raw, then I reckon Lightroom comes into its own. It favours a slightly different style of working in view of its non-destructive editing. Lightroom, IMHO, makes sense if you use it as the image organiser (rather than using the organiser in Elements). I find Lightroom is enough for 90-95% of my "keepers", but I want more localised editing for some, for example, to clone out complicated objects. Elements would be fine for that. Or you could go for the full Photoshop, which is more-or-less only available now for rental. Lightroom and Photoshop together cost $9.99 per month (£8.78 inc tax in UK, can't remember elsewhere). But the moment you stop paying, the software stops working. Lightroom is still available as a perpetual licence (one-off price), as is Elements.

    Photoshop is a more powerful editor than Elements, but with a steeper learning curve, IMHO.

    Some people don't like Lightroom, and use only Photoshop, using Photoshop's Bridge organiser.

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    MariaMaria's Avatar
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    Re: Photoshop, Lightroom, Elements??

    Quote Originally Posted by Simon Garrett View Post
    Or you could go for the full Photoshop, which is more-or-less only available now for rental. Lightroom and Photoshop together cost $9.99 per month (£8.78 inc tax in UK, can't remember elsewhere). But the moment you stop paying, the software stops working. Lightroom is still available as a perpetual licence (one-off price), as is Elements.
    I was not aware that you could only "rent" Photoshop. That is not a long-term cost I desire, even if it is $10 or so a month. I shoot RAW and Jpeg so maybe Lightroom would be the better option out of those 3.

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    Moderator Donald's Avatar
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    Re: Photoshop, Lightroom, Elements??

    Quote Originally Posted by Simon Garrett View Post
    If you shoot jpeg, you may well find that Elements is all you need. IMHO it's quite good.

    If you shoot raw, then I reckon Lightroom comes into its own.
    Simon

    I'm not a Lightroom user, so may well not be as well-informed as you. But given that Elements has ACR (Adobe Camera Raw) loaded up front for processing RAW files, I'm not sure what you mean.

  7. #7

    Re: Photoshop, Lightroom, Elements??

    Quote Originally Posted by MariaMaria View Post
    I was not aware that you could only "rent" Photoshop. That is not a long-term cost I desire, even if it is $10 or so a month. I shoot RAW and Jpeg so maybe Lightroom would be the better option out of those 3.
    You can always download a free trial of LR5 to see if it will fit yours needs. I like it and is all that I use along with the Nik Complete package (plug in).

  8. #8

    Re: Photoshop, Lightroom, Elements??

    Quote Originally Posted by Donald View Post
    Simon

    I'm not a Lightroom user, so may well not be as well-informed as you. But given that Elements has ACR (Adobe Camera Raw) loaded up front for processing RAW files, I'm not sure what you mean.
    The ACR version in Elements is slightly cut down in control and functionality (or it was last time I look, admittedly a couple of years ago).

    But I meant it more the other way around. That is, the parametric editing in Lightroom is, IMHO, especially powerful and useful on raw images. Since LR4 (and the equivalent ACR 7) with the so-called "Process Version 2012" there is much greater power for tone editing of raw images in LR, that it's the clincher for me. The same process version is available in Photoshop / ACR, but the ability to control it is reduced in Elements, as I recall.

    I'm not suggesting there's anything in LR editing you can't do in ACR, but I like the LR approach and workflow, and I think it comes into its own with raw images. I hope that makes sense!

    I use LR as my photographic workbench, if you like, and it does all I want for 90-95% of my (keeper) images, but I wouldn't want to be without Photoshop (or Elements, or something similar) for detailed pixel editing of the few.

    I appreciate many people prefer to use Photoshop (or Elements) all the time, maybe with plug-ins, and maybe with another raw convertor.

    To me, the choice is a matter of personal style, workflow and preference.

  9. #9

    Re: Photoshop, Lightroom, Elements??

    Quote Originally Posted by Carl in Louisiana View Post
    You can always download a free trial of LR5 to see if it will fit yours needs. I like it and is all that I use along with the Nik Complete package (plug in).
    Definitely try before you buy, and try the videos e.g. at http://tv.adobe.com/product/lightroom/show/featured/.

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    Re: Photoshop, Lightroom, Elements??

    I think it's mostly already said.

    Personally, I use Lightroom and the Nik plug-ins for almost everything. There are some things that you can't easily do without layers, which leads you towards Photoshop, Photoshop Elements, PerfectSuite or similar. If you don't want the whole Photoshop / CS piece, there is an Elements plug-in called ElementsXXL which unlocks very many of the full Photoshop features.

    Dave

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    MariaMaria's Avatar
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    Re: Photoshop, Lightroom, Elements??

    Quote Originally Posted by davidedric View Post
    I think it's mostly already said.

    Personally, I use Lightroom and the Nik plug-ins for almost everything. There are some things that you can't easily do without layers, which leads you towards Photoshop, Photoshop Elements, PerfectSuite or similar. If you don't want the whole Photoshop / CS piece, there is an Elements plug-in called ElementsXXL which unlocks very many of the full Photoshop features.

    Dave
    Do you have to rent Photoshop Elements as well? Does the ElementsXXL plug-in for Lightroom include Layers? I just downloaded a new trial version of Lightroom 5 to test out. I'll check for the Elements trial too.

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    Re: Photoshop, Lightroom, Elements??

    I use Elements 12. As Donald said it will do way more than 95% of us will ever need. I think there is a fair amount of snobbery with regard to this hobby and many (not necessarily here) feel that if you're not shooting with at least $5000 in hardware, shooting RAW and processing with CS6 then you're simply a snap shooter.

    I guess I figure it like this: if I need software as advanced as CS6 to process my pictures then I must be doing something wrong. My intent is to have pretty close to exactly what I want to come out of the camera in the first place. If I need to make some changes to it to get it closer to my liking, Elements is more than adequate. It's also powerful enough to have fun with; that is, make up stuff, create fantasies from my images, add things, remove things, move things around. For the money, Elements is a tremendous bargain. And, as has been mentioned, the learning curve on full PS is very steep. I'd be willing to bet that most who use the full PS are actually only using the same functions that are available in Elements. But they would never admit it, of course.

    The organizer, I can't speak to as I don't use it.

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    Re: Photoshop, Lightroom, Elements??

    I'd defintely go with the free trials before deciding which one (LR or Elements) you prefer.

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    Re: Photoshop, Lightroom, Elements??

    I'm using LR 5.4 and have since 1 beta. 98% of the time I can do everything I need and I don't need anything else. The 2% that remains is photo merging. There is no way within LR to merge or stitch images. So I have a copy of Elements (9) and use it for panoramas and HDRs.

    It also remains to be seen how long Adobe is going to sell or upgrade standalone versions of its software now that they have come out with Adobe CC. The introductory price is US $9.99 monthly for CC but I understand that the regular price is $14.99. Cheap maybe for a pro but not so much for an amateur.

    Just my 2p or is that d?

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    Re: Photoshop, Lightroom, Elements??

    I'm with the LR/Nik fans (Dave, Carl) The Nik software adds a few useful features, chief among them for me being control points. I have a good way to go to be as accomplished with these as I'd like, and that includes getting it right in the camera in the first place. I'd have to see a demonstration of a critical problem solved with layers to be pushed to add Elements or PS, especially at this point in my journey.

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    MariaMaria's Avatar
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    Re: Photoshop, Lightroom, Elements??

    I downloaded Lightroom 5 (trial) seems like there is so much to learn and not so sure where to start. However, I'm sure I can find tutorials somewhere or preset information I suppose. I am a beginner's beginner when it comes to post-processing! Definitely not like the darkroom I'm used to I also have Perfect Effects 8, which was free, that I found out about on a different thread in this forum . Not sure about everything it does but it was free so worth checking out in my opinion

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    Re: Photoshop, Lightroom, Elements??

    OK, I shoot Raw files, but don't consider myself a snob! But I recently got Lightroom, with the CC subscription... I have had Photoshop for several years, and use ACR all the time... Now you can go to Youtube and get several great videos on using Lightroom. Terry White has some as well as Julianne Kost... Both are good instructors... True you can do a lot with LR and I am getting to use it more... I upload all my photos with LR and if I only have minor adjustments that is were I stay... You can batch convert to jpg if you want or export to jpg after you have edited...
    Now... recently I had a family photo shoot, for the grandparents 50th wedding anniversary... Lots of folks there, almost all of my group shots I had to go to Photoshop to work on... For whatever reason, shooting over 20 folks, they would be talking, licking their lips, have eyes closed, and even heads bowed as I shot... I shot several of each group, so I could go to photoshop and simply put everyone looking straight ahead, and smiling with their eyes open... I can't do that in lightroom....
    I haven't used Elements, so I can't comment on it.. I don't think LR has nearly the learning curve that Photoshop has, and you can handle your files very efficiently...
    My opinion is that whatever you use, if you study it and work with it as often as possible you will probably be satisfied when all of a sudden it clicks and you know you are comfortable and productive with your choice...
    Jim

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    Loose Canon's Avatar
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    Re: Photoshop, Lightroom, Elements??

    Quote Originally Posted by Downrigger View Post
    I'd have to see a demonstration of a critical problem solved with layers
    Easy enough!

    Photoshop, Lightroom, Elements??

    Photoshop, Lightroom, Elements??

    With all due respect and hopefully avoiding any snobbery, this was done right in-camera IMO. Several times in fact! But you canít do this in Lightroom and it would be very difficult in Elements if at all.

    I own all three. I use one of them. I learned and use PS and Iím now extremely glad I did. Naturally it was a bit intimidating in the beginning. But no more so than any other aspect of photography. Of course, these examples are not everyoneís bag, but if you even suspect that one day you might like to do something more complex that involves more than one frame you might be better off in the long run to just learn and use PS to begin with.

    At least youíll know you have the post production software covered.

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    Re: Photoshop, Lightroom, Elements??

    Maria,

    I really can not add anything other than as a user of Elements I am still on version 7 and have not yet come across a limitation for me in its use. For it's price I would suggest that it's worth considering purchasing if new into PP simply because you may find that it will be perfectly adequate for a few years.

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    Re: Photoshop, Lightroom, Elements??

    I've used PaintShop Pro for many years. I currently use version X6, which is the latest version. It is PC-only, which may be a show-stopper for you. It supports 16-bit per channel editing, which Photoshop Elements does not. The current version comes with both a 32-bit and 64-bit program on-disk. If you have a 64-bit processor and don't use old plugins, you only need to load the 64-bit version. But, if you need the support for old plugins (or an old computer), it is available on the install disk. You can install both at the same time if you need to. I use the standard Photoshop plugins from Topaz Labs and Focus Magic under PaintShop Pro and have had no problem in so doing. The current versions of both products are all 64-bit, so I don't have the 32-bit application installed on my system.

    I would not use Lightroom only -- AIUI, there are no layers with Lightroom. So, to my mind, it is just too limited a tool to use as one's only IP application. Personally, I have always felt that PhotoShop was way over-priced. And now, with that awful subscription service, I am even less inclined to use it. But, if those things don't bother you, it's an excellent product. FWIW

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