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Thread: Photoshop vs Lightroom for processing

  1. #1
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2009

    Default Photoshop vs Lightroom for processing

    I have had PSE 7 on my computer for a while, found it a bit difficult to find my way around. Recently I've started shooting photos in RAW, and then I found it even more problematic. Seems to be some difficulty with the Camera Raw plug-in. Following helpful comments from PeterD and a friend at home, I have taken a 30 day trial on Lightroom, and so far I'm finding this much better, particluarly as it handles RAW images and jpeg images in the same way and has the same editing functions available for both types of image.
    I have about 12 days before I have to decide whether to purchase. I would welcome comments from other users on the ralative merits of thes two pieces of software.



  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Algarve, Portugal


    Hello Ken,

    I know we have already discussed this when we met, but I am sure that you must have some Nikon software which came with your camera (on an installation CD) which will convert RAW files to TIFFS. I think (and many others do too) that the dedicated manufacturer software is usually a better RAW converter, which is why I use Canon's "DPP" (Digital Photography Professional"). The conversion to 8 bit TIFF is the only thing I use DPP for, I then import the TIFF file into PS Elements 6 for further work.

    Every photo-processing software program has its advocates (if you delve into the various digital photography forums you will see the "mine's better than yours" debate goes on, and on, and on). I have used the trial version of "Lightroom" and hated it, I also bought "Paint Shop Pro XI" when I was processing on a PC as opposed to a Mac which I now use and could not get on with that either. I have "borrowed" copies of Photoshop CS3 and CS4 but I find these to be overkill for what I do. I have also had Photoshop Elements 2, 4 and 6 - the latter is what I now use (they haven't produced v.7 for Mac).

    There are some very good books out there to help you (there are also some bloody awful ones!). I find "Photoshop Elements 6 for Mac: The Missing Manual" by Barbara Brundage (Pogue Press) to be very good; there is the equivalent for PS Elements 7 for PC - go to Amazon or Google it.

    Having read a great deal (I spend more time these days on photography forums than on birding forums) one thing is clear: Adobe Photoshop (either CS or Elements) is the industry standard and by far the best. Others come close, and many people are happy with what they do, but I would stick with PS.


  3. #3
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2008


    Hi Ken,
    We have discussed this issue by e-mail and I have read the comments by Colin. You have said that you would check your software when you get home as I have to agree with Colin that the best conversion from RAW will come from the camera manufacturer. I believe however, that Adobe base their converters on the manufacturers data.
    Going over to what you convert your files to from RAW. There is a great debate on the relative merits of .dng files. These files reorganise RAW data into what is considered to be a standard format. Many find that such files are also smaller than the original RAW file. Tiff files are a very good standard file too however, they tend to be huge. I have until recently converted SOME of my RAW files to tiff but found a 5 fold increase in storage size! I was forced down this road when I started to use Photoplus X3 as this editor did not recognise Olympus RAW files. It does however recognise .dng files so this is the form I now keep my images in.
    As for editors, I have used CS3 and, like Colin, found it an absolute overkill for normal image editing. I have also used as indicated above, Photoplus X3. This program tries to emulate the adobe PS programmes but I find it difficult to get to grips with and it loses the exif data! Query with serif on this since last summer and to-date no resolution! I have been using Lightroom 1 for about 1 year now and find it flexible and easy to use. I, like you, have Lightroom 2 now and find the improvements made are very good and hence have purchased the upgrade.
    To sum it up. It is horses for courses and as such becomes an individual choice. Some people like maximum flexibility and use editing software for other graphical reasons and will therefore stick with PS. Others, like me, want to spend more time behind the camera than in front of the computer screen. That's why I prefer Lightroom. When the fix for Photoplus X3 comes along, I shall spend a bit more time learning the techniques.
    Hope this makes sense.

  4. #4
    Junior Member Adey Baker's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Hinckley, Leicestershire, UK


    Quote Originally Posted by Kenwin5 View Post
    I have had PSE 7 on my computer for a while, found it a bit difficult to find my way around. Recently I've started shooting photos in RAW, and then I found it even more problematic. Seems to be some difficulty with the Camera Raw plug-in.
    Was your camera model introduced after you purchased PSE7? In which case you may need to download the latest Raw converter from Adobe. I'm not sure about Elements but the full version of Photoshop has a link to latest downloads in 'Help>Updates' or you can get it from the Adobe website being aware to follow the instructions.

    Nikon's Capture NX2 software is an excellent programme but it doesn't usually come with the camera and costs over 100. The programme bundled with the camera is (as far as I'm aware) very basic and not anything like as good as Canon's DPP. But with Adobe Camera Raw and Elements 7 you should have a very good package that will do what you want.

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