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Author Topic: Lightroom or CS5: which one?  (Read 6054 times)
seamus finn
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« on: June 16, 2010, 08:56:30 AM »
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Assuming you've downloaded and tried both but can afford only one upgrade, which would you go for: Lightroom 3 or Photoshop CS5?
« Last Edit: June 16, 2010, 09:08:01 AM by seamus finn » Logged

loonsailor
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« Reply #1 on: June 16, 2010, 09:23:01 AM »
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Since you're talking about upgrades, you already use them both, or at least have them.  So, I'd upgrade the one I use more often.  For me, that's LR by a very wide margin.  The other way to look at it is, which upgrade will make a bigger difference in you  photos?  Lens corrections and the new noise reduction / sharpening will do that, but they're in both products.
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jasonrandolph
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« Reply #2 on: June 16, 2010, 10:27:58 AM »
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For my workflow at least, Lightroom 2 (and now 3) almost took away my need to have Photoshop even installed.  I even get my plugins for LR now vice PS.  Your workflow obviously may vary from mine, but I'll gladly use LR3 with CS4.  While CS5 is great, it rarely gets used on my machine.
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ErikKaffehr
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« Reply #3 on: June 16, 2010, 02:32:01 PM »
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Hi,

I'd say that this is the wrong question to ask, but

Lightroom is a essentially a digital asset management solution. Phostoshop is a pixel editor. Lightroom is the tool to keep record of of all your pictures and do global adjustments. If you need to do local edit, retouching and so on you need Photoshop or something similar.

Lightroom is paramateric workflow. You work withe "recipes" applied to original images. Your images don't swell and keep all information. With Photoshop you create new fat files from your images in TIFF or PSD. Lightroom leaves your files in original size. It's lean and mean. May be to lean for you.

Ideally you would have both. You can use "bridge" instead of Lightroom but I would not even consider it a substitute. You can substitute Photoshop against something simpler, like Photoline 32.

I see it like this:

Lightroom is a smart, lean and mean workflow solution.

Photoshop is a big, ugly, fat pixel editor which happens to be the reference tool in this business.

So if you are a serious photographer doing real business you simply need both. If you don't do a lot of business you may be able to do without Photoshop. If you don't appreciate parametric workflow than you can use any DAM tool.

There are alternatives to Lightroom, Aperture is an obvious one, but Bibble and Phase One may also move in the direction of parametric workflow.

The term "parametric workflow" essentially means that you work with original images and "recipes" for handling them. So you don't save an image just the instructions how to convert the original image. These instructions are very small, a few kilobytes whereas images can be several hundred megabytes. The recipe is applied when an image is needed, on the fly. You can have different recipes for a single image, it's called a virtual copy in Lightroom parlance.

I tried to describe the parametric workflow in an article: http://echophoto.dnsalias.net/ekr/index.ph...metric-workflow

Best regards
Erik


Quote from: seamus finn
Assuming you've downloaded and tried both but can afford only one upgrade, which would you go for: Lightroom 3 or Photoshop CS5?
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PeterAit
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« Reply #4 on: June 16, 2010, 04:11:29 PM »
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Quote from: ErikKaffehr
Hi,

I'd say that this is the wrong question to ask, but

Lightroom is a essentially a digital asset management solution. Phostoshop is a pixel editor. Lightroom is the tool to keep record of of all your pictures and do global adjustments. If you need to do local edit, retouching and so on you need Photoshop or something similar.

That's not true at all - LR has some very powerful local adjustments.
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JeffKohn
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« Reply #5 on: June 17, 2010, 12:07:24 AM »
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That's not true at all - LR has some very powerful local adjustments.
I disagree on the "powerful" part. I know some people are just ga-ga for "parametric" editing, but the local adjustments in LR/ACR are extremely primitive compared to Photoshop.
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Eric Myrvaagnes
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« Reply #6 on: June 17, 2010, 08:54:05 AM »
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I need both.

Having used Capture 1, DxO, ACR, and several other raw converters, I now find LR to be the easiest and fastest way to get 90% of the way to what I want in each image. Then it's†always over to PS, even if just for soft-proofing and printing. Usually I do a lot more tinkering in PS.†

So if I had to choose just one, it would be a little like asking which hand do I want to cut off: my right or my left? Once LR has soft-proofing I will probably stay in LR for many images, but I'll still need PS for many others.

Eric

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francois
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« Reply #7 on: June 17, 2010, 09:16:04 AM »
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If I understand correctly, Seamus already has Lightroom and Photoshop but can only afford to upgrade to either LR3 or PS CS5.
In that situation, Seamus should see in which application he spends most of his time. I upgraded both Lightroom and Photoshop but if I only had one choice, it would be Lightroom. I'd rather go with LR3 and PS CS4 (or CS3) tandem than with LR2..x and Photoshop CS5.
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Francois
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« Reply #8 on: June 17, 2010, 11:56:31 AM »
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Quote from: francois
If I understand correctly, Seamus already has Lightroom and Photoshop but can only afford to upgrade to either LR3 or PS CS5.
In that situation, Seamus should see in which application he spends most of his time. I upgraded both Lightroom and Photoshop but if I only had one choice, it would be Lightroom. I'd rather go with LR3 and PS CS4 (or CS3) tandem than with LR2..x and Photoshop CS5.

Although, with CS5 he'd have access to ACR which is the same rendering engine as LR3.

I have CS4 and use ACR - this has stopped me from getting LR. But I am considering buying LR3 as the upgrade cost for PS is considerably more than for LR. I expect to be upgrading a few times over the upcomig years and am guessing this is the deal breaking reason for me.
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JeffKohn
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« Reply #9 on: June 17, 2010, 12:50:16 PM »
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Quote from: Philmar
Although, with CS5 he'd have access to ACR which is the same rendering engine as LR3.
Somebody who uses LR probably doesn't use ACR/Bridge though, as they most likely do their RAW processing in LR and then just go to Photoshop for pixel-based editing, special filters, etc. So I would probably agree that if you can only upgrade one, upgrading LR makes more sense for those who use both (I see no point in LR at all if you take every image into Photoshop, personally, but that's another thread).

Looking at what's new in Photoshop CS5, the RAW processing stuff is the biggest appeal to photographers, but it is also included in LR (and it looks like the Lens correction will be available in the near future in an update). Setting aside the new raw engine, there's really not that much to get excited in CS5. The content-aware fill offers a modest improvement over CS4's healing/cloning, but is far from the magic bullet that the early demos would have you believe.  There are some improvements in selections if you do compositing. I can't think of much else off the top of my head.
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seamus finn
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« Reply #10 on: June 17, 2010, 01:57:07 PM »
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Thanks, Erik, for your fine exposition on the differences between PS and LR which, Iíd guess, are very well understood by the vast majority here. Even so, the reminder is timely and welcome.

Let me explain that affordability isnít an issue personally (Iíll probably end up with both in the long run, being unable to resist temptation but Iíll only get one at a time with a decent interval in between!).

While sampling the trial versions of both apps, however, it occurred to me that many photographers may have to make the choice on economic grounds. No better place to get an answer than here. I was thinking particularly about photographers who donít produce huge quantities of pictures as would, say, a wedding photographer or somebody on a fashion shoot or the like and indeed who may not be a pro in that sense. I think the phrase is Ďadvanced amateursí or some such claptrap.

I was about to ask would CS5 be a better deal for somebody like that when Jeffís post arrived which puts forward one side of the argument in no uncertain fashion.

So, are we agreed: stick with CS4 and spend your money on Lightroom 3?

Regards to all,

Seamus
« Last Edit: June 18, 2010, 04:24:21 AM by seamus finn » Logged

tandlh
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« Reply #11 on: June 17, 2010, 03:23:21 PM »
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Hi,
   This doesn't seem to be the case here, but it was for me.  I was on Photoshop CS2, which I mainly used softproofing and printing with my Canon ipfs.  In that case upgrading to CS5 is essential for me to maintain my upgrade rates on Photoshop in the future.  Sadly the plugins for the IPF printing are not done yet by Canon, so I have to wait before I can print through them on CS5.  The two or three times I've tried the content aware fill was a disaster.  I'll stick with the old tools.  CS5 is nice but not critical.  On the other hand, LR 3 is essential for me to get the most of out Canon 7D camera.  
    If you're deciding between the two for CS3 or 4 I'd skip CS5 and get LR3.  But if you're at the cutline of the PS upgrade like I was with CS2, then it's worth it sometime during CS5s life to upgrade.

Ted
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sjprg
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« Reply #12 on: June 18, 2010, 10:15:46 AM »
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To me the $200.00 upgrade of Photoshop every 18 months roughly seems to be a reasonable cost, especialy seening as how most of us spend thousands on camera and lenses. I have been buying Photoshop since the early 90s (version 3 ?). Each iteration improves the product in some major way, even if some users don't see it because it isn't in their usage pattern. I keep trying LR but have never liked DAM, so once again PS wins for my use as it has the complete capability if maybe slow in certain aspects.
The new content aware healing brush works well, although there is a learning curve. You need a careful selection of attributes for the brush which depends on the content to keep from smearing and I beleive the lens correction profile will work in the long run.
For quick runs and flagging DXO is hard to beat. All this is IMO after using PS for over 15 years.
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ErikKaffehr
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« Reply #13 on: June 18, 2010, 06:33:01 PM »
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Hi,

I have actually both LR 3 and Photoshop CS5. I agree with Jeff, mostly.

The few comments I have:

- "Lens Corrections" is included in the first release of LR3 (added since Beta)
- Content Aware Fill actually works, sometimes. When it works it's a life saver, but often it misbehaves badly
- If you work with large images and are on Apple CS 5 may be much better than CS4 as it's the first implementation of Photoshop using 64 bits (It's 64 bit on Windows since CS4).

Regarding LR versus PS, my point may be that there are quite a few advantages with LR once we start using pixel level edits, so it makes good sense to use LR as much as possible. Say that the aim may be that perhaps 90% of the workflow would be parametric. Your mileage may of course vary, of course. Landscape shooters, like me, are probably in lesser need of pixel level edits than commercial photographers shooting beauty.

- If ones workflow is essentially parametric it's probably good enough to use a less expensive tool for pixel level editing than Photoshop.

- On the other hand, Photoshop is the reference tool, so if you want to sell images you may feel that you need Photoshop.

- For me, "lens corrections" in Lightroom 3 is a major improvement, especially as it can also fix keystoning. Another major improvement is the new processing pipeline with better noise reduction.

Finally, there is an issue regarding Photoshop integration in Lightroom. Optimally, Lightroom just passes it's parameters to PS and PS is opening the "raw" image using ACR, for that to work ACR and Lightroom need to be in sync. Older versions of PS may not support the latest version of ACR.

I really appreciate your concern for photographers having lesser resources, it's something I share.

Best regards
Erik




Quote from: seamus finn
Thanks, Erik, for your fine exposition on the differences between PS and LR which, I’d guess, are very well understood by the vast majority here. Even so, the reminder is timely and welcome.

Let me explain that affordability isn’t an issue personally (I’ll probably end up with both in the long run, being unable to resist temptation but I’ll only get one at a time with a decent interval in between!).

While sampling the trial versions of both apps, however, it occurred to me that many photographers may have to make the choice on economic grounds. No better place to get an answer than here. I was thinking particularly about photographers who don’t produce huge quantities of pictures as would, say, a wedding photographer or somebody on a fashion shoot or the like and indeed who may not be a pro in that sense. I think the phrase is ‘advanced amateurs’ or some such claptrap.

I was about to ask would CS5 be a better deal for somebody like that when Jeff’s post arrived which puts forward one side of the argument in no uncertain fashion.

So, are we agreed: stick with CS4 and spend your money on Lightroom 3?

Regards to all,

Seamus
« Last Edit: June 18, 2010, 09:46:47 PM by ErikKaffehr » Logged

terence_patrick
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« Reply #14 on: June 18, 2010, 08:47:56 PM »
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I was in the same situation and decided to go for LR3 and keep using CS4 for working on TIFF images that would need layers. I actually stopped using LR2 for a while and was using CS4/ACR+Photo Mechanic for much of last year but decided to back to LR with v3 because of the improvements to its image processing and having an available history of what I did to each image that I can reference in the future.
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seamus finn
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« Reply #15 on: June 19, 2010, 04:48:29 AM »
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Finally, there is an issue regarding Photoshop integration in Lightroom. Optimally, Lightroom just passes it's parameters to PS and PS is opening the "raw" image using ACR, for that to work ACR and Lightroom need to be in sync. Older versions of PS may not support the latest version of ACR



Just to be clear on this critical point: if you work on an image in Lightroom 3, pass it off to any Photoshop version other than PS5 and then save it back into Lightroom3, you will lose the benefits of the improved processing in BOTH?


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francois
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« Reply #16 on: June 19, 2010, 05:23:56 AM »
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Quote from: seamus finn
Ö
Just to be clear on this critical point: if you work on an image in Lightroom 3, pass it off to any Photoshop version other than PS5 and then save it back into Lightroom3, you will lose the benefits of the improved processing in BOTH?
No, when you edit your image in Photoshop (older version the CS 5) from Lightroom 3, a warning is displayed and there you have the choice to either use ACR (and then loose the advantages of the newer LR3 engine) or render the file in LR3 and then use Photoshop to perform the edits. So, you can use an older version of PS with Lightroom 3 without loosing the advantages provided by Lightroom 3.
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seamus finn
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« Reply #17 on: June 19, 2010, 07:34:41 AM »
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No, when you edit your image in Photoshop (older version the CS 5) from Lightroom 3, a warning is displayed and there you have the choice to either use ACR (and then loose the advantages of the newer LR3 engine) or render the file in LR3 and then use Photoshop to perform the edits. So, you can use an older version of PS with Lightroom 3 without loosing the advantages provided by Lightroom 3.


Francois, are you referring to the exclamation mark asking if you wish to update to Version 2010?
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john beardsworth
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« Reply #18 on: June 19, 2010, 10:11:37 AM »
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Quote from: seamus finn
Francois, are you referring to the exclamation mark asking if you wish to update to Version 2010?
That's something different. When you select Edit With Photoshop, LR checks if you have the latest version. If not, it asks you what you want it to do, including "render with Lightroom"
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francois
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« Reply #19 on: June 19, 2010, 10:13:35 AM »
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Quote from: seamus finn
Francois, are you referring to the exclamation mark asking if you wish to update to Version 2010?
No. The exclamation mark is there to tell you that LR is using the "old" 2003 process version. Here's a screenshot of that dialog (displayed when I chose "Edit in Photoshop"):

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Francois
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