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Light room vs Elements

Discussion in 'Image Processing' started by ~tc~, Dec 18, 2010.

  1. ~tc~

    ~tc~ Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Oct 22, 2010
    Houston, TX
    Elements 9 is getting awfully close to full Photoshop, with layers and everything, but I heard a rumor (rumour for the English blokes LOL) that the ACR in Elements was not the same as it is in Lightroom.

    Does anyone know if the ACR in Elements has all the same capability as LR?
     
  2. pictor

    pictor Mu-43 Top Veteran

    635
    Jul 17, 2010
    I have both programs and ACR in Photoshop Elements 9 has only a very small part of the controls of the full version of ACR or Lightroom. The difference is very significant.
     
  3. Streetshooter

    Streetshooter Administrator Emeritus

    Dec 15, 2009
    Phila, Pa USA
    What Pictor said and.....
    Lightroom is very intuitive and elegant.
    PS and Elements are....... Not
     
  4. kevinparis

    kevinparis Cantankerous Scotsman

    Feb 12, 2010
    Gent, Belgium
    photoshop...despite its name was never ever designed to be used by photographers.... look at version 1 and the number of digital cameras available in 1990!

    photographers started to use it because it was the only tool available beyond the awful software that came with most cameras. All the layers tricks and convoluted workflows you see in all those tutorials and expert tips and tricks are all bout wrangling the wrong tool to do the right job

    Lightroom and Aperture were designed from ground up to offer most photographers most of the tools they would ever need.

    personally I wouldn't consider ever learning photoshop or even elements until you you have tried Aperture or Lightroom and found their limits...even then I would look at those limits and decide whether the problem lies in the image or the person taking it.

    Now if you are a graphic artist and need to assemble multiple images into artwork for serious printing and publication... then learn photoshop.... otherwise make your life easy and give yourself more time to take photos
     
  5. ~tc~

    ~tc~ Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Oct 22, 2010
    Houston, TX
    Hmmm ... Interesting. Part of my hesitation with Lightroom is EVERY iteration of phot organizer software i have used has sucked big time. In particular filing the pictures in some "secret" location that makes it difficult, if not impossible, to use the photos outside of that software's little world.

    The other side is I understand LR is weak at processing JPG files, which my wife likes to do.
     
  6. kevinparis

    kevinparis Cantankerous Scotsman

    Feb 12, 2010
    Gent, Belgium
    OK.. i use aperture not lightroom.. but from what i understand both allow you to store your imported images wherever you want...it may not be the default option.. but it is an option...and they allow you export your photos to web sites, printers and whatever very easily..... as I said before both Lightroom and Aperture understand what photographers want to do

    and as for processing JPEG... well as long as you understand that processing with ANY program with JPEG gives you less control/fidelity/quality or whatever way you want to define it compared to RAW, then lightroom/aperture is no different from any other program.

    A JPEG from a camera is a subset of the information captured from the sensor ie the RAW file... once it is a JPEG then information has been thrown and no amount of processing will ever recover that

    K
     
  7. ~tc~

    ~tc~ Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Oct 22, 2010
    Houston, TX
    Agreed, but the wife has a Panny TS2 (for a reason) which doesn't do RAW, so it would be nice to have at least some degree of JPG functionality, especially if the photo organization functionality is "all or nothing".

    Does LR perform panorama stitching or HDR? Or can it be done well through a plugin?
     
  8. Phaedrus

    Phaedrus New to Mu-43

    9
    Jul 18, 2010
    I'd like to respectfully disagree here. There were (and are!) experienced photographers on Photoshop's dev team and they knew what they were doing. If they wanted to take the direction you are indicating, they'd have called it Printshop or Layoutshop (but that's what Indesign is for). And they were so bold (for the time) to add capabilities to Photoshop that were not mere replications of darkroom techniques, e.g. layers and, notably, layer masks. That it got complex to use is not their fault. Somme artistic tools always were complex, just try copperplate engraving.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  9. flash

    flash Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Apr 29, 2010
    1 hour from Sydney Australia.
    Gordon
    LR Enfuse is aLightroom plug in for HDR. There is a stitch program but I can't remember the name.

    And LR functions just fine with jpegs. Most functions work in a very similar way to raw files.

    Gordon
     
  10. pictor

    pictor Mu-43 Top Veteran

    635
    Jul 17, 2010
    Lightroom does not store pictures in any secret location, but exactly where you tell Lightroom to store your pictures. If you want to use the processed raw files outside of Lightroom, you have to export your pictures as JPEGs (or any other format). This is no limitation, it is necessary because of the non-destructiveness of the raw development which Lightroom and all other raw converters do. The result of your changes cannot be found anywhere physically, but only the applied steps which are saved in a database or in XMP sidecar files.

    The limiting factor is not Lightroom, the limiting factor are the JPEGs! You cannot do as much with JPEGs as with raw files in any program.
     
  11. kevinparis

    kevinparis Cantankerous Scotsman

    Feb 12, 2010
    Gent, Belgium
    I wil have to just as respectfully disagree back at you. As a former graphic designer, who from 1987 onwards has worked in the computer industry, first with Aldus, orginators of the first Desktop Publishing Application, PageMaker, and later for Apple, I saw the arrival of Photoshop, and recognise exactly what it was designed to do, which was to provide a digital equivalent of the reprographic darkroom, which is different from the photographic dark room.

    The concepts of masks and working in layers, and even techniques such as sharpening has its roots in the analog preparation of artwork for print reproduction, and as such Photoshop was a vital component in the digital revolution that swept the publishing industry in the early 1990's. The primary input to Photoshop well into the 1990's was the scanner not the digital camera.

    By the time digital cameras had become mainstream in the late 1990's, Photoshop had established itself as the industry leader in manipulating the pixels of a digital image, and therefore was the the natural starting point for digital photographers. However it remains true that Photoshop was never really designed with the photographer in mind, it was designed to meet the needs of the graphic art and reprographic industries.

    K
     
  12. Ulfric M Douglas

    Ulfric M Douglas Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Mar 6, 2010
    Northumberland
    TC : I use my own way to store pictures where I want them and don't let lightroom (or any other editor) put them where I don't want. That's just simple "using a computer" stuff.
    Lightroom works very nicely with Jpegs too.
     
  13. kevinparis

    kevinparis Cantankerous Scotsman

    Feb 12, 2010
    Gent, Belgium
    • Like Like x 1
  14. Luke

    Luke Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Jul 30, 2010
    Milwaukee, WI
    Luke
    Can someone explain what Lightroom does that Elements doesn't do. I'm not interested in its' organizational skills. I'm VERY unclear about the differences between all of Adobes different products. And I don't to be stuff I don't need. I am finally getting quite proficient with Elements and am just wondering if Lightroom can offer me anything that Elements doesn't do.
     
  15. tupper

    tupper New to Mu-43

    9
    Dec 19, 2010
    Jakarta
    I know your 'not interested in it' but while both can do a lot of the same things, organisation and layout of Lightroom are the reason I choose to use Lightroom instead of CS5 for almost all my photowork. The processing time saved by using Lightroom is incredible, a far superior application in my opinion if you are needing to edit large amounts of images separately.

    Can you not download a trial version and give it a quick spin?
     
  16. usayit

    usayit Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Lightroom is focused on the photographer's workflow.

    Photoshop (any version) is focused on providing tools for detailed edits and graphical modifications.


    For most photographers, Lightroom is better suited. I am still on Photoshop CS and never had the pressing need to update when I started using Lightroom. It comes up on the occasional edit required.


    I agree... download the free trial and take Lightroom for a spin. Be patient and make sure you have time during the trial to really dig into it; editing capabilities and mangement in particular. If you are an avid user of Photoshop, the mental change is required but most fall into it quite nicely.
     
  17. ~tc~

    ~tc~ Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Oct 22, 2010
    Houston, TX
    I think that's another way of asking my same question, but it seems the thing LR does much better is handle RAW
     
  18. kevinparis

    kevinparis Cantankerous Scotsman

    Feb 12, 2010
    Gent, Belgium
    one big difference between Lightroom/Aperture and photoshop/Elements is the non destructive way of working.

    in PS when you open a image you are editing directly the original file - screw it up and its gone - unless of course you duplicate the file before opening and remember what the copy was called and where its stored.

    In Lightroom/Aperture the application never alters the original file. It merely reads the information and applies the changes in realtime, storing only the 'recipe' of what you have done. It never creates an new image file unless you specifically ask it to.

    Trust me... this is a major benefit

    K
     
  19. flash

    flash Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Apr 29, 2010
    1 hour from Sydney Australia.
    Gordon
    In reality, not much. But there's a different mindset and workflow when changing from a pixel based editor like elements or Photoshop and a "digital darkroom" program like Lightroom.

    If you're not looking to use the organization abilities of Lightroom then it's not going to offer you any more than Bridge. But if like me you work with thousands of images per week then LR is indispensable. LR is mostly a global editor and image database. It's like Bridge, AcR and ACDSee got together and made a baby. Too many people concentrate on the develop module in LR, because that's where you get to have most of your interaction with the program. But while LR, is a powerful and excellent raw converter program it excels in the way it merges the data base and processing functions.

    A question for you. If I asked you to find al your photos of family members that you have on your computer and assorted hard drives, how long would it take you to compile them all into one place? When you had done so, would you be confident you hadn't missed any?

    Another question. How many duplicates copies do you have on your system? Not backups, but photos you've copied twice accidentally.

    LR is a great raw converter, but it's exactly the same engine as ACR. You can use C1, or Bibble, or DXO or many others. You can use the free stuff that came with your camera and get great results. Lightroom's strength is that it is integrated with the library. That when you work on a raw file, or you send a file out to Photoshop those changes are listed and stored in the database automatically.

    In answer to my own questions. I have 160,000 images in my database. Using LR it will take me exactly 5 seconds to find any images on any topic regardless of their physical location. And I have exactly 0 unwanted duplicates on my system.

    As to what LR can do that Elements can not, ignoring the database advantages.
    - virtual copies. Multiple versions of an image with only one physical set of data.
    - customizable web gallery generation.
    - simpler page layout for printing functionality.
    - history and reversible file changes, even after the program has been quit and restarted.
    - far more powerful raw file editing as Elements used a simplified version of ACR.
    - non destructive workflow.

    Gordon
     
    • Like Like x 1
  20. Luke

    Luke Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Jul 30, 2010
    Milwaukee, WI
    Luke
    Thank you Gordon for taking the time to explain what the differences (and non-differences) are. I will have to find time to download the trial when I have some major time to put it through its' paces and the inevitable learning curve.