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Time to man up and go Lightroom?

Discussion in 'Image Processing' started by Holmes375, Sep 26, 2011.

  1. Holmes375

    Holmes375 Mu-43 Regular

    Jan 6, 2010
    Rocky Mountains, USA

    Coming to m4/3 from a Nikon DSLR reality, shoot raw and process with NX2. Pretty good with the Nikon software and one of those few who actually like it :smile:

    I'll be shooting Panasonic raw files and I have Adobe Elements 9 with ACR on my computer. I use this software seldom and then only for minor adjustments. By no means an ACR/Elements wizard.

    With all the Lightroom discounts out and about I'm considering purchasing that software since its so popular and widely used. But... I'm an old fart and learning new software is no stroll in the park :biggrin:

    Since I will have to better learn ACR/Elements anyway with this foray into m4/3 would my photography be better served if I were to simply start with Lightroom and focus my feeble brain on it?

    Cataloguing is not a big issue with me as I'm no longer a volume shooter. I do like to work my files to maximise the output of the camera which is why I've always shot the raw format.

    I'm not in to panos or HDR stuff - just regular ol' levels and curves, WB/colour adjustments, sharpening, etc., and I like the ability to apply adjustments locally when desirable. I don't do a lot of noise reduction typically as I'm an old film shooter and not overly noise sensitive. When I do use NR I generally apply it to the chroma channels only.

    Since both Elements and Lightroom feature the same converter would I find substantial benefit to learning and using Lightroom over the more basic program?

    Thanks for any thoughts you might be able to share.
  2. krugorg

    krugorg Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Jul 18, 2011
    Minnesota USA
    I use Lightroom with our m4/3s and really like the workflow process, catalog, basic editing and, especially, the third-party presets and add-on plug-ins available.

    I had a Photoshop license at one time, but I find that I can accomplish most of what I need to do in Lightroom and more efficiently.

    If you want to give it a shot, you can download the Release Candidate version 3.5 for free (at some point, it will quit working). This is the latest with support for the new m4/3 cameras, like the E-P3.

    Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 3.5 Release Candidate | photo management software prerelease - Adobe Labs
  3. digitalandfilm

    digitalandfilm Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jul 18, 2011
    You will love it once you try it.
  4. flash

    flash Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Apr 29, 2010
    1 hour from Sydney Australia.
    Since you're not a big volume shooter, you may be better just using ACR in Elements, especially if the version you have supports the raw files you'll be playing with. Certainly LR has some additional functionality (virtual copies, unlimited history, collections, more advanced key wording and search,.... for example) they're not essential, for low volume photographers. LR can also do non destructive local adjustments. You'll have to make a baked file in Elements, of course, to do the same thing.

    Lightroom is my number 1 program. I use it for several hours every day. But since it and ACR can't read any of the proprietary file settings they can frustrate new users and therefore they do have a learning curve. Be prepared for that initially. Once you get used to it, though LR is very powerful indeed and, in my case, changed the way I work.

  5. Bill

    Bill Mu-43 Regular

    Apr 15, 2009
    Brisbane, Australia
    Bill (really)

    Yes, I think that you (as a raw shooter) would find Lightroom valuable, but probably more for the workflow. But, in addition, some of the Lightroom tools provide functions not easily replicated in Photoshop!

    And finally, I strongly suggest that if you're going to invest in Lightroom, that you go just that bit further and get the Luminous Landscape video guide to Lightroom 3. I found it very helpful.

    (I think you've guessed that I'm a Lightroom fan.)

    Good Luck!
    • Like Like x 1
  6. Rich M

    Rich M Mu-43 Veteran Subscribing Member

    Mar 2, 2010
    It's really not that hard a program to learn......in fact, being an old fart may give you a leg up.

    LR, at least for me, has been pretty intuitive coming from a film/darkroom environment.

    A great investment is Michael Reichmann and Jeff Schewe's video tutorials.

    Lightroom 3 Tutorial

    It's money well spent.

  7. meyerweb

    meyerweb Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Sep 5, 2011
    I haven't viewed the LL video tutorial, but I'm pretty pleased with the LR3 book by Scott Kelby. You can walk through it chapter by chapter learning how LR works, and also use it as a reference to go back to while your actually using LR in your own workflow.

    In general, I find it easier to have a book next to my monitor while I'm working on something than to switch back and forth between the actual program and a video tutorial. It's also easier to find a specific item in a book than something in the middle of a video.
  8. Holmes375

    Holmes375 Mu-43 Regular

    Jan 6, 2010
    Rocky Mountains, USA
    Thank you for your replies and insights.

    I've downloaded the LR 3.5 trial and ordered some tutorial materials including Kelby's book. I quite like video instruction but still prefer a good book to baby-sit me while working.

    Thanks again for your assistance.
  9. WT21

    WT21 Super Moderator Subscribing Member

    Feb 19, 2010
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