Skip navigation
Currently Being Moderated

Elements vs Lightroom

Feb 11, 2013 3:29 PM

Tags: #lightroom #elements

I bought Elements back in August. Can't seem to wrap my head around it. I'm thinking that Lightroom is more of what I want. I've been using iPhoto, but I just discovered that it converts RAW images to JPEG when I try to export them to a storage device. I could sure use some advice on whether to go with Lightroom....  is it as difficult to grasp as Elements? I don't suppose it's possible to get an upgrade or exchange somehow since I'm not a bit happy with Elements?

 

ANY suggestions to someone a bit baffled by the choices here at Adobe would be much appreciated.

 
Replies
  • Currently Being Moderated
    Feb 11, 2013 3:45 PM   in reply to NFWW

    You can try Lightroom for free for 30 days and see if it's a suitable fit for you and your workflow.

    http://www.adobe.com/go/trylightroom/

     

    Lots of tutorials online

    http://tv.adobe.com/product/lightroom/

     
    |
    Mark as:
  • Currently Being Moderated
    Feb 11, 2013 4:16 PM   in reply to NFWW

    Elements uses a "cripple-ware" version of ACR (Adobe Camera Raw - raw processing engine). So for that reason, I recommend Lightroom.

     

    That said, Lightroom also involves a learning curve (in some ways easier to learn than Elements, but in other ways: it can be a challenge too...).

     

    Note: in *all* raw processors, raws must be exported as (or saved as) jpegs (or tiff) for external consumption.

     

    Rob

     
    |
    Mark as:
  • Currently Being Moderated
    Feb 11, 2013 4:54 PM   in reply to NFWW

    ANY suggestions to someone a bit baffled by the choices

    I guess it would help to know what parts of the Photoshop Elements software baffle you.

     

    I agree with Rob, in some ways Lightroom is easier to learn than PSE, but it also baffles a lot of people.

     
    |
    Mark as:
  • Currently Being Moderated
    Feb 12, 2013 11:37 AM   in reply to NFWW

    I just couldn't get the hang of dealing with layers. Could be I wasn't willing to invest the effort at that time due to other commitments. Then again I'm getting the feeling that the problem may have been that I wasn't using RAW files?

    Layers are not limited to RAW files. They are simply one of many tools you can use on ANY photo. And in Photoshop Elements, there is no requirement that you use layers, you can do some very nice editing without ever creating a layer.

    I was just at a photo workshop where it was suggested I start shooting in RAW plus JPEG. But I'm thinking I don't want to be storing these on the laptop. So, when I tried to export them, they were converted to JPEGs. What am I missing here?

    Shooting RAW + JPG doesn't help unless you can perform the edits. What was the reason they gave when they advised you to shoot RAW+JPG? In most cases, I think RAW+JPG is a waste of time and disk space, with the exceptions that it MIGHT be a good way to learn the differences, and if you need a quick JPG for publication.

     

    I'm thinking of taking a class at the community college to get a handle on Photoshop or its components, but what's a good approach to saving some of the best shots from Big Sur in the meantime?

    Class at community college bears no relationship that I can see to "good approach to saving". I'm not sure what you are trying to say. But to answer what is a good approach to saving some of your best shots, this is quite vague, and my only answer is that you save them.

    This was where I thought Lightroom might come in handy? Would that make sense as a first step?

    Without more details, the only thing I can say is that Lightroom is not necessary to enable you to save your best photos. In fact, your photos are not stored in Lightroom at all. If you want to save the best shots, you don't need any specific photographic software, your operating system is all you need.

     

    Lightroom is useful as a workflow package, it allows you to move photos from camera to computer, organize them, edit them and then output them in a variety of formats (web, print, slideshow, photobook, individual files). None of what you have discussed indicates that Lightroom is the right software for you, and it might be that some simpler package would work well for you. Or it may be that Lightroom is the perfect package for you, but you simply haven't explained why. In my experience one of the reasons people try Lightroom and never get useful results is that they either don't understand or misunderstand Lightroom's benefits. I think you need to understand the benefits of Lightroom for your situation a whole lot better before you decide to give it a try.

     
    |
    Mark as:
  • Currently Being Moderated
    Feb 12, 2013 9:22 PM   in reply to NFWW

    NFWW wrote:

     

    Rob's response:

    Note: in *all* raw processors, raws must be exported as (or saved as) jpegs (or tiff) for external consumption.

    sounds like it somehow isn't possible to move a raw file without it being converted. Is that really possible?

    Sorry I didn't reply sooner. For a while I was getting emailed forum messages for everything, but then on the web only some were there...

     

    Anyway, the way Lightroom works is:

    * you import files, raw or jpeg or whatever, and those are not much touched (except maybe xmp metadata gets written to them).

    * when you edit metadata and/or develop settings in Lightroom, those edits are stored in the catalog, not the file being edited.

    * when you export, the changes from the catalog are combined with the originally imported file, and a new "cooked" file is created and placed in the export destination location.

    The above is true, *unless* you export in 'ORIGINAL' format, in which case it does not "cook" anything, and just saves the originally imported file in the export destination.

     

    So you can backup the original using ordinary 3rd party backup software, or by exporting in original format, or whatever (plugins...).

     

    If you want to "move" it within Lightroom (and on disk), and not export it, i.e. not create another physical copy of it, then that's another thing altogether - just drag photos into preferred location (folder), or create new folder (e.g. right/ctrl-click) and populate it with selected photo files...

     

    Clearer?

    Rob

     
    |
    Mark as:
  • Currently Being Moderated
    Feb 12, 2013 9:36 PM   in reply to NFWW

    NFWW wrote:

     

    Yeah...  thank you.

    Thanks for the help!

    You bet .

     

     

    NFWW wrote:

     

    But it sort of begs the question why iPhoto is insisting on converting the file.

    The option to export in original format is hardly necessary, since it is essentially equivalent to just copying the file using your OS (e.g. Finder/Explorer).

     

    It's entirely possible that iPhoto just does not offer such an option (I do not know) - begging the question: where exactly are those original files anyway...(?)

     

    Cheers,

    Rob

     
    |
    Mark as:
  • Currently Being Moderated
    Feb 13, 2013 6:41 AM   in reply to NFWW

    The thing was that the instructor at the workshop apparently thought some of my images were good enough to save as RAW for some future date.... if or when I manage to learn some editing skills. In the meantime RAW images could eat up all kinds of space, so it seemed the logical thing to do was to store them to an external drive.

    If the photos are good enough to capture as RAW (not save as RAW), then this argues for shooting RAW only, not RAW+JPG.

     

    Moving RAW files to somewhere else is a reasonable decision, but it is a decision that has nothing to do with Lightroom, and doesn't argue in favor or against your future use of Lightroom. Other software does this as well, and your operating system can do it too.

     

    So, I still think you haven't stated a case for using Lightroom. It might be the perfect software for you, it might not. Earlier, I said "Lightroom is useful as a workflow package, it allows you to move photos from camera to computer, organize them, edit them and then output them in a variety of formats (web, print, slideshow, photobook, individual files)." You haven't jumped up and said "YES THAT IS WHAT I WANT", you haven't even commented on my statement. I don't have enough information to know if you should give Lightroom a try or not. But I'm guessing at this time, it isn't the right package for you, or you would have said "YES THAT IS WHAT I WANT".

     
    |
    Mark as:
  • Currently Being Moderated
    Feb 13, 2013 7:24 AM   in reply to NFWW

    If your biggest concern with raw files is that they take up a lot of room, then shooting in raw probably isn't for you.  What do you do with your photography?  What is it that you want to accomplish?  The reason raw files are bigger is because they contain more image data, and that data is in a format that enables you to do more in post processing.  You can recover more highlights and shadows, and you can manipulate the image a lot more when working with raw data.  But you haven't given any indication that you are at that point yet.  What kind of camera are you using?  What do you like to take pictures of?  What do you do with them (print, e-mail, store on the computer, what?) What do you expect your software to do?

     

    Lightroom does not use layers.  But I don't know that that would be any real benefit to you.  Layers are a very powerful tool, but it takes time and effort to learn how to use them.  Lightroom takes time and effort to learn how to use.  Any software program does.  You might be satisfied with free software such as Picasa for all I know.  What is it that you specifically feel that you need that makes you think Lightroom is the solution?

     
    |
    Mark as:
  • Currently Being Moderated
    Feb 13, 2013 8:13 AM   in reply to JimHess

    JimHess wrote:

     

    If your biggest concern with raw files is that they take up a lot of room, then shooting in raw probably isn't for you.

    Consider converting some raws to lossy DNG.

     

    Pros: Editing a lossy DNG file is exactly the same as editing the original raw (same blacks/whites behavior, camera profiles, white balance, lens corrections...), except file is much smaller.

    Cons: Loss of top quality due to lossy compression, although I swear: sometimes I really have to strain to see the difference .

     

    Cheers,

    Rob

     
    |
    Mark as:
  • Currently Being Moderated
    Feb 13, 2013 9:58 AM   in reply to Rob Cole

    Rob Cole wrote:

     

    JimHess wrote:

     

    If your biggest concern with raw files is that they take up a lot of room, then shooting in raw probably isn't for you.

    Consider converting some raws to lossy DNG.

     

    Pros: Editing a lossy DNG file is exactly the same as editing the original raw (same blacks/whites behavior, camera profiles, white balance, lens corrections...), except file is much smaller.

    Cons: Loss of top quality due to lossy compression, although I swear: sometimes I really have to strain to see the difference .

     

    Cheers,

    Rob

     

    Converting some raws as lossy DNG is a good idea.

     

    However it does not necessarily mean you should use Lightroom... because that feature is also available in PSE11.

    That format is even more useful in PSE than in Lightroom for several reasons : can be used with jpegs as well as raws, which means you can open dng from original jpets in ACR 7 directly from the Organizer. Another plus is you can choose lossy or non lossy format, and have sequential naming for the equivalent of 'version sets'.

    The basic + detail tabs can deal with most of your pictures, which means the DNG will keep your original as well as your editing instructions. You get a non destructive format, you can save different editing versions without losing your edits (those versions can be managed in the organizer via stacks).

     

    My guess is that even if you choose Lightroom for library management, you'll need the editor in Elements anyway for a part of your pictures. So the choice would be Organizer (included = free) or Lightroom (powerful and affordable). Both have a real learning curve, so if you are on a budget, choosing the Organizer seems a good idea, but if you want to avoid learning two different softwares, starting with Lightroom will be easier.

     
    |
    Mark as:
  • Currently Being Moderated
    Feb 13, 2013 11:17 AM   in reply to NFWW

    There is no masking in Lightroom

     

    NIK software are a variety of plug-ins for Photoshop and Lightroom that perform specific tasks. You can view them at niksoftware.com

     

    The presence of RAW files on your hard disk will NOT slow down your computer (unless you have reached the point where there is very little free space left on your hard disk), and moving them to a different hard disk will NOT speed up your computer (unless you have reached the point where there is very little free space left on your hard disk). RAW files may take longer to process in an image processing program.

     
    |
    Mark as:
  • Currently Being Moderated
    Feb 13, 2013 11:37 AM   in reply to NFWW
    "I'm getting the distinct feeling that Lightroom might be the place for me to start" 

     

    I get the opposite impression.

     

    What have we learned about you so far? 1) You didn't understand layers; 2) You are intrigued by masks; 3) You shoot landscapes, birds and critters; 4) You'd like to save your best shots as RAW for future editing and enhancing once you learn how.

     

    None of this screams Lightroom. You haven't mentioned wanted to make use of a single one of Lightroom's strengths. Based on the above, PSE might be a better tools for you, at least it has masks, and it can edit RAWs and lossy DNGs.

     
    |
    Mark as:
  • Currently Being Moderated
    Feb 13, 2013 6:03 PM   in reply to MichelBParis

    MichelBParis wrote:

     

    Rob Cole wrote: ...

     

    However it does not necessarily mean you should use Lightroom...

    For the record, I did not intend to imply that it did .

     

    I'm with DJ Paige so far - unable to tell, based on what OP has said, which app (or maybe both) would be bested suited. IMO: OP should just try both - lots can be gleaned by how it feels to use, and looks, and comfort w/UI..., even if either app would suffice.

     

     

    MichelBParis wrote:

     

    ...(in PSE, lossy DNG) can be used with jpegs as well as raws...

    The same is true in Lightroom - although you can't convert to lossy upon import (without a plugin), you can convert (any file type, including jpegs) at any time after import.

     

    Again: not trying to sell/convince/persuade, just clarifying...

     

     

    Me? - I use Lightroom because:

    * I like the way it looks - pretty UI: my favorite editor previously was Kai's PhotoSoap (same designers created Lr UI).

    * Publish services.

    * The plugin infrastructure - I (write and) use a veritable shipload of plugins for all kinds of things, and I really like lua (the language in which plugins are written).

    (among other things)

     

    Cheers,

    Rob

     
    |
    Mark as:
  • Currently Being Moderated
    Feb 14, 2013 12:20 AM   in reply to Rob Cole

    Rob,

    I perfectly understood your point and I am totally with you and Paige :

    I thought it was clear that my additional info was not to make a point in favour of PSE rather than Lightroom. I believe that MFWW now has a better understanding of what is important for a personal choice.

    Me?

    Although I have been a PSE addict for a number of years, I have always considered Lightroom as an extremely interesting and efficient tool for 'power users'; pros and amateurs as well.

    - Its workflow management is logical

    - Its 'parametric' principle is great

    - Its workflow customization feature is impressive.

    - Its new price is really attractive

     

    To be fair, I don't really need it, since I can do everything necessary for my own amateur purposes with PSE.

    But I like using Lightroom very much.

     

    So, why did I wait until last year to use LR as my primary editor ?

    - the price has become affordable

    - I have been able to upgrade my hardware and OS from my older XP PC which can't handle LR

    - I had a kind of syncing procedure of my catalogs with other members of my family with PSE. They won't have LR, so I have had to find a workflow to provide them with updated PSE catalogs.

     

    In my 'amateur' needs, what do I miss with only PSE ?

    - the ability to open jpegs in ACR directly from the Organizer. I miss the 'EditInAcr' from John R Ellis in older versions. (Thus my interest for the DNG conversion)

    - the ability to merge catalogs, import from catalogs...

    - The 'syncing' feature for similar edits (though there are ways to use ACR 'previous conversion' and process multiple files in PSE)

    - I can't convert LR catalogs to PSE organizer format to share with the family

    - I miss the LR printing module, and I'll probably miss more when I know LR better...

     

    What I don't really miss in PSE compared to LR :

    - the wealth of customization and presets, the advanced metadata management which are important for most other users.

    - the missing tabs : the new basic tab of ACR 7 is excellent, and what the other tools can do I can do in the PSE editor itself. The excellent lens and CA correction ? I have DxO for the rare cases I need them. For 5% of my pictures I need the editor and it's a pleasure to use it.

    - the parametric and non-destructive philosophy : I am using ACR in PSE with raws and jpegs, so, that principle is kept even if the workflow is not obvious to most PSE users.

     

    Those are my personal reasons... and I very much doubt that they can help anybody to make their own choices

     
    |
    Mark as:
  • Currently Being Moderated
    Feb 14, 2013 2:33 AM   in reply to NFWW

    NFWW wrote:

     

    ...now that I've been made to feel like a complete idiot....

    Sorry it was such a struggle getting to this point for both of us.

     

    There is a lot of overlap, and it can be confusing. It can take a lot of thought to develop a workflow and toolset that suits - I think most everybody goes through it - certainly I did  . On the other hand, maybe some people fall into something and never give it a 2nd thought - dunno... .

     

    Cheers,

    Rob

     
    |
    Mark as:

More Like This

  • Retrieving data ...

Bookmarked By (0)

Answers + Points = Status

  • 10 points awarded for Correct Answers
  • 5 points awarded for Helpful Answers
  • 10,000+ points
  • 1,001-10,000 points
  • 501-1,000 points
  • 5-500 points