As with most things in life different people have different expectations. Some like you don't see much use in program, others love it.
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Lots of articles online looking at PS vs LR
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Tell me what you think ... convince me.
You may not need to be convinced; Photoshop might be what you need. It depends on what your priorities are.
It's true that with Bridge and Camera Raw you can do almost anything you can do with Lightroom. But the difference between Lightroom and Photoshop is not about comparining the lists of features. It's about workflow.
Photoshop originated many years ago designed for editing individual images in an era when images came as RGB or CMYK files from scanners, when you handled maybe tens of images at a time, and when there was one final output: print. Camera Raw and Bridge are literally afterthoughts to that history, coded much later and completely separate programs than Photoshop.
Lightroom was designed for today's workflows, where hundreds of images in raw format can flood in from a camera card in one session and you might handle thousands in a year, where metadata is important, and where there are typically multiple outputs: web/social media, print, and video. So the features to support that workflow are integrated in one place.
If you tend to work on a few images at a time in great detail at a pixel level, Photoshop is your program; when you need to edit raws or sync settings you've got Camera Raw and Bridge. But if you work on high volumes of raw files, Lightroom is more efficient. In Lightroom, the features in Camera Raw and Bridge are more integrated and with some keyboard shortcuts that Bridge simply doesn't have. It's much faster to pick and rate and work with collections, faster to use and filter keywords and other metadata, easier to watermark images. When you need consistent output to multiple destination formats, the way presets work for Export and Print is so efficient it really tilts the workflow in favor of Lightroom. The infinite undo history that never gets deleted is a very powerful Lightroom feature.
If you need to edit a raw file, organize it with others, and print it, in Photoshop you would need to drag that image through up to four programs: Adobe Camera Downloader, Camera Raw, Bridge, and Photoshop. In Lightroom, the same tasks are done in a single program and I find this makes it easier and faster to move between whatever features I need at the time. For example, if you're printing a raw file and want to fix a problem, in Photoshop it's a long trip back to the raw controls where in Lightroom you get there by pressing one key.
But the one thing that can't be argued is that if you often use tools that are only in Photoshop, you have to use Photoshop. As far as Bridge goes, Lightroom catalogs only still and video formats that come out of a camera, so if you need to catalog other formats like PNG, Illustrator, Flash, and HTML files you need to use Bridge.
Hope that helps you compare the two.
Absolutely great explanation, Mr. Chavez!
I realize it's been over a year since your post, but this is where the perpuity of the Internet works to our advantage.
Penni, there are several regular posters here who don't use Lightroom. In fact oneof them doesn't even use Bridge, but I don't know how he manages.
I do the occassional two day event which might leave me with 600 to a 1000 images to process, and I am convinced I can get through them as quickly with Bridge and PS, and I really don't like the LR UI. Plus I frequently want to do something only possible with Photoshop, and can't be arsed moving files between the apps.
Regards DAM, I save jobs with 'year_month_day_meaningful name' and use the excellent Windows 7 search facility. I can always find what I am looking for, and if I wanted to use tags, Bridge will do that anyway. Although I find bridge way too slow as a searching tool.
Having said that, I enjoy Photoshop far more for illustration and image creation, so couldn't be without it.
Lightroom is a superior image organizer better then Bridge+Photoshop. If you run a Photo business lightroom may prove to be the image organize you want. Lightroom has limited editing capabilities but its editing is non destructive. Lightroom is also easier to learn then Photoshop. For it can not much of what Photoshop can.
Photoshop is a superior image editor it can do all the image editing that Lightroom can do and much much more. Photoshop can be automated well via Actions and powerful scripting.. Photoshop supports layer making is easy to make composite complex collages. Photoshop has good text support and even has a spellchecker. Photoshop has limited 3D support and 3D printing. Layer effect, adjustments layers, layer styles, masking. Photoshop is an full function image editor Lightroom is not.
Bridge while not a powerful as Lighroom for image organization It has search and can filter file and make collections its a good front end for ACR and Photoshop as well as being a good metadata editor. I don't use Bridge that often for some thing like importing image are slow. I would also think LR would take time to import images. With either I would most likely take a break during import.
I do no use LR for I feel I don't need or want a second user interface to Adobe Raw Conversion Engine. ACR is all I need and I don't need to use large intermediate 16Bit Tiff files to use Photoshop well with ACR. LR does not interface to Photoshop as well as Bridge and ACR.
A good comparison can be found here: Adobe Bridge CC vs. Lightroom 5 - Which is best for you? | Adobe Evangelists - Terry White | Adobe TV. For me, the thing that made me stick with Bridge is its support for non-photographic formats, such as Illustrator or InDesign files.
I might want to add this excellent essay about Bridge by Alan Gilbertson
What Adobe Bridge does:
Bridge is the coordinating hub of the Creative Suite. Synchronizing color management settings for all suite programs is done from Bridge, and can only be done from Bridge, to take one important use
Bridge displays actual thumbnails of many more file types than Finder or Explorer. It also allows instant play of sound or video files more readily than the native OS file managers.
Bridge allows direct access to file metadata, to embed copyright information and keywords where appropriate (e.g., for corporate logo vector and raster files). It also displays the fonts used in an InDesign file, the swatches in an INDD or AI and the output plates (including spot color plates) they use.
When managing the assets for a design project, Bridge allows quick and simple sorting, rating and custom labeling (with color flash indications) of assets. I can rate images according to whether they are rejects, possibles, for review by client, or approved. The filters built into Bridge allow instant isolation of only the approved images or designs in a folder, only the rejects (for deletion) or only files with certain ratings, no matter how many files it contains. It recognizes aspect ratios, so if I only need a landscape or a 16:9 image in a folder of hundreds of images, I turn off the aspect ratios I don't need.
Once filtered, the remaining visible files can be selected and copied, moved, or deleted without affecting the rest of the contents of a folder.
Collections are a massively useful feature. One of my clients is a performing arts center, and in a season we turn out dozens of ads, flyers, brochures, web banners, playbills, billboards and other collateral using the same assets over and over. These assets are organized by artist and/or show on disk, but I set up each season's repeating assets as a Collection in Bridge, so that I just have to open the collection and drag and drop these assets into new INDD, AI, PSD, HTML (in Dreamweaver), FLA or AE projects without having to navigate from folder to folder picking up individual files.
Bridge's Favorites is another place I stack frequently-accessed folders, such as stock photography, backgrounds, and top-level folders for active projects.
Assets can be divided into subfolders, but a quick toggle of "Show items from subfolders" exposes all of the assets in a single view while maintaining their organization. I will typically keep AIs, PSDs, EPSs, stock photography and client images in separate subfolders within a project. When I'm ready to start pulling assets into an InDesign layout, I toggle this on and simply drag what I need into the layout.
Bridge comes with Adobe Camera Raw built in, which is many times faster than using Photoshop to adjust jpegs or tiffs for things like tonal range, white balance, cropping, spotting and sharpening, and is non-destructive.
One tremendously useful Bridge function for InDesign CS5+ users is the "Show linked files" feature, which opens all the linked files in a layout into a single view, regardless of where they are physically located. I often use this when doing alternative layouts from a client-approved mockup for a campaign, to be certain the same assets are used in each piece, or when creating a motion graphic or interactive piece for the campaign in After Effects or Flash.
The batch and image processing scripts built into Bridge automate things like creating web-ready small jpegs from multiple images, renaming large numbers of files in place or by copying to an alternative location, creating sets of PSD, png, jpeg or other file types from an assortment of image files, and so on.
Bridge is so much a part of my daily workflow that on my main workstation I have one monitor dedicated to it almost 100%. Bridge just sits open 24/7, ready for use. I would run at half speed without it, no question.
I’ve made a little graphic to help explain where I see the essential difference is. A friend of mine wrote something similar here and I made some graphics for it: http://www.bringyourownlaptop.co.nz/posts/lightroom-vs-photoshop.html
None. I've been using Photoshop professionally over 20 years and know it inside out. Every now and then a fellow photographer will rave about Lightroom and how I should give it a chance -- so I try. Lightroom is very limited in comparison. I think it's only for newbies who are intimidated by Photoshop's greatness.
All that Lightroom offers can be found in my long-time workflow of Adobe Bridge & Photoshop.
To me Lightroom is a toy and only leads me straight back to using Photoshop.
That's misleading. You have had a choice to work non-destructively in Photoshop for a long time now.