Lightroom vs. Photoshop - Which is The Most Powerful Photo Editing Tool?

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The sentence, “This definitely is Photoshopped” is commonly referred to Photoshop by photographers to edit and create amazing images and photographs. However, photographers are also using yet another Adobe product, Lightroom resulting in truffle in the minds on which software to choose, Lightroom or Photoshop.


Photoshop has been dominating the industry with its powerful tools to get the job done with minimum fuss. But with the Lightroom in the foray, it is not easy to bet on which one is best. So let’s check on the difference between these two software.


Lightroom is a lighter and cloud-based simple tool, while Photoshop is heavy photo editing software preferably used by professional photographers. Lightroom is faster and creates a better workflow in contrast to Photoshop. It has superior features and a quick image editing tool than Lightroom.


Lightroom offers Raw file processing and non-destructive editing features for photos, while Photoshop has many tools with a batch of editing features.


Let us find which one is better, Lightroom or Photoshop?


Basic Feature

While a photographer uses Lightroom for deeper editing and efficient performance to any image file within the shortest possible time, Photoshop is a powerful manipulative editing tool.  


Automatic options

In Lightroom, you can easily apply edits across a range of photos at the same time. These presets can save editors time. It is easy to organize the images in its database without the use of folders and subfolders.


However, Photoshop does not have many of these abilities. Though you can use Adobe Bridge, Lightroom is far superior.


Editing features
Lightroom is non-destructive as whatever changes or adjustment you make to an image is created as a separate copy, while an original file or copy remains unchanged.

But in Photoshop, you need to create a backup of your original image before starting the editing process. You can use undo actions by using the history panel and can also use tools like adjustment layers/Smart objects, but once you have saved the changes, you cannot redo it again as it is final.  

Raw File Engine

Lightroom automatically generates Raw files as well as corrections to boot. It also contains many adjustment sliders which are present in Adobe Camera Raw standalone. However, Photoshop does not have its Raw file engine and requires opening a separate window with Adobe Camera Raw to operate files. No doubt, Camera Raw works well with the Raw format but is an additional step, which is not required.

Layers and Composites

Nothing can be compared to Photoshop when it comes to image composites. The tool allows photographers to combine multiple images for getting a single masterpiece. But the Lightroom does not have such ability of its own, as it seamlessly works with Photoshop.


Lightroom has Batch editing options, but in Photoshop, you need to make edits one image at a time.


Presets and Actions

Both the programs have automatic tasks to perform. Photoshop has “Actions” while Lightroom has presets. Both can speed the editing process.


Advanced Editing Tools

If you are working on graphic design, Photoshop is best as you need to do GIFs, but Lightroom does not have such a facility as it is simply a photo editing tool.


Which is easier to learn?


Adobe Lightroom is easy to learn as all the tools are systematically and logically placed and are easy-to-use tools, while Photoshop is not easy to grasp as it contains many complex features.


Now photographers are spending maximum on their Lightroom photo editor for the easy-to-use and quick tools. But, those who require edit leaks, specific pixels, or healing brush uses Photoshop.


Whether Lightroom is best or Photoshop depends on your needs. If you want to be more creative, use Photoshop, but you can use Lightroom editing tools for editing photos perfectly well.


There is no doubt that with Lightroom you can work on all the devices, like home computers, mobile or tablets. Advice is if you can use both the programs. But the choice is all yours.

Comments (1)

Kristin Johnston - REALTOR®
RE/MAX Realty Center 262-567-2455 - Waukesha, WI
Giving Back With Each Home Sold!

Great information.  Thanks for sharing and have a wonderful day!

Jun 04, 2021 07:47 AM