Very basic software question

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Please excuse such a basic question. I have been using Elements 6 on my pc laptop. My laptop is now obsolete, and I'm considering moving to a Mac. This means new software. I have one of those deals for CS5 at a reduced rate. It also offers 30% off Lightroom if bought at the same time.

My question is, will I use both. Do you guys use both simultaneously, making this a good deal? Any info/insight would be greatly appreciated.
 
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It depends on how much time you spend (or want to spend) post-processing.

Lightroom is very, very good for organizing your library, processing pictures with (mostly) global adjustments*, and publishing or printing them. It's all I use for 99% of my pictures.

Photoshop is where you can get really detailed and specific (layered) adjustments done. There are lots of things that Photoshop can do that Lightroom can't. It's only about twice a year I have need for them.

*Global adjustments are adjustment that you apply to the entire image: exposure, white balance, noise reduction, curves, levels, sharpening, etc. Lightroom can do a few selective adjustments also: red eye, cloning, brush tools. Photoshop opens another world of selective adjustments.
 
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Lightroom is the work horse for digital images while Photoshop is the tool for complex jobs usually done one at a time. They are designed to work together which is how I use them.
In Lightroom I manage and process my files and if I want to do something tricky I open the file direct from Lightroom into Photoshop and when I've finished in Photoshop the file is back in Lightroom.
Hope that helps - Lightroom manages all the image files on your computer easily!!
 
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Lightroom is the work horse for digital images while Photoshop is the tool for complex jobs usually done one at a time. They are designed to work together which is how I use them.
In Lightroom I manage and process my files and if I want to do something tricky I open the file direct from Lightroom into Photoshop and when I've finished in Photoshop the file is back in Lightroom.
Hope that helps - Lightroom manages all the image files on your computer easily!!
Thanks! I guess if the deal is good I might as well go for both.
 
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Lightroom does more things than PSE in organisation, etc but not the same in editing as Lightroom is non-destructive (doesn't alter the original) and PSE is a pixel editor (does change the file).
 
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What about with respect to selective adjustments? Is PSE "more powerful" in that respect? I was thinking that since LR3 they're fairly equal in that regard.
 
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First the caveat that I am a CS5 user, but not LR (I use Photo Mechanic for ingest & organization).

LR is first and foremost a Digital Asset Manager (DAM), It also does editing and publishing. the editing capabilities are a 80% kind of solution - does great for stuff many folks do 80% of the time, but it has serious gaps for certain types of operations. Many folks think it's great for printing due to high quality built in print sharpening, among other features, but it is a non-starter for me in printing due to two things - no soft proofing (without 3rd party plugins) and no easy way to use Perfect Resizer (aka Genuine Fractals) for uprezing to print at native resolutions.

LR is without a doubt the best single app solution (far more capable than Aperture IMHO), but I am too picky about certain things to give up CS5 and Capture NX 2.

CS5 does include Adobe Bridge, which is an image browser/tagger/organizer, although not a full-fledged DAM (i.e. doesn't work from a catalog DB) like LR.

I use the Nik plugins extensively, and there is a huge advantage to running those from within CS5 due to the availability of local adjustments (the Nik stuff automates brushing in the effects using photoshop layer masks). You can't get there with LR only - no layers.

One suggestion on the Mac - CS5 runs MUCH faster with larger amounts of RAM, unlike CS4 due to it being a 64 bit application. Get at least 8 GB in your new Mac - more if you can swing it.
 
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A further explanation is probably in order. I have used Photo Mechanic for years. I have periodically tried LR, and just installed the demo of 3.3 this week to check it out again since I am finally moving away from NX 2 as my RAW converter of choice to CS5/ACR (ACR 6.3/6.4 is greatly improved and I can now equal or exceed the IQ on NEF's for most images compared to NX 2).

However, I just can't get comfortable with LR compared to PM for image management. I'm just too used to the PM way of doing things.

And to slightly clarify Geoff's comment - Adobe Capture Raw (ACR) is non-destructive, whether used from CS5 or the built in version in LR. The adjustments performed in CS5 outside of ACR are destructive, although most users make extensive use of layers to effectively achieve the same non-destructive behavior in a different way.

Editing in LR definitely has a shorter learning curve, and is much closer to what you are likely used to in Elements.
 
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I've never had the chance to use LR. If its equal to PSE with organizing, it sounds like a better deal.
It's actually better, IMHO. I was a PSE user for several revs, up through 6, but there were some things Adobe 'broke' from 6 to 7 that caused me to move to LR.

As has been said, LR is a great tool for the majority of needs. Depending on the CS discount, it may be cheaper for you to purchase LR & PSE. I do the same for heavy duty cloning (e.g. removing a telephone pole). And now that PSE has true layers, and a few other things, it's pretty capable. The only major shortcoming for some is that PSE can only work in 8-bit.
 
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The only major shortcoming for some is that PSE can only work in 8-bit.
That's a really big issue as far as I'm concerned. If you need to do something outside of LR, you probably are talking about fairly significant editing, so operating on 8 bit images is a big limitation quality-wise.
 
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A further explanation is probably in order. I have used Photo Mechanic for years. I have periodically tried LR, and just installed the demo of 3.3 this week to check it out again since I am finally moving away from NX 2 as my RAW converter of choice to CS5/ACR (ACR 6.3/6.4 is greatly improved and I can now equal or exceed the IQ on NEF's for most images compared to NX 2).

However, I just can't get comfortable with LR compared to PM for image management. I'm just too used to the PM way of doing things.

And to slightly clarify Geoff's comment - Adobe Capture Raw (ACR) is non-destructive, whether used from CS5 or the built in version in LR. The adjustments performed in CS5 outside of ACR are destructive, although most users make extensive use of layers to effectively achieve the same non-destructive behavior in a different way.

Editing in LR definitely has a shorter learning curve, and is much closer to what you are likely used to in Elements.
First the caveat that I am a CS5 user, but not LR (I use Photo Mechanic for ingest & organization).

LR is first and foremost a Digital Asset Manager (DAM), It also does editing and publishing. the editing capabilities are a 80% kind of solution - does great for stuff many folks do 80% of the time, but it has serious gaps for certain types of operations. Many folks think it's great for printing due to high quality built in print sharpening, among other features, but it is a non-starter for me in printing due to two things - no soft proofing (without 3rd party plugins) and no easy way to use Perfect Resizer (aka Genuine Fractals) for uprezing to print at native resolutions.

LR is without a doubt the best single app solution (far more capable than Aperture IMHO), but I am too picky about certain things to give up CS5 and Capture NX 2.

CS5 does include Adobe Bridge, which is an image browser/tagger/organizer, although not a full-fledged DAM (i.e. doesn't work from a catalog DB) like LR.

I use the Nik plugins extensively, and there is a huge advantage to running those from within CS5 due to the availability of local adjustments (the Nik stuff automates brushing in the effects using photoshop layer masks). You can't get there with LR only - no layers.

One suggestion on the Mac - CS5 runs MUCH faster with larger amounts of RAM, unlike CS4 due to it being a 64 bit application. Get at least 8 GB in your new Mac - more if you can swing it.
That's a really big issue as far as I'm concerned. If you need to do something outside of LR, you probably are talking about fairly significant editing, so operating on 8 bit images is a big limitation quality-wise.
Thanks Keith for the extensive info. I've been organizing my photos in a caveman fashion from old Canon Zoombrowser software. I make folders and name them. There is no crossreferencing. I just have to know where everything is. Anything would probably be an improvement (although this is simple for me)! As far as the GB, the mac comes with 4. it was an extra $200 to go to 8GB, and the salesperson told me that price should come down in the future. I was going to hold off on the upgrade. Still under consideration. I need more clarification on the 8 bit images. Does that mean that Lightroom limits the size/quality of the image?
 
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It's actually better, IMHO. I was a PSE user for several revs, up through 6, but there were some things Adobe 'broke' from 6 to 7 that caused me to move to LR.

As has been said, LR is a great tool for the majority of needs. Depending on the CS discount, it may be cheaper for you to purchase LR & PSE. I do the same for heavy duty cloning (e.g. removing a telephone pole). And now that PSE has true layers, and a few other things, it's pretty capable. The only major shortcoming for some is that PSE can only work in 8-bit.
Thanks Chris. So you do cloning and those kinds of functions in LR? I feel so obsessive about this, but I want to make sure I get something that gives me lots of growing room!
 
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Thanks Chris. So you do cloning and those kinds of functions in LR? I feel so obsessive about this, but I want to make sure I get something that gives me lots of growing room!
Think of lightroom as PS/PSE but where the only editing can be done through adjustment layers; that will give you a pretty good idea of the "limitations" of LR. But... it's much, much better at working with raw files than Photoshop or Elements are - it's able to "pull a lot more" out of the files than PSE is.

If you shoot a lot of raw photos and you want to do a lot of adjusting to those images, LR is the preferred choice. If on the other hand you do a lot of editing to some of those images, PS or PSE is the preferred choice.

In general you're better off with a raw editor. And there are a lot of promotional actions that allow you to get PSE for $50 or less.
 
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Think of lightroom as PS/PSE but where the only editing can be done through adjustment layers; that will give you a pretty good idea of the "limitations" of LR. But... it's much, much better at working with raw files than Photoshop or Elements are - it's able to "pull a lot more" out of the files than PSE is.

If you shoot a lot of raw photos and you want to do a lot of adjusting to those images, LR is the preferred choice. If on the other hand you do a lot of editing to some of those images, PS or PSE is the preferred choice.

In general you're better off with a raw editor. And there are a lot of promotional actions that allow you to get PSE for $50 or less.
More good info! I've limited my raw because of my old computer capacity, but this is definitely an important consideration now with an upgrade! Thanks!
 
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Think of lightroom as PS/PSE but where the only editing can be done through adjustment layers; that will give you a pretty good idea of the "limitations" of LR. But... it's much, much better at working with raw files than Photoshop or Elements are - it's able to "pull a lot more" out of the files than PSE is.

If you shoot a lot of raw photos and you want to do a lot of adjusting to those images, LR is the preferred choice. If on the other hand you do a lot of editing to some of those images, PS or PSE is the preferred choice.

In general you're better off with a raw editor. And there are a lot of promotional actions that allow you to get PSE for $50 or less.
Whoa there! - most of the adjustments in LR are exactly the same as in ACR in CS5 (and presumably Elements), they are just packaged differently. The only difference is that LR has a few additional adjustments as non-destructive edits (that have nothing to do with pulling info out of RAW files) that are implemented as destructive adjustments in CS5 or PSE.

Please be careful with the disinformation. The exposure, NR, vibrance, clarity, black level, curves, fill light, adjustment brushes, etc are identical in ACR.
 
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Thanks Chris. So you do cloning and those kinds of functions in LR? I feel so obsessive about this, but I want to make sure I get something that gives me lots of growing room!
growing room = Photoshop CS5. Accept no substitutes :smile:

BTW, don't get RAM from Apple. order it from OWC (http://www.macsales.com) - same quality, lifetime warranty and half price or less. Instructions are in your Mac user manual - cave man simple.
 
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CS5 does include Adobe Bridge, which is an image browser/tagger/organizer, although not a full-fledged DAM (i.e. doesn't work from a catalog DB) like LR.

Is that the major difference? I know little about Lightroom, but at one time, did play with the trial. I saw no advantage of it for me (really didn't even like it). Bridge and ACR with Photoshop easily allows me to open a hundred images and do White Balance, cropping, whatever, to all in one operation.

Is there any way Lightroom enhances that editing operation? It seemed to me to be mostly be about managing the archived images.
 

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