Which program is finest, Adobe Digital camera Uncooked vs Lightroom? And which do you have to use to your pictures workflow?
On this article, I’m going to share a radical comparability of those two applications. I’ll focus on all the important thing options, from modifying capabilities and file sorts to digital asset administration and integration.
By the point you’re finished, you’ll know which program is best for you – and I’ll even clarify how one can successfully combine each applications into your modifying workflow.
Let’s get began.
What Is Adobe Digital camera Uncooked?
Adobe Digital camera Uncooked (ACR) is a RAW file converter. It turns a RAW file right into a extra versatile file sort, comparable to a TIFF, JPEG, or perhaps a PSD – to be able to simply preview, share, or edit your work.
ACR started as a Photoshop plugin, permitting photographers to open RAW recordsdata, convert them in Digital camera Uncooked, then proceed with modifying in Photoshop. Nevertheless it quickly turned a everlasting fixture of the Photoshop surroundings (means again in 2003, when Adobe first launched Photoshop CS).
Since then, Digital camera Uncooked has gone by means of loads of iterations. At this time, it affords tons of of modifying choices, together with fundamental publicity changes, fundamental coloration changes, and focused (native) changes by way of brushes and filters. Whereas ACR can’t match the expansiveness and depth of Photoshop, and whereas it’s technically nonetheless a Photoshop plugin, it now packs the facility of a standalone editor.
What Is Lightroom?
Lightroom is a picture modifying and digital asset administration (DAM) program supplied by Adobe.
In contrast to Adobe Digital camera Uncooked, Lightroom is break up into a number of modules, every with a chosen operate. As an example, you get a picture library (for importing and organizing photographs), a Develop module (for making edits), a Print module (for making ready photographs for print), and extra.
Lightroom was initially labeled “Photoshop Lightroom,” with the aim of high-volume picture processing that simply wasn’t potential in Photoshop. Notice that Lightroom’s builders took the (already current) Adobe Digital camera Uncooked and caught it into Lightroom’s Develop module – so the modifying options in each applications are functionally equivalent, with the identical sliders, the identical adjustment instruments, and as of the latest main replace, an identical modifying structure.
In different phrases:
Relating to modifying, ACR and Lightroom are primarily the identical program.
That stated, there are some necessary variations, particularly in terms of workflow and digital asset administration (and I focus on these in depth beneath).
The Benefit of Nondestructive RAW Modifying
Each Digital camera Uncooked and Lightroom are nondestructive RAW editors, which suggests they alter RAW recordsdata with out overwriting the unique picture.
So in case you enhance the publicity in ACR or Lightroom, you’re not truly brightening the unique pixels; as an alternative, you’re writing the adjustments to a picture catalog (Lightroom) or to a sidecar file (ACR).
Why is that this necessary?
It means you can make as many adjustments as you wish to your recordsdata, but you’ll by no means destroy the unique. All the pieces is reversible. In case your tastes change otherwise you make a mistake, you’ll be able to at all times reset the edits and begin over.
Additionally, ACR and Lightroom (together with Lightroom Basic, Lightroom, and Lightroom Cell) all acknowledge each other’s catalogs and sidecar recordsdata – so you’ll be able to edit in a single program, change to a different, and head into a 3rd with full continuity.
And since ACR and Lightroom presets are the identical, you’ll be able to import any Lightroom presets into ACR and vice versa.
What Are the Benefits of Lightroom?
As I defined above, Lightroom and ACR supply equivalent modifying packages.
However Lightroom affords a degree of performance on high of its modifying:
Digital asset administration.
In Lightroom, you’ll be able to import recordsdata of all kinds (together with each RAWs and JPEGs), then you’ll be able to manage them into totally different collections, give them key phrases, scores, flags, and far, far more. And after organizing, you’ll be able to transfer into the Develop module to make edits, then again into the Library module for additional group, and so forth.
This can be a large deal. It’s a option to maintain your complete photographic workflow – from group to modifying to exporting – in a single place, and that is invaluable for newcomers, fanatics, and professionals. Plus, Lightroom isn’t simply a digital asset administration program, it’s the digital asset administration program, one which outperforms a lot of the different choices available on the market and is utilized by loads of world-class professionals.
Examine this to Adobe Digital camera Uncooked, which incorporates zero group capabilities. You click on to open a file, you edit the file in ACR, and also you put it aside, export it, or proceed on to Photoshop. There’s no organizing photographs into folders or collections or anything. (You possibly can add a star score, however it’s not particularly helpful except you employ Adobe Bridge, mentioned beneath.)
What Are the Benefits of Adobe Digital camera Uncooked?
As you’re now conscious, Adobe Digital camera Uncooked is generally only a portion of Lightroom that converts recordsdata for Photoshop.
However this does include some advantages.
For one, ACR doesn’t use a catalog; picture edits are saved alongside the unique RAW file. This may be helpful if you wish to share RAW recordsdata with one other pc – as an alternative of sending your RAW file plus the entire Lightroom catalog, you’ll be able to simply ship the RAW file and the sidecar file (which is conveniently positioned proper subsequent to the unique RAW).
(You can make Lightroom do that, however it takes some setup, plus it takes up extra space for storing.)
Adobe Digital camera Uncooked is made for Photoshop, so it’s extremely straightforward to begin in ACR, do some modifying in Photoshop, after which (by way of Adobe’s Digital camera Uncooked filter) make extra adjustments in Digital camera Uncooked.
Sure, Lightroom does supply Photoshop integration. Nevertheless it’s not almost as handy because the ACR-Photoshop workflow, so for many who plan to spend numerous time in Photoshop, ACR is very interesting.
Digital camera RAW + Bridge vs Lightroom
For these of you who like Adobe Digital camera Uncooked however are pissed off by the dearth of DAM capabilities, there’s a answer:
Bridge was launched again in 2005, and it’s simply a picture organizer – so it could act because the DAM companion to ACR’s modifying.
For photographers preferring to not use Lightroom, Adobe Bridge is a lifesaver. You possibly can manage photographs in Bridge, then do RAW conversions and fundamental edits in Adobe Digital camera Uncooked earlier than making main changes in Photoshop.
Plus, Adobe Bridge is a picture organizing program that’s fully free.
The right way to Use Lightroom and Digital camera Uncooked Successfully
Adobe Bridge is nice – however what if you wish to follow Lightroom for picture group, however you additionally need to have the ability to entry Adobe Digital camera Uncooked? What do you do?
You possibly can mix ACR and Lightroom by means of a useful little workflow:
First, you import and manage your photographs in Lightroom.
Then, you can also make fundamental changes within the Lightroom Develop module.
When you’re able to do higher-level changes, you’ll be able to right-click on a picture and choose Edit In > Open as Sensible Object in Photoshop.
Your file will open in Photoshop. You can also make any Photoshop changes you want. And you may additionally use the Digital camera Uncooked filter, which helps you to entry ACR inside the Photoshop interface.
Adobe Digital camera Uncooked vs Lightroom: Conclusion
Adobe Digital camera Uncooked and Lightroom are each glorious applications. The bottom line is to find out which one works for you.
Should you spend most of your time in Photoshop, ACR (plus Bridge) could be the higher selection. However in case you desire Lightroom’s modifying and group capabilities, you’ll be able to at all times work successfully with Lightroom and Photoshop – and, if you want it, the Digital camera Uncooked filter!