I’m teaching several groups the ins and outs of Lightroom and it got me thinking about whether or not Lightroom (LR) is for everyone.
At $150 or so it’s a bargain when you learn what it can do and especially when you compare the cost to Photoshop. But do you need a program that’s this complex?
LR 5 (the current version) is not just a RAW photo editor. It can edit JPGs (the format where the camera does all the work) but it can also handle PSD (Adobe) or TIFF formats. But that’s not all. LR5 is also a very very robust and helpful database manager as well.
So if you’re a wedding photographer or you shoot editorial or stock photography and you need to keep track of tens of thousands of images you’ll love LR.
If you’re an advanced amateur photographer and you’re regularly shooting thousands of images per year you’ll love LR.
If you want to take your RAW vacation images and make them sing, then you’ll want to consider LR especially if you want to create books, slideshows or web galleries.
Having said all that, all RAW photo editors can produce excellent results. Simple editors including IPhoto (or Aperture) and Photoshop Elements are easy to use and produce outstanding images.
It’s your call but remember the best photo editor is the one you find the easiest to use. I’ve used them all including Capture NX2 (for Nikon users which I love as it uses NIK’s U-technology) and I keep coming back to LR5 for all it does.