Which program is finest, Adobe Digital camera Uncooked vs Lightroom? And which must you use in your pictures workflow?
On this article, I’m going to share an intensive comparability of those two applications. I’ll focus on all the important thing options, from enhancing capabilities and file varieties 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 enhancing 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, reminiscent of a TIFF, JPEG, or perhaps a PSD – so that you could simply preview, share, or edit your work.
ACR started as a Photoshop plugin, permitting photographers to open RAW information, convert them in Digital camera Uncooked, then proceed with enhancing in Photoshop. Nevertheless it quickly turned a everlasting fixture of the Photoshop atmosphere (means again in 2003, when Adobe first launched Photoshop CS).
Since then, Digital camera Uncooked has gone by means of loads of iterations. Immediately, it gives lots of of enhancing choices, together with primary publicity changes, primary colour changes, and focused (native) changes through 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 ability of a standalone editor.
What Is Lightroom?
Lightroom is a picture enhancing and digital asset administration (DAM) program provided by Adobe.
Not like Adobe Digital camera Uncooked, Lightroom is cut up into a number of modules, every with a chosen perform. For example, you get a picture library (for importing and organizing photos), a Develop module (for making edits), a Print module (for making ready photos for print), and extra.
Lightroom was initially labeled “Photoshop Lightroom,” with the objective of high-volume picture processing that simply wasn’t attainable in Photoshop. Be aware that Lightroom’s builders took the (already current) Adobe Digital camera Uncooked and caught it into Lightroom’s Develop module – so the enhancing options in each applications are functionally equivalent, with the identical sliders, the identical adjustment instruments, and as of the newest main replace, an analogous enhancing format.
In different phrases:
With regards to enhancing, ACR and Lightroom are primarily the identical program.
That mentioned, there are some necessary variations, particularly in the case of workflow and digital asset administration (and I focus on these in depth under).
The Benefit of Nondestructive RAW Enhancing
Each Digital camera Uncooked and Lightroom are nondestructive RAW editors, which suggests they alter RAW information with out overwriting the unique picture.
So if you happen to improve 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 that you may make as many adjustments as you wish to your information, but you’ll by no means destroy the unique. Every little thing is reversible. In case your tastes change otherwise you make a mistake, you possibly can at all times reset the edits and begin over.
Additionally, ACR and Lightroom (together with Lightroom Traditional, Lightroom, and Lightroom Cellular) all acknowledge each other’s catalogs and sidecar information – so you possibly can edit in a single program, swap to a different, and head into a 3rd with full continuity.
And since ACR and Lightroom presets are the identical, you possibly can import any Lightroom presets into ACR and vice versa.
What Are the Benefits of Lightroom?
As I defined above, Lightroom and ACR supply equivalent enhancing packages.
However Lightroom gives a degree of performance on high of its enhancing:
Digital asset administration.
In Lightroom, you possibly can import information of every kind (together with each RAWs and JPEGs), then you possibly can manage them into completely different collections, give them key phrases, rankings, flags, and far, rather more. And after organizing, you possibly can 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 approach to hold your complete photographic workflow – from group to enhancing to exporting – in a single place, and that is invaluable for inexperienced persons, fans, 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 photos into folders or collections or the rest. (You’ll be able to add a star score, but it surely’s not particularly helpful except you utilize Adobe Bridge, mentioned under.)
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 information 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 information with one other pc – as an alternative of sending your RAW file plus the entire Lightroom catalog, you possibly can simply ship the RAW file and the sidecar file (which is conveniently situated proper subsequent to the unique RAW).
(You can make Lightroom do that, but it surely takes some setup, plus it takes up further space for storing.)
Adobe Digital camera Uncooked is made for Photoshop, so it’s extremely simple to start out in ACR, do some enhancing in Photoshop, after which (through Adobe’s Digital camera Uncooked filter) make further adjustments in Digital camera Uncooked.
Sure, Lightroom does supply Photoshop integration. Nevertheless it’s not practically as handy because the ACR-Photoshop workflow, so for individuals who plan to spend a number of 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 annoyed by the dearth of DAM capabilities, there’s a resolution:
Bridge was launched again in 2005, and it’s simply a picture organizer – so it might probably act because the DAM companion to ACR’s enhancing.
For photographers preferring to not use Lightroom, Adobe Bridge is a lifesaver. You’ll be able to manage photos in Bridge, then do RAW conversions and primary 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.
Learn how 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’ll be able to mix ACR and Lightroom by means of a useful little workflow:
First, you import and manage your photos in Lightroom.
Then, you may make primary changes within the Lightroom Develop module.
When you’re able to do higher-level changes, you possibly can 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 wonderful applications. The secret is to find out which one works for you.
For those who spend most of your time in Photoshop, ACR (plus Bridge) may be the higher selection. However if you happen to favor Lightroom’s enhancing and group capabilities, you possibly can at all times work successfully with Lightroom and Photoshop – and, if you want it, the Digital camera Uncooked filter!