Which program is greatest, Adobe Digital camera Uncooked vs Lightroom? And which must you use to your images workflow?
On this article, I’m going to share an intensive comparability of those two packages. I’ll focus on all the important thing options, from modifying capabilities and file varieties to digital asset administration and integration.
By the point you’re completed, you’ll know which program is best for you – and I’ll even clarify how one can successfully combine each packages 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 kind, corresponding 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. But it surely quickly grew to become a everlasting fixture of the Photoshop atmosphere (method again in 2003, when Adobe first launched Photoshop CS).
Since then, Digital camera Uncooked has gone via loads of iterations. As we speak, it provides a whole lot of modifying choices, together with fundamental publicity changes, fundamental colour 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 provided by Adobe.
Not like Adobe Digital camera Uncooked, Lightroom is cut up into a number of modules, every with a delegated perform. For example, you get a picture library (for importing and organizing pictures), a Develop module (for making edits), a Print module (for making ready pictures 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. Be aware that Lightroom’s builders took the (already present) Adobe Digital camera Uncooked and caught it into Lightroom’s Develop module – so the modifying options in each packages are functionally an identical, with the identical sliders, the identical adjustment instruments, and as of the newest main replace, an identical modifying structure.
In different phrases:
On the subject of modifying, ACR and Lightroom are primarily the identical program.
That mentioned, there are some vital variations, particularly in the case 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 when you improve the publicity in ACR or Lightroom, you’re not really brightening the unique pixels; as a substitute, you’re writing the adjustments to a picture catalog (Lightroom) or to a sidecar file (ACR).
Why is that this vital?
It means that you could 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 Traditional, Lightroom, and Lightroom Cellular) 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 provide an identical modifying packages.
However Lightroom provides a stage of performance on high of its modifying:
Digital asset administration.
In Lightroom, you’ll be able to import recordsdata of every kind (together with each RAWs and JPEGs), then you’ll be able to arrange them into completely different collections, give them key phrases, rankings, flags, and far, way 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.
It is a big deal. It’s a option to hold your entire photographic workflow – from group to modifying to exporting – in a single place, and that is invaluable for novices, 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 pictures into folders or collections or anything. (You may add a star ranking, but it surely’s not particularly helpful until you utilize Adobe Bridge, mentioned beneath.)
What Are the Benefits of Adobe Digital camera Uncooked?
As you’re now conscious, Adobe Digital camera Uncooked is usually 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 laptop – as a substitute 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, but it surely takes some setup, plus it takes up further cupboard space.)
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 further adjustments in Digital camera Uncooked.
Sure, Lightroom does provide Photoshop integration. But it surely’s not practically as handy because the ACR-Photoshop workflow, so for many 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 pissed off by the shortage of DAM capabilities, there’s a answer:
Bridge was launched again in 2005, and it’s simply a picture organizer – so it could actually act because the DAM companion to ACR’s modifying.
For photographers preferring to not use Lightroom, Adobe Bridge is a lifesaver. You may arrange pictures 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 utterly free.
The best way to Use Lightroom and Digital camera Uncooked Successfully
Adobe Bridge is nice – however what if you wish to stick to Lightroom for picture group, however you additionally need to have the ability to entry Adobe Digital camera Uncooked? What do you do?
You may mix ACR and Lightroom via a useful little workflow:
First, you import and arrange your pictures in Lightroom.
Then, you may 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 Good 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 packages. The secret is to find out which one works for you.
If you happen to spend most of your time in Photoshop, ACR (plus Bridge) is likely to be the higher alternative. However when you want Lightroom’s modifying and group capabilities, you’ll be able to at all times work successfully with Lightroom and Photoshop – and, once you want it, the Digital camera Uncooked filter!