Adobe Lightroom vs Photoshop: Which One is for You?

By Timothy Brauning on December 17, 2021

Photoshop vs Lightroom? It’s an age-old debate that has been going on for quite some time now.

Lightroom is image editing software, it is a lightweight and simple cloud computing app that may be easier to get used to. Photoshop is a heavy-duty editing software used in professional photographers' jobs.

With the light, user-friendly interface of Lightroom and the high-end capabilities of Photoshop, it can be hard to decide which one you want to use to edit photos.

Luckily, we are here to help!

In this blog post, we will go over which you should choose for your photo editing needs.

Table of Contents:


lightroom vs photoshop



What is Lightroom?

Lightroom is a powerful photo editing software that provides photographers with everything they need to capture, edit, and manage multiple photos. Lightroom is available as a standalone application or as a plugin for Adobe Photoshop.

It offers a wide range of features, including the ability to easily import and organize photos, quickly adjust exposure and color settings, creates custom presets, and export multiple photos in various formats. One of the main features of Lightroom is its ability to handle RAW files, which are unprocessed image files that contain all of the data captured by your camera's sensor. RAW files give you much more flexibility when editing, but they can also be large and slow to work with. Lightroom provides a number of tools for editing RAW files, as well as JPEG and TIFF files.

Whether you're a professional photographer or just getting started with photo editing, Lightroom is an excellent tool for managing your photos.

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What can you do with Lightroom vs photoshop?

As a Lightroom user, you have a number of different options when it comes to editing images. You can use the basic photo editing tools to make simple adjustments, or you can use the more advanced editing tools to create more complex edits.

The basic photo editing tools in Lightroom include the ability to crop, rotate, and adjust the exposure of your images. You can also use these tools to remove red-eye and blemishes.

The more advanced tools in Lightroom allow you to make more complex edits, such as adjusting the white balance, clarity, vibrance, and saturation of your images. You can also use these tools to create custom presets for your images.

Its organization features are also quite powerful, allowing you to quickly find and manage your photos.

lightroom vs photoshop

What is Photoshop?

Photo editing with Photoshop is an extremely versatile skill that can be used in a number of different ways. For instance, you can use Photoshop to create stunning visual effects, or to simply touch up photos that you want to look their best. No matter what your particular needs are, there's a good chance that Photoshop can help you get the job done.

From the dark interface to the vast number of tutorials on using it, Photoshop elements may be more complicated to get used to than lightroom.

Not only is photoshop good for photographers, but it is also a fantastic editing tool for graphic designers, EO marketers, developers, and any other profession that requires image management.

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What can you do with Photoshop vs lightroom?

The most common uses for photoshop are:

  • Image editing and retouching.
  • Advanced compositing, including layers to create effects like lightening or removing objects entirely from your photo.
  • Create personalized images by using filters and other tools to change specific colors in an image.
  • Convert photos into illustrations complete with fonts, shapes, arrows, or any other object you can imagine.

What's the difference between Lightroom and Adobe Photoshop?

Lightroom is a photo editor optimized for a photographer's workflow and efficient editing of your pictures.

Photoshop is powerful and lets you edit images and has manipulation tools that can be used for a vast range of image formats.

The main differences between the two are :


  • Easier to use.
  • More lightweight, with a simple user interface and basic features.


  • More challenging to learn due to the more advanced capabilities.
  • Requires plugins to work with certain file types, such as RAW files or PSD files from lightroom.
  • Includes more advanced tools such as lighting and color replacement.
  • Greater storage space is required for using Photoshop due to the larger files it uses when saving composited images and complex designs.

What are the advantages of Lightroom?

The most notable Lightroom advantage is the lighter weight of Lightroom compared to Photoshop.

While Lightroom can be used with great ease, it doesn't have as many capabilities or features as Photoshop.

It still has tools for basic image editing and retouching but lacks some more advanced functionality that you may need if you are a professional photographer.

What are the advantages of Photoshop vs Lightroom?

Photoshop elements have more advanced capabilities than lightroom, such as color replacement and lighting effects.

It has a wide selection of image adjustment tools for complicated compositing workflows that may be necessary if you do photography or design professionally.

It is capable of handling many different file types and formats.

Should I learn Lightroom or Photoshop?

Both Photoshop and Lightroom have their advantages, but you should learn Lightroom first if you are a beginner to photo editing software.

If you're an expert in Lightroom already or need more advanced image manipulation tools, it is probably best to start with learning Photoshop and get a good understanding of photoshop elements that make it standout.

Is Lightroom suitable for beginners?

Lightroom is an excellent app for those who are new to editing photos and retouching.

It has a light interface that doesn't overwhelm users with too many tools or options, making it easy to learn lightroom basics before moving on to other applications such as Photoshop.

adobe lightroom vs photoshop

Can you use them together?

While both Lightroom and Photoshop offer a wide range of features, they are each designed with a different focus in mind. Lightroom is primarily geared towards editing RAW files, while Photoshop is more focused on providing detailed edits and complex image manipulation.

However, these two programs can actually complement each other quite nicely. For example, Lightroom's Lens Corrections tool can be used to quickly fix any distortion in an image, while Photoshop can be used for more precise edits. In addition, Lightroom's powerful workflow tools can help speed up the editing process, while Photoshop's vast array of plugins can provide even more creative possibilities.

When used together, Lightroom and Photoshop can complement each other and help you achieve outstanding results.


Lightroom is great for beginners because it is a more simplified editing program. It has fewer features than Photoshop, which can be overwhelming for new users. This makes Lightroom a good starting point for people who want to learn about photography and editing.

Photoshop is better for more advanced users who need more control over their photos. Photoshop offers more options and flexibility than Lightroom, making it the perfect choice for professional photographers or anyone who wants to edit their photos in more detail. 

Both programs have their pros and cons, so it ultimately depends on what you are looking for in a photo editor. If you are just starting out with photography, then Lightroom is probably the best option for you.

Pricing Adobe Lightroom & Adobe Photoshop

Both Photoshop and Lightroom are part of the Adobe Creative Cloud. The creative cloud can be bought on a monthly or yearly subscription.

There are a few different options for getting subscriptions to these programs; however, we suggest getting a package that includes the entire creative cloud package for $52.99/month or the Photography Plan which includes Lightroom and Photoshop for$20.99/month.

More on Adobe Photoshop

More on Lightroom

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