Which One? Adobe Photoshop CC or Lightroom 5: An Intro For the Completely New Photographer

Chris Gampat The Phoblographer Adobe Lightroom 5 beta Upright demo (1 of 4)

With today’s announcement of Adobe Photoshop CC and the previous announcement of Adobe Lightroom 5 Beta, we have a very good idea of who each product is tailored to. However, many people don’t know if they need Photoshop or Lightroom–and many by default just end up purchasing Photoshop. But if you’re trying to figure out which one is for you, here’s a quick guide that won’t get too technical.

Quick Summary of Both

Photoshop CC


For those just stepping into the world of photography, you’ll very quickly get blinded by the term, “I’ll Photoshop it.” While the program allows for lots of work to be done on an image, keep in mind just that–the emphasis is on one image. That is generally good for:

– A retoucher working very heavily on a set of images but focusing on one at a time.

– A wedding photographer needing to fully edit 200 images before shipping them off to the couple

– Commercial photographers working to ensure that their client has the best image they possibly can deliver

– Working with images where you’ll need to insert text and all.

Remember though, if you’re shooting loads of images, culling through those picture and editing each is going to be a tedious process that will eventually eat away at your computer’s RAM.

Lightroom 5

Chris Gampat The Phoblographer Adobe Lightroom 5 beta Advanced Healing Brush demo (6 of 8)

Lightroom doesn’t have all of the features that Photoshop has, but ultimately has an emphasis on working with loads of images at a time and making quick adjustments. It is specifically designed for busy photographers to help them edit, organize and export images. It is an excellent program for:

– The Wedding photographer needing to go through loads of images and edit them all,which includes cutting many out of the final selection.

– The person that goes out and shoots load of images a day and needs to cut them down, make edits, and then upload them to the web (which is the most appealing to most people.)

– The person who tries to get it all right in the camera the first time around.

– The editor in a studio going through images coming in from a shoot who then needs to make quick edits and work with metadata.

As a note, The Phoblographer standardizes and demands that it staff uses Lightroom in our camera and lens testing procedures.

Editor’s Addendum: indeed the two programs can compliment one another, but many of Photoshop’s needed features are in Lightroom.

Minimum System Requirements


Lightroom 5


  • Intel® Pentium® 4 or AMD Athlon® 64 processor*
  • DirectX 10–capable or later graphics card
  • Microsoft® Windows® 7 with Service Pack 1 or Windows 8
  • 2GB of RAM (4GB recommended)
  • 2GB of available hard-disk space
  • 1024×768 display
  • DVD-ROM drive
  • Internet connection required for Internet-based services†

* Dual-core processor recommended for HD or AVCHD video functionality.

Mac OS

  • Multicore Intel processor with 64-bit support
  • Mac OS X v10.7 or v10.8
  • 2GB of RAM (4GB recommended)
  • 2GB of available hard-disk space
  • 1024×768 display
  • DVD-ROM drive
  • Internet connection required for Internet-based services†

Photoshop CC

Stay tuned, we’re working on this one!

Main Feature Rundown

Lighroom 5

Taken from our first impressions of the Beta

  • Advanced Healing Brush allows customers to heal imperfections and remove distracting elements
  • Upright tool analyzes an image to automatically level horizons and straighten objects like buildings to correct a keystone effect
  • Radial Gradient tool creates off-center or multiple vignette effects
  • Smart Previews allow customers to edit images without needing the original raw file
  • Video slideshow enables customers to combine still images, video clips and music in a creative HD slideshow
  • Upgrades to the Book module enhancing the ability to create, customize and order elegant photo books using a variety of tailored templates

Photoshop CC


Taken from our announcement post

All-new Smart Sharpen: Rich textures, crisp edges, and distinct details. Smart Sharpen is the most advanced sharpening technology available today. It analyzes images to maximize clarity and minimize noise and halos, and it lets you fine-tune for high-quality, natural-looking results.

Intelligent upsampling: Enlarge a low-res image so it looks great in print, or start with a larger image and blow it up to poster or billboard size. New upsampling preserves detail and sharpness without introducing noise.

Extended features included: As part of Creative Cloud, Photoshop gives you all the powerful image and video editing features you’ve come to expect — and it includes the advanced 3D editing and image analysis tools that were previously in Photoshop Extended.

Camera Raw 8 and layer support: Apply Camera Raw edits as a filter to any layer or file inside Photoshop, and then enhance them any way you want. And with new Adobe Camera Raw 8, you get more precise ways to heal images, fix perspective distortions, and create vignettes.

Editable rounded rectangles: One of your most requested features is here. Now you can resize shapes, edit them, and re-edit them — before or after they’re created. Even edit individual corner radiuses in rounded rectangles. If a shape is bound for the web, export CSS data from the file to save time.

Multi-shape and path selection: Get more done in fewer clicks by selecting multiple paths, shapes, and vector masks at once. Even in multilayered documents with lots of paths, you can easily target the path (and any layer) you want right on canvas using a new filter mode.

Camera Shake Reduction: Save shots you thought were lost due to camera motion. Whether your blur was caused by slow shutter speed or a long focal length, Camera Shake Reduction analyzes its trajectory and helps restore sharpness.

Conditional Actions: Put routine processing jobs on autopilot with Conditional Actions. These commands use if/then statements to automatically choose between different actions based on rules you set up.

Expanded Smart Object support: Apply Blur Gallery and liquify effects nondestructively thanks to Smart Object support. Your original file stays intact as you add blur effects or push, pull, pucker, or bloat the image or video. Edit or remove the effects at any time — even after saving your file.

Improved 3D painting: Live previews are now up to 100x faster and more responsive when you paint on 3D objects and texture maps. With the powerful Photoshop painting engine, you can make any 3D model look terrific.

Which One?

Get Photoshop if: You plan on really working extremely selectively with one to five images per shooting session.

Get Lightroom if: You plan on going or acting like a pro to take care of a better and more streamlined metadata management, need to go through loads of photos quickly and easily, and plan on uploading loads of them to the web.

Questions? Let us know in the comments!

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Chris Gampat

Chris Gampat is the Editor in Chief, Founder, and Publisher of the Phoblographer. He also likes pizza.