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Old Sep 30, 2011, 6:17 AM   #1
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Default Feedback on CS5 Vs. Lightroom

Wife is a teacher so I can get CS5 for $199, or Lightroom for $89. Don't have lots of time to learn or become "an expert" on anything.

What would you do and why?
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Old Sep 30, 2011, 6:39 AM   #2
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Whatever you choose you'll have to spend time learning it. Don't expect any program to do your job.

Lightroom is IMHO the best to go with.

Most of what you wanna change in a picture it can do.

Some of the thing LR has and PS doesn't.
  • great noise reduction
  • organisation of your pictures
  • correcting pictures is easy

I use both and the only reason why I use photoshop to edit a picture,
is when I really want to combine more pictures, start drawing on them.

Some the things PS has and LR hasn't
  • Combining pictures for panoramic shots
  • Combining pictures to expand the dof
  • Working with layers to combine pictures

To start I would get lightroom.

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Old Oct 1, 2011, 12:40 AM   #3
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I use both (though I have CS4, been waiting for CS6 to come out before thinking about upgrading).

I much prefer the way Photoshop resizes pictures, and I do that a lot.

I much prefer the cropping tool and the curve tool in LR.

I personally prefer photo management with Lightroom over Bridge.

Lightroom is easy to use for global adjustments and since it doesn't actually change things, its easy to go back to the beginning if things don't work out. Or make multiple virtual copies and process them differently. Since they are virtual copies (just a list of a series of commands), not actual copies, you don't use a lot of extra memory.

There are times I want to change only a part of a picture and that's where Photoshop is much better - you can't use layers in Lightroom.

I wouldn't necessarily recommend getting them both at the same time - trying to learn two programs at once would be way overwhelming. I'd recommend getting one of them, learning it and what it's limitations/best assets are before getting the other one. Lightroom is less complicated (more focused on what it does) so it would be easier/faster to become proficient with it. Photoshop has a bigger learning curve and an incredible amount of features, and I sure have fun playing with it. I'm no expert, not by a long shot. Don't think I ever will, but that doesn't stop me from experimenting when I run across something that looks really cool, and I've been reasonably proficient with it for a long time (even if I still tend to do things the same way I learned when working a tutorial with Photoshop 3 - well before the days of CS).
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Old Oct 1, 2011, 8:26 AM   #4
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good stuff .... thanks
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Old Oct 1, 2011, 10:53 AM   #5
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I installed LR this month and have to say that I would be very surprised if you didn't love it. To me it has been very easy to learn the basics and even they make for some very good editing. One other idea to consider is buying LR and then adding PS Elements so that you can use some of the tools of PS as well as the Topaz plugins which I highly recommend. Hope this has been of help.

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Old Oct 1, 2011, 8:05 PM   #6
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If you didn't have the academic discount I'd say that John's suggestion (PSE over the full version of Photoshop) would be an excellent way to go. It's just that with that huge academic discount you'd be crazy not to go for CS5, it's not all that much more expensive.
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Old Oct 2, 2011, 11:00 PM   #7
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I have never used lightroom, but I would gladly purchase lightroom and a copy of Photoshop Elements. I have CS5 at the office and Elements at home. I find elements is just fine for 95% of my needs. You could probable purchase both for less than the cost of CS5. Just a thought.
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Old Oct 3, 2011, 6:02 AM   #8
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Hi Bowenp,

I'm a confirmed Paint Shop Pro user for many years. I've tried just about all of the Adobe programs, and have never found the user interface intuitive -- probably some neurons that just aren't connected in my brain. . .

If you're just starting in PP, it might be worthwhile downloading a trial of a number of programs, play with each, and see which one seems a good fit to start off with. I've always found that I seem to think the same way as some programmers, and entirely differently than others, and if I start with a program that seems closer to the way I think, it's a lot easier to learn.

Corel just released PSPP X4, and I upgraded to it, skipping X3, as I found it buggy and slow. No such problems with X4, so I bought it. . .

Downsides are that there are fewer online tutorials and a significantly smaller user base, so getting help online is considerably less convenient. The tools are named differently, but for most stuff, PSPP works similarly and costs considerably less. I do a lot of work in PP, and only use less than 10% of the program's capability. . . Probably a majority of the PP I do is with plug-ins, and for the most part, PSPP is PS plug-in compatible.

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Old Oct 6, 2011, 11:24 PM   #9
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Because I have the academic discounts on all three programs, I have all three. I find that I use Elements for most of the routine editing chores I do, but I love the power of CS4 when I need layers...which I use a LOT.

I have problems with my current installation of LR 3. I suspect I need to completely remove it and start over.

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