Lightroom vs. Camera Raw and Adobe Bridge

Photoshop is the most popular editing software out there for professional photographers when it comes to detailed edits but for the organization and quick editing of photos, photographers are left with Adobe lightroom vs. camera raw and Adobe Bridge.

For the past 7 years or so, I’ve been an Adobe Bridge/Camera Raw type of guy. This program came free with Photoshop, so that’s what I started out using. Bridge is used for the organization and selection of large groups of photos while Camera Raw is a basic editing software. Overall it does those tasks relatively well, but lately I’ve been annoyed with a few different things.

Lightroom vs. Camera Raw: The good and bad of Raw

The first issue is the stability of Bridge. When I go from one folder to the next, I end up waiting 5 minutes for all the previews and files to load. If I close it or switch to something else, I have to wait again. The other major issue is that Bridge has been crashing more and more lately, which really annoys me. As far and Camera Raw goes, it does what it should. I can adjust all the basic things I need to, crop, and use the adjustment brush. My major annoyance is the clone tool. For some reason, you have to use it as a circle. Well, not all blemishes are circular and a circle is really hard to use around edges. I often found myself going into Photoshop to deal with these blemishes because Camera Raw couldn’t handle it. The last problem might not affect everyone. I tend to use the Image Processor to batch edit Raw files into jpegs. Doing it through Bridge, though, is a pain. Every photo is actually opened in Photoshop, and I find that it will pop up on my screen and interrupt whatever I’m currently doing.

Lightroom vs. Camera Raw: Benefits of Lightroom

About a year ago, I decided to purchase Adobe Lightroom because it wasn’t that expensive and everyone was always talking about how great it was. I’m still learning a lot of things about it, but I think I’m going to make the switch for good. The first thing I like is that you can do all the things you want in one program. I can organize everything and switch to editing with just a click. In general the previews load quickly. I have noticed that in the Development module (where you edit) it takes a few moments before the photo comes in completely sharp. This can be a bit annoying, but I still feel it’s faster than Bridge. I’ve yet to have Lightroom crash, which has been pleasant. The clone tool is also more like a brush, so I can just brush over the blemishes instead of having to awkwardly try to move a circle around. Lightroom also does batch process much faster. It works in the background and nothing pops up on my screen. The one annoyance I have found is the sliders on adjustments. I’ve noticed that it’s hard to precisely adjust the sliders by dragging them. Often they stop or just around sporadically.

Now that I’ve tried both, I personally believe the Lightroom vs. Camera Raw argument is pretty one sided. Lightroom has more options and just works better. For the beginner, I’d even suggest purchasing Lightroom instead of spending the big bucks on Photoshop. If you haven’t tried it out, they do have a free trial. I’d say go for it.

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