Home » Difference Between Lightroom and Photoshop | In Depth Discussion

Difference Between Lightroom and Photoshop | In Depth Discussion

by Susan Slater

Photoshop and Lightroom are the most popular editing software programs. They both have a wide range of features, but they are used for different things. Photoshop is used to create imagery from scratch, while Lightroom is used to edit photographs. In the photography industry, there are a few more related software available, those are propicasa, gimp, aftershot, iphoto, pixelmator, etc. All of those are eventually used for photo editing purposes.

So the need of the hour is to make a distinction between the best software available in the market. The two best options are lightroom and photoshop which already are discussed. Now the need is to draw a line of demarcation between the two for proper understanding and knowledge.

People often have used both the software and also tried very hard to find the distinction between the two amazing software. But cannot get the desired results. This is the reality that both the software are excellent in fulfilling the editing needs of the photographers and both give superior quality edited images. They are the only best solution for their various photography needs. This is the reason that both of them are trending among the photographers in the world. These are the common aspects they share but on the other side there are many countable differences between the two that you learn in the upcoming sections of this article in detail

Just read till the end of this article to know the basic and apt difference between the two software so that you can make your right choice on the different bases to fulfill your needs

Reading out their similarities will surely make you understand the difference between the two. So let’s get started first with the similarities.


The basic similarity between the two is that both are image-editing software designed especially for photo editors. They will alter, tweak and modify the images in the same way. Both are well aware of the famous and favorite file formats of many photographers like JPEG, TIFF, PNG, and RAW. This software is so useful that they contain the ACR Adobe camera raw processing engine which is perfect for handling raw files. Various things belonging to this software are also alike which includes working with curves, correcting for lens distortions, adjusting saturation, and much more. These features of the software make them exclusive in the market. Having these similar features they perform the task in the same way but the method of image handling and usage of both the software varies from image to image.

So we can say them the perfect software designed for providing astonishing results in the form of edited images. This software is so alike that both of them provide plenty of editing and image manipulation tools that are beyond comparison and are completely able to fulfill the demands of the editors. Mainly their demands include cropping, adjustment of exposures, and many more. You can even do intense editing with the use of this software which comprises working with filters, brushes, curves, and a lot more.

They are also enriched with various effects like black and white, sepia tone, artistic styles, etc. That are mostly used by the image editors. No one can deny the fact that both of the software is packed with breathtaking features which are always available to make your photo editing experience quite well.

It is justified to say that both the software are like the trademark of the top-rated photographers. People prefer to use them with different sets of tastes and requirements which suit their needs. After reading its similarities you must be very curious to know the differences between the two highly admired software. Let’s book the upcoming sheets for explaining the dissimilarities of the software. Let’s begin with this:


Various points which make them diverge from each other are detailed below. Just has a look at the Difference Between Photoshop And Lightroom:


Another line of demarcation is based on the editing tools which both software provide. The lightroom users must be aware of the magical feature of this software which allows you to transform your ordinary pictures into extraordinary ones. You simply can play with your images giving them any color, contrast, filter, or doing any type of editing with them as per your requirements. This is software which stands out on every ground of perfection but on the other hand, we can’t forget about the other software that is photoshop which works well in case of huge edits. As a user, you know better your editing needs and can make your own perfect choice for you.

Photoshop accomplishes its editing process with the use of layers which also helps you to store edits. This software allows you to use the different brushes, filters, and many other features using which you can create magic in your pictures. As far as layers are concerned in photoshop they provide you the ease in modifications. Because of their independent nature you can make any type of amendment that you want very conveniently. This is something amazing about Photoshop for which it can be your choice.

On the other hand, the software which is available with us is Lightroom which provides restricted options as compared to photoshop and is considered less flexible. If we take a history tool that is present in both the software but required more in Lightroom to view the edits and also provides control over the previous edits. In photoshop, layers end up the need of the history tool. So in this point, photoshop is the software that provides you with more editing tools as compared to Lightroom. So photoshop is passed with full marks due to a wide variety of tools.

Let’s discuss this with an example:

Take the example of adding vignettes to the portrait by using both the software lightroom and photoshop. Firstly, start by using Lightroom. If you prefer lightroom for doing this task then you have to first click the vignette option and make the necessary alterations which would be of time-lapse, dimensions, etc. and another option is to choose a radial filter that comes with more options to access the full control.

The other Software which you can prefer is photoshop which works with the help of layers. In this job it will make use of an adjustment layer which is known as levels in common. The next step goes with adjustment of levels which make some areas darkened and some highlighted according to your requirements. You can dark outer edges with the use of the mask and also adjust the opacity as per your needs. The dodge and burn tools are also available to service you in photoshop.

With this example, it is clear that photoshop confers better control over lightroom with the help of various editing tools. Photoshop can be considered as the best solution for all types of editing software.


There is a big difference in the way of handling files in both the software. Lightroom follows an approach known as non –destructive editing which Photoshop does not offer. We are going to talk about file handling in detail which is the prime most array of contrast among both the software. Lightroom users are completely familiar with the term catalog in which various edited files are saved. The added feature of the catalog is that it consumes very little space on your computer. These files have named a catalog which will save in a distinct station of your computer. Lightroom will safely keep your real image saved in some other file and edited image will be saved in a catalog file in which you can make substantial changes whenever the need arises even after the year.

There is no time-bound regarding changes to be made due to its quality of maintaining even the yearly record. You can take it as epic software to help you to understand the processing of the image. It also keeps your edits saved in its database as a log. It will imperforate your original images.

The more added benefit that you get is step-by-step instructions that will guide you in making edits and also give you access to convert the edited image into a printable image extension. Just edit the image as per your requirement and share it on any social media platform.

On the other hand, photoshop works differently. It only considers the original image to make the changes and if you want to save the original image then make its copy by using a typical approach. Which will definitely consume more space in your computer. And if you want to use it again then saving PSD in a desirable platform like JPEG, PNG is necessary. It is also true that Photoshop’s non-destructive technique will avail more space. So to work with photoshop you have to follow a step by step process that starts with saving an image as a RAW file. Then an edited file will be saved as a PSD file and ends with sharing for which you have to again convert the edited file into JPEG or RAW format.

So the distinction is in the third step in both the software as photoshop requires extra files to be saved. And Lightroom makes all the changes and its conversion into a shareable platform that is cataloged in the second step. This is the loophole of photoshop for which users rely more on Lightroom for doing their editing tasks.


The next point which is taken as the basis to differentiate between photoshop and lightroom is workflow. At this point, you will again recognize the superior qualities of lightroom over photoshop. A lightroom is a stunning tool designed in such a way that will take care of all files from starting till the end. It is totally capable of administering all the tasks like importing, organizing, and sharing the images. Lightroom is commendable software that tactfully manages all images professionally and also allows you to search them by their keywords. It is the most preferred software among photo editors or photographers for editing purposes. I think there would be no one who uses photoshop instead of lightroom for accompanying its projects.

On the other side if we look at photoshop then we know photoshop does not do similar tasks like Lightroom. When we talk of its workflow. Photoshop is software which only performs the editing tasks. Other than that it did not provide that ease the users demand. As it did not help you in organizing the images in some sought way. Also not designed with the feature of the file transfer. Because of its various flaws, many photo editors and photographers like to choose Lightroom as their handy software. Which is always available to tackle their professional tasks very skillfully and provide them the required convenience in their workflow.


You have read about both the software is Lightroom and photoshop in detail. They have both similarities and dissimilarities. The various differences between both the software oblige you to choose one best according to your needs. You are totally aware of both the software, both have their own pros and cons.

Photoshop is a good option if you take editing tools as your priority and on the other hand Lightroom is a preferred option when you consider file handling and workflow as your priority. So your choice purely depends on your needs and requirements. Helping you in making good choices I can only say that for polishing and basic editing go for Lightroom. If you want to do experiments and want to experience the level of creativity in you then photoshop will definitely be your choice as it is a pool of editing tools. 


In this article, we examine the top two photo editing software programs to help you determine which one is best for your purposes. We also review a range of features that each editing software program offers to help you make a distinction and decide which one is right for you. Lightroom and Photoshop are two popular editing software programs that have a distinction in terms of their features.

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1 comment

seo_courses December 25, 2021 - 11:23 am

Useful information


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