Adobe Photoshop vs. Adobe Lightroom Comparison Chart
by Jeffrey Sward
Attribute Photoshop Lightroom
aa Introduced 1987 2007
ab Scope Manipulation, creation, and enhancement of single images. Pixel level perfection. Fine-tuning, retouching, precise local adjustments. Organizing and processing groups of photos. Quick access to frequently used controls.
Batch file renaming => File => Automate => Batch Library view
Brushes Selection from panels Some in histogram tool
Canned Workflow Actions Actions. Sequence most events for replay on next image None
Clone Clone tool => Histogram => clone
Compositing via layers None
Conceptual Mind's eye True to photography
Content aware fill via select-delete or content aware fill Not available
Create jpg Save as Export
Curves Curves tool Develop histogram
DXO Nik Collection plug-in such as Color Efex invocation Invoke via action or => filter => Nik collection => Color Efex => Develop => Right-click => edit in => Color efex. Requires creation of file copy in tiff format.
File system Psd files stand alone Catalog database control edits for all images in catalog.
Histogram Histogram control Built-in to develop control
Intermediate copies during edit Save as Export or create virtual copy. Some plug-ins will mandate extra copy
Layers Built-in, visible None
Learning curve High Moderate
Levels Levels tool None
Masks Channels None
New layer via copy edit technique Yes No
Nondestructive edits via Layers Built-in (invisible adjustment layer created automatically)
Presets Per control, brush, action, or preferences Develop tool
Raw conversion Camera Raw invoked from either bridge or Photoshop. Save as psd. Camera Raw has many of the same feature as Lightroom develop. Built into develop tool. Develop tool has many of the same features as Camera Raw.
Rgb and cmyk binary codes Info window on hover None
Selection Separate process via marque, lasso, subject selection tool, quick selection tool, magic wand No direct process
Selective color control Yes No
Shop healing brush Spot healing brush => Histogram => heal
Strengths Advanced image manipulation. Text and graphics. Plug-ins and actions. Ease of use. Learning curve. Presets.
Text overlay layer Yes No; Can be gamed using print function
Thumbnail viewer None. Use Bridge product. Built-in
User base Creative professionals. Photographers as well as photo retouchers, fine artists, graphic designers, compositing artists, etc. Photographers

All written content of this web site is solely the editorial opinion of Jeffrey Sward. All images, graphics, and written content of this web site, including the html files, are creative products covered by copyright law. All content copyright Jeffrey Sward 1975-2016. All rights reserved. No portion of this web site or its constituent elements may be reproduced in any form, by any means, without prior written permission. So there.