View Full Version : Software advice - what does what and why do I need it?

12-11-2010, 12:10am
Hi All,
I'm confused by the range of software out there and need some advice on which does what and why I need it. If indeed I do.
I've got CS4 so have Photoshop CS4 but then I see Lightroom and Elements?

What do these do, how do they differ, and why would I use one over the other? :o

I only use plain old Picasa for sorting and viewing.

I'm confused!!! :eek:

All comments, opinions, and feedback welcome.

12-11-2010, 12:40am
Others will answer this better than me but in my simple terms Lightroom is a good image cataloguing system. Elements is a cut down version of Photoshop.
Hope that is not too simple and that it helps.

12-11-2010, 7:31am
If you have photoshop cs4 stick with that for now. Learn it! A good book to get would be Scott Kelby's "adobe photoshop cs4 for digital photographers". Trying to learn and use multiple software at once is not a good way to go. Learn what you have first, and when you are proficient in it, then consider complimentary software.

Photoshop CS4 has Bridge built into it and that offers you most of the benefits of lightroom. Yes down the track you may find lightroom's additional features very wortwhile, but for now, stick with what you have, learn how to use it!.

12-11-2010, 2:15pm
hey thanks guys. good advice i will learn one before i take off on tangents.


12-11-2010, 2:41pm
Agree with Rick, I see no reason to get Lightroom when I have Photoshop, I do all my filing/folders in Bridge.

13-11-2010, 11:05am
I second(third) Rick and Margarets view, If you hace CS4, no need for anything else, learn it and bridge well. That will hold you in good stead into the future.
Lightroom is a catalogue system that has PP function, I tried it when it first came out and went back to PS. I might revisit it some time in the future but at present PS does me fine:D

30-11-2010, 10:36pm
You will find lots of software but just check out of its functionality and work with others .....

30-11-2010, 11:26pm
Here is a good summary (http://www.scottkelby.com/blog/2008/archives/1308) from Scott Kelby on the difference between Bridge, Camera Raw and Lightroom. He refers to older versions than current, but it still holds true.

but good advice above - learn CS4, then at that point, see if there is a need that CS4 can't fill that might be filled by the others.

I'm the other way - I'm concentrating on Lightroom for the time being, and after 6 months, am only starting to see a couple of things that I need that photoshop could fill.

01-12-2010, 9:49am
@ Tony, thanks for Scott's summary, I'm in two minds about light room, I've been using PS for a number of years and try as I might I just can't seem to get the work flow happening in Lightroom. I suppose it because I'm familiar with PS.