Geeky Stuff Photography

Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 2 is available today!

Mostly Lisa's first look at Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 2

If you listen to TWIP, you’ll know about Fredrick VanScott Bourne’s on-going Adobe’s Lightroom vs Apple’s Aperture debate. Scott swears by Aperture and at Lightroom & Fred’s sweet on LR2.

It’s quite childish really, considering Scott just abandoned Canon for the Nikon D3. hmph! Plus, who starts arguments over technogeeky topics? No one that I know personally, as in not being that person directly. Huh? Exactly. I’ve discombobulated you have I?

When I was down in SF visiting the TWIP team, I was put in the hot seat and forced to pick a side. But, the truth was, I had never used either Aperture or Lightroom. And so a challenge began between Scott & Fred to see which of these two powerful photo editing and management tools would win my little n00b heart.

I’m installing LR2 this very moment and am really pumped about the new features Adobe is offering in this latest update. For more info, check out Fred’s LR2 post. I’m also excited about starting to shoot more in RAW. I think it is the only way of getting the quality, sharpness, and perfect lighting I want in my photos.

My only concern with Lightroom is how it will work with iPhoto as we all know iPhoto and Adobe aren’t the greatest of pals and the interface doesn’t look as clean and apple-icious as Aperture. But, beyond that, I have no leanings towards either, so I am coming into this challenge completely unbiased. Though Fred is pulling out all the stops with his traffic-stopping smile!

Fred is such a tease

If you want to check out Adobe Lightroom 2, you can download a 30 day trial here.

Have your say on the Aperture vs Lightroom debate. What do you use? And why?

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21 Comments

  • Reply
    Tyler Ingram
    July 29, 2008 at 7:53 PM

    I have only used Lightroom and not for very long. It’s sitting here on my machine and it’s not sure what to do! I just use Photoshop CS3 and haven’t really looked at Lightroom, perhaps I should…

    Lisa what sort of benefits do I get from using Lightroom (be it v1 or v2)?

  • Reply
    Duane Storey
    July 29, 2008 at 8:03 PM

    Upload a 30 day trial? :P

    Adobe products are good, but they are such machine hogs they are almost unusable. I’ve used everything, but I still default to Photoshop for anything serious. I would like to love Lightroom, but the workflow (in version 1) was way too confusing for the average person. Maybe version 2 is better.

  • Reply
    fotoeins
    July 29, 2008 at 8:07 PM

    Thanks for your post, as I’m approaching the point where I should decide between these two products.

  • Reply
    Herman
    July 29, 2008 at 8:26 PM

    I use Lightroom and have an export script to iPhoto for photos I want on my iPhone.

    It’s fairly easy to do. Just set up an export user preset that exports jpg to the iphoto folder and have Lightroom launch iPhoto after files are exported.

  • Reply
    Josh Schnell
    July 29, 2008 at 8:35 PM

    Snap judgement time… Aperture 2 or LR 2… Go!

  • Reply
    Oliver
    July 29, 2008 at 8:35 PM

    I’m using Aperture, simply because it was the first product I stumbled upon. I regret, however, not having looked into Lightroom at that time (this was before I listened to TWIP and Fred’s various Lightroom pitches).

    By now, of course, I’ve invested a lot of time into organizing our pictures that, I guess, it would be difficult to switch to another product (and I paid some money for Aperture). But I’m always curious about new products, so maybe I’ll give Lightroom a try. I’m also curious about your experience with it.

  • Reply
    Ryan
    July 29, 2008 at 8:44 PM

    I have had extensive use in Aperture but have recently switched over to Lightroom and here’s why:

    1) LR seamlessly works with Photoshop CS3, especially in the new LR2 update. You can make edits in LR, right click the photo and open the photo (original, original w/ edit, or a copy with edits), edit it in PS, save it, and the changes will instantly reflect in LR. HUGE PLUS!

    With Aperture, you have to export a saved JPG, then open in CS3.

    2) You can catalog and sync your picture folders just as easy in LR as you can in Aperture or iPhoto. As with any other new program, it just takes a lil practice to get the flow down.

    3) Despite what a recent commenter said, LR doesn’t take up nearly as many resources as Aperture, but slightly more than iPhoto.

    4) I like the print/layout features in LR better than Aperture. You can now save a layout as a whole JPG in LR2.

    5) File browsing is a lot better and seems faster in LR.

    The only con I see is that you can’t make books and send them off to a printer within the program like you can with Aperture. Though, I’ve made and ordered some books through Aperture and IMO, the quality of the product isn’t really worth the price.

    Anything you can do edit wise in Aperture can be done with LR, and with LR and Photoshop working hand in hand, even more can be achieved in a more seamless workflow.

    That’s all I can think of right now so I’ll post more as more comes to mind. But in the meantime, my vote goes to LR2.

  • Reply
    Erwin
    July 29, 2008 at 9:27 PM

    I initially started out using Aperture but found it hard to get into a smooth workflow when in post. I would always end up going back to using Adobe Bridge to review and quickly hook into CS3 for some editing. After I downloaded the trial for LR1 I got hooked on how easily I adapted to its interface and was able to post-process much faster. Now I do most if not all my post-processing on LR until I feel the need to export an image to CS3 for some fancy editing. When the beta for LR2 came out I had a field day checking out the changes and had a couple of “wow, cool!” moments when looking at the new features. Can’t wait to check out the new release!

  • Reply
    Bruce Clarke
    July 29, 2008 at 10:24 PM

    I’ve been using Lightroom V1.4 for the past 6 months and I really like it. I’m able to do 75-80% of my post processing tasks in it without having to jump out into Photoshop. When I do it’s to do the heavy lifting and use things like layers, etc to do selective changes. The integration is very tight but with the new Adjustment brush in LR 2.0 which will allow you to make localized changes, that percentage might jump up to 90%.I haven’t used Aperture so I can’t comment on it but so far I’ve really been happy with LR.

  • Reply
    Brent
    July 29, 2008 at 10:57 PM

    This is a huge debate and I am not so sure why anymore…..

    Simply use the tools that best fit the needs. I have shot with Nikon for years and untill the release of Lightroom 1.4 I always did my initial viewing etc in Nikon View, them batch processed images in Mikon Capture – then dumped them into Photoshop for the more critical changes.

    Now with lightroom in general the features that were specific to Nikon software and shooters are really in the software.. Thus for me seeing I know Photoshop, Lightroom was the next step.

    I think people need to understand the power of each. With lightroom 2 90% of shooters will be able to organize, and edit just about everyting for one price. The more hardcore pro will always need to take it to the next step with Photoshop… and really there is no competition when it comes to Photoshop..

    I have not used Aperture simply becase I am not running on the Apple platform – so that was another simply solution…

    Most of the issues I have heard about Apature usualy are from the seasoned pro’s that say it is just not powerfull enough or the learning curve is not worth the unknown benifits… as in why learn a new app when you have tons of photoshopskills already. Pro = Time vs. money so in the end you make choices based on what makes money…..and relearning or redoing a workflow is one of the hardest decisions most will ever make and stick too…

    My personal solution rightnow is Lightroom 1.4 and Photoshop CS3…. and for the time being I will more than likely not upgrade at least for a few weeks….. I still hurt from the last Lightroom update that was pulled 3 days later…. so just like new model cars a few das in the wild is never a bad thing….

  • Reply
    Mel
    July 30, 2008 at 1:05 AM

    I use Photoshop Elements, the cheapest of the cheap for photo editing.
    It works (barely), but it was a gift.
    I’ve been perusing the internet and I’ve seen some really great photos edited with previous versions of Lightroom. As much of an Apple fangirl i might be, Lightroom does deliver over what i’ve seen from Aperture.
    I’ve done a lot of internet research. Adobe > Apple.
    sorry steve.

  • Reply
    Spike
    July 30, 2008 at 5:02 AM

    I jumped on the Lightroom bandwagon back when both first launched because I was still running sub-1 GHz G4s and Aperture didn’t support those. I’ve been tempted to switch occasionally, but haven’t found a truly compelling reason to do so. I’ve already installed LR2, but it’ll be a few weeks before I get to play with it.

  • Reply
    Patrick
    July 30, 2008 at 5:21 AM

    I used Aperture when it came out but with my G4 it was a pain in the bum to use, very slow. So I moved to Lightroom V1 more than a year ago and i’am quite happy with it. The V2 add some cool features that make me use PS3 less which is a real plus when you have a slow computer.
    I’am still exploring V2 trial but i’am quite happy with it.

    Both aperture and Lightroom are great tool for photographer (amateur or pro) and quite similar, moving from one to the other is not a big deal.

  • Reply
    Christopher Blunck
    July 30, 2008 at 6:28 AM

    I used Aperture extensively for the last year and a half for post processing a lot of sports photos. I ran over 200 photosets through Aperture, each with hundreds of photos. I ran this on a MacBook Pro 2.16GHz Core 2 Duo with 3GB of DDR2 RAM and a 5400RPM internal hard drive. I can say, without hesitation, and Aperture 1.5 was the slowest editor I’ve ever used.

    In some instances it took over 5 minutes to Aperture 1.5 to load. Once it was loaded it was relatively snappy but the pinwale seemed to always make an appearance. Aperture 2.0 was better (the load time improved), but it enforced other annoying restrictions on me (e.g. I couldn’t create a vault on a network server). Eventually I ran out of disk space on my internal drive and had to look at another image management system. The lack of solid IPTC “profiles” was a real kick in the pants. Photojournalists need that kinda stuff! That’s when I found LR.

    LR is fast, has more features, seems more robust, and a lot more polished than Aperture. Plus I can set up IPTC profiles for frequent assignments. This works fabulously for me because most of my teams play in the same venue day-in and day-out. Re-typing all that IPTC data into Aperture sucked and LR is much better at it.

    LR also allows me to drag my image folders over to other devices really easily. I can make copies of albums and drop them onto an AFP/NFS mount, or I can slide them over to a USB hard disk. Aperture always “hid” the location of the files from me. Not good when you’re shooting 500-700 exposures per event and you sometimes shoot multiple events per day.

    I wrote more about my Aperture 2 woes over on my blog. Feel free to click over there and criticize my opinions. I’m glad I switched to LR and I’ll be happily sending Adobe a check in the next 30 days for freeing me from the entanglement of Aperture.

  • Reply
    Ed Lau
    July 30, 2008 at 12:22 PM

    I also swear by Lightroom and yes, I have used Aperture. I thought my workflow was more efficient in Lightroom, especially since I migrated to Macs.

    I don’t really see a big deal with iPhoto…what problems are you anticipating between the two programs?

  • Reply
    Ryan Ray
    July 30, 2008 at 1:24 PM

    I definitely choose aperture just for the interface. I can’t stand crap interfaces. Aperture works fairly quick as well. I might have to give a go at LR2

  • Reply
    Dan
    July 31, 2008 at 2:56 AM

    I’m definately going to get the 30 day trial installed and give it a whirl, I’ve got a bunch of photos I want to tweak up and this will give me the kick up the arse I need to get it done.

    As a Windows user, Aperture isn’t available as an option to me so LightRoom may well be the way to go because, although I have PhotoShop CS3, it’s bloody long winded to do the stuff that LightRoom will probably do in a few clicks.

  • Reply
    Jeff Heusser
    August 3, 2008 at 3:54 PM

    As a Mac user I tried both Aperture and LR when they first came out. I chose Aperture. One main reason is integration with AppleTV and iPhone… the ability to make a smart album in Aperture like ** or more, this week, this month and such and have that synced to my iPhone every time I sync is huge. This automates having my favorite and most recent photos with me.

    For me not using Aperture would be like not using iTunes for music… you can do it but you lose a lot of integration with the whole system.

    Jeff

  • Reply
    Dwaas
    August 5, 2008 at 3:54 AM

    Tja… I use Lightroom v2.0 love it for my workflow and I really like the tight integration with PS cs3. The reason I don’t use aperture is very easy… I use windows

    Dwaas

  • Reply
    Paul
    August 13, 2008 at 9:45 AM

    I just installed LR2 and it runs doggedly slow on my PC. I have Vista, Pentium 4 HT 3.2ghz, nVidia 7900 GT, and 3 GB RAM.

    Is my bottleneck my aging CPU?

  • Reply
    CJ
    August 17, 2008 at 5:53 AM

    “Only Just” getting into Bridge / Lightroom (until few months ago done everything manually). Am curious of V2. From the Adobe site Trial is 62MB, wheres the full version is 97MB. What do we “NOT” get to see in the trial, as clearly in the full version, there is half as much again, file wise that is. Cant find anything about limitations of the trial anywhere. ???

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