This is a very common question, and the answer isn’t easy. The best thing to do is analyze their advantages and shortcomings separately.
I can’t count the times I’ve been asked this question, that’s why I’m writing this article. I hope this can be of help to everyone asking themselves this.
Both programs allow us to work with our pictures, but they don’t do the same, or at least in the same way. The purpose is the same, but the means are different.
Lightroom has a much more modern and user-friendly interface . In a way it is a summary of Photoshop , it is the poor son . But it would be a very brief way to explain it . Although it may seem crazy to say so, it seems the fruit of a wild orgy between some programs Adobe suite , as if their codes had been crossed and had given birth to a son endowed with some of its virtues but with some limitations .
Lightroom, like Adobe Bridge, allows you to organize and classify your pictures. It’s great at managing RAW pictures, too. You can create your own photo album with Adobe Indesign, and even create an HD video with Adobe Premiere. But all these features have many limitations. For example, videos can’t be longer that the music we select for them.
Like I said, both programs have the same purpose, so editing a photo in Adobe Camera RAW or the Lightroom Developing module will yield exactly the same results. There are even tools that were first in Lightroom and then integrated into Camera RAW. There is no difference between the two programs in this regard.
Also, Adobe Bridge and the Library module are very similar. Many people are unaware that you can do the same things with both programs. Lightroom didn’t invent anything, it simply presented it in a more friendly way. All of this already existed, but not many people used it.
Photoshop can do everything Lightroom does, although it’s much more complicated. You can create photo albums, create videos and do everything Lightroom does, with a little effort.
All things considered, there is no clear answer. Both are excellent programs and ideally one should be able to work with both.
Lightroom is a simpler, more user-friendly version of Photoshop and other programs of the Adobe suite. It can do everything you imagine on a basic level, but Photoshop is better for more complex tasks.
Lightroom is more than enough for most users, but those who need something else have no choice but to grab a copy of Photoshop and learn to use its vast array of complex tools.
Herein lies the difference between the programs: Lightroom focuses on being intuitive and all about pictures, while Photoshop is harder to use and covers a wider spectrum of options.
Photoshop does everything Lightroom does, except for the Map function. Lightroom, on the other hand, lacks options and functions Photoshop has, but that makes it much easier to use. Photoshop is a giant and Lightroom may fall short in some areas, but what it does is enough for most people. You can live without Lightroom, but it is impossible to survive without Photoshop in the world of photography nowadays.
However, like I said, it’s best to work with both at once. I download photos, classify and process with Lightroom, and then I use Photoshop for more complex and demanding tasks, like zooming, cropping, resizing, etc.