Difference Between Photoshop And Lightroom

Difference Between Photoshop And Lightroom

One question I get asked a lot is, What is the difference between Photoshop and Lightroom? And which one makes more sense? This is actually not a bad question since price tag doubles when you go with photoshop. So today I want to show you which software makes the most sense for which kind of photographer.

The Main difference Between Photoshop and Lightroom

Is that one of them can do everything you could possibly do with a photo and one of them is made only for photographers. Lot’s of people like to say that Lightroom is for those guys that don’t know how to handle photoshop and can’t afford it, but I would say that is total bullshit because I can’t afford it and I still have it 😀 It really comes down to what you want to do with an image if you just want to retouch it, then Lightroom is fine. If you want to add a nuclear explosion into the wedding portrait then go with photoshop. I personally like to use photoshop more because I know how to handle it (not like those lightroom guys) 😀  Just kidding. The reason is I already have it and I come from a photoshopping background so I am used to the workflow. 

What Can Photoshop Do Better

The Tools

Everything… Nope, but it can certainly do everything that Lightroom can. It has all the tools that are known to mankind to edit pictures. It has so many tools that when I started using it I did not know how to do anything. But I will discuss that point in the cons 😀


Photoshop uses a layer technic where you can put as many edited things on top of each other as you like. Each of them can be put into a specific layer mode or masked out which makes it perfect to create thousands of different looks 🙂Difference Between Photoshop And Lightroom


Also, a huge thing you can’t do with Lightroom is, you can’t do montages. With the layers, you can put as many things you want into your picture and make them look awesome.

Camera Raw

Camera raw is a module of photoshop that technically has all the abilities that Lightroom has. So Lightroom really is also included in Photoshop.

Difference Between Photoshop And Lightroom


Photoshop gives you the maximum amount of creative freedom if you are a crazy person like me, who just likes to do sometimes very dumb or funny stuff with pictures. 

Photoshop Cons


Photoshop requires a strong computer especially when you start editing big images. I have 32GB ram and an I9x processor together with a Samsung SSD (don’t mean to be ballin but it’s a hell of a computer… It’s amazing) 😀 no seriously I have that because I need that in order to get maximum speed with editing huge pictures. You might not need that much but 8GB and at least I5 would be a good choice.

Sadly not my pc… But this one would be a good choice 😀


The Learning Curve.

I know all the tools when you see a photoshop commercial are amazing the only thing is, as I mention above that you need to know how to use them. To give you an idea, I’m 26 and I work with photoshop now for 11 years every day. I think I know a lot about it, I still don’t know everything. Of course, you don’t need that long to learn how to get what you want, but it certainly takes way longer to understand than Lightroom. 

The Price

It almost costs twice as much as Lightroom last time I checked and that really brings up the question do you really need that for your pictures? Or do you just want to color correct, retouch and give them your certain look? Also what people seem to forget is that just purchasing photoshop doesn’t give you its abilities you still have to learn (a lot) to be able to use them. You can also not buy the whole program and just purchase a monthly license for both of them which will cost you $10 dollars every month. 

What Can Lightroom Do Better


All In One Solution

Lightroom is like like the easy to understand photoshop. You can import your pictures with it and sort them, edit them and export them to whatever you want. Even with face recognition.  Photoshop can do that too but needs the adobe bridge for that (which is for free).


You can get a lot of presets online for money or for free or even create your own (and then sell them) 😀 They can make life a lot easier, speed up your workflow and make it easier for you to understand how you can archive a cool look yourself. Of course, Photoshop can use them too. 🙂

This is just an example I never said they were good or anything 🙂 I don’t like to pay for free things 🙂


All the edits you make you can be removed with one click if you don’t like them. So you never lose your original file. That is absolutely awesome because in Photoshop you sometimes have to think about if you want to do the fast destructive way or the usually a little more complicated nondestructive way. 


This is really where Lightroom shines. It shows you all the tools you have to manipulate your image in logical and smart order. So you would just have to work through the tools and decide what to do.

The ToolsIn terms of tools Lightroom, of course, isn’t as strong as photoshop, but it also doesn’t have to be. It is meant to retouch and edit your pictures and not montage the f**k out of it. 😀 

Easy To Understand

It really is laid out that you mostly don’t even have to watch a youtube or visit my blog for tips. 😀 

The Price

It costs only half as much as photoshop does, which is still expensive. (I know).  In my opinion still worth the money. It is definitely the right choice for you if you just start editing your pictures or just don’t want to make an alien appear in your garden. 🙂 Unless you buy the monthly subscription which will give you both programs, but will cost you $10 every month.

Lightroom Cons


Limited Abilities

As I said Lightroom can’t do all that photoshop can do. The question you need to ask yourself is are you willing to learn all the stuff that photoshop can provide or do you just want to enhance your photos. If you just to edit a little bit Lightroom is absolutely alright.

No Animation No layers

You can’t animate anything with Lightroom. You can also not use any kind of layering or layer mode which takes a lot of creative freedom away from you. 


To be honest I have both of them and I also use both. Usually, when I know I just want to make some quick adjustments and not go crazy with it I use Lightroom and for everything else I use photoshop, but only because I already know how to use photoshop. You really shouldn’t underestimate the time it takes to understand everything in photoshop. Lightroom is for the people who want to take pictures as a photographer and don’t want to spend ages figuring out Photoshop. Also, the monthly subscriptions might be a good choice for you since you can experiment with both programs and find out what you like better. Plus you even get 20GB Cloud storage.

That’s already it with my What’s the difference between Photoshop and Lightroom post. I hope you understand now where the huge difference is and which of software make more sense for you. If you have any opinion or questions please let me know in the comments. I will get back to you as fast as I can.

Cheers Aaron.

Related Posts:


6 thoughts on “Difference Between Photoshop And Lightroom

  1. Gabriella Tito

    Excellent topic! I always thought the end all editing program was photoshop, but I may be wrong. I love how truthful you are, helps me decide what’s best 🙂

    I always feel like photoshop is sluggish and lags a little bit, but maybe that’s just a bad past experience? I had a pretty decked out computer too so I’m not sure why that happened.

    Light room seems so simple to use and I love a great and easy workflow. I guess at the end of the day, there’s nothing wrong with using both, right?

    1. Aaron

      Hey Babriella, I thank you for the nice feedback and yes sometimes Photoshop can seem to be laggy, because it really needs a lot of power and nope If you take the subscription you have both anyway. 🙂 But for everything that isn’t too  complicated I would use Lightroom because the workflow is just super effective.

  2. Netta

    Hey Aaron:

    Your post comparing Photoshop and Lightcom is very helpful.

    It also points up a thing I’ve got about all the mega-blockbuster techno-whiz-bang toolboxes for any of our more creative bits.

    They are distracting as all get-out! It can be so much fun exploring all those marvelous possibilities that you never get any real work done!

    1. Aaron

      Hey Netta, Yes that is why I like lightroom sometimes better because it guides way better. photoshop is like quantum labor. You could change the world with it, but you need to know what when to do. 🙂 

  3. Win Bill Huang

    I actually have heard of lightroom before, but it just never occured to me as to what it really is. Unlike you, I don’t have 11 years of photoshop experience. I would say I am very superficial when it comes to using it. In fact, one of the few things I know is the pen tool to carve out stuff.

    As time passed by, I realized that photoshop is a lot of work just to do some nice retouches on a single image. In the past I did a lot of crazy stuff like making my mouth look like lava is spilling out of it, or making a bird poop look bloody and diarrhea like. (sorry for the graphic images).

    Nevertheless, ever since I got married, I have been doing less of that. It is more like how to make my wife look “thinner” in the image or make my family’s face less dark. If I had known lightroom existed, I would have jumped right into it considering how convenient it is.

    I am guessing that lightroom doesn’t have any layers manipulation to have precise control over your edits. I might miss that a little if I convert.

    1. Aaron

      Hey Win, It sounbds really interesting what you did with Photoshop ;D In Lightroom you don’t have any layers or a liquify tool. It really only has almost the same features an old Lightroom has. If you know your way around Photoshop anyway then just use Lightroom for brighten up pictures and other simple stuff. 🙂

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *