Is Photoshop And Lightroom The Same?

When it comes to editing, most people are stuck on whether to go with Photoshop or Lightroom. Because to them, the two are the same thing. While that may be true, there are also some noticeable differences that will determine which one you choose first. Photoshop and Lightroom are widely used with the Photograph community to edit pictures.

They have many similarities, but they each serve a unique purpose that differentiates them. Let us look at the similarities as well as the differences. But before we do that let us first understand what each program is about.

What is Photoshop?

Originally, it was an editing tool but as technology improves, so does it. Nowadays it serves many functions and capabilities to many people including graphic designers and animators. Its ability to be upgraded and updated makes it a better editing software.


Not to mention it features special plugins called “filters” from both the Adobe and third-party companies. The program allows merging of many photographs, fine-tuning the skin to remove blemishes and changing a poor quality image to a high-quality one.

What is Lightroom?

Many people don’t know it, but its full name is Adobe Photoshop Lightroom. Just like Photoshop, it is used to edit photographs only that with it you can manage and store as many images as you can think of.

The area where Lightroom outshines Photoshop is even when editing very many pictures, the image quality remains to be high and keeps the photos organized in one place. Lightroom uses presets which are like “filters” to achieve a particular look. The premium lightroom presets examples include Luminar 2018 and Exposure X4.


Of course, the obvious one is that they are both editing software. You can use them to change and correct the color, the tone, the exposure and the composition of the image.


The other thing is that you can use them to handle multiple files such as JPEG, PNG, TIFF and others. As they both use Adobe Camer Raw processing engine, the controls and the editing options are the same.

How do They Differ?

1. File Handling

Using Photoshop for editing you can expect that your images are moved around to different locations on your computer device. But with Lightroom, it keeps all your photos on a separate file called the Catalog which provides instructions on how each picture should be edited.

2. Tools for Editing

Photoshop contains different filters, brushes and other many tools that allow you to perform any edition you want. Working with Photoshop, the program will enable you to create various layers where you are going to do the actual editing.

But when it comes to Lightroom, it offers less editing tools but more linear working. It is like all the Photoshop tools placed in one package.

3. The Ease of Use

It is easier to work with Lightroom as compared to Photoshop. Like we have earlier said, with Lightroom, it is a single package of the Photoshop editing tools. The software handles everything for you from importing photos from your storage device to organizing, editing and sharing the images.


The controls are easy to manipulate. With Photoshop, on the other hand, newbies may have a lot of trouble working with it. It doesn’t support file transfer, you have to organize your images by yourself and certainly won’t make slide shows.

It is important that photographers understand their similarities as well as their differences for them to make an informed choice when it comes to choosing an editing program. However, most photographers use the two software to edit their photos. They will start editing their raw images with the Lightroom and finish with Photoshop for fine-tuning. But whichever way you prefer, make sure you understand what each program entails.