32 of 34 people found the following review helpful
The software digital photographers have been waiting for,
This review is from: Adobe Photoshop Lightroom (PC/Mac) (CD-ROM)
I'm a fairly serious amateur photographer, and before Lightroom had been muddling by with a combination of Photoshop (for editing), Bridge (for managing - urgh) and Picasa (for basic stuff).
Lightroom now replaces all three tools, except for the rare occasion that I dip into Photoshop for very specific editing tasks. For me the really big plus features are:
NON-DESTRUCTIVE EDITING: Whether you're shooting RAW, JPG or TIF, Lightroom gives you a full range of editing tools, from basic white balance adjustment to spot healing. In all cases, no changes are made to your original file: your edits are stored separately in a lightweight data file, as in Picasa. This means you can always undo previous changes in future.
USER INTERFACE: The UI of Lightroom is just astonishing, and subtly improved in the 1.1 upgrade (free to 1.0 users). All the features I ever need are right there where I expect them to be and they've made the effort to match the way you want to work, rather than making you learn their way. As a couple of examples: image rotation and cropping is done completely visually (no typing in angles unless you want to, none of this ridiculous cropping to a print size that you get in Photoshop). Exposure/highlights/shadows can be adjusted just by dragging on the histogram (or again, numerically if you prefer for complete accuracy). And that's just a couple of tiny examples. For a version 1 product it's unbelievably good.
ALL IN ONE: Lightroom combines an excellent image browsing/management tool with editing, printing, slideshow and web modules. It's as convenient as Picasa or iPhoto but far more powerful than either.
FAST: I've got it running on a 2-year-old PC laptop with a 2GHz single-core processor (admittedly with 2GB RAM) and it's really nippy. On a new machine with a dual-core CPU you'd be laughing.
DESIGNED BY PHOTOGRAPHERS FOR PHOTOGRAPHERS: Adobe got input from a lot of digital photographers in designing and creating Lightroom and it really shows. Everything it tailor made for us. There are no clunky hard-to-use carry-overs from Photoshop - it's all redone from the ground up.
In summary, for any reasonably serious digital photographer - especially if you use an SLR and/or shoot RAW - there's simply no better product on the market. Worth every penny.