Lightroom 5 or Adobe Bridge?

May 20, 2013  •  Leave a Comment

An interesting situation with these two software products is coming to bear for the photographer business world. There are legions of photographers who use Lightroom regularly on any given day. The same goes for the Bridge product within Photoshop. However with the recent announcements by Adobe it makes one think a bit about having both products. While they are not the same, there are many similarities of use. Also you now need to decide if having your software reside in the "cloud" is important to you depending upon how you work. While this is a bit off topic for this particular blog it is part of the overall Adobe scene! Just look at how the competitive product manufacturers are getting into this to kick Adobe while they are busy with all the controversy!

I purchased LR in its original state and then updated to LR2 through the years. When CS4 came out I then bought the Creative Suite and bridge was within that suite. Frankly I haven't opened LR2 since that time. Now that Adobe is advertising their cloud products and showing that most programs are part of the deal, it may sound like a wonderful situation. However in my opinion it really boils down to what you need for your workflow on a daily basis. I have no need within my business for most of the product line. Illustrator, Dreamweaver, Premier, and several others just do not satisfy any need that I am prepared to purchase and then spend the time to learn adequately. Remember there is a learning curve associated with these programs and "TIME IS MONEY"! InDesign, Photoshop and the Bridge interface seem to get me through the day. This is my situation and may not apply to some other photographers. I am a wildlife photographer and a partner in a photo lab. Both areas require handling many files each day. NIK software addins work very well and are part of my Photoshop program. It will also work with Lightroom 5.

Over the weekend I was finally ready to see what was so good about the Lightroom 5 program, so I downloaded the beta and gave it a try. It is very nice indeed. But it really is the s l o w e s t performing action I have seen with modern programs dedicated to file handling of photo images. Bridge is so much easier for me personally to use. LR5 has many more functions, but if I have to wait so long perhaps I will just use another program and PS to get by for my particular purposes. The many features that were there are indeed an awesome array of functional actions needed for my work. The new feature to straighten out perspectives on buildings was an amazing addition. But the speed of getting these done is enough to cause me to lose interest. I saw speed mentioned in many posts related to the LR5 software as online reviews and honestly did not think that would matter to me. However today's digital shoots are almost always composed of at least 150 to 200 images any time I shoot. Handling that many files just requires more speed in order to satisfy me in production. Newer cameras are making larger files which take longer to render. Speed is the answer to this quandary.

At age 71 it sometimes is difficult for me to fathom how good a product might be without knowing how to use all of the functions available. Thus while I believe my statements are accurate from my own experience it would serve you well to try the download of the beta product to see for yourself if Lightroom 5 will provide a good tool for you and your personal workflow...


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