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Lightroom vs Photoshop: Which is the best?

It wasn’t that long ago that only professional photographers had access to software packages such as Lightroom and Photoshop. When you wanted photos that you could use on holiday cards or share with loved ones, you needed to hire someone to edit those pictures and make them look better. As long as you have the money to buy the software, you can now do all that editing yourself.

Editing software offers an easy and convenient way to handle errors such as red eyes and dark colors. You can also use the software to remove blurry spots and to cut out backgrounds that don’t fit with the images. Two of the best pieces of software that are suitable for home use include those sold under the Photoshop and Lightroom names.

To help you pick out the right software, we offer a direct comparison of Lightroom to Photoshop products. You can view information on which products are right for teachers and students and which ones professionals use. We also look at the products available too.

Comparing Lightroom to Photoshop

Adobe makes most of the premium software packages that professional and amateur photographers now use, including both Lightroom and Photoshop. Before you shop, it’s helpful to compare the products sold under both brands to get an idea of which one meets more of your needs.


Photoshop includes hundreds of editing tools but does not offer any storage. Any work that you create is saved to your computer or device. Photoshop can take up quite a bit of storage space on your hard drive too.

Lightroom gives you the option of saving work to the cloud and comes with 1TB of extra storage. If you need more space, you can purchase it in the future. Cloud storage lets you access your content from other devices too.

An alternative is something called Adobe Creative Cloud. This is a separate package available from Adobe that costs around $10 a month for the basic package. It works with Photoshop and other editing software suites and saves your work to the cloud.

Experience Level

We recommend Lightroom for users who have less experience because of the intuitive design of the interface. It also comes with tools that let you drag and drop your images to make changes. Other tools let you edit with one click of a button.

Photoshop is a tool that we recommend for users who have more experience. Lightroom comes with a limited selection of editing tools and is far better for storing and organizing files. If you want to make professional images at home, you’ll want to use Photoshop. Most of the tools available with Lightroom are similar to those that come with free programs.

Tagging and Keywords

Though Photoshop gives you the option of saving files and adding some metadata, Lightroom gives you even more options. Not only can you add multiple keywords to organize files based on location and other factors, but you can add the names of the people in those images. This makes it easy to organize files based on who was there.

Those tagging options come in handy when you want to share and upload videos and photos too. Lightroom can automatically scan your photos and tag any individuals in them who you tagged before. Facebook and other sites will use that data to tag users when you upload the images too.

Top Lightroom Products

Lightroom CC for PC

Choosing the best Lightroom product is difficult because there are only a few options. You can choose from a standard edition and one designed for students and teachers as well as software for personal computers or MACs. If you have a PC and want to easily edit photos, Lightroom CC for PC is your top choice.

Designed to work with devices that run a Windows 10 operating system, Lightroom CC is available as a simple download that saves everything needed to your PC. It gives you a minimum of 1TB of storage with the option to add more later. Not only can you edit photos on your PC, but it works on mobile devices too.

The basic interface is easy to use and shows you exactly how to use the software and all the top features. You can use keywords to group photos into specific collections and upload the editing content to websites. This version of Lightroom also lets users tag others when sharing content on social media sites and comes with a one-year subscription.

Lightroom CC for PC Student Teacher Edition

The only thing different between this product and the last one is that the student and teacher edition is suitable for use in schools and similar settings. As a computer science or information technology teacher, you can show your students how to use the software with ease. The one-year subscription that comes included lets you use the software on more than one computer too.

With 1TB of storage, you can save the work that you and your students do without worrying about running out of space. If you ever need more storage, you can purchase extra space. Students like the tagging and sharing options that let them edit photos and then use them on popular social media sites such as Instagram.

Lightroom CC lets to edit and tweak photos to make them look their best. Not only can you adjust the amount of light in an image, but you can remove shadows and do other basic types of editing. This is one of the best products for teachers and their students.

Lightroom CC for MAC

Those who use a MAC can also use Lightroom CC when they opt for the product designed for MAC users. This version of the software works with various operating systems, including MAC OS X and 10.12 Sierra. It takes up just 10GB of the hard drive space on your MAC too.

Your one-year subscription allows you to use the software on a single MAC or up to two devices. When you use it on more than one device, both get the full benefits of the software. You’ll have fun editing photos to remove shadows and things you don’t want in those images. Once you finish editing, you can save those images in the cloud.

All versions of Lightroom CC come with 1TB of cloud storage and the option to purchase more. The interface on all versions looks the same and makes it easy to upload and edit images before you save them. It also includes a portfolio option for saving and sharing your finished work.

Lightroom CC for MAC Student Teacher Edition

Lightroom CC for MAC is also available in an edition designed for students and teachers. This allows you to download and save copies of the software on more than one device and work with your students as they use the software. You also get a total of 1TB of storage for your students too.

Both college and high school students will like that they can access the cloud and use their images from other devices. They also like that they can upload images to Facebook and other social media sites to share their work. All the work they do is saved in the cloud and the portfolios they set up.

The tagging feature automatically tags users that the software detects in the images. It offers classic editing tools for removing shadows and red eyes as well as adding more light and frames to the images. Schools that use MAC computers can benefit from this software.

Top Photoshop Products

Photoshop Elements 2020 & Premiere Elements 2020

Adobe offers Photoshop in several different formats. You can purchase a disc version that will work on a MAC or a PC that lets you keep a backup disc on hand. It is also available as a download that works on computers and devices that lack a disk drive. To save space, we included the disk and download version under the same category listing.

Photoshop comes with options and features that automatically apply to the photos that you take, but it also lets you customize your images with different features. The 2020 version now comes with a feature that teaches you how to use the software and offers tips and tricks based on how you use it. You can add more light to make videos look less grainy and add color to black and white images.

With guided tools, you can easily cut and remove objects or people that you don’t want to see in your images and add some fun patterns. It also has tools that let you seamlessly add new images or clips into a video. Photoshop offers options for creating slideshows and other displays for sharing too.

Photoshop Elements 2019

If you want to save money and don’t mind losing some of the features of the full software, you might consider investing in Photoshop Elements 2019. It is available as a boxed piece of software saved on a disc or as software that you can download to a MAC or PC. Elements 2019 will work on devices that run an older operating system too.

When you first use the software, you can use the 53-step guided process to learn how to use it. This same guide is available for those who need more help later. It will automatically search your computer for video and image files and launch a slideshow that lets you see all the content on your device. You can use it to access files on your phone and other mobile devices too.

Designed for those who want to show their creativity, Elements 2019 lets you add frames and borders to photos and create videos that consist of multiple images or video clips. You can share your finished work on your device and upload the work to the web. The software works with YouTube and social media sites.

Photoshop Elements 2020 & Premiere Elements 2020 Student and Teacher Edition

Teachers and others who work for schools as well as students can use this version of Photoshop, which is available in a disc format or as a digital download. The automated options make it easy for students to create new work and edit existing images and videos. They can also express their creativity through the tools included in the software.

A convenient guide comes included with the software, which teachers can use to see how the software differs from previous editions and students can use it to see how it works. With intelligent editing, users can make changes to images with one touch of a button. This brings up a list of tools they can use and shows them what each one does.

One of the tools is a drag and drop option that improves the light to reduce any graininess. Another tool lets users put multiple photos together to create a video collage. You can blur backgrounds, remove acne and skin imperfections and add patterns to the images too.

Lightroom vs. Photoshop: Who Wins?

In a direct comparison between Lightroom and Photoshop, it’s often hard to pick a winner. Both of these lines are available from Adobe and do many of the same things. Photoshop is a name that you might recognize because you used it before, but Lightroom isn’t quite as popular.

We typically recommend Photoshop for most users because of all the editing that the software can do. You can get rid of the bright red eyes and shadows in your photos and edit videos too. The latest version of the software offers video editing tools too.

If you want to do some basic editing and also organize your photos, Lightroom is a better option. It comes with 1TB of cloud storage and lets you edit on one device before saving your work in the cloud. You might find that you want to organize and store your images in Lightroom and edit the files in Photoshop.

When you compare Lightroom to Photoshop, the clear winner will likely be Photoshop. This software tool is available for MAC and PC users and includes all of the editing tools that you need.