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12-12-2019, 01:41 PM   #1
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Lightroom 3 with Photoshop CS 3 or something else?

So, I bought Lightroom 3 several years ago when I originally was planning on getting my first DSLR as it was on sale. I also have the old install disks for Photoshop CS 3 available at work since we no longer have those laptops for which it was purchased. (I hadn't actually even installed it on the laptops for the last couple years that we had them as no one used it and I could use the drive space.)


I've used GIMP/PS in the past for some image editing/drawing but have never done actual photo post-processing before. From what I understand, I might not even need PS since LR can probably do most everything I need. But the question is, should I bother with LR 3 or should I go with something else? Should I bother installing PS as well? I'll probably install it, because why not, but will I actually use it? I'd rather not go subscription based, but I'm not 100% (probably only about 90%) against it.

As I'm new to post-processing, I'd obviously like something that's easy to use/pick up, but preferably also has advanced tools that I can get into down the road without having to switch to a new program. But better to be easy to use just so that I actually use it instead of getting frustrated at it and not using it. All of my personal machines are currently Windows based, but I'm a huge fan of the BSDs which will also run Linux natively through the compatibility APIs without having to compile specifically for BSD. Though, if there are FreeBSD ports, even better. I'm now going to have to go check what the current state of affairs on the software I use on my laptop currently is as I have a strong urge to convert it as I don't have as much need for Windows on it if the couple of things I use it for will work...


My goal is to preferably not spend money that I don't need to spend but still be able to get good results. And while I said I want easy to use, I don't mind if it's not a single program that does everything or if it's several programs that one would use in succession to get the job done. I'm a fan of the UNIX method of small programs that do one thing, but do it really well.

I rambled a little in here, I apologize. I tried to go back through and make it somewhat coherent, but it's a habit that I doubt I'll ever break. Thank you for sticking with me and for any advice you would like to give.

12-12-2019, 02:07 PM   #2
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Lightroom 3 is pretty long in the tooth by now. Features, image processing algorithms and - importantly - specific camera and lens support have all improved and expanded in later versions. I have Lightroom 6 (stand-alone), and even that is starting to show its age with lack of support for the latest cameras and lenses.

I would recommend you look at a couple of different zero-cost options - Darktable, and RawTherapee. Both are extremely capable as raw development tools. What they lack is Lightroom's excellent asset library management, but for raw processing they are broadly competitive with Lightroom. Both are available to run under Windows and Linux, and - for open source applications - well supported by both the developers and user communities.

FWIW, I use all three - Lightroom, Darktable and RawTherapee. Each is better than the other at certain very specific things, none is the best at everything. When all's said and done, each is a great option for you.
12-12-2019, 02:10 PM   #3
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If you are new to post processing going the PS/LR route may be a better option as there are lots of tutorials but with ones that old you will find lots of tutorials using new features that don't exist in the old versions. However you could just skip PS/LR and go the GIMP and either darktable or RawTherapee. You will find there may be some features you want that are missing, especially in GIMP, but you haven't become dependent on them. Unless you are really diving deep into editing photos and using more advanced photoshop features you probably will get along just fine. Darktable is a good option for replacing Lightroom as it will also do raw development and photo orgnization. Personally I like RawTherapee for raw development better as there are lots of knobs to turn that don't appear to exist in other tools but for someone starting out it could be overwhelming.
12-12-2019, 03:13 PM   #4
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I'd use it. I have and use Photoshop CS4 and although it doesn't have the snazzy new tools like content-aware fill, it hasn't hindered me.

12-13-2019, 01:40 AM   #5
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The latest version of LR is much more versatile that version 3.

Still, you probably wouldn't regret getting into PS. Plenty of reward for effort.
12-13-2019, 04:55 AM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by Gorgarath Quote
So, I bought Lightroom 3 several years ago when I originally was planning on getting my first DSLR as it was on sale. I also have the old install disks for Photoshop CS 3 available at work since we no longer have those laptops for which it was purchased. (I hadn't actually even installed it on the laptops for the last couple years that we had them as no one used it and I could use the drive space.)


I've used GIMP/PS in the past for some image editing/drawing but have never done actual photo post-processing before. From what I understand, I might not even need PS since LR can probably do most everything I need. But the question is, should I bother with LR 3 or should I go with something else? Should I bother installing PS as well? I'll probably install it, because why not, but will I actually use it? I'd rather not go subscription based, but I'm not 100% (probably only about 90%) against it.

As I'm new to post-processing, I'd obviously like something that's easy to use/pick up, but preferably also has advanced tools that I can get into down the road without having to switch to a new program. But better to be easy to use just so that I actually use it instead of getting frustrated at it and not using it. All of my personal machines are currently Windows based, but I'm a huge fan of the BSDs which will also run Linux natively through the compatibility APIs without having to compile specifically for BSD. Though, if there are FreeBSD ports, even better. I'm now going to have to go check what the current state of affairs on the software I use on my laptop currently is as I have a strong urge to convert it as I don't have as much need for Windows on it if the couple of things I use it for will work...


My goal is to preferably not spend money that I don't need to spend but still be able to get good results. And while I said I want easy to use, I don't mind if it's not a single program that does everything or if it's several programs that one would use in succession to get the job done. I'm a fan of the UNIX method of small programs that do one thing, but do it really well.

I rambled a little in here, I apologize. I tried to go back through and make it somewhat coherent, but it's a habit that I doubt I'll ever break. Thank you for sticking with me and for any advice you would like to give.
It might be worth you giving Affinity Photo a try. It's a full featured processing program with a 2 week free trial and $50 one time fee (often on sale), all future updates included. Many, but not everyone, have found it to have a gentle learning curve compared to many programs (i have). It does not have a file organizing feature like LR, however, but it's rumored one is under development. Lots of tutorials and an active forum for support.
12-13-2019, 03:51 PM   #7
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...something else: Darktable.
12-14-2019, 06:41 AM   #8
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Thank you everyone. I think I might have to test Darktable and Rawtherapee and see which I can pick up easier. Didn't realize Darktable had photo organization as well.

I could probably always do everything in other programs and then drop them into Lightroom just for the organization/searching ability as well. Would lock me into Windows, unless LR runs decently through wine.

I'll have to check out Affinity Photo as well. Assuming it's a Windows only program?

12-14-2019, 03:46 PM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by Gorgarath Quote
Thank you everyone. I think I might have to test Darktable and Rawtherapee and see which I can pick up easier. Didn't realize Darktable had photo organization as well.

I could probably always do everything in other programs and then drop them into Lightroom just for the organization/searching ability as well. Would lock me into Windows, unless LR runs decently through wine.

I'll have to check out Affinity Photo as well. Assuming it's a Windows only program?
Affinity Photo runs on Windows, Mac and iPad. On the iPad it is a full blown program, not like the limited version of Photoshop on iPad.

Note: I do not own any Apple products.
12-14-2019, 04:24 PM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by Gorgarath Quote
I'll have to check out Affinity Photo as well. Assuming it's a Windows only program?
Affinity was originally a Mac app.
12-14-2019, 05:21 PM   #11
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If it works on Mac, I'll hold hope that there is a way to natively get it working on FreeBSD. Currently running all Windows at home, so as long as it works there, I'll be able to use it. My pipe dream of switching to FreeBSD always comes down to wanting to play games that simply just work better, or only, on Windows.
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