Adobe Lightroom is renowned as one of the best photo editing software series available. The main versions currently available are Lightroom Classic and Lightroom CC. Lightroom Classic is a desktop-based version that is meant to utilize a traditional file and folder structure on your computer’s hard drive.
In contrast, Lightroom CC is a cloud-based service that uses a file and folder structure from the Adobe cloud storage service. In this review, we look specifically at the amazing product that is Lightroom Classic and why it is one of the best photo editing programs available.
First, let us look at the basic features this editing software provides. Lightroom Classic is a comprehensive program that allows users to have full control over the editing process. Furthermore, it has a myriad of useful features that allow you to export and share images on different platforms:
- Full RAW editing
- Advanced photo management
- Advanced editing features
- Advanced transformation tools
- Batch processing
- Extensive creative presets
- Slideshow creation
- Export for print media
As you can see, the basic features are extensive and this is just a quick list. Once you delve deeper into Lightroom Classic, you will see just what this program has to offer.
Some might find the layout of Lightroom cluttered and confusing. However, you can customize the layout fully and hide any toolbars and tabs that you do not want to see.
For example, the folder bar at the bottom shows thumbnails of other images in the same folder as the image you are editing – you can minimize this if you do not require it. This customization allows you to create a layout that works for your needs.
In addition to this, the basic layout is logical. There are separate tabs for different functions such as a library for file management, and the develop tab where you edit photos.
The develop tab has an excellent layout – the left-hand side shows your editing history and image presets. The center shows a preview of the editing image which you can split into a before and after comparison. Finally, the right-hand side contains all the editing tools and histogram details.
All other dialogue boxes and tools are intuitive and have an easy-to-understand layout.
The performance and quality of Lightroom Classic are outstanding. We like that it has full support for hundreds of different cameras and lenses. This native support allows for automatic lens and distortion correction.
The editing process is incredibly smooth. When using the different sliders and tools for RAW editing, the preview updates in real-time and there is no delay. Even when working with large, complex images, the performance holds up.
Lightroom Classic has a myriad of useful shortcuts that speed up the editing process. Once you learn these shortcuts, you can quickly switch between the different tabs, and select the myriad of editing tools quickly.
Importing and exporting photos is a quick process. Lightroom Classic has a dedicated import screen that automatically detects external devices or SD cards. You can then apply a myriad of presets and settings when importing like changing the file name and applying preset edits.
In the same manner, the export function allows you to rename files sequentially, alter their resolution, and apply Metadata too. Lightroom Classic supports a myriad of file formats including RAW, JPEG, PSD, and PNG.
Lightroom Classic is highly usable, and its features provide excellent control over the editing process.
The photo management options are brilliant. You can add a host of data to images such as keywords, title, caption, author, and creation date. Furthermore, you can assign colors and star ratings to photos so that they are easier to find.
This easy navigation is enhanced via the search function – you can search for images using any of these parameters. For those who work with thousands of photos, the management features of Lightroom Classic will prove invaluable.
The editing features are extremely accurate and cover a wide range of settings. You have full control over the editing process and can change parameters like contrast, temperature, clarity, saturation, and sharpness.
There are a handful of useful tools that enable fine editing on specific parts of photos. For example, the radial and graduated filters allow you to apply edits to feathered areas of images. This gives unlimited control and lets you manipulate photos in unbelievable detail.
We like Lightroom Classic’s ability to create slideshows and export your images into formats suitable for print. There is a myriad of preset sizes and formats available so you can easily export images ready for use on third-party printing services.
Lightroom Classic vs. ON1 Photo RAW 2020
Now that we have looked in greater detail at Lightroom Classic, it is important to see how it compares to other editing software. One of its main competitors is ON1 Photo RAW 2020 or its predecessor, the 2019 version. This is a similar program that has a myriad of the same features:
|Lightroom Classic||ON1 Photo RAW 2020|
|Full RAW Editing||Yes||Yes|
|Support for Cameras||Yes||Yes|
|Social Media Sharing||Yes||Yes|
So why should you choose Lightroom Classic? The main reason, and quite a big one, is performance. The ON1 Photo RAW series is often known for its poor performance and huge system requirements. Lightroom requires a less powerful computer to run effectively, and it just offers a better and smoother experience.
Should You Purchase Lightroom Classic?
Yes! If you prefer a traditional, hard-drive-based post-processing program, Lightroom Classic is an obvious choice. For RAW photo editing it is an amazing program that gives users unlimited creative options. You can do anything from simple color improvement to full-blown edits utilizing gradients and more.
Aside from editing, Lightroom Classic offers a brilliant photo management system. It can be used to effectively catalog your photos and make them searchable with keywords and filters so that you can quickly access them for editing. For professional photo editing and management, Lightroom Classic is a top choice.