Adobe Lightroom (vs. Picasa)

After finally upgrading my desktop PC, I’ve decided to revisit Adobe Lightroom. When I first tried Lightroom on my old PC, it was way too slow. So, I’m hoping that my new PC will resolve the performance issues.

As you may already know, I like using Picasa; it’s fast, simple, and free. I wanted to see how much better Lightroom is for post-processing vs. Picasa. I realize that comparing Lightroom to Picasa is akin to comparing a Porche 911 to a Volkswagen Beetle. That being said, Picasa is a reference point for me.

I used Picasa’s “I’m Feeling Lucky” button on the photo of Angkor Wat below (left). Then, I used Lightroom to adjust the same photo (right). Not surprisingly, the Lightroom photo looks better; there’s a lot more detail in the sky and in the shadows of the temple. Having control of Exposure, Recovery, Fill Light, Brightness, Contrast, etc. in Lightroom really makes a difference. You can adjust Fill Light, Highlights, Shadows, and Color Temperature in Picasa, but Lightroom gives you much more control, and its clipping indicators are very helpful. Unfortunately, it takes a lot more time to make adjustments to photos with Lightroom. A number of YouTube videos that teach you how to use Lightroom are available.  AdobeTV and KelbyTV also have several tutorial videos online.

I know I’m just scratching the surface of Lightroom. I’m scared to think how much time it will take to learn all of the features and how to use them. Nonetheless, it’s hard to argue that the end result isn’t worth it.


3 thoughts on “Adobe Lightroom (vs. Picasa)”

  1. How is it going with Lightroom. I am comparing Lightroom vs. Picasa mostly for digital management but by your example, I can see where it is helpful for photo adjustments. You wrote this a couple years ago so was curious for an update.

    1. I eventually gave up on Lightroom. The software seemed very powerful, but the learning curve was too steep. I also tried Photoshop Elements but still mainly use Picasa. Picasa is fast and easy to learn (and free). If I have more time, I’d like to learn Photoshop Elements better; people are doing amazing things with it.

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