Adobe Lightroom Review: Pros, Cons, and Features (2024)

If you are looking for help with your photo editing process and aiming to achieve professional results without complexity, you’ve come to the right software.

In this review, we will dive into how Lightroom Helps with common photography issues and makes editing easier.

For many photographers, as well as for everyday users, organizing and enhancing photos can be hard. With the dozens of technical options and presets available, it can feel overwhelming—almost like an old grandma trying to understand Mr. Robot.

This is where Adobe Lightroom can offer the solution you’ve been looking for.

Join me as I break down Lightroom’s features piece by piece, uncover its benefits, and evaluate how it can transform your photo editing and managing workflow.

In This Review

Overview | Features | Use Cases | Pricing | Pros & Cons | Final Thoughts

What is Adobe Lightroom?

Adobe Lightroom is a software application designed for photographers, developed by Adobe Systems. I’ve been using Lightroom extensively throughout my career in photography, and I can confidently say it’s a cornerstone tool for serious photographers.

Lightroom is primarily used for organizing, editing, and managing large collections of photographs.

It offers a complete set of features that helps users to enhance and manipulate their images effectively. From basic adjustments like exposure and color correction to more advanced tasks such as local adjustments and retouching, Lightroom provides a powerful and efficient workflow.

Adobe Lightroom is as essential for photographers as their own camera! It’s fantastic for anyone seeking a streamlined workflow for organizing, editing, and enhancing their images. Its user-friendly interface, powerful editing tools, and integration with other Adobe products make it a fundamental software choice for photographers of all levels.

Lightroom’s main features

The devil is in the details when it comes to what makes Lightroom stand out. Here’s a walkthrough of their best tools.

Organizing Photos in Lightroom

Organizing photos in Lightroom is pretty straightforward. I use albums a lot to group similar photos together, and the star ratings help me quickly identify my favorites. I can also mark photos as Picks or Rejects to further sort through them.

Lightroom lets you add keywords to photos, which is handy for searching later. However, unlike Lightroom Classic, it doesn’t suggest hierarchical keyword options as I type. That would be a nice addition.

One cool feature is the search bar—it’s smart! When I start typing, Lightroom suggests searches based on what I’m looking for, like “cats” “sunsets” or even specific camera models. It’s helpful when I need to find something fast.

Raw Porfiles in Lightroom

When I use Lightroom, one of the standout features for me is its Raw Profiles. These profiles are the starting points for editing, translating the raw data from my camera into a visible image. There are two main groups of profiles: raw and creative.

In the raw group, I have options like Adobe Raw and Camera Matching. Adobe Raw offers profiles like Adobe Color, Monochrome, Landscape, Neutral, Portrait, Standard, and Vivid. Adobe Color is the go-to for most of my edits, giving photos more contrast and vividness.

Camera Matching, on the other hand, mimics how my camera’s JPGs look, which can be more natural than Adobe’s profiles.

The Creative Profiles include Legacy, Artistic, B&W, Modern, and Vintage. They work with both raw and JPG images, offering different effects. The preview feature lets me hover over profiles to see how they change my image, which is handy for quick decisions.

People Recognition

This feature automatically recognizes faces in your photos using something called AI in the cloud, which they call Sensei. When it finds faces, it puts them into circles in the My Photos view. If it thinks it’s the same person in different shots, it groups them together. You can then name these groups to keep track of who’s who.

What’s neat is that you can combine circles if the AI gets a bit confused—like if someone’s wearing sunglasses or in a tricky angle. Lightroom usually does a solid job here. I was pleasantly surprised when it asked if it should merge photos of the same person, even with different looks.

One thing to note is that this People Recognition isn’t connected to the People feature in older Lightroom versions. So, if you tagged folks in those older versions, those tags won’t show up here, even if your photos are synced to Adobe’s cloud. It’s a bit of a bummer for long-time Lightroom users.

Adjusting Images in Lightroom

Adjusting images in Lightroom is straightforward and effective. When I’m editing photos, the Auto button is my go-to first step. It’s easy to spot and usually does a decent job of balancing out exposure and highlights. But, like with any automatic tool, I always double-check to make sure it suits the specific photo I’m working on. Sometimes, especially with nature shots like birds against a bright sky, I need to tweak things myself to get the right balance.

Adjusting Images in Lightroom

Lightroom’s sliders cover all the basics you’d expect: Exposure, Contrast, Highlights, Shadows, Whites, and Blacks. Clarity and Vibrance are there too, which are real lifesavers. Another handy feature is Dehaze, which can help clear up images, although I’ve found that other software like DxO PhotoLab might handle this better in some cases.

I particularly like the Texture slider—it’s great for adding or reducing medium detail without making things look too unnatural. I often use this to smooth out skin tones without making faces look plastic. It’s a useful tool that’s easy to apply globally or just to specific parts of an image.

Lightroom’s Curve adjustments are also neat. The Point Curve feature lets me target specific areas of a photo with more precision, just by dragging the mouse around. It’s a handy twist on the standard Curves tool, which Lightroom also includes for more general adjustments.

Presets

Presets are like instant image makeovers. With one click, I can transform a photo’s look and feel. Lightroom’s Presets use smart technology to suggest the best styles for my images. It’s like having a pro photographer whispering advice in my ear.

I can choose from different styles like Subtle, Strong, Black & White, Bright, or Dark. Hovering over a preset thumbnail instantly shows me how my photo will look. What’s neat is I can adjust the intensity with the Amount slider, even pushing it past the default for extra impact.

Lightroom’s Adaptive Presets, like Polished Portrait or Enhance Clothes, use AI to smartly tweak specific parts of a photo. But sometimes, like with Darken Beard, the effect might be too subtle.

I also get presets made by top photographers. There are options for color, black and white, grain, and vignette adjustments. It’s a quick way to see how the pros would style my shots.

Cropping in Lightroom is slick too. They offer preset ratios and even auto-leveling, so my landscapes stay straight. Plus, I can create custom aspect ratios and use helpful overlays like Thirds or Golden Ratio to perfect my composition.

Lightroom Use Cases

Adobe Lightroom is a versatile tool that’s handy for a range of professionals and industries. Let me break it down for you:

Photographers

If you snap photos—whether as a hobbyist or a pro—Lightroom is a game-changer. It helps organize, edit, and enhance your shots with precision. Plus, the seamless integration with Photoshop means you’ve got the whole editing workflow covered.

Graphic Designers

Designers use Lightroom to manage and tweak images for various projects. It’s perfect for creating stunning visuals, like posters, advertisements, or website banners. The ability to batch edit saves heaps of time when working with multiple images.

Content Creators

Whether you’re a YouTuber, blogger, or social media influencer, Lightroom is a must. It makes your content pop with vibrant colors and crisp details. You can quickly edit photos for your posts or videos, keeping your audience engaged.

Marketing Professionals

Marketers leverage Lightroom for branding and promotional materials. From product photos to campaign visuals, Lightroom’s tools make everything look polished and professional, which is key for attracting customers.

Real Estate Agents

Agents use Lightroom to showcase properties with stunning photos. It’s all about making houses look irresistible online, and Lightroom helps enhance curb appeal through high-quality imagery.

These are just a few examples. Basically, if you work with images in any capacity, Lightroom’s got your back. It’s like having a photo editing assistant that’s always ready to make your visuals shine.

Lightroom Pricing

Here’s a detailed look at how Uscreen’s pricing pans out:

Lightroom Plan (1 TB) – 11,49 $ per month

All the Lightroom, Lightroom Classic and Lightroom mobile features. 1TB cloud storage.

Photography Plan (20 GB) – 11,49 $ per month

All the Lightroom, Lightroom Mobile and Photoshop features at the best price. 20 GB cloud storage.

Photography Plan (1 TB) – 22,99 $ per month

All the Lightroom, Lightroom Mobile and Photoshop features. 1 TB cloud storage.

Pros and cons of Lightroom

Like any other software or platform, Lightroom comes with its own set of pros and cons. Let’s walk through the most important ones.

Pros of Lightroom

  • Built in file management/cataloging system
  • Organization with collections and galleries
  • Fast and easy photo books, slide shows, and web galleries
  • Non-destructive editing that preserves file data
  • Easy and fast syncing of editing steps
  • Snapshots and Virtual Copies are great for exploring editing options
  • Adjustment brush, gradient, and radial adjustments which allow you to adjust multiple effects on one mask
  • Fairly decent cloning and healing abilities for minor image manipulation
  • Presets

Cons of Lightroom

  • No layers or blend modes
  • Minimal graphic design elements like adding text elements or making advanced collages
  • Limited editing options

Is Lightroom the best choice for editing photos?

In my experience, Adobe Lightroom stands out as a top pick for editing and organizing photos efficiently. The software’s editing tools are intuitive and powerful, allowing me to enhance my photos with just a few clicks. I particularly appreciate the ability to adjust exposure, contrast, and colors precisely to achieve the look I want.

When it comes to organizing, Lightroom offers a robust system of catalogs and collections that make it easy to manage large photo libraries. I can quickly tag and categorize photos based on keywords or other criteria, making it simple to find specific images later.

Moreover, Lightroom’s integration with Adobe Creative Cloud ensures seamless syncing across devices, so I can access and edit my photos anywhere, anytime. This feature has been invaluable for me as a photographer who often works on the go.

Overall, if you’re looking for a comprehensive solution that combines powerful editing capabilities with efficient photo organization, Adobe Lightroom is definitely a top contender.

Ready to start editing like a pro? Give Lightroom a try.

Article by

Yasser Hannaoui is the founder and Head of Content at Erola.
He's been involved in SEO for 4 years and specializes in SEO and content marketing.
When he's not working, he's either reading books or studying physics.

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