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I am new to both Camera raw and Lightroom and from my beginner's eye is seems that all the functionality of camera raw exists in LR.

and with LR being able to launch photos in photoshop for editing I am wondering if camera raw is a redundant tool if one has Lightroom.

In other words, can someone explain where Camera Raw is useful even if you have LR?

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Lightroom IS Camera RAW. Well, it is built upon it. All of Camera RAW functions exist in Lightroom, and the RAW conversion is identical code. Of course, there is more to Lightroom than Camera RAW itself provides, just as there is more that Photoshop offers over Lightroom.

If you are looking for RAW conversion, then Lightroom and Camera RAW in Photoshop are identical.

Rather than use Camera RAW, I use Lightroom as my primary photo tool. If there is some task that I need Photoshop for, I will simply select "Edit in Photoshop" from Lightroom, and I am taken into the Photoshop interface. Camera RAW is not needed, as Lightroom passes the file to Photoshop as a .psd or .tif, depending on your setting. After I am finished with my edit, I can close Photoshop and return to Lightroom, with my edited file intact, for completion in Lightroom.

Edit: in response to your question about Adobe Bridge: I have never taken to Bridge, but as far as arranging, tagging, rating photos functions in Bridge: those functions are available in Lightroom as well. In my opinion, LR provides many more functions, but also superior ease of use to Bridge.

For anyone wishing to compare LR to Photoshop, I encourage you to simply download the 30 day trial of Lightroom and give it a spin.

  • thats what i was suspected. what about bridge? is its functionality subsumed by LR? – numan Feb 18 '14 at 19:43
  • Scott Kelby has a series of short videos that tries to encourage people to drop bridge/camera RAW in favor of Lightroom. – tenmiles Feb 18 '14 at 20:06
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    I always thought bridge as useless. – Michael Nielsen Feb 18 '14 at 20:21
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    The power of bridge is not apparent when you only use LR and/or PS. It's when you use the entire CS suite, which includes InDesign, Illustrator and PremierePro (etc.) that being able to organise, view, launch, etc. all of the files manipulated by the CS suite that it becomes a significant aid to project workflow. – dav1dsm1th Feb 18 '14 at 22:29
  • I believe that if the image is opened as a Smart Object, it still goes to ACR for in-edit revision. Whether or not you need to re-cook the raw file depends on how much editing you need to do, but it's not uncommon for commercial images. And there are some publishing/album design tasks that are much easier from Bridge than from Lr. – user2719 Mar 6 '14 at 2:33

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