If you can’t make up your mind which combined image cataloging and editing program to go for, this Lightroom 5 review will help you decide…

What is it?

Lightroom 5.3 reviewLightroom 5 is an new kind of all-in-one photography application. It doesn’t offer the range of image-editing capabilities you find in Photoshop, but does have all the photo-enhancement tools that photographers use every day, and it has a much broader scope than a traditional image-editor like Photoshop, combining image cataloguing, editing, exporting and sharing tools.

Where do you get it?

Lightroom 5.3 review

For now, Lightroom 5 is available both as a standalone ‘perpetual licence’ product and as part of Adobe’s subscription-based Creative Cloud.

Lightroom 5 is available as a 30-day trial download from the Adobe website. You can find out more from the Adobe Photoshop Lightroom product page. It’s available as a ‘perpetual licence’ – the traditional one-off payment – or as part of Adobe’s subscription-based Adobe Creative Cloud for a monthly or yearly payment. You can also buy it as a boxed product from regular software retailers.

What does it do?

Lightroom 5.3 overview

Lightroom adds all your images to a searchable ‘catalog’ or database, and builds in the non-destructive editing tools you get in Adobe Camera Raw.

Lightroom is an image-cataloguing program which stores your images in a database, or ‘Catalog’. This offers much faster, flexible and more sophisticated searching and organisation compared to a program like Adobe Bridge, which simply shows you the contents of your folders.

It also offers the editing tools you find in Adobe Camera Raw, the RAW conversion plug-in that comes with Photoshop. You can use these to correct your images’ tones and colours. You can crop and straighten images, correct lens and perspective distortion, clone out defects and unwanted objects, and apply effects in a ‘non-destructive’ way. In other words, none of your adjustments are permanent, and you can go back at any time to change them.

Lightroom can also create slideshows, web galleries and photo books. You can also post pictures to Facebook, Flickr and other sharing sites from within the application.