Lightroom vs Adobe Bridge: Which Is Finest in 2021?

The publish Lightroom vs Adobe Bridge: Which Is Best in 2021? appeared first on Digital Photography School. It was authored by Matt Murray.

Lightroom vs Adobe Bridge: Which is best?

Which do you have to purchase, Lightroom vs Adobe Bridge? When you haven’t used both program extensively, it may be a tricky selection.

That’s the place this text turns out to be useful; beneath, I give an outline of each Lightroom Traditional and Adobe Bridge together with their professionals and cons, then I pit them head-to-head on three key options that can assist you resolve. 

So whether or not you’re a newbie in search of your first photograph modifying and group device, otherwise you’re a extra skilled photographer making an attempt to resolve on the simplest choice to your wants, learn on. 

Adobe Bridge: overview

Adobe Bridge files
Bridge is a file browser on steroids, which reveals the contents of inventive belongings in your drives.

Most photographers might be accustomed to Lightroom and Photoshop, however what about Adobe Bridge? The place does it slot in and the way can or not it’s of use? Let’s begin by looking at this often-overlooked a part of the Inventive Suite. 

Adobe Bridge is a inventive asset supervisor that permits you to preview, set up, edit, and publish a number of inventive belongings rapidly and simply. Word the reference to “inventive belongings,” right here, somewhat than “photos;” Bridge works with all kinds of information, together with photos, audio, and video, in addition to information created in Illustrator and InDesign. 

Bridge may even be used to arrange and think about metadata for different forms of information equivalent to PDF and Phrase paperwork. 

Put merely, Bridge is a file browser on steroids. It reveals you the contents of the folders in your laptop, and helps you discover belongings, view metadata, and entry information.


  • Glorious strategy to browse information
  • File construction of your laptop is left unchanged
  • Simpler to see metadata than Lightroom 
  • No import wanted; information are already there in your drives
  • Many metadata and export options are much like Lightroom 


  • Not an all-in-one answer 
  • No built-in modifying instruments 
  • Some photographers might battle to discover a use for Bridge 

Adobe Lightroom Traditional: overview

Adobe Lightroom is a inventive device for picture group and manipulation; it’s been the market chief for photograph modifying and cataloging for nicely over a decade.

Lightroom files
Lightroom has been the market-leading photograph modifying software program for over a decade.

Earlier than Lightroom, Photoshop was the industry-standard photograph editor. After the launch of Lightroom, photographers discovered that the brand new program allowed for faster and extra environment friendly modifying. 

Lightroom has two revolutionary options that set it other than Photoshop. First, it’s a non-destructive modifying program. Picture modifications are saved however are straightforward to roll again at any time, even after the information and the software program have been closed and reopened.

Second, Lightroom has a complicated, in-built picture cataloging system. With Lightroom, you possibly can apply metadata, create Collections, set flags, rankings, and way more.

Lightroom file organization
The acquainted Library view in Lightroom.

With a rise in demand for modifying photos throughout a number of gadgets and storing photos within the cloud, a second program, named Adobe Lightroom CC, arrived on the scene. That includes a extra streamlined interface and stripped-back set of instruments, it does have one main benefit – the flexibility to sync developed photographs between computer systems, tablets, and cellular gadgets. 

This system many people knew and beloved was renamed Adobe Lightroom Traditional, which is the model of the software program that we’re inspecting on this article. 


  • All-in-one answer for photographers
  • Glorious choices for organizing information, together with metadata and rankings
  • Simple-to-export information
  • Capability to batch rename and apply settings throughout a whole shoot, Assortment, or catalog
  • Capability to import third-party Lightroom presets 


  • Pictures have to be imported into catalogs
  • Giant catalogs decelerate the software program for some customers
  • Steeper studying curve than Bridge 
  • Some picture modifying nonetheless must be accomplished in Photoshop

Lightroom vs Bridge: comparability of key options 

Now that you simply’re accustomed to the fundamentals, which program do you have to choose? Within the subsequent part, we’ll check out some key options equivalent to file group, ease of use, and picture modifying that can assist you resolve which choice is best for you.

File dealing with

Each Lightroom and Bridge are glorious for common organizational duties like including and viewing metadata, ranking information, creating Collections, and exporting photos. Each packages allow you to look by way of a sequence of photos rapidly and effectively, charge the keepers, then create a filter or a Assortment primarily based in your picks.

sorting images in Lightroom
Each Lightroom and Bridge have glorious methods to charge and type photos.

While you take a extra in-depth take a look at each packages, the one you favor might rely upon whether or not you want to arrange your information your self or favor the software program to tackle that process. If it’s the previous, Bridge will go well with you. If it’s the latter, strive Lightroom. 

As said above, Bridge is a file browser displaying you photos already in your laptop. Lightroom relies on you importing photographs into its catalog; till you do that, you’re roughly gazing a clean display screen. 

With Lightroom, photos out of your supply folder (usually a reminiscence card or exterior drive) are copied by default to a location, the place Lightroom creates a folder for that 12 months, then creates a folder for every day that you simply took photographs.

You possibly can import photos into your Lightroom catalogs out of your arduous drives, however that usually doesn’t make numerous sense. When you transfer the information to a different location, Lightroom gained’t know the place they’re, and also you’ll should seek for the information earlier than you are able to do correct viewing and modifying. 

importing files into Lightroom
Importing information into Adobe Lightroom Traditional.

When you don’t just like the sound of this, Adobe Bridge might go well with you higher. You’ll by no means should import any photographs, which additionally signifies that photographs don’t go lacking from a catalog should you transfer them. 

Bridge additionally has some good little tips up its sleeve, just like the great Reveal All Current Information menu choice. This allows you to immediately discover all the newest information you’ve been engaged on in Illustrator, InDesign, and Photoshop. 

Each packages are glorious for viewing information, although Lightroom does have a slight edge. The usual view of the Library module is a sequence of thumbnails that, like in Bridge, you can also make greater or smaller. Lightroom’s benefit is which you could double click on to view a single picture inside Lightroom – whereas in Bridge it’s going to open the picture in Photoshop as a substitute. 

viewing files in Adobe Bridge
The Reveal All Current Information choice in Bridge.

Nevertheless, Bridge does do a greater job of displaying metadata. Though each packages supply the acquainted metadata panel on the right-hand aspect, Bridge provides you some options. I notably just like the Particulars view within the Necessities tab – this provides you a listing of photos down the display screen with detailed metadata in every row.

This can be a welcome change from Lightroom. I need to admit I’m usually annoyed by its metadata view, notably the small quantity of knowledge the Loupe overlay reveals. 

So who wins the file dealing with comparability? I’ll name it a lifeless warmth, relying on whether or not you want to arrange your information your self or should you favor the software program to do it for you. And naturally, the way you prefer to view your metadata. 

Lightroom vs Adobe Bridge viewing metadata
Metadata view in Adobe Bridge.

Picture modifying

At first look, a photo-editing comparability might sound a little bit unfair. Lightroom is a superb photograph editor, whereas Adobe Bridge has no in-built file modifying capabilities in any respect. However bear with me, as a result of that is all about the way you like to edit photographs, and never a lot concerning the capabilities of every program. 

Lightroom is the undisputed king of photograph modifying. The Develop module comprises a unprecedented vary of instruments, together with publicity and distinction, highlights and shadows, white steadiness, temperature, tone curve, hue/saturation/luminance controls, color grading, and lens corrections, to call only a few. There are additionally cropping and straightening instruments, red-eye discount, graduated filters, radial filters, and therapeutic brushes. 

Develop module in Lightroom
Lightroom Traditional has a unprecedented vary of modifying instruments for photographers.

Nevertheless, I do know a couple of photographers preferring to make use of Photoshop over Lightroom for all of their picture modifying. In case you are the identical, then the Bridge/Photoshop mixture will in all probability attraction extra. 

This mixture provides you the perfect of each worlds – you get the file shopping capabilities of Bridge with the ability of Adobe Photoshop. Opening information to edit from Bridge is a breeze. Double-clicking on an asset opens it in considered one of Adobe’s different software program packages: JPEGs open in Photoshop, and RAW information open in Adobe Digicam Uncooked. Mission information from Audition, InDesign, and Illustrator open of their respective packages. You possibly can even double-click to view different information, equivalent to these created by Microsoft Workplace. 

When you do wish to make small modifications to RAW information with out leaving Bridge, there’s a manner to do this, too – right-click any picture and select Open in Digicam Uncooked. This accesses Adobe’s Digicam Uncooked plug-in with out heading to Photoshop. You possibly can even change the conduct of double clicks to do that (in your Bridge preferences). 

Open in Camera Raw Bridge
You possibly can right-click a picture to edit in Digicam Uncooked with out leaving Bridge.

That stated, I’ve at hand Lightroom the photo-editing win for its non-destructive capabilities. You possibly can, after all, edit photographs in Photoshop in a non-destructive method, however Lightroom makes it straightforward, and with so many highly effective instruments at your disposal, Lightroom provides over 90% of what many photographers search for in photo-editing software program. 

Ease of use

As a longtime Lightroom consumer, I’ve seen the software program undergo a number of iterations, and I’m fairly snug with the way it works and the right way to discover issues – so it’s robust for me to evaluate impartially.

Lightroom is predicated round a sequence of modules; you possibly can choose a module by clicking on its title throughout the highest proper of the display screen. These embody Library, Develop, Map, Ebook, Slideshow, Print, and Internet. Virtually all my time in Lightroom is spent within the Library and Develop modules (so sure, there’s numerous performance within the software program that I simply don’t use). 

Bridge can also be nicely designed and options the acquainted really feel of different Adobe merchandise within the Inventive Suite. It’s pretty intuitive as a file browser, with lots of its options straightforward to make use of and perceive.

Nevertheless, Bridge did depart me scratching my head at a number of the totally different views throughout the highest proper of the display screen. For instance, there doesn’t appear to be a lot distinction between the Metadata and Key phrases views, and particulars from each of those will also be seen elsewhere, like within the Necessities view. 

viewing files in Adobe Bridge
There are many methods to view information in Adobe Bridge.

As somebody who prefers to edit in Lightroom versus Photoshop, the important thing query in my thoughts was not the right way to use the software program, however what do I take advantage of it for? Sure, Bridge is a greater file viewer than Finder on my Mac, however aside from the improved metadata view, why would I am going for Bridge over Lightroom’s glorious file group and modifying instruments? 

Though I’ve an actual appreciation for Bridge, I can’t assist however assume that Lightroom is extra straightforwardly usable. You possibly can set up your library, charge photos, add metadata, edit photos, and export them – multi function program. What may very well be less complicated than that? 

Lightroom vs Adobe Bridge: Which do you have to select?

Lightroom and Bridge have many similarities, however they’re essentially totally different packages. The one which fits you greatest will finally rely upon two components: how you want to arrange your information and the way you prefer to edit them. 

I like to recommend you strive Bridge if:

  • You want to arrange your personal file construction
  • You like to edit photos in Photoshop
  • You’re employed with a variety of inventive belongings like video, illustration information, and InDesign information

And I like to recommend you strive Lightroom if:

  • You want software program to arrange your information for you
  • You like an all-in-one answer
  • You primarily work with photos

On the finish of the day, each packages have glorious options for file dealing with and group, with the flexibility to create Collections, add and think about metadata, charge information, and export photos.

So whether or not you select Bridge or Lightroom, you’re definitely in for a deal with.

Now over to you:

What do you consider these two packages? Which do you propose to make use of and why? Share your ideas within the feedback beneath!

Bridge vs Lightroom FAQ

What’s the level of Adobe Bridge?

Adobe Bridge is a inventive asset supervisor that permits you to preview, set up, edit, and publish a number of inventive belongings rapidly and simply. Bridge might go well with photographers who like to arrange their very own file constructions and edit photos in Photoshop.

Do I actually need Adobe Bridge?

Adobe Bridge is a strong asset supervisor that comes as a part of the Adobe Inventive Suite. You don’t want Bridge, however many individuals like to make use of it for shopping and organizing information.

Can I edit photos in Adobe Bridge?

Adobe Bridge doesn’t comprise any in-built picture modifying instruments. Double-clicking JPEGs opens them in Photoshop; double-clicking RAW information opens Adobe Digicam Uncooked. You may also right-click a picture in Bridge to launch Digicam Uncooked.

Can I take advantage of Lightroom and not using a catalog?

No, you have to create a catalog and import photos for Lightroom to work.

The publish Lightroom vs Adobe Bridge: Which Is Best in 2021? appeared first on Digital Photography School. It was authored by Matt Murray.

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