Adobe Photoshop CC and Lightroom 5
Two programs for one subscription price makes this option the best for most photographers
We last ran a group test of image editing programs back in issue 23, and a year and a half later we’ve reached exactly the same conclusions we did then.
Our first conclusion is that more and more of us are likely to use two programs, not one. If you want the best image cataloguing tool, the best RAW converter and the best image editor, you’re not going to find all the features you’re looking for in one package, so you’ll be buying multiple programs.
Our second conclusion is that the Photoshop CC and Lightroom 5 combination comes closest to containing everything you could ask for. Now that Apple’s Aperture has been discontinued, Lightroom has little professional competition, so it’s become the go-to cataloguing tool for enthusiasts and professionals alike.
That combination does not include the best RAW converter, though. DxO Optics Pro 10 and Capture One Pro 8 are better. If outright quality is top on your list of priorities you might choose one of these instead of – or as well as – our winning programs (you can now send RAW files from Lightroom to Optics Pro 10 for conversion).
What really settles this once and for all, though, is Adobe’s Creative Cloud Photography plan. For less than £9/$10 per month, based on an annual subscription, you get both programs, and whatever you think of the idea of ongoing software subscriptions, that’s a heck of a deal.