Today’s Question: Is there any advantage to switching from Adobe Bridge and Adobe Camera Raw to Lightroom Classic? I like my workflow now, but I’m worried that eventually Adobe will stop updating them and do Lightroom only.
Tim’s Quick Answer: From my perspective the key advantage of a workflow revolving around Lightroom Classic is the ability to easily search across your entire catalog of photos. If you feel this is an advantage, I think it is worth switching. But I wouldn’t recommend shifting to Lightroom Classic merely out of a fear of Adobe Bridge being discontinued.
More Detail: The key difference between Lightroom Classic and Adobe Bridge is that Lightroom employs a catalog to manage your photos, while Bridge is a browser. The use of a catalog enables Lightroom Classic to provide some performance advantages, especially when it comes to searching across your entire library of photos.
For example, if you wanted to search for all of the five-star photos in your entire catalog, the process can be very quick in Lightroom Classic, and quite slow in Bridge.
To me this is a tremendous advantage, and the primary reason I depend upon Lightroom Classic (rather than Bridge) in my own workflow. But there are some tradeoffs you’ll want to consider if you’re considering a switch.
Because Lightroom Classic employs a catalog to manage your photos, it is critical that everything you do with your photos be initiated within Lightroom. If you make changes to your photos or folders outside of Lightroom, you’re going to end up with a frustrating mess. In addition, Lightroom is obviously a bit different from Bridge in general, meaning there will be a learning curve involved in making a switch.
If you’re comfortable working with Bridge, Camera Raw, and Photoshop, I think it is perfectly reasonable to continue using those tools in your workflow. If you feel that Lightroom Classic provides compelling advantages, such as the ability to quickly search across your entire catalog, then you might consider the switch.
If you are contemplating a switch out of fear that Adobe will discontinue Bridge or Photoshop, I don’t think it is necessary to make such a switch right away. You could always make that switch at a later date if Adobe were to make such a move.