With Adobe’s Lightroom Free, you get everlasting, watermark-free access to the basic functionality found in the premium Lightroom product.
Table of Contents
- What is Lightroom Free
- What can Lightroom Free do
- Is Lightroom Free good for beginners?
- What’s Lightroom Free like to to use?
- Is Lightroom Free really free?
- Conclusion: Is Lightroom Free any Good?
What is Lightroom Free
Lightroom Free is a stripped-down version of Lightroom, Adobe’s hugely popular photo editor. Unlike other ‘free’ photo editors, Adobe does not cut you off after 30 days. In fact, it is free to use for as long as you like.
Despite its bargain price, LF includes all the usual, essential tools. You can straighten and crop your photos, adjust brightness and exposure, and punch up the colors.
And if all of that sounds like hard work, you can process your photos in a single click using one of the many included presets.
However, you only have to use it for a few minutes to realize it exists to lure you towards Lightroom Premium. With its unusable premium-exclusive tools cluttering the interface, it’s clear Adobe wants to remind you what you are missing.
And if you happen to click on a premium tool, you are interrupted with an upgrade screen offering access to a free trial.
Nevertheless, the interruption is not problematic as you can dismiss the upgrade screen and continue to edit your photo with the free version.
Overall, Lightroom Free is an accessible, absurdly affordable way to tap into Adobe’s amazing image processing tech.
What can Lightroom Free do
Basic Photo Management
You can horde your photos into individual albums and folders and browse them by Year, Month, or Day. Alternatively, you can browse for photos using the star rating and keywords you assigned to them.
Overall, Lightroom Free’s photo management covers the essentials. Bravo Adobe.
Photo Editing and Presets
Lightroom Free includes all the usual adjustments that allow you to tweak exposure, contrast, and color.
Alternatively, you can use one of the many presets which provide a quick, one-click route towards good results.
And finally, there’s Adobe’s image quality. Color rendition is excellent whilst sharpening and noise reduction appears superior even when compared to rival, premium products.
You can export your photos to large or small JPEGs.
Is Lightroom Free good for beginners?
Lightroom Free is a practical solution for beginners. If you are new to photo editing, you can rely on its presets for one-click adjustments. And as your skills grow, you have all the essential tools to make your own adjustments.
And once your skills have outgrown Lightroom Free, you have a natural, organic upgrade path in Lightroom Premium.
However, you may grow tired of Adobe’s attempts to lure you towards its premium options if you never intend to upgrade.
In such a case, it might be better to commit your time to an alternative free product. Read more about the best free photo editors for Windows 10
What’s Lightroom Free like to to use?
Lightroom Free is fast and responsive and I never felt like I was waiting for it to catch up. However, editing photos can be clunky since accessing tools requires scrolling up-and-down a vertical list.
Whilst this seek-and-select style of interface is common-place and easy to use, I much prefer interfaces in which you can place your favorite tools within eye-shot.
Such an approach reduces mouse-milage and makes it much faster to process a batch of photos.
Is Lightroom Free really free?
Yes. There is no time limit and it does not add ‘trial’ watermarks to your photos.
Conclusion: Is Lightroom Free any Good?
Whether you make your own adjustments or use the presets, Lightroom Free features the tools you need to create great-looking images. And as a bonus, Adobe even squeezed in some basic-but-adequate photo management.
Although Lightroom Free exists to lure you towards Lightroom Premium, it’s neither overdone nor destructive to your workflow.
In fact, the ever-present shadow of Lightroom Premium may serve you as a highly convenient and effective upgrade pathway should your skills and enthusiasm out-grow the free product.
But if your needs are modest and always will be, it’s well worth checking out these other free alternatives.