While there are several digital asset management (DAM) software for photographers, none has seen a success like Adobe’s Photoshop Lightroom. After evaluating several DAM software, this is the one I decided to use myself and am quite satisfied with it. While not perfect, the software has only improved since then and it is now at version 4.2 with a beta of 4.3 available for trial.
Of course, it is not the only game in town but its success is important because, as a non-destructive DAM software, Lightroom becomes the gateway to your images. In other words, you have to see images though Lightroom to see their final version and access added metadata, if you made any edits. For this reason, being more successful makes it more viable as a long-term solution.
One question that comes often about Lightroom is if is worthwhile for a JPEG only workflow? The answer is simple: Absolutely. While Lightroom has the capability to process RAW files, there is nothing in its feature set which makes it any less powerful for JPEG images.
Lightroom is a great tool with many well-integrated features. Version 4 which is roughly half the price of previous one adds maps, book publishing, soft-proofing to the already useful organization and processing tool.
The organization tools are worth the price alone and the export feature is the best one I’ve seen. Even though I rarely use processing other than the excellent crop-tool, Lightroom is great for cataloging images and rendering them for different uses, from large prints to sharing on Facebook. This saves time finding and preparing photos for print.
Lightroom also integrates powerful lens corrections based on profiles and generic tools to remove fringing, distortion and vignetting. The latest version also adds a Moire-removal brush to clean up this artifact. This is especially useful for the handful of cameras which use Bayer-sensors without an Anti-Alias filter. Currently those are the Nikon D800E, Pentax K-5 IIs and Olympus PEN E-PL5 but they are probably the first of many more.