Photoshop Express vs. Lightroom | Which One is for You?

Photoshop Express and Lightroom Icon
Photoshop Express vs. Lightroom

The debate between Photoshop Express vs. Lightroom has been going on for a long time now. For digital photographers, both offer great features and online tools for editing. But you want to know whether to invest in Photoshop Express or Lightroom, based upon your photography needs. Let us delve into each program.

Table of contents

Photoshop Express

Photoshop Express Interface
Photoshop Express Interface

Photoshop Express is an elder brother of Lightroom on PC, but the table turns on the mobile. With Photoshop Express, you can place images in meta folders and add descriptive metadata for file saving and sharing purposes. One of the primary complaints is that you can only work on one photo at a time, and the editing is a bit complicated for beginners.

You can utilise the program on iOS and Android platforms. Some features you can utilise with smartphone apps include

  • Resizing images and cropping out edits
  • Light adjustments
  • Adjusting pixel settings
  • Change shadows, highlights, and contrast angles
  • Saturate, clarify, sharpen, or reduce noise

It also allows you to add text to photos, correct red-eye, remove blemishes, add in watermarks, and eliminate blur in photos.

Related: Snapseed vs. Lightroom (2020) | The Final Showdown


Adobe Lightroom Mobile Interface
Adobe Lightroom Mobile Interface

If you like the ease of use, this is the program to choose. The younger brother has a fresher look. It’s accessible, fun to edit with, and you can share images on Facebook and Flickr. This is a definite selling point for younger users who like social media.

It utilises a library-style system to save edits. So, you can view multiple forms of your images, all in one place; this is not possible with Photoshop Express. A major drawback is in the editing; Lightroom does not offer nearly as many tools like Photoshop. If you are a beginner in photography, however, who doesn’t have that crisp eye for detail just yet, this is a great tool to help you learn the editing process and create nice looking digital shots.

Lightroom features an intuitive interface, which allows you to create presets to save time, and quickly transfer adjustments in your catalogue. Graduated filters and crop overlay tools are also a nice addition, and the web export tool is something younger users, who like sharing everything, will deeply appreciate.

Watch: 10 Best free photo editing Apps (video)

Photoshop Express vs. Lightroom

Interface of Photoshop Express and Lightroom Mobile
The interface of Photoshop Express and Lightroom Mobile


The table compares the tools both offer for free. Overall, Photoshop Express supports more tools.

Photoshop ExpressLightroom
Looks (over 100)
Lights (over 85)
Pre-made aspect ratios
Transform (multiple)
Colour adjustment
Blemishes remove
Red-eye remove
Text editor
Borders (over 25)
Collage maker
Profiles (over 45)
Auto adjust
Auto fix
Light adjustment
Colour adjustment
Split tone
Optics (unique)
Colour presets (6)

File handling

Lightroom does not edit photos or move them around; instead, all changes made by users are kept within their catalogue. Lightroom keeps a log of edits, but the original photo remains intact.

Photoshop Express operates differently here. When editing an image, you’re always working on the original file unless a PSD file is saved (iOS only). The PSD file is a downgrade in resolution but does maintain the changes you made. The primary difference is with Lightroom all changes are saved in the catalogue; with Photoshop Express, you have to keep separate files from managing.


Both export in JPG formats no matter which format the original image is in. Photoshop offers to choose image resolution. You can also select the original to get the original image resolution back. Lightroom exports the same resolution with an option to change the resolution.

Every time you share on Lightroom, the app asks whether to add and show a watermark, caption, photo location, and info of the photo, while Photoshop only offers to add a watermark.

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App details

Compared to Photoshop Express, Lightroom has positive reviews on both the stores. Another fact is Photoshop Express app occupies more storage than Lightroom on iOS as well as on Android. Adobe Photoshop is more popular, which is also the reason for more downloads than Lightroom.

Photoshop ExpressLightroom

Usage differences?

Ultimately, it is a personal decision, and possibly a generational one. For those who like the original, Photoshop Express wins. It is the gold standard. You know you’re getting quality, precision, and unparalleled use of editing tools. It is, however, more complicated to use. If you are a beginner or novice, it will require a learning curve, and use of Adobe and other tools over time to perfect the craft.

If ease of use, simplicity, social sharing, and the option to edit multiple photos at once is what you seek, Lightroom is the winner. It is effortless to use, and there’s virtually no learning curve. If you want more editing tools, filters, cropping, and more exacting detail, or if you are a more advanced photographer, you might opt for Photoshop Express. And, with the same price point, this aspect really will not edge out one program over the other if you’re trying to find a more affordable option.

It is the debate of new versus old. Both offer great features, function, and editing. If you are a purist who wants excellent editing and sharpness, Photoshop Express is it. For those who want new, fresh, and zero-guesswork, go with Lightroom.

Check out: PicsArt Tutorial | The Complete PicsArt tutorial with Pictures


Photoshop Express vs. Lightroom covered the most essential topics. I hope the article helped you pick your ideal app. Let me know what you think of both in the comments below. Also, subscribe to the newsletter for future updates.

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