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VSCO vs Lightroom (2022)

VSCO vs Lightroom
VSCO vs Lightroom

Most photo editors have social media options because photo editing and social media have a special connection. Two great video editing apps are VSCO and Lightroom. You find lots of filters on both, but how would both stand in the ring? Let’s explore the two and cover VSCO vs Lightroom.

What are both

VSCO today is a photo editor and social media platform. It also has video editing capabilities, but only in its premium version. Lightroom has been an image editing tool since its birth. Along with some great filters, it has many photo editing tools.


VSCO and Lightroom Interface
VSCO and Lightroom Interface

VSCO has a few sections. Those include:

  • Main studio where you see all your photos
  • Social feed to see photos of other people
  • Your profile tab to see your profile
  • Search online for hashtags
  • Membership screen to upgrade your plan

The edit interface has all the tools on the bottom with a few options on the top. Lightroom, in comparison, comes with folders. The top folder contains all the added photos.

Like VSCO, the editing interface of Lightroom has the tools down the bottom. Both apps show a small icon to separate free and premium tools.

VSCO vs Lightroom: Editing tools

VSCO has fewer options than Lightroom. Along with 17 filters, it has:

  • Adjust (photo ratio and rotation)
  • Exposure
  • Contrast
  • Sharpen image
  • Clarity
  • Saturation
  • Tone
  • Skin Tone
  • White Balance
  • Vignette
  • Grain
  • Fade
  • Split Tone

You also get recipes on VSCO. Recipes are custom photo edits. You can apply the same edits to other images with one tap. One recipe is allowed on the free plan.

Let’s explore the Lightroom tools. It has 10 free presets as of writing this article, and the below editing options:

  • Crop
  • Straighten
  • Rotate
  • Flip
  • Custom ratio
  • Auto enhance
  • Exposure
  • Contrast
  • Highlights
  • Shadows
  • Adjust Whites and Blacks
  • Colour
  • Texture, Clarity, Dehaze, and Vignette effects
  • Sharpening
  • Noise Reduction
  • Colour Noise Reduction
  • Remove Chromatic Aberration
  • Enable Lens Corrections
  • Around 60 profiles (like filters)


Filter Magic Wand in VSCO

On its free subscription, VSCO offers 17 filters. Each comes with a magic wand option that controls the filter’s intensity. VSCO also displays filters in categories to easily find the required filter.

Lightroom offers about ten presets for free. The tool has profiles, which are categorised. Unlike VSCO, Lightroom does not come with an intensity option.

Related: VSCO vs Snapseed

Auto enhance

Auto-Tune Images in Lightroom

VSCO does not support an auto-enhance option, but it automatically selects a preset when editing a new photo. Sometimes, it’s a free preset, while other times, it’s premium.

On the other hand, Lightroom comes with an auto-tune option to apply edits and effects automatically.

File exporting

VSCO exports the file in the same resolution unless you crop it. The saved files are in JPEG format. As VSCO is a social platform, it automatically saves photos to its social platform before you can download the edited photo.

I don’t like this option, but there is a workaround just to save the photo and then download it from the photos section.

Lightroom also saves the same resolution file in JPG format. Both apps export the image metadata, including the camera details, but the location information is not exported.


As discussed, VSCO has built-in Instagram sharing features. You can also find the regular sharing options for other services. Lightroom also supports the standard sharing factors.

Supported platforms

Let’s discuss platforms in the VSCO vs Lightroom battle. VSCO is only available on mobile phones, while Lightroom is available on mobile and desktop platforms. Unlike Lightroom Mobile, the desktop is not available for free.

Related: Snapseed vs. Lightroom Mobile

Premium options

VSCO vs Lightroom
VSCO vs Lightroom Pricing

Both offer premium subscriptions for extended options. VSCO calls it VSCO Membership. The membership costs $11.99 per month or $31.99 per year. The yearly plan offers a seven-day free trial. The premium users get:

  • Professional photo editing features
  • Video editing capabilities
  • Over 200 premium filters
  • Premium recipes
  • Ad-free app
  • Weekly photo challenges
  • Moving collages with Montage

Adobe also offers a paid plan that unlocks the premium features. Lightroom charges $3.19 per month or $31.99 per year. The paid subscription has:

  • Healing brush
  • Masking tool
  • Over 150 premium presets
  • Recommend presets suggestion
  • Free cloud storage to backup photos online
  • RAW editing
  • Guided geometry tools to fix and adjust perspective
  • People faces and photo sorting
  • Batch editing
  • Find the best photos using AI
  • Adobe Sensei to auto-tag photos

Sometimes, we see programs more expensive than others, but those programs offer more options. However, in our case, VSCO does not offer as many tools, and it’s more expensive than its competitor. So in terms of pricing, Lightroom is the winner.


If you want to edit the whole photo and change its colours quickly, VSCO is a great app. It also has quick share to Instagram options to upload photos directly.

If you want an editor used equally for editing and effects, Lightroom is the program you need.

Anyway, the debate of VSCO vs Lightroom was a great one. You can try both below before selecting the ideal one. Also, if you have time, please share your suggestions and questions below, and I will get back to you as early as possible.

VSCO vs Lightroom: Links