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Head to Head: Adobe Lightroom Basic vs Seize One 21: Digital Pictures Evaluation

Ever since that darkish day when Adobe made the shift from the perpetual licensing mannequin of the Inventive Suite to the subscription-based Inventive Cloud, many photographers have been trying to find a viable various to Adobe Lightroom. Luckily, there is no scarcity of contenders: from open-source options like Darktable, to Mac-only choices like Pixelmator, to common choices like On1 Picture RAW.

However one app has emerged because the de-facto various that is higher, or at the least extra broadly adopted, than the remaining: Seize One Professional.

Whereas no person has but managed to unseat Adobe’s Lightroom Basic because the “business normal” Uncooked photograph group and enhancing software, Seize One has arguably come closest, incomes a serious following amongst photographers who desire a extremely customizable do-everything editor with tons of professional-grade options, layer assist and, if the hype is to be believed, a lot quicker general efficiency.

A few of these claims are extra subjective than others, however at present, we will deal with one particularly: is Seize One actually quicker than Lightroom Basic? And if that’s the case, by how a lot?

The assessments

As with our Last Minimize Professional vs Premiere Professional comparability, we did our greatest to place these two packages on a good footing and check them on all kinds of various computer systems with totally different specs.

Is Seize One actually quicker than Lightroom Basic? And if that’s the case, by how a lot?

We do not simply wish to discover out if Seize One is quicker than Adobe Lightroom for one particular digital camera’s Uncooked file or on one specific working system. The broader our testing, the extra we will study when, how, and why one program out-performs the others.

To that finish, we put in C1 and LRC on 4 totally different computer systems – two PCs and two Macs – and ran the software program via via the identical battery of assessments, utilizing Uncooked information from 4 totally different cameras: the 20MP Canon EOS R6, the 47MP Nikon Z7 II, the 61MP Sony a7R IV, and the 100MP Fujifilm GFX 100.

Adobe Lightroom Basic CC Seize One Professional 21
Import and generate 2048px previews Import and generate 2048px previews
Apply customized preset Apply customized fashion
Export full decision 100% JPEGs (sRGB) Export full decision 100% JPEGs (sRGB)

To maintain the outcomes as comparable as attainable throughout cameras, we used the Uncooked studio scene comparability picture from every of our 4 cameras and duplicated it 100 instances, leaving us with 400 uncooked information in all. Every set of 100 was then imported, previews had been generated, an similar customized preset/fashion was utilized in each packages, and variants had been exported as full decision 100% JPEGs to a subfolder on the Desktop.

Every check was repeated a minimal of thrice in a row to make sure consistency and eradicate outliers. Full {hardware} acceleration was turned on within the settings and, the place attainable, the cache and/or catalog had been cleared and this system was restarted between every run.

Lastly, since each packages are up to date fairly ceaselessly with additional efficiency and have enhancements, it is necessary to notice that we used the newest variations of each Seize One 21 (14.3.0) and Adobe Lightroom Basic (10.3) as of August 1st, 2021.

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The computer systems

The Razer Blade 15 Superior reveals off how Lightroom and Seize One take benefit (or do not) of the newest {hardware}.
Picture by DL Cade

To provide the broadest foundation for comparability, we ran our assessments on two Macs and two PCs: one M1 Mac, one Intel Mac, one AMD PC, and one Intel PC. You’ll be able to see the complete spec breakdown under:

M1 Mac mini 13-inch MacBook Professional Razer Blade 15 Superior 2021 ASUS Zephyrus G14
CPU Apple Silicon M1 8-core Intel Core i7-1068NG7 Intel Core i9-11900H AMD Ryzen 9 5900HS
GPU Apple Silicon M1 8-core Intel Iris Plus





RAM 16GB Unified Reminiscence 32GB 3733MHz LPDDR4 32GB 3200HMz DDR4 32GB 3200MHz DDR4


2TB Built-in SSD 4TB Built-in SSD 1TB PCIe 4.0 M.2 NVMe SSD 1TB PCIe 3.0 M.2 NVMe SSD
Show None

13-inch Retina Show

15-inch 4K OLED 14-inch QHD IPS LCD
Worth $1,700 $3,600 $3,400 $2,000
Worth w/ 1TB of Storage $1,300 $2,600 $3,400 $2,000

Admittedly, the PCs we examined are fairly a bit extra highly effective than both of the Macs, however this is not about evaluating working techniques. Utilizing these 4 machines allowed us to see what kind of influence a discrete GPU has on efficiency, evaluate M1 in opposition to Intel, evaluate AMD vs Intel, and evaluate at 4 distinct worth factors.

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The outcomes

In our testing, we discovered that Seize One is quicker general, however not throughout the board.

By way of navigation, copying edits or presets throughout a whole lot of information, and the smoothness with which a picture preview renders as you progress a slider backwards and forwards, there was no noticeable distinction between the 2 packages working on the identical laptop.

It’s because each Seize One and Lightroom Basic use GPU acceleration to assist with excessive decision shows and most elementary photograph enhancing duties, placing them on a good footing. And when it comes to shopping photographs in your catalog, a current replace has pushed Lightroom forward considerably, making it attainable to speedily examine even 61MP Uncooked information at a tempo that the majority customers would look forward to finding in Picture Mechanic.

However again to our measurements. The place the 2 packages differ most is in precisely these duties that we determined to benchmark: Import/Preview Era, and Export.

Import Check

With regards to import and preview-generation, it’d shock you to study that Lightroom Basic was quicker throughout the board. With normal previews set to the identical decision in each packages, Adobe by no means took greater than 50 seconds to generate previews, even with our largest 100MP Fuji GFX information, whereas Seize One slowed all the best way all the way down to 4 minutes and 18 seconds on the Intel MacBook Professional—an 81% distinction.

This was on our slowest check machine with the most important information. As file sizes get smaller and {hardware} will get higher, the hole in efficiency decreases. Nonetheless, in our testing, Lightroom Basic continued to outperform Seize One every time.

On our two high-powered PCs, Lightroom was capable of generate previews from the Fuji GFX information in roughly 40 seconds, whereas Seize One carried out the identical process in about 1 minute and 35 seconds— a 58% distinction.

You’ll be able to see the entire information within the tables and graphs under. Instances are minutes and seconds, and the winner for every laptop/digital camera combo is highlighted in inexperienced.

Blade 15 M1 Mac Mini ASUS G14 MacBook Professional
Lightroom 00:28 00:28 00:27 00:34
Seize One 00:33 00:37 00:32 00:47
Nikon Z7 II
Lightroom 00:29 00:30 00:27 00:35
Seize One
00:45 00:59 00:50 01:55
Sony a7R IV
Lightroom 00:30 00:27 00:26 00:31
Seize One
01:14 01:12 01:04 02:34
Fujifilm GFX 100
Lightroom 00:40 00:44 00:39 00:50
Seize One 01:37 01:53 01:35 04:18

Sadly for Adobe followers, that is just about the tip of the excellent news. With regards to exporting full decision JPEGs at 100% high quality – the extra time-consuming process by far – Seize One 21 is far quicker in our testing.

Export check

The outcomes of our export check present that the extra highly effective the machine, the broader the efficiency hole between Seize One and Lightroom. It’s because Seize One makes use of GPU acceleration for processing and exporting information, whereas Lightroom Basic doesn’t.

With regards to exporting 100% JPEGs – the extra time-consuming process – Seize One 21 was a lot quicker than Adobe Lightroom.

For our slowest laptop computer, the Intel MacBook Professional with built-in graphics, the hole was fairly small. Seize One was between 15 seconds and 1 minute and 48 seconds quicker relying on the file kind. However when you throw in a discrete GPU or Apple Silicon, plus {hardware} acceleration, the distinction is staggering.

Our ASUS G14 was capable of export all 100 Fuji GFX 100 uncooked information, totally edited, in simply 6 minutes and 39 seconds when utilizing Seize One. This similar export, with the identical edits, took greater than 24 minutes in Lightroom Basic. Even the M1 Mac mini, which does not have a discrete GPU to select up the slack, noticed export instances drop by as much as 27 minutes when switching from Lightroom to Seize One.

You’ll be able to browse the uncooked information for your self under. As with the imports, the winners of every laptop/digital camera combo are highlighted in inexperienced:

Blade 15 M1 Mac Mini ASUS G14 MacBook Professional
Lightroom 3:13 4:04 3:57 5:52
Seize One 1:31 2:06 1:35 4:41
Nikon Z7 II
Lightroom 7:01 8:54 8:50 12:59
Seize One
3:17 5:22 3:01 12:44
Sony a7R IV
Lightroom 9:04 15:38 11:40 16:26
Seize One
4:03 6:44 3:41 15:28
Fujifilm GFX 100
Lightroom 20:07 39:56 24:02 27:54
Seize One 7:10 12:19 6:39 26:06

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The takeaways

Once you add up the whole time spent importing and exporting photographs, Seize One 21 is certainly quicker than Lightroom Basic CC. A lot quicker. However the measurement of that hole in efficiency is dependent upon a number of components.

So far as we will inform, there are two main takeaways from the testing above.

1. It is all in regards to the GPU

We stated it in our head-to-head comparability of Last Minimize and Premier Professional, and we’ll say it once more right here: nothing beats a well-optimized app.

Whereas Lightroom Basic does use GPU Acceleration to assist with sure duties, the app makes no use of the GPU throughout import, preview era, or export. That is extremely irritating for PC customers, who usually tend to personal a system with a beefy NVIDIA or AMD GPU. When it comes time to export a number of hundred totally edited JPEGs out of your most up-to-date shoot, this lack of GPU acceleration leaves quite a bit of efficiency on the desk.

The identical applies to Apple Silicon Macs, which nonetheless profit vastly from Seize One’s {hardware} acceleration even with no discrete GPU.

Lightroom Basic makes no use of the GPU throughout import, preview era, or export.

For customers of Intel-based machines with no GPU it is principally a wash between each packages relating to import and export. However for M1 Mac customers and PC customers with discrete GPUs, exports from Seize One are between 40 and 72% quicker throughout all file varieties, with the hole getting wider as file sizes get bigger.

Even in a small-scale check, the place we’re solely exporting 100 Uncooked information at a time, that interprets into 13 to 27 minutes saved per export in case you’re working with a digital camera just like the Fujifilm GFX 100. Extrapolate that as much as a whole lot of photographs exported week-in and week-out as a part of knowledgeable workflow, and we’re speaking about saving a number of hours of export time per 30 days, whereas giving up only some minutes throughout import, in comparison with Lightroom.

2. Prioritize the {hardware} that matches your software program, and visa versa

Whether or not you are a die-hard Seize One fan otherwise you’re decided to maintain utilizing Adobe merchandise, hold these ends in thoughts when making your subsequent laptop buy: to get probably the most out of your software program of selection, it’s best to prioritize the precise {hardware} (and visa versa).

For Lightroom Basic customers, which means betting closely on CPU efficiency and RAM. These are the one bits of {hardware} that Lightroom truly makes use of throughout import, preview era, and export, so except you additionally repeatedly use GPU-accelerated apps like Adobe Premiere Professional, you are higher off skimping in your graphics card and placing your cash elsewhere.

To get probably the most out of your software program of selection, it’s best to prioritize the precise {hardware}.

For Seize One customers, your finest guess can be to buy a well-balanced system, or go together with an M1 Mac. You in all probability needn’t pony up for a system with an NVIDIA RTX 30-series graphics card, however you positively do not wish to skip the discrete GPU solely. For the most effective worth, have a look at AMD Ryzen-based techniques just like the ASUS G14, or decide up a last-gen RTX 20-series laptop computer for even much less. You’ll be able to, in fact, additionally construct your personal PC, mixing and matching components as you see match.

Simply know which you can get away with spending much less on RAM and CPU efficiency if in case you have an excellent GPU to select up the slack.

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Last ideas

The 2 packages might look related, however there’s an enormous efficiency distinction between Seize One Professional and Adobe Lightroom Basic.
Picture by DL Cade
Adobe Lightroom Basic
Seize One Professional
Execs: Execs:
  • Sooner at importing information and producing normal previews
  • Offers you the choice to generate 1:1 previews (if in case you have the time)
  • Seamless integration with Adobe Photoshop and different CC apps
  • Strong cloud integration and companion cellular apps
  • Sooner at exporting closely edited information
  • Options vital GPU {hardware} acceleration
  • Higher optimized to reap the benefits of Apple Silicon M1
  • Out there as Sony-only, Fuji-only, and Nikon-only variations for much less cash (or included with digital camera buy)
  • Out there as a one time buy
Cons: Cons:
  • No GPU acceleration for import, preview era, and export
  • Export pace is closely RAM dependent
  • Could finally be discontinued and changed by cloud-based Lightroom CC
  • Not everybody loves the subscription mannequin…
  • Efficiency is much like Lightroom when utilizing low-end {hardware}
  • No cloud integration or companion cellular apps (but)
  • Professional-focused interface comes with a steep studying curve

For a lot of – presumably most – photographers, the choice to change to Seize One Professional from Lightroom Basic can be pushed by the need to flee Adobe’s subscription mannequin. The flexibility to pay as soon as and purchase your self a perpetual license is a large draw. Higher but, Seize One provides Nikon, Sony, and Fuji customers a good cheaper model that solely helps their digital camera model. (Although they do additionally supply a subscription possibility, so who is aware of what the long run will convey.)

However there’s one different enormous cause why folks swap, and that cause is pace.

As we confirmed above, Seize One customers aren’t mendacity once they say that C1 is quicker than Lightroom Basic. In the event you’re rocking a brand new M1 Mac or a PC with a discrete GPU, Seize One is a lot better optimized to reap the benefits of the graphics functionality mendacity dormant in your motherboard while you’re exporting batches of closely edited information.

Seize One customers aren’t mendacity once they say that C1 is quicker than Lightroom Basic.

For the fanatic customers who edit and export a number of images at a time, a few instances per week, Lightroom remains to be in all probability finest. Cloud integration, cellular assist, and the flexibility to transition seamlessly between Inventive Cloud apps is nice. Even in case you hate Lightroom and the subscription mannequin, you might wish to search for one other various with a extra user-friendly design and fewer deal with “professional” workflows.

However for skilled customers who’re working with 1000’s of photographs week-in and week-out, Lightroom Basic will value you twice: as soon as while you pay that subscription price, and once more while you rely up the hours misplaced ready on your exports to complete.

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